A Saturday of Visitors

Coloring Eggs with the Kids

            For those that follow my website, you already know that Saturday afternoon is my time with the neighborhood kids.  I have an open door policy from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday for those children who want to hang out in the foreigner’s apartment.  I have regulars who come often and then those that pop in for a visit every couple of months.

            We put together puzzles, play with the remote car, enjoy snacks and sometimes do holiday activities.

            What holiday is fast approaching?  It’s Easter! And what makes Easter fun?  Egg coloring!

            Yesterday afternoon had those present coloring eggs.  Amy, Joe and Annie were my only visitors, meaning that they had a lot of eggs to take home in their Dollar Store Easter bags. (I made sure to stock up on those years ago in the US and I still haven’t used them all.)

 Dinner with Bill

           That evening, one of my 1st year students, Liang Jinbao(whose English name is Bill), came over for a lesson in US table manners. 

            Bill is quite the keen language learner, visiting the English Center daily to practice his conversation skills.  He recently won our school’s Master of Ceremonies (MC) contest and was offered the job to MC our upcoming English Language Singing Contest.  This was such a hit with the students last year that we’re having another one.  Both a Chinese language MC and an English language MC will be present, translating one another’s banter and introductions for judges and audience alike.

            Bill had a choice, to be in the contest as a singer or to MC it.  With some guidance from me, he decided that being the host is a better opportunity to gain experience in English public speaking and quick-thinking skills in our language.  Thus he’ll be in front of the crowds when the competition takes place.

            For our evening together, I set the table as we would in the States and waited for Bill’s arrival.  Being a thoughtful guest, he brought flowers (3 fresh carnations) which immediately went on our table as our centerpiece. 

            He also brought jiaozi (dumplings) and a raw-fruit salad from a nearby seller at the back gate.  This comprised our meal for the night.

            After receiving instructions on how to use the knife and fork, as well as napkin etiquette, Bill dug in. 

            As his Emily Post, I would have to say he did an excellent job for his first time handling the entire process of dining American style, which included not only table manners but conversational skills as well.  It’s not easy to eat politely while talking.  In China, we usually just hunker down to the eating part without saying much of anything.  Lip smacking, slurping, open-mouth chewing, and spitting bones onto the table or floor is quite common in China. 

            None of that at Connie’s table, that’s for sure!

            So here’s a toast to Bill, for being brave enough to ask for lessons and even braver still for eating under his foreign teacher’s critical eye. 
            Well done!  You’d make any American host or hostess proud.

            Ping An (peace) from Longzhou.  Here’s wishing you a great weekend!

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About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 18 years as an English language teacher. 13 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my second year in Guangxi Province at the 3-year college, Guangxi Normal University for Nationalities. The college is located in smalltown longzhou, 1 hour from the Vietnam border.
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