Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jo's Birthday

I've been really happy the last few weeks.  Being back in school has been really good for me.  My schedule is perfect, my students are great, my tutoring is enjoyable, things are just dandy!  Every other Sunday I get the chance to hang out with my friends from the high school and it's always the perfect ending to my weekend and a perfect start to my upcoming week.  And for a few reasons, today was probably better than the usual hang out Sundays.

My beautiful friend Jo turned 18 today.  She's the girl I met in the summer of 2010 during my first English camp out here.  We emailed occasionally, I wore the ring she gave me every single day, and a few months ago I saw her for the first time in over 2 years.  Since then, we talk regularly and hang out when we get the chance.
She invited me to her birthday lunch which was held at a Dai restaurant in town. [Dai is one of the many minority groups here in China.]  The whole camp group when there in 2010 and I hadn't been back until today.  It's a beautiful restaurant.  I love the Dai culture.  Today I made a huge connection.  The Dai people have their own language, like many minority groups.  I've been told that it's similar to Thai, and today I realized that Dai and Thai sound similar too!  Their food is somewhat similar, and the overall feel of the culture has many similarities.  I just love it!

We had a super, incredibly delicious lunch.  I got to see several of the students that I had during that first camp, and made a new friend today.  Jo is one of the sweetest people I've ever met.  She goes out of her way to make me feel comfortable and to tell me how thankful she is for me.  I adore this girl.  This was another day I got to spend celebrating someone I could have possibly never seen again.  These days are the ones that I really realize how special this whole opportunity is.

These ribs were better than ones I've had in America. Yeah, I really just said that. 

The REALLY exciting part of the day came after.  Jenny met up with me and we spent a few hours together.  I showed her where I tutor.  She didn't even know that area existed. I showed her a restaurant I love.  She didn't know about that one either.  We went back to my apartment and had really great conversations.  She told me about how she knows what she wants to major in when she goes to college.  She said that so many of her friends don't know what they want to do, they just want to do something where they can make a lot of money.  Her response to them is that she knows she only has one life and she wants to do what makes her happy.  Money doesn't matter if she's truly happy.  Ah.  I just love this girl so much.

In the middle of all of our conversations, I brought up the possibility of her getting dunked for the Father.  I don't think I've ever seen her so excited about something before, with the exception of the time she because our sister.  She said she's been reading all about it and has wanted to do this for a while now. I am almost jittery with excitement about this happening.

I have a small group starting up on Thursday.  It's round 2 with 2 of the girls from last term.  I'll find out this week if the 2nd one will be starting up soon.

BIG things are happening here.  I'm still trying to wrap my mind around all of it.  I'm feeling so blessed and lucky and overwhelmed by all that I am a part of right now.  It's too good.  And the time of year that it's all happening couldn't be any better.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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