Greetings: Our trip to the states to visit family and friends was so very good. Each stop filled our hearts with love and joy and gave us the encouragement we need for this next semester. My words cannot express it properly.
Our flight back went well. Keven gave us some cookies and yeast bread he had made fresh himself. They were both delicious. I was impressed.
It was so good to unpack our suitcases and settle in. The first real meal I cooked was pinto beans, slaw and cornbread with chow-chow, from supplies we brought back with us.
As you know, my family and I are continuing to make requests on behalf of my Vitiligro white spots do to loss of pigmentation. I have also been taking traditional Chinese medicine for two and a half months. Two of the spots on my hands are regaining pigment. I am so very thankful. My recent blood work shows my liver is still OK to continue the medicine. I will keep you posted.
Yeah! I finished my first two days of classes. It was about 42 degrees this morning on the West Campus as I was hurrying to my first of two classes. Then I saw three of my former students. It was so good to see them again. All of a sudden I didn’t feel the cold, just the warmth of their smiles and well wishes. As I was coming through the Central gate on my way home after my second class, cold, tired and hungry I saw three other former students. Immediately I was filled with joy and energy to get up the four flights of stairs to the apartment while thinking, “It is worth all the effort.”
My precious Gary had our leftover chicken soup heated and cheese toast ready to eat when I entered the apartment. Life is good. Our older brother is gracious.
Friday after classes Kelly (Chinese English teacher) and I took a bus to Xiangyang for my follow-up visit with Dr. Li. When contacting the doctor to see if he would be in the office on Saturday he said no and that he would be in Wuhan at a meeting. However when he found our I was ready for my follow up visit and could come on that weekend he volunteered to cancel the meeting and be in his office to see me. We spent the night in 7 Days Inn, got to the hospital early the next morning and was the first one to see the doctor when he came in. He could see improvement and said to continue the medicine and return in three months.
We had time to return to the hotel for the free breakfast; hot soy milk, hot rice porridge garnished with cold salty diced vegetables, steamed bread called baozi, boiled egg and an apple to take with us. We were able to get an early bus back to Jingzhou. All in all a good quick trip. I am so very thankful for Kelly who did a great job translating for me.
We are very encouraged by the many students who are seeking to study The Good Book. Also they are very thankful for the gloves many of you sent. — Love from Terry.
From Gary: We attended the wedding of Xia Guan, our Foreign Affairs Office contact, and I met the president of our university (see photo above…also with Catherine, the Dean of the English Department and our upstairs neighbor… that is Sprite we’re drinking). He volunteered in his comments that “the students like you very much, especially that you have many of them into your apartment.” I am glad he knows and approves.
He also commented on two articles in the local newspaper of our participation in the Sports Meeting last semester and this month’s Valentine’s Day article.
The wedding party had some 250 guests in a sit-down meal. Lots of pomp and circumstance and noise (loud-ness is important to the Chinese; it represents happiness and having a good time…they seem to create noise on purpose to make that point, using loud public address system in the hotel banquet room environment).
We met some of the family members and were given two special toasts, as the foreign teachers/visitors.
Xia Guan has been a big help to us, through the FAO, and was the first person we met when we came to the Wuhan airport. They had some of the most elaborate pictures put to a power-point style display that I have seen…great photography with multiple wardrobe changes. Excellent food (edible for me, who is a little picky).
Two Florida groups helped us collect some gloves and we passed out our first pairs today, after ‘getting the word out’ to the students the past week. We certainly appreciate those who helped us collect some 55 pairs. They noticed immediately that most of them were made in Taiwan or China 🙂
I received my A1C blood-level report from the Chinese hospital just after the last newsletter was sent out: 6.2 for the past 9-12 weeks, which also includes hamburgers and bar-b-que, etc., while in America!:-)…weighed 172 when I arrived in America and 175 when I left to come back to China … not bad, huh?
Our first Life Lesson groups met…on Friday we invited 20 and had 14…on Saturday we invited 20 and had 30, all of them here for the first time for Important Matters. It was a little crowded, but great enthusiasm and interest! Many of the Friday group were juniors and seniors, while the Saturday group is mostly new to our Life Lesson sessions and were sophomores. We talked about Meaning of Life/Purpose/New Year’s Resolution….”you were a person before you were a student and you will be a person after you are a student….it is not just about exams and school work. Dissatisfaction…Decision… Direction… Determination… Discipline are the steps.”
We were told in training and through books we read that they Chinese do not do well in the ‘critical thinking’ department here…I had a first hand experience where I needed to do some critical thinking myself. Went to the bank after returning from the States and did not remember my pin-number at the ATM…went back to the bank the next day and it did not allow me to re-enter numbers and get some much-needed cash.
I took my ATM card to a bank attendant, pointed to the ATM…they followed me over and watched what it did…he took it to another bank attendant and they scanned the card and began looking at the computer screen. I wrote down my correct pin number, she looked at it and smiled, and pushed some computer keys…and gave me a ‘thumbs-up’…I used the ATM and got the funds needed.
No problem dealing with kind, helpful individuals, even though we could not understand a single word each was speaking. I might be pretty good at charades, it seems 🙂
In their introductory speeches, several of the girls spoke of being used as a baby-sitter during their break from school. They all thought the child was cute, etc., but all used one word to also describe them: naughty. It is a common expression, used to speak of their energy, but also that some of them cry a lot, it seems.
For the first time, several commented on how cold it is during the spring/winter holiday, and how difficult travel is, etc. They also spoke of how boring time at home can be, though they enjoy family, sleeping late, and delicious foods. I love two expressions I hear daily here: It is a pity. It is my pleasure.
Terry and I have felt the cold this week more than we remember from last year, when we first arrived. We’re heading to bed 30-40 minutes sooner than ever before, probably in order to get warm.
I have adopted iTunes podcasts as a way to keep up with news and sports events. I have subscribed to some of my favorite reports and listen to them each week.
All the pledged funds have now come in, with the exception of one group’s, and it will be deposited within the next 2-3 weeks. Thank you (!!) for your support of our work here, helping us pay some state-side expenses while we are away. The Parkway family is in the process of selling or giving away to those in need many of our storage items that would not ‘do well’ staying in storage 2-4 years. We are naturally keeping some of the items that will ‘do OK’ in storage for 3-5 years.
One of our best students in wanting to travel abroad this summer, and since we will not be in the States, we are wondering if anyone out there would like to host a smart, talented young man for a few weeks in your home? We would sure like to have him exposed more to Important Things. You would have no issues with his values or behavior…he is a sharp guy. Let me know and we will proceed with talking about the possibility.
Other news from China: Linsane! This country is certainly proud of its newest international hero, Jeremy Lin, the NBA’s first American-Taiwanese player. He is winning basketball games for the New York Knicks and drawing huge crowds in the process.
Lin had 27 points and a career-high 11 assists in his first game since being named Eastern Conference player of the week, two weeks ago. A season-high crowd of 20,092 roared as Lin drained a pull-up jumper from the top with half a second to play in Toronto.
Local media also took note; some 75 reporters and 16 cameras packed a Tuesday morning press conference to hear Lin speak, with dozens more turned away to prevent overcrowding. More than 25 Chinese Canadian journalists were due to cover the game, including one who presented Lin with a book of “Year of the Dragon” stamps from Canada Post and asked him to record a message in Mandarin, which he did.
China’s enthusiasm for basketball and the NBA has held strong despite Yao’s retirement and China remains the league’s biggest market outside North America.
Even the country’s vice president and designated future leader, Xi Jinping, recently said he enjoys watching NBA games in his spare time.
Twenty-five years after the league partnered with state broadcaster CCTV, the audience for NBA games on television and online has risen 39 percent this year over the last season, the NBA says. The league also claims 41 million followers on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging service, including many who pay for its premium service, along with 25,000 points of sale in shops and online.
Despite that, the league is struggling to get jerseys into stores to satisfy demand for all things Lin, whose followers on Weibo have soared this week from 150,000 to 1.4 million by Friday.