|David with the class of Engineers that he is teaching this week.|
We finished up the Oral Final Exams this week. Once again, I felt like a pre-marriage counselor. So many questions, trying to give them some good advice that they will be able to understand and also be able to use in their lives when the time does come for them to take that step in their lives. The next step for us, will be getting the grades that we have assigned in the right place on the SDU website…. that is all in Chinese… Eva will be helping us.
I did have one girl that got the question card that said, “Tell an experience that you had with your grandparents.” She immediately started to tear up and had a hard time telling me. As are most Chinese children, she was raised by their grandparents while her parents worked. She was very close to her grandparents and had many fond memories. The reason for the tears? Her grandmother now has Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t remember her or the memories that they shared. It is very hard for her to visit her grandparents now. Her grandmother does remember the pet name that she had for her granddaughter, but going through this is so hard. Needless to say, I took a little extra time with her.
Monday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, we tutored Jen. Thursday, I taught her to make banana bread. She really gets into the cooking. We alternate working on words and having an activity with her. We have played several card games with her, and talked about the family that she has chosen to be her host when she goes to Canada for school.
Two BYU China Teacher couples that teach in Qingdao wanted to take a quick little trip to see what Jinan was like. They spent the day hiking and exploring the city. Some of the teachers at SDNU were able to go with them. Then we decided to have dinner at the hotel as a group that evening. At first, we were going to have dinner at a "hot pot" restaurant, but they were all so tired that they decided to just have it at the hotel. David and I were already on our way. We could have finished going on the bus we had started on, but we would have had a fifteen minute walk on a very cold evening, to get to the hotel. The traffic was nightmarish, but we finally got to a stop where we could easily change to the bus that would take us closest to the hotel. We had a fun dinner with them all.
Tuesday, we had supper with Anna and Bob. The canteen has started to sell American style hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches and bacon sandwiches (the bacon is a little more like ham, but still tastes good). They are a big hit and Bob and Anna wanted to introduce us to them. It was a fun way to have dinner. Anna and Bob had to go study for the tests that will be happening in the next three weeks, so we made a short night of it.
Kayce and Deniece wanted to go to the little shop that David and I had gone to last Saturday evening with Eva. We decided to go there on Wednesday afternoon. Deniece and Kayce met us at the bus stop just south of our campus and we rode over together, since they weren’t quite sure where to get off the bus. The ladies that run the shop were SO happy to see us again… and that we had brought more foreigners with us! It was so funny. They let us browse to our hearts content and were more than happy to take our money when we decided on what we wanted to buy. They know a little bit of English at that store, and that makes working with them even more fun.
Last week, as David and I were coming back from the baking store, a guy with a girl on the back of his scooter, hit into our little grocery cart. We almost didn’t make it home with our heavy load of groceries that we had bought because the wheel kept falling off. It was a long, slow trip home. We had the choice of trying to buy a new wheel for the cart or buying a whole new cart. We asked Andrew, who has helped us so many times, to look into it. We didn’t know how to find the brand of cart that it was, so he looked up what a new cart would be. It turned out to only be 45 RMB ($7!), so we opted for the new one. It also has a cool wheel design that makes it easier to take up and down stairs. David always had to pick up the cart and haul it, groceries and all, up the three flights of stairs to our apartment. Life just got easier!
We invited Lily to come have dinner with us on Friday, as she was going to be in Jinan for a seminar. Andrew brought the cart over because it had come earlier in the day. It was a good thing that Lily was here as we tried to put it together… the directions were all in Chinese! We are now excited to take it to the store on our next shopping trip.
|Our new shopping cart. The wheel design makes it so that you can walk it up or down the stairs easily. So excited to have this as it makes our life here a little easier.|
Saturday, David went to the initial meeting of the class for the engineers that he will be helping improve their English skills before they go to the rest of the world and build on projects that the China State Construction Company. He showed them a power point presentation and then after all the introductions of who the important people were, they had pictures. David called me about 11:15 to ask about going to lunch with the head man and the other people that were helping with the English learning project. Lunch was just at the hotel that we live by, so I walked over and waited for them to come. It was an okay lunch, but a small taste of several of the dishes was all I wanted.
Sunday night was the first night of the Engineers class. David felt that it went well. Their English skills are really poor and it is going to take some effort to get them to where they need to be, but they also need to work on it themselves. Oh, well, we do what we can.
|David is with Rose, she was interpreter for the evening.|
|Doing his introductory PPT for the engineers.|
|The class of engineers.|
|More of David's PPT.|