Showing posts from October, 2017

"What's the weirdest thing you've eaten?"

I wasn't a particularly picky eater when I first came to China, or so I thought. I've learned to be less picky. Here's the current list, as far as I can remember it. What I've learned to appreciate this year: Tripe.  (Hint: it tastes much better when it's only cooked in hot pot for about 15 seconds and not 15 minutes.) What I've learned to tolerate alright: "Ham."  Notice the quotation marks.  More like spam. "Sausages." Okay, I know sausages are always questionable.  Ditto with "hotdogs."  They're more  questionable in China. Cartilage. What I still think is gross and will actively avoid: Blood. (I think  I've only eaten this once...?) Silk worms. Any kind of worms, for that matter.  Once at a banquet in Xiamen was really enough. Durian pizza.  Phila talked me into giving it a try last week and I wasn't a fan of taste, smell, or texture. Large intestine.  Small intestine, fine, but large intestin

Consider the birds...

Often the windows on each landing in our stairwell are opened so that we get some fresh air.  Today, as I walked out to head to the office, I saw a bird frantically throwing itself against the glass; it had flown in, gotten disoriented, and wasn't able to figure out how to get back out through the narrow strip of open window. Trying not to freak it out any more, I reached over and slid one of the glass panels to give it a wider gap to escape through, but to no avail.  The bird continued to beat against the glass. My own heart felt like it was racing in sympathy.  Another teacher came through the stairwell as I stepped closer, boxing the bird in, and put my hands around it.  I was near tears and afraid that I'd hurt it; it was so small, so fragile, so frightened.  But I caught it and held it out into the air. It stilled in my hands for moment, and then flew away. (I think it was a red-breasted flycatcher; I found this picture on pinterest.) I am grateful for knowing

I get to live here! (second year reflections on His faithful goodness)

As we drove down the mountain from Hong Kou yesterday, heading home from city orientation, I remembered another drive down mountains in China.  It was almost six years ago when I was studying in China that we spent a few days up on a farm in the mountains of Guizhou, scraping off rust and old paint and applying new paint, shivering in the frigid, humid air, crowding around tables with hot pot and cupping our bowls as long as there was any warmth in them.  Those days were not what I'd call especially fun and certainly not comfortable, but they were some of my favorite days from that first semester in China. It was in the big dining room on that mountain in Guizhou, after dinner one night when we were sitting around playing games and talking by candle light (maybe the generator had gone out?) that I thought, I am content to be here.   Suddenly, that group felt like my people and China felt like somewhere that I lived, not just somewhere that I was visiting.  Yesterday,