November was a month of making new friends, trying new things, and life generally falling together in a wonderful way. Moving back to China in mid-September was difficult for me in more ways than one, but I am happy to say that November seems to have finally settled me back into my life here, and brought more people and opportunities for whom I am very thankful. My Chinese is improving drastically, and so I am able to interact with my students more than ever, and try to love them as much as possible. The foreign community in China is constantly in flux, old friends leaving and new friends arriving, which can be just as intensely frustrating as it is rewarding. This month has been filled with new friends who I’ve felt blessed by, as well as who I feel I have been able to help and support as well.
Here are just a few moments I highlighted on Facebook from this month, omitting anything I already mentioned in my Thanksgiving post.
They didn’t have apple pie. I asked.
These guys were very friendly and interested in my status as a foreigner. They wanted me to share a beer with them, so I had a glass before going back to my friends. It was very funny.
My church hosted a soup fellowship. A number of us made soups and everyone in attendance got to try each and vote. Mine did not win, but it was also my first ever attempt at making soup. It was a wonderful way to celebrate fall American style, however.
Stan is part of my band and an amazing musician. He asked me to join him at an open mic night at a coffee shop. We were definitely not the best musicians there, but we had fun.
A friend of mine organized a game of flag football on the beach the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I didn’t play (because my hip injury is still healing) but I acted as photographer as large groups of Chinese gawkers flocked around us.
Last but certainly not least, the most exciting news of all! My friends Nicole, Liz, and I are going to spend two weeks in the Philippines over Chinese New Year in February! Our friend Hannah is Philippino and is moving back to Manila in January. We will spend 5 days touring Manila with Hannah as our tour guide, followed by eight days sun bathing on the tropical island of Boracay, considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world. I had a number of disappointments in trying to travel last year, so I am praying that this trip will work out.