In keeping with one of the colors of this season, I thought I'd post some pics of China that I've taken lately. The theme is, quite obviously, RED.
On the street where I live, Wuhan
With two years of life in China passed, I now find myself experiencing cyclical moments for a third time and I cannot help but pause and mark the reality of this. Somehow, me…this normal, average person…is beginning a 3rd year of existence in China. Bizarre. Here are my random thoughts:
My first year, strangers would walk up to me on the street and ask to “make friends for to improve my englishes.” They’d follow this request with persistent requests for my phone number. Back then, I would politely offer my email address instead, or explain that I’d love to be friends but I’m very busy but maybe they could come to the school’s English corner and see me then, or that my phone was not working so I couldn’t share it with anyone...etc. Now, I just say No, Thank you. If they persist, I say No, Thank you. If they persist louder, I turn, stare them in the eye, and say No. Thank You. (ok, ok…it sounds really bad—but I’m only really really direct when they get really really up in my face—which does happen on a semi-regular basis)
The truth is that along the way, there are days when I am absolutely confident that this is exactly where I am meant to be, there are days when I feel so utterly exhausted by the struggle of life here that I can’t remember why I came, there are days when I think I could stay another 3 years, there are days when I think that it might be best for both me and China if I just quit it all and leave tomorrow.
Before I first came to China, I went and sat on a cliff overlook in SW Virginia that has been a thinking spot for me through the years. I tried to take a moment and enjoy who I was at that precise time, the Lucy-before-China. Because I assumed that moving to a land so completely opposite would have to change me somehow. I didn’t move here for that change, I wasn’t searching for anything; I was just following where I felt I should go.
And now two years in, I’m not sure that I did change all that much. I believe much more in the possibilities of alternative lifestyles (uh….meaning, lifestyles that vary from the typical school-college-work-marriage-mortgage-kids-retirement path that so many of us are taught is the way of life), I am more confident in myself, more sure that it has been His Hand all along doing something with my life, I know myself more… I’ve learned a lot, I’ve practiced a lot, but in all, it’s not something that changed me so much as it’s been something that forced me to put into practice all the things that I have always been. Sometimes I’ve failed at that. There are some weaknesses that have come out in the process that have been given too much time and nutrition that I have to eliminate. But overall, the past two years have been vibrant, crazy, lovely, absurd, and wonderful.
And now I have one more year—round 3—to seize and try to do to the fullest all the things that I came here to do. I have one final year here in China to try to be someone who brings joy into this spot of the world, who reflects light into dark places, who learns to give her time and energy to others. We’ll see how it goes!
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I bought the kind of oatmeal you and Maggie mentioned in our class when she told us her first breakfast in America . I think I cooked it according to your description. I put some in a bowle and poured some cold milk into it . I waited for about 5minites. But it seemed the oatmeal stayed the same as it hadn't been cooked. I sure I bought that kind which can be cooked with cold milk . so ,what's wrong?
July 21 (Bloomberg) -- The longest full solar eclipse this century, lasting 6 minutes and 39 seconds in some areas, will plunge cities, including Shanghai, into darkness as it passes over India and China tomorrow.
June 19, 2009
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the quarantine measures imposed by the Government of China in response to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic that may affect travel to China. This Travel Alert expires on September 30, 2009.
Current quarantine measures in China include placing arriving passengers who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms into seven-day quarantine. Although the proportion of arriving Americans being quarantined remains low, the random nature of the selection process increases the uncertainty surrounding travel to China. The selection process focuses on those sitting in close proximity to another traveler exhibiting fever or flu-like symptoms or on those displaying an elevated temperature if arriving from an area where outbreaks of 2009-H1N1 have occurred. We have reports of passengers arriving from areas where outbreaks have occurred (including the U.S. and Mexico) being placed in precautionary quarantine simply because they registered slightly elevated temperatures.
In some instances, children have been separated from their parents because either the parent or the child tested positive for 2009-H1N1 and was placed in quarantine for treatment. This situation presents the possibility of Chinese medical personnel administering medications to minors without first having consulted their parents.
The Department of State has received reports about unsuitable quarantine conditions, including the unavailability of suitable drinking water and food, unsanitary conditions, and the inability to communicate with others.
Travelers to China are reminded that all foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, are obliged to follow local procedures regarding quarantines and any other public health-related measures. The U.S. Embassy will be unable to influence the duration of stay in quarantine for affected travelers. The Chinese government will not compensate people for lost travel expenses. Travelers to China are urged to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect against losses in the event they are quarantined.
For more information on U.S. Government policy during a pandemic, and for travel safety information, please see the State Department’s “Pandemic/Avian Influenza” and “Remain in Country” fact sheets on www.travel.state.gov. Further information about 2009-H1N1 Influenza, including steps you can take to stay healthy, can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/, the U.S. Government pandemic influenza website at http://www.pandemicflu.gov, and the World Health Organization website at http://www.who.int/csr/
I guess I'll just say that I'm wondering if maybe I should've come home for the summer after all. It's gonna be a long day!