Sunday, September 24, 2017

Classroom Switch Ups, Five Dragon Springs and Furong Street

David's first day of teaching went well and then we get to Tuesday when we both head to classes.  We were supposed to be teaching in classrooms next door to each other, but when we get up there, one of the other foreign English teachers informs me that she is in the classroom that I am supposed to be in.  I don't know what to do, so she says she will run down to the next floor and see if there is a classroom that I can use.  She pops up in a few minutes and says that a classroom one floor down is supposed to be mine. (We suspect that she knew all along about the classroom change, but tried to play innocent.)  That made us have to change our plan a little bit because we were going to put our classrooms together for a few minutes and sing, "Country Roads" for them.  I was scrambling a little bit to find things to fill in that time that the song didn't take up.  I was supposed to have a class of 36 students, but it turned out to be only 23. It makes a BIG difference in what you can do with a smaller class compared to a larger class.  The rest of my classes this week have been 31 to 47 students.  David's classes range from 29 to 44 students.

I thought I might let you know what our typical day is like.
      6:00 a.m. Alarm goes off.  Read scriptures. Shower. WeChat with Alisa or some other of our children.  Breakfast. Gather what we need for the day.
      7:30 a.m. Leave the apartment to walk 10 minutes to our classroom building that is across campus.  Leaving that early makes it so we can usually catch the elevator before it gets jam packed with students.  We teach on either the 5th or 6th floor, depending on the day of the week.
     8:00 a.m.  Start teaching our first class.  There is a break from 8:50 to 9:00 and then the class ends at 9:50.  There will be a 20 minute break between classes.
     10:10 a.m.  Second class starts.  There is supposed to be a break at 11:00 to 11:10, but if the students agree, we can skip it and get out of class at 11:50.  This extra 10 minutes can be important for the students because it will put them ahead of all the others in line at the school canteen.  The lines get really long in a short time.
     Noon - We sometimes go to the canteen for lunch.  For every 4 hours that we teach, we are given a free meal at the teacher canteen which sometimes runs out of food if you aren't fast enough getting there.  We also go home sometimes for a sandwich and some yogurt.
     Most of the time after we finish lunch is divided into things like entering grades, shopping, lesson planning or meeting with students.  We sometimes enlist the help of some students to do things like banking or phone bill paying,etc.  When we were here before, we did all our apartment cleaning ourselves, but we are going to hire a service to do it this time.  It costs about 50 Yuan ($8-10 US) for someone to come clean the floors.  We have to do our own dishes and toilet, but it's nice to have the sweeping and mopping done by someone else.
    Dinner time will either be here or at the canteen or if someone wants to take us somewhere to eat. Evening activities will include either more school work, taking a walk or visiting with  some of our Chinese friends or more video chats with the kids.

Saturday, we took Kayce (SDNU teacher) along with us as we went to Five Dragon Springs and to Furong Street.  It was another very hot day in Jinan.  We went through the Five Dragon Springs and then we were hot, sweaty, tired and hungry, so we found a nearby Pizza Hut.  I really like the Pizza Huts in China.  They have great pizza, great steaks and salads and refreshing fruit drinks.  AND THE AC WAS TURNED UP FULL BLAST!!  It felt so good to sit there and get cooled down.  The staff seemed to appreciate us coming to their restaurant also.  It is a little more expensive than most Chinese Cuisine, but it was so worth it.

This is the dragon motif at the entrance of Five Dragon Springs.  Can you pick out the five dragons?
People are feeding the fish from the overhanging balcony.  This pond if filled with hundreds of fish and some are very huge because they are so well fed.
Some of the pretty koi in one of the ponds.
David at the Five Dragons monument.  The story about this spring is that there was a great drought and famine in the country.  The five dragons came and made these springs for the people so they could have the water. 
Furong Street is an old traditional Chinese street the way it would have been 100 years ago.  They had some cute shops and TONS of places to eat unusual foods.  It was so fun to walk through.  Anyone that knew how to say, "Hello" or "Hi" did.  You really stick out as different here in China when your hair is not black and your skin a lighter color.  The people who live in this area live in the dwellings and they are still traditional in their homes.

This was a cute entrance to a mall area before we got to Furong Street.  We didn't go in, but it was so pretty with all the parasols and the cute statues.

Some of the foods that were available on Furong Street.  Yummy!!  If you notice toward the tip left of the picture, it looks like rocks.  It's not. It is something that they cover in mud and bake it.  I don't know what it is.  There is Korean man here that meets with us on Sundays for Church and he plans to go with us sometime and we'll see if he can tell us what is in some of these foods.  

On the tray to the left of the picture you will see the long pig tails on the stick.  The man in the booth had just cut off a roasted tail for someone that wanted one to eat.  I don't know if I'll ever try one though.  The other food there was pick hocks, roasted to perfection and ready for eating, skin and all.

These are squid.  They open them up, fillet them and flatten them, then they bread them and fry them.  I don't think I could get past the tentacles.
There are so many other kinds of food available.  We do plan to go again some other time and make it our first stop for either lunch or dinner! (Except for the squid and the pigs tails.)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sept 11-17, 2017 Changes in China from our First Experience

Things that have changed from when we were here the first time here: some for the good, some not.

1.  Hot running water in the kitchen!  YAY!!  This makes me so happy!  Before it was fill a large kettle with water, bring it to a boil, pour over the pile of dishes in the sink. Then boil another kettle of water for the rinse water and pour it in a large metal bowl.

2.  AC in the bedroom!!  No more hot sweaty nights!  Now if only the one in the living room would work....

3.  Cleaner streets and air.  China has made a concerted effort to clean the air.  They incentivize the leaders of the cities to find ways to clean the air and the new mayor of Jinan is really made a big push for that and for cleaning the streets and making the traffic flow better.  For every 100 meters of roadway, they hire a street cleaner person and they are very intent on keeping their section of the street clean.  If a supervisor comes along and there is even one cigarette butt on the ground, they are penalized.  With the air, they gave the major polluting industries one year to relocate their business or just to be shut down.  Some complain that this has been a burden to the people by taking away the jobs that paid a decent wage.  It has also hurt the poor, as they took away all the little street shops that were set up in odd places to bring in a little money.  If they want to sell now, they have to have a building to sell from.

Some things that have not changed...

1.  The smells.  Every so often you come across a smell that is directly from the sewer.  It is a little better than it was though.

2. The Chinese way of doing things.  They still like to drive the odd way that makes me cringe when we go through an intersection.

3.  The friendliness and kindness of the Chinese people here in Jinan.

This week we were taken out to dinner by 3 different people and had visits from some other old friends who stopped in to see us.  We saw Simon and he took us to a fancy restaurant that has a famous fish dish that was super yummy!  Eva treated us to lunch at a "noodle place" and then Lily paid for our supper at the Cafeteria because it was close by and she was on campus for the day.

David standing by one of the many sculptures on the square.  They had several that were all made form materials that they had recycled.
We had a great time Saturday also.  We went with Sue Stubbs and Kayce Fuhriman to Quancheng Square and had supper.  We just decided to go to McDonald's because it was close and we all wished later that we had tried to find something else.  We explored some shops and went to the big fancy mall called Parc 66.  We showed them the grocery store that carries a lot of foreign products that you can't find in any of the stores.

The Park 66 Mall has displays that change every month or so.  You can go climb on it and take pictures. 
Then we walked to the Square where people were doing some line dancing - Chinese style.  Kayce and Sue decided to go home, but we waited around for Eva and her husband to come and join us.  Eva got us dancing with a group that does what she calls, "Military Style" dancing.  It was interesting to do because it was a six count step.  I tried to get pictures, but it was getting dark.  There was quite a crowd gathered around us by the time we were done.  It was quite a workout!

Chinese Line Dancing

Military Style Dancing

It was nice to get together with the other BYU teachers for church today.  David and I spoke about using the Holy Ghost to help make decisions.  We had to leave a little earlier than we wanted to from the group because the mattress topper that we had ordered through a student earlier this week had come.  She had to leave before we got back, so she just left it by our door.  Crystal was so sweet to do that for us.  Here's hoping for better nights' sleep.  David starts teaching tomorrow, I start on Tuesday.

 This tower was not finished when we were here four years ago.  Now this is what it does.

Quancheng Square Water Show.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sept 6-10, 2017. Back to China. Week 1

Getting to China itself is an ordeal.  I have been asking myself these last few days, "Why did I want to do this again?"  I don't remember being this tired four years ago when we arrived.

We arrived in Jinan at 12:15 a.m. on September 8.  We had left our home in Lehi, UT at 7:30 a.m. on September 6.  It took three plane rides and and two three hour layovers.  We were pretty tired by the time we arrived in Shanghai and then had to wait for our flight to Jinan.

After arriving in Jinan, we were picked up by John, a Chinese teacher in the English Department, and they drove us to our apartment.  We got all the luggage hauled up our third floor apartment, opened the door and turned on the lights... except no lights.  John had to run to the Foreign Students building and get someone there to give him some cards so that we could get electricity.  The gave us two temporary cards.  We will have to wait a few days to get our own cards for the electricity sometime this coming week.  After we made the bed, we finally were able to crawl into it about 2:30 a.m.

We had been told to meet at the West gate of campus to get some things done for our stay at campus, so we were up at the bright and early time of 7 so that we could get some breakfast.  I had hardly slept because the bed was hard and the sheets were scratchy and I was too keyed up to sleep.  We hurried out to the West Gate and waited, and waited, got a second key made for the apartment, and waited.  Finally, we started to walk back toward the building where we knew Eva (our co-teacher, friend, and helper from before would be at.  She was coming toward us because she had been alerted that we were not at the appointed meeting place.  Turns out we were supposed to be at the South Gate!  Our US phones won't work here and they had no way to contact us to find us.  We had asked several times about the instructions for where to meet in the car on the way from the airport and each time is was the West Gate. Somebody boo-booed.  Oh well,  after all that, we finally could get started with the procedures to become employed here.

We were moved from room to room to building to building.  Sitting and waiting, walking to more buildings, standing around, waiting, standing around, waiting, more walking... well, you get the picture.  My legs were starting to cramp because of the flights and lack of sleep and all the walking.  I had to do some stretches while were were waiting.  It helped some, but when I tried to go to sleep that night, I was woken up by very painful leg and foot cramps.  It had me very discouraged and wondering what I was doing here if I couldn't get everything done and was in pain all the time.  My feet are better some, but still not used to ALL the walking we have to do here.

One of the first papers we were handed was a paper about an orientation that would happen on Sunday.  We had been so looking forward to meeting with our other BYU teachers on Sunday for Church and visiting with them.

We had the orientation today and got to meet with the other new foreign teachers that will be at Shandong University this year.  There was Chris from France who will be teaching French and working on his Doctorate (he has been in China for 6 years now, Alvaro from the south part of Spain and teaching... Spanish (this is his second year in China, Mostafa from Iran who hopes to become an assistance professor in Archaeological Studies and Machelle from South Africa who is here in China with her husband who is going to Medical School and they have been in China for one year.  It was interesting getting to know them in the training.  After lunch, we invited Mostafa, Alvaro and Machelle to our apartment to wait for the two hours we had to wait before we went to the Archaeological Museum that is on our campus.  Mostafa and Alvaro didn't stay, but Machelle did and we had a nice get to know you time.

The museum is very interesting.  In about 1945, they discovered an ancient city near Jinan that dates back 7300 years ago.  They also discovered two other cities that dated back 4000 years ago and 3000 years.

I took this photo because of the grinding stones on the lower left side.  It looked very similar to a Navajo matate, the tool they used for grinding corn and wheat. This one would have been used for grinding rice.

I thought the decorations on this pot looked similar to some Hopi pottery that I had seen.

The legs on the pot on the lower right side were used so they can put the pot over the fire.  I also felt like the design on that pot looked like a Navajo or Hopi design.

Some early Chinese pictographs.  Also similar to early Native American pictographs.

This was a drainage system that was uncovered under the civilization that was dated back 4000 years.  It was close to the river and the sea coast.  I just thought it was interesting that they were able to solve drainage problems that well for the city at that time.

The legs on their cooking pots evolved over time from just simple legs to more elaborate legs and they used the bird beak as the leg. They weren't sure why the bird beak but it was interesting to see the evolution.

This is a steamer pot.  You put water in the bulb part on the bottom, the food to be steamed in the top"V" part and set it on the fire.  I thought it was ingenious.  

These are "wessels" (I couldn't help but think of Chekov from Star Trek when she kept saying that) for water.  Handy handle and then a spout for pouring.  You could also put it on the fire for hot water for your tea!

The ancient Chinese culture believed in "Oracle Bones."  They would slaughter an animal (this one was a deer) and then put the bones in the fire.  Depending on how the bone cracked in the fire, they would determine if the course of action they wanted to take was what their ancestor would tell them to do.  We foreign teachers decided that the interpretation was probably more of what the ruler at the time wanted to do and then if it went bad, they could just blame it on the ancestors.
For this particular oracle bone, the ruler wanted to move to a certain place.  This bone said they were to move and then sacrifice four pigs to their ancestors (this was decided by the way the bone cracked into four pieces.

From a grave that was excavated, they found this turquoise bracelet on her wrist.

A guillotine from the culture that was a part of the bronze age.  Don't know how many heads it cut off.  We all just gave a little shudder at the thought.

Bits for a horse and another brass object from a horse carriage.

Bells from the bronze age village.  Along with the stone bells in the picture below, they would make their music.  Because of the age of these things, they won't play them, but it would have been interesting to hear the tones together.

A brass pot that was the prize piece in their museum.  The rings at the side are a part that they can't figure out how they did it.  This appears to have been made all from one piece.  We know that jade and wood and stone can be carved to have the rings like that, but brass?  A big puzzle and very fascinating.

Sunday afternoon in the park on campus brings the old men out to play games.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 305 – Our Last Day in China

We tried to get to bed early, but with going out to dinner and wanting to get the last few items packed for the morning, we didn’t make it.  I still had trouble falling asleep, even though I was tired… too much adrenaline in me I guess.  I finally did get some sleep, but it wasn’t enough because June 26 started at 4 a.m. for us.  We ran around that apartment making sure that things were put away for the Robertson’s who will be coming to replace us in two months.

We finally looked around and David said, “I guess we are ready to start taking our bags down.”  At that moment, we heard a knock on the door and it was John Tian and the car driver ready to help us take our bags down.  John kept saying he was happy to take us, even at the early hour of 5 a.m.  He apologized for not meeting with us more during the time that we were there.  We understood because he was in the middle of his doctoral program and very busy with that. 

We arrived at the airport the same time that the Clarke’s were dropped off by their driver.  John stayed with us while we got our tickets and our bags checked and we went through the area for security.  As we got to the counter for the security to check our passports, she indicated to us that we had to go back to counter 31, where they have us wait to until our bag had gone through security.  We went back to the counter and one of the “ambassador” girls that are there to help you told us that everything was okay with our bag and to go ahead and go through security. 

When we got back to security, we went to the same girl and she wanted us to go back again, but we told her that they had said we were okay.  She looked down at David’s passport again (it was David’s bag that had to be scanned twice), shrugged her shoulders and let us go through.  Now we just had two hours to wait for our plane.

The first leg of the trip from Jinan to Shanghai had some turbulence, but was otherwise uneventful.  We had to find our way around the Pudong airport, which has a lot of construction going on, and ask for directions a few times.  We had to go through immigration and hand in our exit cards.  We didn’t have to wait long after that for our plane, but then we sat in the plane for a long time waiting for clearance to take off.  That delayed our flight almost an hour.

Once we got in the air, we just had to settle in for the 12 hour and five minute flight as best we could.  Our seats were way in the back, only three rows behind us.  Clarke’s were behind us but it was hard to carry on any conversation with the way the seats were.  We watched movies, read, and slept.  The sleeping was the hard part, but reading was difficult also.  I wanted to read and they decided to dim the lights in the cabin.  I couldn’t reach the light so that I could read, so I either had to watch movies or sleep.  It seems I would just get to sleep and they would turn on the lights again to feed us something.  Other than that, the flight was as good as could be expected.
My view from the back of the plane.  What is hard is walking past the first class seats on the way out and seeing the nice recliners and the room.  Sigh...
Arriving in LAX was a relief of sorts.  We were on US soil, but we had to go through customs and then find our way through this airport that also has a lot of construction going on.  That was a little stressful for us because we had to say good-bye to the Clarke’s before we got to our terminal.  We didn’t know where to go, so we asked a man that was standing around that looked like he worked there.  He pointed us in the right direction which was back the way we had come. 

We got our tickets for the last leg of our journey home, turned in our luggage and then went through security.  Because of the worry about the weight of our suitcases, we had put some of the heavier gifts in our carry-on luggage.  One of those gifts contained some lead crystals and so my bag needed to be looked at in depth.  The man was very kind and first asked if I had crystals in my bag.  I didn’t think that part of that gift had anything in, but they were paper weights with Peony flowers in them, so that was the problem.  He swabbed the crystals and then sent my bag through again.  The man came back and said that we were okay to go, but not until they had also swabbed David’s bag to make sure his was okay.

The flight to Salt Lake City took off early and arrived about twenty minutes early.  Rachel and Alisa were caught in slow traffic because of an accident, so we had to wait at the airport for them to get there.  I went home in Alisa and CJ’s car and David when home with Rachel, who had also brought Elisabeth along.  We didn’t have time for long hugs there, so we waited until we got home for the big hugs from everyone.

Kadie had planned a dinner for us and we gave out some of the gifts that we had brought home and shared some of the candy that my students had given me to show my grandchildren what some of the Chinese candy was like. 

It is great to be home!  It was a marvelous adventure!  We may do it again in the future if that is what we feel the Lord wants us to do.  Now to get back to living on Utah time, not Beijing time, and get ready for more adventures here at home.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 304 – Cleaning and Posting

We started the day about 7 a.m.  I had trouble falling asleep last night, so I was up doing things really late and didn’t get much sleep.  After breakfast, we tried to fit the rest of the stuff in the suitcases, but when we saw that it just wasn’t going to fit, we decided to send another box of stuff home by post.

Kathy Guo came about 9:30 and started cleaning for us while we tried to sort through things that needed to be organized or thrown out.  It was really hard to throw away the student information cards that we had collected at the beginning of the time with our students.  Too many memories and a desire to keep the relationships with them alive as much as we could were strong forces, but in the end, when you don’t have enough room to bring your clothes home, something had to give.  Thank goodness most of them have our email address. 

We had decided what we could send home by slow boat by about 11:00, so we put it in a small suitcase and David, Kathy and I rolled it over to the post office, with a stop at the bank to get some more Yuan.  We knew we wouldn’t have enough after spending our last 200 RMB on the boat ride yesterday.  At the post office, Kathy tried to get the lady to give us a box so that we could start getting it packed, but the lady said that she was helping some people that had been waiting there for two hours and we had to wait our turn.  Well, we did, for almost two hours, too! 

While we were there, David had to leave us so that he could go meet with a Church member who is in Jinan from Mongolia.  He served a mission in California and now he works here in Jinan.  He wanted to know about going to Church here and it was sad to tell him that until August, when more BYU China Teachers Program teachers came, there wasn’t much Church here.  He might meet with Kathy Guo until she leaves in mid-August.  I hope it works out for him here.

Kathy and I came back here and she was able to help clean for another half hour before she had to go pick up Hansen, her son, from school.  I couldn’t have been as ready as I am without her help. 

Eva came over about 4:30 and we talked and moved stuff to her hard drive for the teachers to use next year.  We waited around for Gilbert to call because he was going to take us out to dinner when he was done with work.  It got really late and was around 7:45 when he did call.  We went to a Chinese restaurant that serves up some more traditional Shandong food.  It was very good and we tried not to eat too much because of how late it was.  We had a great time visiting.  Gilbert is such an inquisitive person and he likes learning new things and expanding his knowledge.

After Gilbert brought us home, it was time to say good-bye.  It was pretty hard because of all the people we have met and associated with here in Jinan, they are probably the two most important.  It is hard to leave them.  Yes, there were tears because of how much they both meant to us.  It will be a wonderful day when we can meet them again and be with them. 

We are all basically packed and ready for tomorrow.  Being here in China is an experience that has been worth the trouble, missing family and the inability to communicate well with the majority of the people that we are around.  If the Lord wants us to come back to China, we are willing to do so.   

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 303 – Moat Boat Ride

We went over to the bank about 10:30 this morning and found the manager that we had talked to yesterday and she helped us get the forms and take us to the teller that we needed to be at so that we could get the rest of our money and close out our account.  It took about forty-five minutes to get everything done. 

We were meeting two of David’s students for lunch at the teacher restaurant.  One of the boys was a little nervous to come because his girlfriend was in town and he didn’t know if he could bring her or not.  We told him that it would be fine, we had ordered enough food to feed five or more.  It was nice to meet her and she seemed thrilled to be eating with us.
With David's students: Liam, John, David, me and Liam's girlfriend.

We didn’t plan our time very well today, because we had planned to meet the Pace’s at one, but we weren’t quite done with our meal with David’s students, so we had to excuse ourselves and leave.  We were done eating, but they were still eating.  I hope it wasn’t too rude of us to do that. 

The children's play area at Five Dragon Springs.
David ran some things back to the apartment while I took care of our university cards.  There was still a little money on David’s card, so they gave us some money back.  Just as I finished with that, Stan and Nancy were there to meet us.  We took the bus over to Five Dragon Springs.  They hadn’t seen it yet and so we decided to go there with them.  We did a quick walk around the park and then we went over to see Black Tiger Springs.  We were going to walk the whole way, but it was a pretty hot day, so we got on a bus and rode there.  It was only a few stops, but would have been a pretty long walk and with the Pace’s pressed for time to get back by 5, it was a good thing. 

We parted ways after seeing Black Dragon Spring so that they could get back on time.  David and I have wanted to do the boat ride on the moat that goes around the old part of Jinan ever since we found out about it.  We decided that today was the best day to spend the last 200 RMB that we had in our pockets and that was how we wanted to spend it.  We had a very nice ride around the moat and through DaMing Lake that lasted for about an hour.  The breeze on the lake and in parts of the shaded areas of the moat were a cool relief from the heat.
The best part of the moat ride was being able to go through the locks at the dams. 

Opening the gate after we dropped about 10 feet in less than five minutes.

Design of the lotus leaf along the side of the moat.

Our "selfie"!  (It only took one try to get one this perfect!)

There is an area of the moat where they allow people to swim during the day.  The police are there to keep the swimmers safe by watching for the boats and not allowing the people to swim when one is coming.

We hurried to catch a bus after the moat ride because it was getting close to drive time.  We made it home in good time and then stopped in to see Eva.  She has been working at the school to grade papers and enter scores all day, so we dropped by to give her our “check-out” paper with all the red stamps on it.  We invited her to stop by for some supper and she ended up bringing something to eat from the canteen anyway.  We had a nice visit.

Alan, his Dad and his Mom came over for a little while this evening.  They had another small gift to give us.  (Thank goodness it was small because we are having a hard time bringing all the gifts we have been given home now!)  They stayed for a short visit and then we got busy trying to finish putting things in suitcases.  We decided we needed to mail another box home…

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 302 – More Good-Byes

We needed to wait around here this morning until Eva could meet us at the bank.  We had a video chat with Caleb’s family and had a short one with Seth’s family before Eva called and said she was coming to meet us at the bank that is south of the campus. 

We still had to wait for her after we arrived and then it took some time to get all the paper work done.  We could have withdrawn and closed our account if Eva had remembered her ID, but she didn’t have the correct ID with her, so we were only able to withdraw part of our money.  As we were doing that, the bank manager came over and started talking to Eva.  As Eva told her of what we were doing, she offered to handle the paperwork for us tomorrow because Eva has to be working at the school tomorrow.  We thought it was so kind of her to offer to help us in that way.  Now we just go there tomorrow, ask for Manager Yu and we are set to get the rest of our money and close the account.

We were going to go to lunch at the teacher restaurant with Eva, but she we got there too late and there was no room.  We went to the teacher buffet instead, which had okay food, but not as good as the restaurant.  After lunch, we came back to the apartment and talked for a long time.  Eva wanted copies of some of the things that we did in our classes, so we copied what we could to her USB, but it only had a little room on it.  She will come back on Wednesday, probably and copy the rest. 

David had to leave for a meeting with Shifang, his co-teacher, and hand in his grades.  Eva left soon after and then Stan and Nancy Pace came with the toaster oven from their apartment that is BYU equipment.  David came back a little before 4 and then we all walked over to the Mingde building so we could go to the “Farewell” meeting with the assistant dean, Jin Rui, and Gao Yan.  They wanted our feedback on what are some things they could do better and what things were good.  For next year, SDU plans to put together a “Welcome Pamphlet” to make the transition easier for foreigners that come.  It was a good meeting and I think we were able to help them out.  They mentioned how they really appreciated our efforts and the relationship that they have with the BYU China Teachers Program. 
From the left: Gao Yan (Mary), Libby, Wayne, Stan, me, Nancy, David, Ge Gao (Melody), and Jin Rui. 
When the meeting was over, David had to come back here to meet one of his students, April.  She wanted to give him a present.  Then we went over with the Pace’s and the Clarke’s to the teacher restaurant and had a last supper with the meal credits on Stan’s card.  It was a good visit.  While we were there, John, who had helped pick us up from the airport last August, came in and saw us there.  He came over and talked to us.  He will be going up to the airport with us on Thursday to make sure we get there safely and say, “Good-bye” to us then.

We came back to the apartment and I made a last batch of Oatmeal Peanut Butter Raisin Cookies for David.  I was able to use up all the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and eggs.  That was the main purpose, besides the fact that David has declared it his new favorite cookie.  I decided to add it to my cooking blog -