Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beijing Zoo

Last month we went with the entire school
on a field trip to the Beijing Zoo and Aquarium.
That's Daniel with his class in front of the entrance.

It was a beautiful day and the zoo was pretty nice, so there were a few love connections between some students, sitting on benches in the willow trees.

Here are a few of my students from Class 2. I ate lunch with these three girls, kind of a BYOLunch. During that time, I was offered enough food for 4 lunches. The students are so generous! I just wish I liked chicken feet...

This next picture is of my students Robert, Johnny and Jane. Robert misses a lot of my classes due to his poor health. He almost didn't come back this semester but I am so glad he did. Many of the teachers who knew Robert last semester said that he is doing amazingly well this semester with his English and improving so much. Please think of him. Johnny was one of my star students and is a wonderful support and friend to Robert in the classroom. Jane and I have emailed each other a lot during the semester. She is wonderful and will return next semester which makes me so excited!

We are so blessed with our awesome students this semester. Here are a couple more favorites from our field trip. Enjoy!

This is the best shot I could get of the many pandas.

Monday, November 22, 2010

No-Shave November

I feel like I've never had so many questions. China is a land of questions for me..

What's the Chinese word for....?
Will the glass I run over everyday pop my bike tires?
Where are my ear muffs?
Should we stay in China another year?
Why is that truck honking at me?
What is that smell?!
How do I get a VPN so I can update my blog that's blocked in China?

Well, we got the last question answered and so far our bike tires are fine. A lot has happened of course since our last update. We moved from fall into winter...our students had their midterms...The school had a Halloween costume party and talent show. We made a video for the youth group at Cornerstone (Thanks Nathan and Grace Marie for helping us to send it!) Daniel and I have been discussion the "What next" question since our boss will soon be asking for commitments for next year.

China has many challenging and uncomfortable moments and I am finding that it can bring out the best or the worst in me. Today on my bike ride to school I had a dialogue with God. He is so gentle in the way he teaches and chides me. A couple of years ago, I memorized Psalm 46 with my dear friend, Dorothy. God brought to mind the verse: "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns."

The bike rides have caused me to dread each morning because of the cold and coughing fits I usually have. In my head, I complain, and if left to myself and my own thoughts, the mornings can set a horrible tone for the rest of my day. Today was different though, because I invited Him into my struggle with the pollution, sickness and the cold and he helped me to choose joy today. He flowed into my day and made me glad. I want every morning bike ride to be filled with him because without him in it, I'm a mess.

One beautiful color we appreciated this fall was yellow
another color is red :) Happy No-Shave November!