Day 119 – Christmas Day in China
Alisa was having a hard time with Christmas being so different for her this year and she called on Facetime and we chatted for the few minutes we had before we needed to leave for classes. It is as hard for us to be gone from them as it is for them to have us gone. That’s the way it is…
Interviews this morning went well. Annie and Carol were the last two for their interviews today, and they had to have hugs and gave me an apple and an orange. They are just fun kids to be around and associate with. In the first class, I was just interviewing the last student and I wasn’t paying too much attention to all the people that were coming in, but thinking in the back of my mind, “I guess I need to get out of here because they are going to have another class in here.” I stood up to get my coat on and pack my things to leave and I hear, “San, er, yi! Merry Christmas!” (Translated is, “Three, two, one…) The class had all gathered in there and planned this to wish me, “Merry Christmas!” It was very touching! They are all concerned that we are here in China and our family is in America on one of the most important days for family to be together in our culture.
China celebrates the Spring Festival that will start on January 23 and will last until the Lantern Festival around the middle of February. This is similar to our Christmas holiday and they hold it as vital to visit family and relatives during this time. They could not imagine being absent if at all possible during this time. They do understand when I say that I made a commitment when I decided to teach here that I would not be going home for Christmas. I have been very touched by their concern for my happiness at this time.
After lunch, we both took naps. We were late getting to bed last night because we were video chatting with Caleb, Bethany, Rachel and Aleeyah. They had her open her gifts from us while we were chatting and we got to see her reaction. She was so cute. One gift was a new dress and the other was the hand painted parasol that I had sent from China for her. She immediately started putting it over her head and walking around with it on. Just so cute to see her and how she loved them both!
|Aleeyah with her new dress and parasol. Just the cutest!|
I had my interviews with the sophomore class this afternoon. They went well. One girl gave me a tube of what seems to be very nice hand lotion and I as very touched by her gift. Cosmetics are expensive here.
We went to the canteen to join in with the other foreign teachers tonight for a Christmas dinner. Pace’s, Clarke’s and four of the single men teachers were there. The rest were all Chinese guests and employees of the Foreign Affairs Office. We had a nice potluck dinner, sang some songs and had a white elephant gift exchange. We had a nice time. The manager of the Teacher Restaurant area that we were dining in came in at one point and gave us all a toast. He appeared to be drunk. Later we saw him riding his bike home, or at least pushing it home. We were talking with the Clarke’s on their way to the bus and Leona, who had been at the party came up and started talking to us. The manager stopped on his bike and seemed even drunker than when he had stopped in at the party. We wondered how he could ride the bike in the condition he was in. I hope he made it home okay…