And things just got better and better and better.
I got to spend some time with these great people. We went to our ice cream place, of course, and walked around for a bit. They got me this huge thing of roses and set it in front of my door, knocked, and hid until I found them behind these pillars in my hallway.
I got to skype with my wonderful boyfriend for a very long time which is always great but was especially nice on my birthday!
Then, it was off the the campus party. They have these almost every night on the weekends. They're LOUD and I usually have no clue what was going on, but now I do. I got to watch my 3rd year students put on a little play. It was great to see them all dressed up and excited to perform together.
Then, the real highlight of my birthday came. One of my girls asked if I wanted to go celebrate my birthday with them so I said sure. She gathered a lot of my students up and we left campus to go get some Chinese BBQ. There were 11 of us. I had never hung out with 8 of them before so it was so good to get to just sit and eat and talk and laugh together. It was perfect.
Then it was time for the birthday hat. Yup. They got me a cake! Dream. Come. True. I got my own Chinese cake for my Chinese birthday in China. Yeah, a bit excited.
After a week filled with stress - homesickness and some other things - this was completely unexpected and fantastic. My students are great. I call them my students, but I think of them as my friends. It's not a teacher/students relationship. I mean, I'm only 1-2 years older than most of them. Today was just a huge reminder that I am loved here. I have 'family' here and people here who have just spoiled me. I don't understand it half the time, it makes my head spin a bit, but I accept it all and I constantly just pause and try to comprehend everything that has become my life in these past few months.
To everyone who has wished or will wish me a happy birthday (since the 14th just started in America meaning it's time for facebook to alert people), thank you! I am always feeling the love over here and today was just another reminder of that. Everyone's love and support and encouragement never goes unnoticed. It's what keeps me going and I am always thanking the Father for everyone he has put in my life.
Birthday in China: CHECK! This has been a birthday I will never forget.