Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was wonderful and definitely one to be remembered. It was parent day at school so for the whole morning, there were tons of parents observing our teaching. We were a bit nervous but it went very well. Amazingly, the kids were really good with their parents there. The school put on a huge dinner for us in honor of Thanksgiving. Our chef, Michael, made delicious Chinese food and we made some American dishes for everyone to try. I made mashed potatoes for the first time and gravy. They turned out really good. It was definitely different than most of the Thanksgiving feasts I have had. There were chicken feet, fried squid, weird sausage things and many other interesting things but the stuff I did eat was really good. Some of the other girls made apple crumble and cookies so I still got to over dose on sugar. It was so much fun to be around all the teachers and staff at the school that we rely upon so much and that we have come to love. The food was great and then we played some games.

I have so many things to be grateful for! I have been so blessed with such an incredible and supportive family. This year, I am particularly grateful for the opportunity I have had to live in China. It has changed my life. I am a different person now than I was before and I hope that I have changed for the better.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Free Jeans Day!

About a month ago, we went to a lunch that was put on by a company for foreigners in the area. We did not love anything about the activity except the food. The food was delicious. We were however promised free jeans so we all attended. At the lunch, they had someone measure us for our jeans. After much waiting, we all got our free jeans yesterday! It turns out that all the styles are completely different. They are all different colors and types of jeans. They all have different brand labels on them as well. I do not love mine but I love that they are free. China is always surprising. I can understand trying to bribe people to your event with a gift but I would have never thought of giving jeans. It worked for us and I am not complaining. Here are the four of us in our new jeans. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Talent Show

A couple months ago, Candice asked us if we wanted to compete in a talent show. We had and still have no idea what the talent show was for but a couple of the girls in our group are really into dancing so we all agreed that we would throw something together. We decided to dance to Thriller since we had to have a performance for the Halloween Party our school was throwing as well. After a long series of events, we merged our thriller dance with 3 of the Chinese teachers that were also dancing. This turned out to be an extremely good idea. 

Here were the most interesting things about the talent show...
1. We were the only white people participating and we were dressed up like zombies. We usually get starred at but it was taken to new levels at the talent show. 
2. We participated in the talent show and then found out that not only was there another round but that we made it to the finals so we had to dance again. We had no idea that we were just participating in the preliminary. We were all very distraught at this news. It turned out that we had to perform again a week later in a much more public place outside. There were 10 dancing acts and 10 singing acts that made it to the finals. 
3. We did not win but we did get a case of milk that turned out to taste a lot more like something unlike milk than milk but we happily took it. Tina bought us ice cream and gave us lilies that made our apartment smell good for weeks so we are completely satisfied. 
4. Heidi made the observation that Mandarin just doesn't sound great in song form and I have to agree. It may just be that I cannot understand the words but it definitely is a strange language in song. The singing acts were really all terrible.
5. We were the last act to perform. This didnt bother me. I was not at all nervous. For some reason, performing in front of hundreds of people that I do not know and cannot speak to does not bother me in the slightest bit. If you asked me to dance in front of my roommates, that would be a different matter entirely. 
6. After the talent show was over, they made one person from each group go up on stage to accept the prizes. For some reason, the Chinese teachers decided that Wendy needed to be the one that represented us on stage. The only problem with this is that Wendy does not speak mandarin and had no idea what was happening. She just stood up there and every once in a while someone would make her move to a different part of the stage. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
7. In all the talent show was a good experience. I am glad we did it and I am extremely glad that I never have to do it again.