Saturday, March 8

Woman's Day (Via Cortney's Adventure in China)

Subject: Woman's Day
Hey friends and fam-

So I apologize because I feel like it has been awhile since my last email, but in my defense they keep us pretty busy here. Luckily, they have cut some of our teaching time so we aren't literally going from one class to the other. So a lot of you have been asking if "the food is getting better" and "how are the kids/teaching." Let me just answer in this email so I don't have to answer 10 different times. The food...I don't know if the food is getting better or I am just getting more used to it. I think maybe both. Our cook's name is Lane ( that's his American name...we give American names so we don't offend them by slaughtering their Chinese name) he is sooo great. I actually look forward to seeing him in the morning and being greeted by him. ILP (my program) has a special counter that is separate from where the other faculty get their food and we also have our own tables. So every morning we go stand at our counter he opens the windows and says with the biggest smile on his face " goo moaning!!!" I think good morning might be the only English phrase he knows. Lane tries very hard to make food he thinks we will enjoy. That's kind of a round-about answer to the question,but yes no one needs to worry. I am eating.
The teaching is soooo much better. I am actually enjoying it now. There are days where I look forward to seeing the kids. call me crazy! I think it just depends on the subject. Last week when I was struggling I was teaching arts and crafts. They had such a hard time focusing. I gave them a crayon and told them to draw a circle and I look and they have drawn an entire landscape. One day we made kites out of construction paper and after each step they insisted on throwing them around the room. It was crazy. So anyway, this week I have been teaching Word Skills. I love it! It is so much easier. I just pick some simple words (this week we have been working on: quick,town,chore, cheat, shrink,etc) I come up with games for them to play that help them with recognizing the words and spelling them. It really has been so much fun and it's because I know they are having fun. Of course they still get crazy and I have to get strict with them, but they are only 8. I love watching them get so into the games and I get so excited when they do a good job or spell a word right. This past week really has been an answer to my prayers. I have remembered why I chose to do this crazy adventure in the first place.
Today (Saturday) is Woman's Day in China. So there have been fireworks all throughout the day and all of the woman on campus were given a bottle of Herbal Essence Shampoo as a gift from the school. ha random is that? I just imagine that the school board is a group of guys sitting at a table thinking to themselves "OK men, women's day is just around the corner. what should we give them this year?" silence.silence.silence "I got it....a bottle of Herbal Essence shampoo!" all the men nod their head in agreement. haha..I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I am always happy to get a free bottle of shampoo, but what's shampoo without conditioner? And now, I have to go find Herbal Essence conditioner, because you can't wash your hair with Herbal Essence shampoo and Pantene Pro-V conditioner. That would be weird...or am I weird for thinking that way? Anyway, so this evening they had a big get together in the gym for all the women and we were invited. They divided all of the women in 6 different groups (all of us Americans were on the same team) and we played games. We played balloon volleyball but you can't use anything but your head. This was HILARIOUS to watch. All these grown women of all ages hitting a blown up balloon over a net with their head. Seriously so funny. So anyway the "Americans" put up a good fight,but they slaughtered us in balloon volleyball. Then we played like 3 legged race but it's your entire group tied together.So all 8 of us girls were all hooked together at the knee and we had to run to the other side of the gym. Gosh, I wish I had it on tape. You would not believe these women. If there were an Olympic Event for a 3 legged race, China would whoop us all. I think these women secretly practice everyday,because they were amazing. They were like sprinting across the gym. ha ha..then it was our turn. We get up there all prepared to show China whats up and we make fools of ourselves. We can't even make it half way before we start stumbling all over ourselves we all just end up hopping the rest of the way. 8 girls all hopping at different times trying to make it to the finish line as fast as possible.We finally get there..turn around and every single Chinese women in there is ROLLING on the floor laughing hysterically. It really was quite funny. I don't think we will get invited to the Olympics anytime soon, but we did cross the finish line.
Alright, well it is pretty late here and all of you guys are just getting up. I have to wake up early in the morning. Tomorrow we are leaving on our very first trip. It is a really short trip we have to be back on Monday, but we are all dying to get out of the city. We are going to Nanjing, which apparently is great for shopping. Nanjing also has some great traditional Chinese temples and gardens. Alright, well I love you all and look forward to hearing how things are going or just hearing your comments on my crazy life. Talk to you soon!- Cortney

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