Thursday, July 12, 2007


In less than 5 hours I get into a car to start the super long journey to the land of milk!

Tonight I got a phone call from Jim.

Jim is in the 3+1 "nightmare" program. ( I call it this with great love!) He might be one of the worst students I have ever had in terms of knowledge. He would be the one though that I just adore. He is so funny and easy to joke around with. He has made a little effort to learn English, but for some reason has really captured a big piece of my heart.

Jim calling me was huge. I cannot tell you how excited I was. He called to wish me luck on the journey home and to thank me for being a good teacher. (I could hear people helping him translate in the back.) Then he told me he will not be returning next year because of his grades. He was not upset, but just wanted to wish me goodbye. Then he said in broken English that he wanted to make the phone call and nobody needed to translate how much he was going to miss me. He said he would write often. While that may not happen, I was touched.

Jim is one of those unforgettable students...

I am soooo thankful I am not saying goodbye to China this year.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

And Then There Were Four...

Seheno left last week. Travis and Sergiy left on Thursday. Katie and Kim left today. Down to the Yichang 4...

It has been a busy but very good week.

I finished teaching classes and several of my exams. I spent a lot of time with friends and students. Very productive conversations! :) Celebrated the 4th of July in style thanks to Sandra and Shorel. Made a lot of food for students. Watched O Brother Where Art Thou? which I loved! Had some goodbyes. Went night swimming. Celebrated several birthdays. Watched a scary movie (The Ring)which I hated. :) Played in human gerbil balls on the water. Sweated more than maybe my whole life! Cleaned my house. Overall, super great week!

I really wish I could post some pictures and promise to later, but too busy now...

Less than a week to milk! :)

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Good Old American Tradition

What do you get when you take about 40 students, 7 foreign teachers, eggs, sacks, water balloons and a limbo stick and then put them in about 90 degree weather? Three Gorges First Annual Field Day!That's right ladies and gentlemen, our students have now been introduced to the great American field day and they will never be the same.

We began our morning partly sad because our apartments did not have water. Water balloons without water... :( We did find a place to fill up the balloons... where else but the flood disaster research center on campus. (Who knew we even had that??? ) The water balloon fight was a great way to end the big event.

Other games we played included "steal the bacon" or in this case frozen 7up container filled with ice, "sack race", "wheelbarrow race" and "limbo". The students were almost freakishly flexible! We had an egg toss but the eggs were tough to break. Lucky for some people I guess. And of course what is a field day without the good old "dizzy bat" race? Brad and I were trying to show the kids how it was done. Sadly I guess with aging I am not as coordinated as I once was. I went crashing sideways in the ground. I do mean crashing. The bruises are wonderful shades of black, blue and green. I might even have them when I arrive back in the States. ;)

Bruises and all it was a perfectly grand Saturday morning. I think the students really enjoyed themselves and I know I did.

(Brad's postgrad student catches an egg with her legs!)

(Katie is geared up for sack race!)

(Puma "Abs" shows how the students relied on their stomach muscles to play Limbo)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Experiencing A Little Love With Frogs

On Saturday morning Katie and I started our day by going to the deaf/blind middle school we learned about over Spring Festival. We went with the intention of delivering a small amount of art supplies for the children to use. Our visit grew into a mini art lesson. The sweet headmaster asked us to teach the students to make something. With it being last minute we agreed upon paper frogs. Neither one of us remembered exactly how to make it, so I came up with an impromptu explanation. The frogs turned out cute even though they did not jump as well as I remember. At the end of our "lesson" we had a little race with the creations. The students then shamed our frogs by making some of the most creative origami works. We had a good time though.

One of the coolest things to watch was how the students interact with each other. There was one little boy who really seemed to take a leadership role. He is deaf but was so sweet to write out a conversation with us on the chalkboard. He also helped some of the blind girls how to make frogs by guiding their hands. He did not make it for them, but rather just held the outside of theirs so they could feel how to make them. All of the students were kind to each other and kind to us. I guess they have their own little family.

I feel really blessed by finding this way to be involved in the community here. My Chinese is quite lacking compared to the others, but I feel as though I can be useful to others because I can come up with ideas. I really admire the way Katie and Kim have learned and used Chinese for kingdom work and I hope that one day I will be able to . Until then I can be showing love with frogs. ;)

Monday is the last day of school for these students until next term. Katie and I hope to continue doing some things at the school. This summer we will be trying to gathering some art supplies for the class so for those of you who would like to help we would love anything you could give.