So, where was I? I think I was talking about Thanksgiving and then I got interrupted by a trip to escort Alice home. Right. So Thanksgiving was great. We had a good time at the hotel and I think everyone was encouraged by the whole experience.
Friday morning I got to wake up and teach class, but I didn't let that ruin my mood. I told them my experience and then did a lot of review and talking with them. The week before I had covered cards games and had taught them to play Uno, so after class some of them asked to borrow my Uno cards for a birthday party. I'm spreading the culture! After that, I had to camp out in my apartment and prepare a two hour lecture to give that night. Originally I had chosen "History of the English Language" as my topic because I had read something interesting on it and I wanted to share it. But as I was preparing earlier in the week I realized that the vocabulary was just too far over their heads. So here it is Friday and I need to choose another topic and prepare a PowerPoint presentation. What topic to choose?!? Baseball, naturally. So I spent most of the rest of the day from 10am until 5pm working on preparing that. I thought I did a pretty decent job. I had pictures and explained all the basic rules, it was a work of art. We had cancelled English corner on Thursday night due to Thanksgiving, so I figured all those people might come to Friday night's edition. I grabbed the two gloves, bat, and softball that we have here and made my way over to the classroom. When I got there I found ten students there studying. They all seemed pretty surprised to see me. Basically, it was nothing like what the Friday night lecture usually looks like. I called Kiwi, the student in charge of the lectures, and asked her if I was supposed to be doing one that night. Apparently when we had cancelled Thursday night, they had also cancelled Friday night as well. Oops. So back I went to my apartment to put on something more comfortable and wait for Derek and Jeremy to come hang out. We ended up watching one of Derek's students in the school talent show, eating dinner, and watching Indiana Jones the rest of the night.
Saturday we got up and were drinking coffee. Before we could even begin to wonder what to do for the day, we got a call saying that we had a friend who wanted to go down into the water. Well needless to say, we were excited. We started cleaning Derek's apartment, cleaning his bathtub, and boiling water. We only have hot water in the early morning and late at night, so the water was pretty freezing. Anyhoo, once everyone from across town got over here, we realized that we didn't just have one friend who wanted to go in, but TWO. So we found another towel and a change of clothes for him. Now our Family is two siblings stronger and we spent lunch and the afternoon celebrating our new brother and sister. We ate lunch at Happy Guy's and told him why we were celebrating. He was really happy for us. Last week he requested that we Study some with him so he's very interested in these things. Saturday night, Angelyn and I had lunch with two students from our school, Grace and Sahara. They're girlfriend and boyfriend, and they're a lot of fun to hang out with. Sahara actually spells his name Sohoro, but I'm pretty sure he just doesn't know that it's wrong. After that Angelyn and I came home, escaped from Bushes Guy who randomly comes out of the bushes and asks to play with us, and then relaxed the rest of the evening.
Sunday morning I ended up going across town for the Meeting because I never get to go visit with those students. We had a lot of fun, ate lunch, and then I went to Darla's apartment to hang out. Because she wasn't here until October and she lives all the way (30 minutes at most) across town, I don't know her well and never get to hang out with her. We had fun visiting and whatnot. Around 3:30 Derek, Angelyn, Keri, and Janis showed up and we all watched Major Payne together. I'm not sure what Keri and Janis thought of it, but we ferners were all cracking up. We ate dinner, hung out some more after that, and then finally made our way home.
Yesterday (Monday), after lunch some of us went across town to the Korean market. It's just a series of streets/alleys with all of these shops crammed in. I bought some gloves without fingertips so I can keep my hands warm while writing on the chalkboard in class. We also bought some Christmas lights and Angelyn bought a big blanket to keep her visitors warm when she has company. We just browsed a lot and hung out with Wind and Alice. We came home around 5, had class at 6, and then hung out and Studied with a few students after that. Then I started writing my Thanksgiving update, which was interrupted when Angelyn and I took Alice to her dorm, and now I think I'm pretty much caught up.
The "weekend trip" part of my last blog didn't make it in, so I should probably explain the title of my last entry. Sometime last week I decided that I need to go visit some friends in Ningbo, so I'm planning on leaving this Wednesday night on a trip to the coast. The trains and planes and buses from here to there don't quite always line up, so I'm taking an overnight train to Wuhan and flying to Ningbo a couple of hours later. To come back I'm taking a train from Ningbo to Hangzhou and then another from Hangzhou to Shiyan. The overnight train is about 7 hours, the plane is 1 hour 20 minutes, and the trains home should be about 26 hours. Good times! Too bad they don't allow foreigners in the Shiyan airport or I would be able to cut out a good chunk of my travel time. Oh well, adventures are waiting to be had. I should be leaving here late Wednesday night and getting back sometime Monday. Hopefully nothing will be late and I won't end up missing a flight or train connection or anything.
Today has been a normal day. I had lunch with the guys and we talked about things for Sunday. I caught the bus home at 3 and now I'm listening to a chain saw as some guys trim the trees outside. Oh! How could I forget?!? I got a package from my loving mom this morning and it contained... Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups! HA! It's a good day in China.