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.