It started to get really cold this week. Thank goodness the heat it is on, but we still have to supplement the radiator heat from the city with the electric heaters. It was down to 19 degrees F. (-7 Celius) on Saturday morning. That is the coldest we have had it here this year so far. It wasn't so bad the first part of the week, and it will get warmer tomorrow and over the next few days, but then it will get cold again. Winter is on its way. Glad that I brought equipment to handle it.
Last week, we had played a game in our classes that introduced American Football to the students. Some of David's students were really interested in learning how to play football, so they ordered a regulation size football from Taobao (China's Amazon), got permission to play on the school playground (an all purpose field that you can play basketball and soccer on) and set up a time for students to meet there. I went along to take pictures. Nine students showed up, eight guys and one girl. David played quarterback for both teams as he taught them how to play "two-hand touch." It didn't take too long for them to catch on and they were having a blast doing it. The girl even caught the ball! One guy had some good hands and was becoming an interception champion. It was so fun to watch and see them enjoying it.
The university has different activities for the students to do in some spare time. A few weeks ago, it was a choir competition. Then there was a dance competition. This week was a cheerleading competition. They took the whole day and did team after team after team of competition. David went over to the stadium to watch. He had several students performing in it. I had work to do here at the apartment, so I stayed nice and warm while he almost froze on his way to the stadium.
He was amazed at the uniforms and the dance routines. We're not sure, but we think that the winning team was able to perform at a basketball game that was played later that afternoon in the stadium.
Thanksgiving with Kids
We were asked by Wang Jing, one of the other English teachers at the university if we wanted to do a little Thanksgiving presentation for a class of young students that are learning English. It is Wang Jing's aunt that runs a private school for students to learn English. We decided we wanted to do it, so we scaled down a power point that we had used for our English classes and went to the class on Friday evening.
The students ranged in ages from six or seven to one girl who was twelve years old. Some of the kids were not afraid to speak to us, but others were. Part of it was because they were in awe of these Americans who were coming. We showed them the power point and then sang the old classic, "Mr. Turkey" that I learned in Primary from Sister Sumner. I will always be thankful for learning that song. We sang the song once for them and then taught them how to say, "Gobble." When they had the word down, David and I would sing the lines and them point to the students, one at a time so they could sing the "Gobble" part. They had so much fun! Then we talked about writing thank you notes. Wang Jing's aunt had some paper plates that the students could write it on.
|I didn't learn this guy's name, but he was a crack-up. He really liked doing the "Gobble" part.|
|Doris is her English name. She was rather quiet, but so sweet.|
|I didn't learn this little guys name, but he wrote that all himself. They did have words on the wall that they could copy but I was still amazed how well they did.|
|And a picture with both of us and Ma Mong.|
|Cute girl. She was one of the younger ones.|
|David and I with all the students. They are showing off the thank you notes they made.|
|This cute little guy is, Yu Yi. On his plate is the life cycle of a Thanksgiving turkey! It was hilarious!|
After the activities and a few refreshments, Wang Jing called a taxi for us to take us home. Ma Mong walked out with Jing and us. She seemed to be really attached to us. Such a sweet girl! We did fear a little for our lives because the taxi driver seemed angry. After Wang Jing told him where to take us, he sped off up the street. He only slowed down when he had to. We did make it home safely, but didn't understand his anger. So uncommon here in China to encounter that.
We have not been happy with the bed here in China. It is hard as a rock and the old mattress topper that was here four years ago has gotten old and flat. We have been trying to live with it, but I have too many sleepless nights where I wake up aching in my hips and back. We had talked to Eva about getting a new topper and she thought we could get one at the old market, but we couldn't see what we needed the last time we were there. After Wednesday night's really bad sleep, we decided to ask Andrew if he could help us order a foam mattress topper off the internet.
Andrew suggested that we go to IKEA. Yes, they have an IKEA store here in Jinan!! He couldn't go until Saturday evening. We offered to buy him supper before we left, so we met him at the canteen. He got a taxi for us and started out for IKEA. It was a long drive, made longer by the fact that the traffic was terrible. Drive time... need I say more?
We arrived safely at IKEA and then had to wander through the store, stopping several times to ask if we were on the right path. We found the place for mattresses. They had some thin toppers and then they had foam mattresses. After looking at the options, we decided to get a 14 cm memory foam mattress. IKEA delivers! Andrew had a membership app and was able to get us about a ten percent discount on it! We also decided to get some decent pillows and a larger comforter. Most of the comforters here only come to just over the edge of the bed, so after you put a couple of bodies underneath it, the cold air can get in from the sides. The cost for a comfortable nights sleep here in China? $300! (1994 RMB) The mattress will be delivered on Monday afternoon. My body can hardly wait!