Wednesday, April 16, 2014

March in China

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March has come and gone as I’ve now been here for 2 months! So many things have happened, hopefully I’ll remember it all. We had our first test in our Chinese language class about 2 weeks ago. It was hard, but halfway through the test (which was written all in Chinese characters), I realized that I am learning Chinese and able to read! G-d is so amazing to give us the ability to be able to learn other languages when we put ourselves to the task of learning them!

Sunset from our roof & Chinese language class--I can read that!

With the 15th year anniversary performance coming up in May and a student performance in April, we went from our normal 14 hours a week of dancing to 33 hours a week on top of our Chinese language classes. Life is really busy as we are dancing about 5-7 hours a day. The director of the School of Opera and Music (which includes the dance school) came by to check one of our pieces for the 15th year Anniversary performance that has 73 people in it. He made a few suggestions on the dance and we have been applying them in later rehearsals. We have been practicing many new dancing including Mongolian dancing. During the Mongolian dance we hold 4 little glass bowls in our hands and clink them together similar to castanets. It’s a little stressful because we are quickly moving our body around and if we open our hand slightly too big, the bowls slide out and break. It’s really fun though!

Some of our dance friends and the sunset from one of our studios

Our dance building

Rehearsal with 73 people

Cece, Diana, Aida

Grace, Bella, and Karissa

Cece, Diana, Aida

Part of our dance group

Rehearsals.....lots and lots of rehearsals...

Some resting dancers.....and bruised knees! Bruises show hard work and effort!

Some of the relaxing things we have done in March include more friendship/bonding times with the locals. We’ve met many friends including Liu Gui Zher (Jenny), Aida, Diana, Cece, Michelle, Sueng, Wuya, Daniel, Nick, Ben, Stella, Isaac, Molly, Snow, Cory & Crystal (who just got engaged!), Dodo, Zoe, Lucita, Pingpong, Miaomiao, and many more! Our Chinese language teacher, Liu lao shi (lao shi means teacher), took us to get our nails done. It was a fun time for us roomies to hang out and have a girly day! Also, Grace and Karissa got to go to a tutor center one afternoon and visit with some Chinese middle school kids. They were so excited to meet foreigners!

Liu lao shi and us getting our nails done

Liu Gui Zher, Grace, and Kirsti

More friends and roomies!

Grace and Karissa at the tutor center

Our small group

Grace and I also got to join Liu Gui Zher (Jenny) and make dumplings (jiaoci). The chef showed off some of his skills and made angel hair pasta with his hands. It was incredible to watch! Inside the dumplings we made some pork with seasoning, some egg and chive, and some vegetable and seasoning. We even got to eat the dumplings that we had made. They were really delicious!

Making jiaoci!!!! (Chinese dumplings)

Grace and a friend                    Wuya and me

Some of the 'stuffing' inside jiaoci. I got one to look 'normal'!

Jiaoci being placed in the boiling water

Eating our jiaoci......thank you Liu Gui Zher for inviting us! 

One day we had a sudden wind/sand storm. It was painful to be outside as the sand got in your eyes, teeth, hair, and pelted against your skin. The next day though, the skies were beautiful blue and sunshine! We also had no water delivered that same day. It was a new experience with a sand storm and no water!
This is what the sky looked like during the sand storm

Even the weather channel said it was sand/windy....and then their were blue skies the next day.

Another social event we got to attend was KTV. KTV in China is really popular. You rent a room for a selected amount of time and basically do karaoke with all your friends. You get to choose the songs and sing on the microphone. It was a lot of fun! 

A cute litte kid in the taxi car we took

KTV with friends!

The TV screen for KTV

Me and Tapuka and Me and Grace

Us girls singing!

Around campus, life has been pretty normal. A couple of weeks ago, my dad was at a food show with my grandfather and so I was able to FaceTime my dad and see my grandfather too. They also have been restoring the campus to get it ready for the 15th year anniversary.

Sunshine on a bright day and my little friend Joanna

Art hanging for sale on campus

A cute little kid in the back seat of his car

Moving trees to update the campus

Facetiming my grandfather and my favorite spot on campus

Another gorgeous sunset and Chinese ladders...they are so scary!

Blue skies and our dorm at night

A cute little girl at a local bus stop

A neat path I found near campus and another college nearby in the city

We also go to go to a strawberry farm and pick strawberries. It was a lot of fun. You could eat as many as you could pick. Suffice to say that I’m all ‘strawberried out’ for a while!

Grace, Isaac, and me at the strawberry patch

Strawberries and Rochelle with some nearby flowers

Strawberry picking with friends!

This little kid was having the time of his life!

Pr-ise report: Thankfully, Karissa’s lost luggage finally arrived 2 weeks later than when she arrived. She was very happy to finally have a few new outfits and dance attire! Pr-yer requests: There has been a lymph node on my neck that has been really swollen for about 4 weeks now. I have sought medical counsel from American doctors and if it doesn’t go away soon, I will probably need to begin the process of getting it checked out here. Please pr-y that it will go away! 

Karissa and her luggage and a gorgeous sunset!

Living in China, we have the ability to have access to some of the most amazing food on the planet! My sister asked me to take a picture of every new food I eat, so here are some more amazing Chinese food dishes! Nearby we have what we call food street with so many different types of food from all different provinces in China. It's really exciting especially at night!

Food street!!!!

Mushroom and leek on rice and Tomato soup with noodles

Anybody for some chicken or dried squid snack? =)

Anyone for some knee cartilage? =)

I tried these dried fish. They are covered in sesame seasoning and are so yummy!

The soup is from a southern province that has meat and potatoes with rice and fried potatoes. The other dish is broccoli, eggs, and tomatoes with bean sprouts. Both are really delicious!

Sometimes I make my own dinner (green beans, chicken, tomatoes) and sometimes I eat 'sushi' (it's all veggies and imitation crab-but really good)

Spring is still here in China and it continues to amaze me with the beauty of the flowers and the creativity of our G-d!

Beautiful flowers

Bright colors and cherry trees

Yellow forsythia and magnolia flowers!

On a more spir-tual note, something He's been teaching me lately is patience and how to respect authority even when they might be in the wrong. It's actually amusing to me as the one class that I'm continuing from my school in America (IH-PU) while I'm here is about true spir-tual leadership and authority. I think it's amusing that not only am I intellectually learning about these things from my class, but He has placed me in a context where I am having to live out the circumstances too. Leadership is one of the hardest crucifying type things that can be done (Allen Hood). One of the hardest situations to be in is teaching your leaders how to lead well, while still being under their leadership. It's hard to respect them and show them what true leadership looks like while still being under them and not usurping their authority. True leadership is a daily dying to yourself so that you can help others gain victory and freedom in Chr-st. I've been learning that it's not my place to justify myself, but that G-d will vindicate me. When something has been done wrong to me by a leader, if I bite my tongue and ask G-d to make it right, He will come to my rescue and change the heart of my leader. But when I try to correct it myself and clear my own name, the situation only seems to get worse. He has been faithful to lead me and guide me well in accepting the cross daily and learning how to be a good leader. It's exciting to get to partner with His heart and the way He runs His kingdom. He really is a good shepherd!

Beautiful sunset in China

***When commenting, please be sure to code all r-ligious words for my safety! Thanks!***

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed the new pictures and the relationships that you are developing with your fellow dance friends as particularly with the local Chinese!