Bless The Country

Last week, a typhoon hit China. It was close to Wenzhou where I am at. Luckily, it turned hours before it hit the city, however, other cities in China were not as lucky. In Wenzhou, we had high winds and quite a bit of rain. There was no flooding and object flying around. After the threat of the typhoon had passed, I went back to work, and practically forgot about it.

Yesterday, I went to a small fishing village located on an inlet that leads to the ocean. I had been there the week before when the typhoon was just beginning to approach China. At the time, there were several shops along the warf where the boats were stationed. Yesterday, the shops were gone, completely destroyed by the wind and rain. In fact, there was still so much water in the inlet, that at night, when the tide comes in, it floods the beach again and fills it up to the point, where it looks like just another lake.

In Fuzhou, a place where Hidden Treasures Home, a home for orphaned special needs kids, is stationed, flooded. The water came up to about mid-calf. The small town in Fuzhou is used to a lot of rain, but this was more than they could work with.

I might not have been affected, but others were. Please continue to pray for this country and it’s people. They need the knowledge and wisdom revelation of the Lord’s love for them.

One thing I have learned since I have been here is that, the Chinese who are christians, rely on very little to believe the existence of God. When I was in Fuzhou, God said to me, “I love each and every person here. I tell them that every week. The continued revelation of my love for them is all they need to keep worshiping and loving me. Why then do you, does your country, need to lay out a new fleece every day to know my existence? Why do you need to see a miracle to love me?”

That hit me hard.

One of my students was showing me a bug bite on her arm, and I noticed a bruise right below it. I asked her if that was a bruise, and she said, “Oh yeah! My mom got mad at me and she–” she imitated her mom poking her in the arm repeatedly. I had two reactions to that. The first was: How could a mom do that to her child? The second was: Eh, Chinese culture. I hardly thought about it because my student laughed. It wasn’t until later when I thought about it more.

I tell you this story because I want to show you how disguised love is here in this culture. I have seen it displayed and expressed a hundred different ways. I’ve watched one mom coddle her two year old daughter, and I’ve seen one student who is constantly picked up from school by his sister, and I’ve heard one student say he has no choice in what boarding school he goes to in the U.S., and I’ve heard one student say she is majoring in Law because her father told her to, and I’ve seen a grandma feed and teach a five year old everything he knows, and I’ve heard a parent yell at a student for not listening in class. Finally, I’ve seen a student with a bruise on her arm, given from her mother.

I don’t know the why behind any of these. I do know honoring ones parents is crucial, and I know parents want their kids to do the best they can in school. The word love is hidden under the word respect and honor. The act of love is hidden under the act of correction and punishment.

It is no wonder that all a person here needs is the knowledge of Jesus’ love to know he exists.

For I so loved the world that I gave my one and only son that whosoever believes shall not parish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

I have never heard someone say, “I love you” here.

When God says it to me, I know I feel all warm and fuzzy and loved. I think to a person in China, hearing “I love you” is a miracle. Isn’t it sometimes the same way in America?

“I love you.” Let that roll off your tongue.

I can’t say that in the classroom, so I say, “I am so proud of you.” I don’t know if my students know what that phrase means, but I tell them that everyday. I’ll get close to them at the table, make it a one on one conversation, and say, “_____, you are so smart. I know you are, and I want you to show me. I am so proud of you.” Before they even displayed anything to be proud of, I was proud of them. I’ve seen it change several students in a matter of two weeks. Students who wouldn’t sit still or listen to me, I would tell them I was proud of them for sitting still for five minutes or for listening to me for five minutes.

My mate May, is my hero. I tell her everyday. She helps me with everything whether it is shopping, changing the class schedule, learning the names in class, translating, or cooking. I’ve said, “I love you” to her once, and she didn’t reply back, but now when we go anywhere, we sit together, she hugs me, and we talk comfortably. So that she isn’t uncomfortable, I say, “May,” at the end of the day, “you are my hero.” All she says is, “Oh, okay.” That is enough.

This country needs love. Above all, this country needs God’s love. Displays of God’s love. Words of God’s love. Gifts of God’s love.

This typhoon was just another eye opener for me.

I hope it is for you too.

Please continue to pray for them and for me.

么么哒。

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Speeches

At the end of every week, my students have to give a speech on something they did that week in my class. Since we just finished a week, we also just finished a round of speeches/presentations. At the end of class some of the students folded their written speech into a paper airplane, took it home, or gave it to me. I thought I would share a couple of the speeches. You can laugh and be in awe of my students just as much as I am. [Be warned: I have a a lot.]

TITLE: Dumplings

Dumplings are traditional Chinese food. They’re very delicious and healthy. They can make people strong.

If you are not Chinese, I can tell you how to make it. First, you make rice become flour. Then use some flour to make some wraps and pinch them until they are very thin, wow! Dumpling peels. Next, you put some meat, chives, cabbages, and eggs, and you can make a raw dumpling. Finally, you can cook them or stir-fry them, now you can eat the delicious food.

Many years ago, only Chinese could make dumplings. But now, many people can make all dumplings. They can make a lot of different kinds of dumplings like Dim Sum, Ravioli, Gnocchi, tortellini and Samosa. There are some cheese in it.

The dumplings can be many shapes. You can make it like rooster, Nian and football. They are very beautiful.

In Spring Festival, you can eat as much dumplings as you can. If you want to eat raw dumplings, Yes you can! But you mustn’t eat too much. If you eat too much, tomorrow, you well have stomach ache.

By, Simon.

This was probably the best written speech I had. Simon is from DT Club (Elementary-ish) and is moving into DT Elite (Middle School-sh) and has never learned (from DT) how to write. This was his first time as far as we were aware. I was so proud of him.

TITLE: Apple

We did a funny experiment called APPLE. Miss Beth is the greatest teacher in the world, I think. She use learnt plays idea to teach us APPLE.

Ding-Ling, Ding-Ling!

“Study time!” Miss Beth said.

“Hooray!” Everyone ran into the classroom. We looked at Miss Beth, and Miss Beth looked at Miss Beth.

“Hen, Hen.” Miss Beth took 25 cards and said, “Today we are going to learn about apples.” Then, she gave us her cards. We read her cards and spelled them. It is different than DT Club. DT Club is just playing and playing. That will be a bit bored.

I think have one day, I will go to DT Elite to enjoy my life.

By, Tiger.

Tiger is both a performer and a studious student. He never plays the games in class, but instead pulls out his other homework. I often have to make him STOP studying so he can relax and be a kid. When he gave his speech, he said a lot more than what was written. He acted out the whole thing and tried to change his voice to mimic mine. I absolutely loved how he told the story of what happened on his first day in Elite. I’m happy I got to be his teacher for that.

TITLE: None.

On Monday a “blonde chick” teacher is standing in front of class. That teacher surprised me because she is so funny, everyday she give us a surprise. But my favourite day is Monday. She teach us gravity.

We go to DT Club yard to play this game. and we drop balloon on Miss Beth’s nail hat. After this game Miss Beth is all wet, be we are happy.

By, Coco.

Coco is my best friend (although we haven’t gotten to forever yet). We play tickle wars (and I lose). She is so sassy and fun to talk with. What’s particularly funny about this, is I tried teaching her the American slang use of the word “chick” (referring to a girl) and she used it as an adjective rather than a noun. I laughed so hard. I also accidentally taught them the British spelling of the word favorite. It just didn’t look right without the ‘u’ in it.

TITLE: None

The first time I saw Miss Beth was Monday. I was so surprised to see a Michigan state person teach us English. Her hair is Blonde, eyes are blue. She is a beautiful woman.

On Monday we played a game called gravity, in the game uses water balloons to fight Miss Beth if you wanted to fight Miss Beth. You needed to klimb the ladder and say “gravity!”, and you could fight Miss Beth.

This is the best game I ever played.

By, Tina.

Tina is a twin, and she and her sister are the cutest. I think it’s funny how she said they “fought” me with water balloons. All they did was drop them on top of me. Haha. (Also, I don’t know if she actually did spell “climb” with a ‘k’ or not.

TITLE: A New Game

In this week. I met a new teacher and new friends in my class. We played a new game. I know a very famous scientist, Sir Isaac Newton. He found gravity. We played a game about gravity.

There’s a nail cross the hat. Our teacher Miss Beth wear the hat and sit under the Ladder then put the waterballons down. The balloon explode. The water came out.

This new game are very fun. And we learn a lot of things.

By, Kimiko

This speech warmed my heart more than anything. This class is SO quiet, so I’m happy she made new friends. I’m having such a hard time communicating with this class. They don’t talk to me and they don’t talk to each other. I’m thinking about just having a day where we don’t learn anything, but just hang out. My sister just sent me a bunch of conversation starters for them. I even brought in a music playlist to have a dance party while we cooked and ate dumplings. ALL THEY DID WAS SIT AND STARE AT ME. I was like, “Girls! Come eat.” They just sat there like they had never seen chopsticks in their lives. But a few them stated in their speeches that they were having fun. Hopefully I’m doing something right. Before I start everyday, and before I start every class, I ask God to help me teach them like how Jesus taught his disciples.

TITLE: None

On Tuesday, Miss Beth told us to use apple to make a story like this: There is a man, and his job is to sell fruit. He has a fruit stand. One day, a beautiful lady wlaks by. She buys an apple and falls in with love the man. Soon, they get married. But, the lady has a baby apple. The apple is big and red. The lady and the man grow the apple. Next year, there isn’t an apple tree, but there is a lovely girl. She has black hair and white skin. Everyone likes her. The lady gives the girl the name “SNOW WHITE”.

By, Amy.

An activity I had the kids do in class is take all of the apple vocabulary words (26) and try to draw a story using all of the words. This was one of those stories. (I cannot tell you how often they made Snow White and Sir Isaac Newton get married. Haha.)

TITLE: None

One Tuesday Miss Beth help us draw a fun story. Our picture is one day snow white, is make a apple juice apple pie—And snow white is find one worm and she go to a fruit shop by a seets (<– seeds), make a new farm. A five years ago, (I think it’s supposed to be five years later) Sir Isaac Newton come, and one apple is down on the His head, and He find the Snow White say, “The apple is down my head.” Then the snow white pick a apple give a Sir Isaac Newton, They are happy! These day we are happy, and the Miss Beth is happy too.

By, Mike.

The stories are so crazy! Mike is such a good kid.

TITLE: APPLE Slices

Monday was a fun day, because we ate apple slices! Miss Beth is a really good teacher. she gave us 27 apple slices. each person got 3 apple slices, and we had chocolate and peanut butter. It was so sweet like a candy apple! I put in my mouth. It was delicious and little bit salty, but I like it, because I like chocolate and peanut butter. I like apple slices every much!

By, Koya.

Koya is a hoot. The chocolate she is talking about it Nutella. Most of the students didn’t like the Nutella or the Peanut Butter or the Caramel they had to dip their apple slices in. It was either too salty or too sweet. I’m happy one of my students liked it!

TITLE: Planting Apple Seeds

On Tuesday we plant apple seed. Plant seed need special thing, that is moss. We put apple seeds in moss, and put some water in moss. When all thing done, we will put all thing in a bag.

The last thing I will tell you is this teacher is so fun.

By, Claudia

Claudia is one of my favorite students! I met her before summer camp started and she won me a stuffed animal from a crane machine. She is one of two students who wrote about preparing apple seeds for planting.

TITLE: None

My favourite things in the lesson was eating the “Dumpling”.

In the Dumpling sauce was ‘olive oil’ ‘garlic’ ‘onion’ ‘tomatoes’ ‘salt’ ‘pepper’ ‘spicey pepper’ and cilantro. We ate the “Dumpling” with chopsticks, it was so good!

By, Joshua.

“Spicy Pepper” is cayenne pepper. (Also, I just realized I taught them how to spell spicy wrong…. oops.) Eating and the water balloons was everyone’s favorite activity.

TITLE: yesterday

I am so excited because we make dumplings! It so delicious. dumplings have many different kind. You know dumpling is my favourite food many teacher love it too! JT like dumpling very much! How can we make dumpling? First we make some jams. We take olive oil garlic onion tamatoes salt pepper spicey pepper and Cilantro poot all together and cook it. “Smell so good!” children said. Then we cook dumplings. Now most excited time start. Now we eat dumplings! Great! All the childen are happy! I did not eat dinner. My got! So delicious! Have a good day!

By, Sam.

Sam is so funny and his spelling errors might be funnier. Let me lend you some translations: Tamatoes = Tomatoes. Spicey Pepper = Cayenne Pepper. Poot = Put. Childen = Children. I’m happy he tried though! There was a lot of words he crossed out on his paper until he found the proper spelling. He never asked me how to spell anything (which is probably wise) and tried it on his own. I’m so proud of him.

TITLE: fun day

Every day. In the evening I will go to DT elite summer camp. I love Miss beth’s class. Because it is fun!

In Miss Beth’s room we made apple trees. ate dumpling….. I loved making Indian Curry Dip. because it is so so so yummy!

I help May put Cilantro in the Indian Curry Dip. Selina helpped May put tomatoes in the Indian Curry Dip! and many people put in many things: olive oil. Garlic. Onion. Tomatoes. Salt. Pepper. and spicey pepper.

“Oh!!! it is delicious!” I said, I like Miss. Beth’s class! It is fun.

By, Alice.

Honestly, the more I see ‘spicy’ spelled as ‘spicey’ I cringe and feel ashamed. Haha. Alice is sweet. I’m happy she enjoyed eating. That’s everyone’s favorite thing. They love it when I tell them we’ll be cooking in class.

Finally, here is the last one. The ALL TIME favorite activity.

TITLE: “GRAVITY!”

In this week, we do a lot of things. but my favourite just have one. it is — gravity.

That day we are talking about apple, have one and is “Sir Isaac Newton” so Miss Beth talk the deed of Newton, but somebody didn’t know gravity, so teacher let everybody to go garden and do this experiment: one teacher sit on a chair under a ladder, wear a raincoat and a cap with a nail.

So teacher tell me get a waterballon climb on that ladder, and let water balloon fall and shout “GRAVITY!” so fun!

That was amazing! I hope we can do more experiment like this at next week.

By, Oscar.

Oscar is another favorite student. He is always talking and disrupting class. He makes the hour fun, that’s for sure.

While all of the students wrote about similar things, it was all from their perspective and so cute. One girl, Ada, described the water balloon popping as a water flower. And Leslie winged his speech without writing anything. He was so nervous but did so well, and at the end of his speech, unsure of how to end it he said, “And finally, our teacher Miss Beth is very beautiful. Thank you.” Then he rushed to his seat. I think I had three students who didn’t give a speech because one of them had a broken ankle, another was in Hanzhou for the week and didn’t have anything prepared, and the third got really sick to his stomach thinking about standing in front of everyone. All in all they did well, and I was/am so proud of them.

Lesson Planning, Cooking Fails, Climbing Mountains, Tower Sight Seeing, and lots and lots of shopping.

Really, I think I should have just titled this “A Little Bit of Everything” or “I’ve Done it All.” I think those are perfectly acceptable short blog post titles. Do I use those? No. Who ever wants to use such clickbait titles. *cough*literally every smart blogger in the world*cough* Hehe.

SO! *turns and whispers to myself* “What have I been doing lately?” “Ugh, this is why you need to write a blog post every week.” “Okay, but I don’t, so what did I do?” “Well…, what’s the first thing in your title?”

Honestly…, I’ve only planned one lesson, and camp starts Monday. *insert two laughing cry faces, a legit crying face, and one more laughing cry face, then add #mood just to stay culturally relevant* (Wait.. Is “mood” still a trend in the States?) *facepalm* #BIGmood

Yeah. So a part of the lesson planning is cooking though. So the kids I’ll be playing with and “teaching” (It’s more important that they have fun while speaking English. I only teach until I lose their attention. Haha.) do an activity everyday, and most of those activities are cooking. One thing my Mate and I are trying to do is cook a dessert dumpling. So far, it’s failed every time. It has tasted good every time, but when we cook the dumplings, they all burst open and the fruit filling spills out every where. So that was a thing. Everything else I think my Mate has tried has been successful. I go in to the club tomorrow to work on some experiments and do some more cooking. I’ll let you know how that goes.

As for climbing mountains, Yes. I did climb to the south peak which was the highest peak of 华山 (Hua Shan Mountain [literal: Hua Mountain]) HOWEVER I freaking did it like a boss because I had a sore throat and didn’t cry once. Although, I was also super dehydrated. Oh yeah, and my blood sugar dropped. *waves hand in dismissal* Eh. I’m alive still. In all seriousness though, the mountain was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. All last week I was in Xi’an on vacation. I saw this beautiful Chinese dance performance; saw the Terra Cotta warriors. I even saw these beautiful towers called the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. Everything had such a beautiful story and history, but nothing compared to those mountains. Looking over the edge of the south peak, being above the clouds, breathing air that wasn’t tainted by pollution, and just existing for one moment drenched in sweat with my calves screaming at me, and my lungs practically pushing it’s way up my esophagus (I was coughing a lot), I felt like the Tower of Babel was pointless. Why waste the labour on building, when one can climb a mountain. I think that’s as close to Heaven as I’ll ever need to get before I die. It was refreshing. For a moment, it was like I saw what God saw when he created the world, and let me tell you, it was good.

I briefly mentioned the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. Those were beautiful, and told a lot of Xi’an’s history. They were tall and beautifully painted. I took a ton of pictures but non on my iPad or Computer that I can share. *sad face* However, when I was at the Drum Tower, I got to see this beautiful music performance. It was wonderful. I love traditional Chinese music.

As for the shopping… let’s say I’m out of money.

STORY TIME:

I’m walking down the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an where all the shops are. I see this beautiful set of Panda chopsticks. I, obsessed with pandas and chopsticks, run forward excited. The lady of the shop sees me as her pray and jumps forward, ready to strike. I suddenly realize my mistake in showing too much interest in her wares, and worry that I won’t lower the price any. She says, “You like? Forty-five kuai. Just for you.”

I cringe inside. That is far too much money for just a pair of wooden chopsticks–no matter how beautiful they may appear. I can by anything in her shop off of Taobao for way cheaper. I can feel my smile fall and walk away.

“Wait!” the lady yells. “For you, forty.”

I wave my hands at her. “No, it’s okay. I don’t want to buy them.” What a lie. She knows I want them.

“Fine fine. Thirty.”

“No! Really, I don’t want them.” How much must I lie to this predator.

She waves a paper fan at me. “Just for you, twenty-five.”

“Thank you, but really, I don’t want them,”I continue to shamelessly say to her.

“Fifteen!” She yells. “Final offer.”

I look at the beautiful box. I ponder if I should actually get them. There is no need to feed my collection (or addiction depending on how you look at it). She continues to insist that the offer is just for me, as if I know she doesn’t say that to everyone. “Fine. I’ll take it.”

I walk away a happy customer.

THE END.

I did so much bargaining like that. I loved it! I ended up with a pair of chopsticks for me and a friend, a keychain for my sister, a new glasses case for me, a bottle opener for my father, a thimble for my aunt in Indiana who collects them, two Chinese children’s books, and a Terra Cotta Warrior coin for a friend. I loved all the shopping I did.

After shopping, on Friday, I couple of my friends and I wandered into this beautiful park. We found a place with a bunch of lotus flowers, and took a ton of pictures. We sat down in this beautiful pagoda/gazebo where we were able to sit and listen to the birds. It was a nice place to cool off from the sun. It was especially nice when a man came in and played the Chinese instrument that only has one string. The whole thing was like a fairy tale. I didn’t want to leave.

Then we took a plane back to Wenzhou, and I ended up not only with a cold but also an ear infection. So here we are, present day. I’m tired, taking as much garlic gel capsules as possible, and just chillin’. (I say that after I had a super busy day today.)

I took a taxi to a Starbucks to meet one of my Chinese professors who is visiting China for a couple weeks. We got to go shopping, got our hair washed and styled (NOT cut), then we went to Wenzhou University to advertise ORU. I made a lot of new friends, but with the ear infection, and my body trying to repair itself, I was exhausted and ready to cry by the time dinner ended.

Tomorrow, I’ll have most of the day to chill, and just mentally prepare for camps.

I thank God everyday for supplying all of my needs and bringing me here. His timing is perfect. I’m still reminding myself of that about several things. But really, this place is home to me. I love Wenzhou, the city, the food, and especially the people.

Prayer Request:

1. I’m actually still working on financial aid and student loans with ORU. It’s hard to do form China, and it’s even still hard for mom to do from Michigan (because ORU is in Oklahoma). Please pray that everything gets worked out quickly and smoothly without any stress or hassle.

2. Please pray for healing! and for continued health in my body and everyone else I work with. (Especially DT right now, as he is experiencing pain from a kidney stone.) Please pray that everything is cleared up by Monday when camp starts. We have an awesome God. I was nearly crying in pain on the plane from the cabin pressure and the infection, and the Lord reminded me how he healed the guards ear that Peter had cut off. God was like, “You’re not even attacking me! Haha. Of course there is healing blessed to you.” It has been given, I have received it, and now I wait for the manifestation of it. I am calling it into being as though it already is.

3. Camp! We are expecting failure. I’m new. I’m not going to be perfect. Please pray that the failure is fun though. “Whelp! These dumplings failed.” *takes a big bite* “But it’s still delicious!” I say as all the kids look at me oddly. Please pray that things are Safe and Fun and IF the kids learn then great.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment. I trust that you will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as he guides you while you pray.

Thank you for your continued support. I really appreciate it.

再见!

List of weird things I have eaten in China:

  1. Cow’s neck
  2. Pig’s brain
  3. Some sort of bug
  4. Spicy Mango (not “weird” per se, but my Host gave me a weird look when I said it.)
  5. Scorpion! (Okay! Funny story with this. Eating Scorpion was like the one thing on my bucket list to do in China. So I get the opportunity to do so, and it just taste like cajun popcorn. Wonderful. THEN, the guy who sold it to me and my friends, was like, “Pay me twenty bucks, and I’ll eat a live one.” So we paid him, and MY DUDE ATE A FREAKING LIVE SCORPION. Then my Korean friend allowed a scorpion to run on his hand. I ate one, but I wasn’t adventurous enough to touch one.)

Yup. Bye!

Dreams Do Come True

Do you remember my first blog post, when I mentioned my goals? I really achieved maybe one of those short term goals, and I really haven’t achieved any of the long term ones. HOWEVER, I am one step closer. I still have a year of college to go until I graduate, which also means I have a year to go until I move to China, but I can proudly say that I am writing this in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China. I am interning at DT Club, having the time of my life. I have laughed a lot (admittedly gotten angry a few times), and successfully haven’t cried yet (though, I did want to at one point). The Lord has rested his hand on my shoulder and lead me to here. It is not a mistake, it is a fulfilled dream.

Shall I lead you through everything step by step?

“Elizabeth, I am incredibly interested in your life and what you’re doing. I love living vicariously (mostly boringly) through you and what you write, but I am busy. I do have a life outside of the few blog posts you remember to type out. Please, do try to keep it short.” (I’ll admit, I imagined this with a posh upper state New York voice.)

Fine. Short it is.

The plane ride was fourteen hours. I took the whole flight with a stranger who quickly became friend and soon roommate. We sat in a McDonalds in the Shanghai airport laughing and crying while trying to play card games for nine hours. We arrived in Wenzhou shortly after, and leaving the airport, stepping outside the doors onto actually ground, not another tiled flooring was like stepping through the door to my house after a fourteen hour car ride from Oklahoma to Michigan.

You know that feeling, surely. You’ve been sleeping in a hotel bed or one of those springy cabin beds at camp for a week or longer, and you can’t wait to get home to your bed. You walk through the door of your house and all you can think about is sinking into the memory foam under your cotton sheet and allowing your head to fall into the three pillows and five stuffed animals lining the headboard. At the same time, you are so excited to tell your family about your vacation that you don’t want to go to bed. You don’t know what to do so you kind of talk in circles and you don’t even know if your awake anymore. (No? Just me?)

That’s what it was like.

Everything I had ever seen in the dramas, been told by my teachers, and dreamed of for three years seemed to collide all at once, and everything I had prayed and begged God for, eagerly seeking after, was real.

That night, my new friend and I were thrown into meetings and work. DT didn’t waste time introducing us to classes and getting us teaching. I experienced little to know anxiety, pushed myself into stores alone so I could practice my Chinese (since I can only talk to the students in English), and enjoyed every minute.

Funny stories:

1) A girl leaned close to my ear and whispered, “Is your hair made of gold?”

I said, “Yes! It’s blonde.”

“Your hair is so pretty. I like gold. It looks like my dog.”

2) I kneeled down in front of a table of girls working on their discussion questions and asked, “Do you guys need help?”

“Yes!” the girl in the middle said.

“What is it?”

“Is your hair real?” All the girls leaned in. (Because blonde hair is so real, it’s important that they know.

“Yes, it is.”

They all gasped. The middle girl said, “It’s so pretty!”

Needless to say, my day was made both times.

What else should I tell you about?

Even now, my host family here are speaking in Chinese (Wenzhou dialect) to each other. I love it though. This is all the exposure I have been craving, and I am now receiving it.

“Did you experience any culture shock?”

Not really! I was a little surprised that they don’t flush their toilet paper. It’s taken me the week to get used to that. (OH MY GOSH IT HAS ONLY BEEN A WEEK.) I’ve been doing a lot of lesson planning, and trying to get my homework done too. I have loved the crazy, maniac like driving. Crossing the road is like a hit and miss. (Hopefully miss. I would hate to get hit.) I have really loved every second. Like I said: It was instantly home to me, and there has never been a moment when it hasn’t felt that way.

Here are some pictures. If you want more specifics let’s create some dialogue!

We were so tired after all of the plane rides! It was exhausting, but we powered through smiling, laughing, (and sleeping).

This was my first 包子steamed bun. It was delicious. Although my kids made fun of me for eating it before dinner, since it’s a breakfast food.

Here are some of my kids and I. I have no idea where we’re at. They gave me a tour around Wenzhou. We got on a bus, got off and ended up here and played some fun claw machines. (Also, I am guilty of talking to them in Chinese. But they talked to me in English, so it’s okay, right?)

Here is a night city view from my friends apartment. (It’s not that good, but it’s what you get. Although, the view from my new place is MUCH better.)

Here is this lake a few of my friends have been swimming in everyday. (I have not. They swim laps, and I like to float.) It is by far the most beautiful place I have been. It looks like a blue lagoon of sorts. (I think this is the first place I also heard someone call me a 老外 foreigner.

This is where I had 火锅 It was delicious delightful food. Also, I ate pigs brain! I ate a few other things too, but I don’t remember much. I was too busy drinking have a container of apple cider and two bottles of water. (I only ate from the spicy side.)

BREAKING NEWS

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*Trips on the red curtain as I move to take center stage* Quickly catches myself and straightens the imaginary crown on my head. *waves fancily* “Hello my lovely readers and strange narrator. Here is a quick recap of what has happened since we met.” *crickets from the empty audience* “Haha! Of course I’m not really going to talk about the past three months. More like the past week. Let’s get started.”

This is week has been disorienting as heck. I had some intense spiritual battles Monday and Tuesday night (nightmares and dissociating) and I’ve been scared to go back to sleep since. So what have I been doing? Binge watching Parks and Recreation. *naturally**as one does* ALSO I–the healthiest person alive–have a cold. I feel betrayed by my own body. It’s kind of annoying, but whatever. It’ll end soon.

I’ve barely been getting my posts up for the blogathon, but I have done them. I think I have missed one day. If I’m wrong, correct me. I’m not upset about it though. I’ll be happy to buy Tae dinner. Which, speaking of Tae, he redesigned his blog! Go look at it! I’m about to go do that. He’s amazing and if you’re interested in travel, you need to read what he’s writing about.

I finished another book. (It’s actually a book I bought last weekend on my birthday.) The book is Ryan Higa’s How to Write Good by (you guessed it) Ryan Higa. It was actually really good and inspiring. I’ll put a review of it up eventually. I’m about to start another book Autumn Princess, Dragon Child by Lian Hearn. It is the second book in the series The Tales of Shikanoko. Look forward to another beautiful cover.

Monday will be the start of dead week. (It’s crazy to think I have two weeks left before I move into this most beautiful mansion.) Surprisingly, I’m not stressed at all. I know God has things under control. As I keep reminding myself, His ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Already two classes have ended. I’m studying hard for Spanish, and I should be studying more Chinese. Things will work out. I trust God.

Keep me in your prayers as I will keep you in mine.

I love you all! 么么哒!

四大发明 – Four Great Invention

I thought I would go ahead and show you guys what I do and learn in Chinese class.

中国有四大发明:造纸,指南针,火药,和印刷。第一个发明是造纸汉字先写作子, 在甲骨中商代,以后汉字写在竹简上并且竹简记载了一起跟绳子。第二个发明是指南针,指南针是在战国时期的宋朝发明的。它发明了中宋代。以后阿拉伯人和帕西人学习了怎么用指南针。他们介绍了指南折到欧洲。第三个火药发明,火药发在隋唐。火药用硫化氢,木炭,和xiaoshi。中国人用火药在烟花。第四个印刷发明,在汉朝别贴和雕版是发明了。汉字刊在木头上。这种雕版会移动,用起来比较。毕升(970-1051)在宋朝发明了活字印刷。现在我觉得中国非常棒。

Translation:

China has four great inventions: paper making, compass, gunpowder, and printing. The first one is paper making. Chinese characters were first written on oracle bones during the Shang Dynasty; afterwards, characters were written on bamboo sticks, and they were tied together with string. The second one is the compass. The compass was invented during the Central Warring States during the Song Dynasty. Afterwards, Arabians and Persians learned how to make it, and they introduced it to Europe. The third one is gunpowder. Gunpowder was invented during the Sui and Tang dynasties. Gunpowder is made with sulfer, charcoal, and saltpetre. The Chinese use it in their fireworks. The fourth one is printing. During the Han Dynasty rubbing technique and block printing technique was invented. Chinese characters were engraved on small wooden blocks. This made the wooden blocked easy to move around. Bi Sheng (970-1051) later invented the movable-type printing in the Song Dynasty. Now I think China is great.

*If you have any improvements for this, let me know!

Welcome to 2018

I’m not going to bother much with a recap of the year. You know most of it by now anyway. I made new friends. I lost old friends. I made even more new friends. I cried. I laughed. I learned a lot from God and my school. In the end, here I am still alive, still kicking, ready for more.

To be honest, I haven’t done much planning or vision casting for 2018. I’ve been focusing on spending time with my family and enjoying them as much as I can. My plan was to just roll with whatever comes my way, continuing to love God and grow closer to Him. Since Thanksgiving break, I just came to the conclusion that I only want God’s love and I just simply want more of Him.

Therefore, the resolutions I quickly came up with are mostly abstract and can be interpreted however an individual wants. Please feel free to join me in them if you do so desire.

1. Learn the daily act of worship.

As I was praying about this, God said, “Keeping your room clean, is a good place to start worshiping me daily.” It brought me to the question of are my actions worshiping God?

2. Pray for a specific person every month.

I got this idea from seeing a post somewhere that said to pray for my future husband for 21 days. I thought that was a good idea, but decided to take each individual month to pray for a specific person. January will be for my future husband and then February I will pray for another friend.

3. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12(KJV)

Out of this passage, I understood that for me I need to love everyone, study to be quiet, do my own business, work with my hands, and walk honestly toward everyone.

4. Chinese – I don’t necessarily know what this looks like right now, but that’s alright. I have a page idea for my bullet journal to help me learn more Chinese.

5. There is a fifth resolution, but I’m not sure what it’s suppose to be. A friend recommended I make it “To drink more tea.” I figured why not, so I’m going to try to drink more tea this year.

What are your resolutions? If you need someone to help you stick to them, just let me know. I’m here. As the cliched saying goes, this will be your best year yet. God is always with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. I’m always praying for you all, my dears.

With much, much, much love, Elizabeth from 2018, new and improved (or about to be).

夕阳 – Sunset

夕阳落,红彤彤

红太阳粉天空。

云彩似火光櫈

雨后天边挂彩虹*。

Translation:

The sun falls, glowing red.

Red sun, Pink Sky.

The clouds like fire glow

After the rain everything is peaceful*.

*彩虹 means rainbow. I wanted to say it was all peaceful, however, to make it rhyme, my professor changed it to rainbow to make a peaceful setting without actually saying it.

Michigan in the Fall – 密歇根在秋天

Per my Chinese professor’s request, I will be posting weekly journals in Chinese, as well as nursery rhymes. Here is the first nursery rhyme. I hope you enjoy it.

密歇根,在秋天

五彩缤纷很鲜艳。

秋叶落,冬雪来

茫茫一片看不见。

Michigan in the Fall

All the colors are very bright

In Autumn the leaves fall, in Winter the snow comes

Everything is covered in white.

I’m really not 100% positive on my translation of this. It was a poem that my professor helped me write. If anyone knows of another way of translating this then please let me know.

Success or Fail?

This week was actually really good. I didn’t meet the goals I set…, which is horrible since I go back to college next Sunday. But I did get some writing done. I did do a little bit of reading, but not nearly as much as I should have done. After I’m done writing this, I am going to do some more editing and study some Chinese.

I found this really cool app/website called Coursera. It has a bunch of online courses available to take whenever. There are a ton of categories to choose from, and you can pay for the class or audit it. There is also some financial aid for those who can’t pay for the class.  While auditing is a great option for those who can’t pay, it does mean that there is some course work that can’t be accessed, but I still think it’s really cool. For me, someone who is super busy during the school year (and holds up a facade of business during the summer), the best part is the fact that it’s online. I can take the classes at my own pace, and learn on my time. Since I was homeschooled, I love this type of class/learning setting. It’s very comfortable to me.

It’s crazy that I’m down to my last week of summer before I go back to school, but I think I’m ready. I still feel there are some things that God is teaching me, but I know when the time comes, God will have completed the work He started in me at the beginning of the summer. One of those things, that will probably go with me into the semester, is I want to learn what it means to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.

I want to be able to love God to the fullest. More and more I am learning that it means not focusing on me but on God. It’s hard, but just in the few days that I’ve been quoting Deuteronomy and praying about it, I’ve learned a lot. It’s hard to pray that, then go do something and remind yourself that it’s not for you. Everything should be done all for the glory of God.

I’m loving it though. It’s amazing just how much more joy and love pours out of us for other people as we focus on God. The more of us we give up, the more of us He fills up. I would much rather be filled with God than with myself. I’m flawed and mess things up so many times, but He is perfect. In my weakness He is made strong, and that’s all I want.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  – 2 Corinthians 12:9

If I had to sum up my summer with God (even though I still have a week left) I would use the word trust. All summer God has taught me how much I need to trust in and rely on Him. I can’t do anything without Him, and He is still teaching me that. We’ll see what I have to say about all of this next Saturday. Haha.

Well, like I said, I plan on doing some editing and studying tonight.

再见!加油!Fighting! Good luck! Good bye!

 

**All in all, I think this week was a success.