Monday, July 14, 2008

Learning and growing in Taiyuan

It has been a good week in Taiyuan. Class schedules have changed since the last update -- Rachel has to get up at 5:30 to be out the door by 7 for class at another school. A stretch for her night-owl tendancies! And Kori's kids classes for last week were cancelled, meaning she had lots of free time on her hands; more time to think of home and get homesick. For me -- I have a couple days where I have 90 minute classes back to back (with a short supper break in between) so I have to be ultra-ready and hit the ground with my feet running before classes even start. And Noah has had to write all of the material for his classes, which has really pushed him! We are all enjoying the new challenges.

Mealtimes are always full of fun conversations. We are never sure what we are going to eat, and then we love to compare notes and share the latest classroom stories. The most recent one: Rachel asked her class why they wanted to learn English. One of the students reply was so sincere. "I am glad that I have learned English just for the opportunity to meet you and get to know you better." The people here are so sweet!

Our most recent fun event was on Saturday night. We invited all the other teachers over to our apartment for an American supper and games! Shopping, food preparations....and once again, some big surprises. As we began cooking the meat, the propane ran out. A hurried trip to the school to figure that out. Then 45 minutes before they were expected to arrive, Noah was out running errands and Kori was teaching a class so Rachel and I were trying to finish the last preparations and clean up. As I began washing the baking dishes, the plumbing under the kitchen sink broke and dirty water went EVERYWHERE!!! It was so wild!


...cooking in the kitchen...


They were very fast at learning how to play spoons...


they really got into it!


Down to the last two!


And then some Animal Wamp!


Several of our fellow teachers (some had to leave early for evening classes).

We are hoping to be able to have the students over on Thursday evenings, which would be a great way to get to know them better!

And I celebrated my 22nd birthday this past week as well! Instead of a bouquet of flowers -- I received a bouquet of sports equipment! Yesterday we all finally had some time off, so to the tennis courts we went. So much fun to get out for some physical exercise!

Chinese tennis...gotta' love it!

Everywhere we go we seem to attract attention! Here a crowd gathered around us as we were looking over some Chinese handiwork.

And that doesn't even begin to tell you everything that has happened since the last update....but it at least gives you a glimpse into our week over here. [smile]

16 comments:

Stephanie said...

Wow! It definitely sounds like you are being stretched. God will be with you though and carry you every step of the way. May the gracious Lord continue to bless your work and direct your steps.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you are having a wonderful, yet busy time. It looks so interesting! When are you coming back? Thanks for the post!I'm praying for you.
God Bless.
~Lisa

Amber said...

Happy Birthday, loved your post, what a story, pictures are great, looks like fun, looks like a challenge, I'm praying for you, and wish I were there with you!
~ Amber

Lesley said...

Thanks for the update Bethany! Sounds like you've all been busy and learning a lot! That last picture of you all was so fun!:)
Continuing to pray that the Lord blesses your efforts and gives you strength.
~Lesley

9Browns said...

Bethany
It looks like an incredible time there! We are praying for you all!

Joan Brown for 9Browns

Leah said...

I so enjoyed reading your update, Bethany! It's exciting to see what all God is doing in your life and what he's teaching you over there in China!

ladygreen said...

I love Noah's hat!!! It's so wonderful...lol
Thanks so much for the update.

Desiree said...

I am happy to hear you are having a good time. Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my! I love the pictures! The first and last photos are so funny! Lord bless!
Because He Lives,
Kourtney

--->AJ<--- said...

Lol -- You guys are such fun... :D

Emily said...

That looks like fun!! I love the game spoons! That's cool that they got the hang of it. They look like people that would REALLY get into it! Looks like you guys have been having a good and busy time! I pray the Lord helps and blesses you!
-Emily

Anonymous said...

What would you do with out pictures? They really help catch some fun memories. Thanks for sharing them with us. It looks like you are having a great time. I'm praying for you, Ellie

the absent sis said...

Oh...I just love updates...somehow then you don't feel quite so far away! Though this week you've felt even farther away. You see, I've taken a break from bridesmaid dresses to pop in here, as I've not been on ALL week! Can you believe it? So refreshing to see your smiling faces, and hear how you are doing!

We miss EACH ONE OF YOU!! So since I can't give them in person I'm going to send((HUGS)) 'across space'!:) I mean that's legal right?! LOL Love you lots, and prayin' for you all!

Sara said...

So good to read this last post... Thank you for taking the time to write! Happy late birthday too! I'm praying that God continues to bless all of you in your time there.

Gem said...

Enjoyed all the photos...
Keep praying for you all! :)

Hannah Michelle said...

These photos are all amazing, Bethany! Thanks so much for sharing them with us. What an experience you guys (girls and guy, sorry) are having!