Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Class Quotes

New students and a whole bunch of new memories...

Americans eat sandwiches every day. Like the TV show Friends.

Student-Americans are ego.
Me-Do you mean they have a big ego?
Student-I mean they only think about themselves. They are selfish.

Student-I know someone who is suitable for you. I have a friend. He is 24. He is single. He is a Christian.
Me-Thank you for the suggestion.

Where are you from? Your earrings look like they are from India.

Can you teach me how to make friends?

I want to learn how to be optimistic.

Do you remember me? You told me I looked old.

Can you tell us about Western Kentucky University?

I want to know why the Apple president resigned.

Can you dance?

Can you teach me how to make-up?

Male Student-Can you tell the girls not to be shy with the boys?

My name is Will. Like where there is a will there is a way.

Haiby-My name is Haiby.
Angie-Strange name.

Why is the divorce rate in America so high?

You should smile more. It will make us feel more relaxed.

Your eyes are very big.

Your nose is very high.

Your smile is so kind and warm.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of School

School is wonderful. Sometimes during the semester I think, "Is this my life? Semester after semester...Over and over again...?" And I doubt what I am doing. I doubt why I am here and where I am. I remember my desire to be famous or important and have some sort of status in the world. I want to leave my mark. I want to be known in the world.

But then I remember my call to be minial. To be normal. To be regular. My call to a mundane and repeitious life. When you first read that, it might seem bothersome or sad. But I see the beauty in it. Dying to myself and my own selfish desires for something higher.

Who says I can't have an impact as a teacher? Who says I can't have influence? Who says I can't be used in the smallest of ways? Who says what I do is insignificant? Who says what I do is small and useless? Well, the Lord stomps out those lies.

Monday Classes from michelle on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Moon Cakes

A couple blog posts back I told you about my new baking friend. I will now refer to her as Sara Lee. Sweet Sara Lee. I really LOVE her. She is a true gem and I think there is a lot in store for our friendship.

I also love zucchini bread. Recently Wal-Mart had some zucchinis, so I shredded it and froze it. I decide to thaw some out and make some muffins for her.

I went to her shop around 4 that day. She was really excited to see me and greeted me with a warm hug. I gave her the muffins and she was eager to try them. Then she said she had to make something. I could tell I had surprised her a little. But I told her I would just sit and talk and help if she would let me. She said she needed to get things ready and then I could help. So, I sat and waited.

Later, when all things were ready, I found out we were making moon cakes. There is a Mid-Autumn Festival here. And moon cakes are a must-have. They are a sweet or sour or meaty or fruity pastry. I had never made them before, but I was really curious how they are made.

Fruit filling is rolled into a ball. The outer batter/dough is wrapped around it. Then a moon cake press is used to force it into the final shape. It was really fun. For the first 20. I’m pretty sure we ended up making 200+.

I should tell you moon cakes are like a very dense pastry. When I heard moon cake, I thought of moon pie. Chocolately, soft with marshmallow filling.

I really enjoy practicing language with her. She really tries to help me understand. Her English is better than she thinks it is. Anyways, she was asking me if American men are “big?” Or I thought she was saying big. I also heard her say something about wife. I was really confused, but I said yes anyway. I know most people here think Americans are big. We are. But we are bigger than the average national here. I then tried to tell her men in America are bigger than national men. She starts cracking up!!! Like really laughing. I couldn't understand. But then it all came together. She said, “Not big! Beat! Do they beat their wives? Do American men hit their wives?” I literally said, “Oh!!!” And then said I sorry and embarrassed. But yes, it happens sometimes. But I said I’m sure it happens here too. She agreed.

When I think I've got a handle on the language, I’m reminded there is so much more to learn. In all things…

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Olympic Day (Part 2)

If you have not read Olympic Day Part 1, you should go and read it now.

Olympic Day Part One

There is a large square in my city. I don’t know if these things actually exist in America. It’s a large flat area where people can go hang out. Sometimes there are dances, performances, movies, celebrations, lots of people. It’s a free-to-use-space for anyone. It’s fun to go to. This particular night was a the Olympic Celebration. The city wanted to encourage people to be healthy and remember the Olympic Games from 2008. So, there was a performance from different sports.

As my friend, Summer and I were waiting for it to begin, we went to say hi to her friend. When we found the Latin dance “team,” I found out I had two friends of my own who were in the performance. They were quite excited to see me there. Then all of the sudden, there was a woman shouting at me to come to her. Quickly! So, I ran over there and Summer told me we were supposed to wear these sporty shirts and represent the ping pong group. But I told her, I can’t play well and I didn’t want to perform. Summer said she didn’t think we actually had to perform; it was all just for appearance purposes. So, I agreed to it, but I was still a little nervous that I was being lied to.

The show began. There was a TV station there and there were some boring speeches. But THEN everyone stood up and my friend told me we had to take an oath. Of course, just for appearances. I became really nervous. I didn’t want to take an oath. I didn’t even know what was being said. Summer said it was something about promising to be healthy and encourage others and help the city, blah, blah, blah. However, I refused to raise my hand or repeat the words.

After the Latin dance, Summer and I decided to do a little walking. We mostly talked about nothing. But I moved the conversation to spiritual things. She said she wants to read the Bible sometime together. And she said she’s interested, but so busy right now. She is studying for a bunch of tests. But she is confused about Christianity. She thinks it’s all based on what you do and don’t do, how much good you put in the world. That is one of the most frustrating things to hear from someone. She then told me about a “Christian” she met in another city. She smokes and drinks which other than doing those things in EXCESS and UNRESPONSIBLY, I don’t really have a problem with. But then Summer told me about the girl’s other activities with boys and saddened my heart to know she was tarnishing the name of my Lord and God. To ruin His reputation is one of the worst things she could do.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Olympic Day (Part 1)

Who knew it was Olympic/Athlete Day on 08/08? Well, I have heard two different things. Today is the second Father's day. The number 8 in language sounds like father in the language. I also heard that today is the day that the Olympic Games opened in 2008. So, it's like "be fit" day. Little did I know what was in store...

I had a lazy morning but started my afternoon with lunch at one of my favorite restuarants. It's rice and veggies cooked in a clay pot. Yummy! Then I headed to my favorite coffee place to read a while. PAUSE-BREAK While in language tutoring this morning I said a little prayer about wanting to find someone to practice with. UNPAUSE I enjoyed my Blue Berry soda while reviewing memory verses and got a Iced Americano to go from the coffee shop. I walked across the street to the "Bakery Store." I wanted to buy some cream to ATTEMPT to make Mango Sorbet.

After finding exactly what I wanted, I went to the "register" to pay. And that's when the humbling began...I believe the cream cost 40 units and I had 38. I was so embarrassed. But because I go "often," the boss-lady was super nice and said it didn't matter. As I'm getting ready to go, I hear everyone talking about me in language, which is not uncommon. They are saying I'm a teacher at the university and I am American. All true. Then one of the customers asked me if I wanted to be her friend. I misunderstood, because I'm awesome like that, and thought she asked if I had a boyfriend. So, when I said I don't have, everyone burst into laughter. She smiled and repeated herself. Then I told her I could be her friend. The plan was she was going to help me with language and I was going to help her with English. Prayer Answered

So, we decided we would go have tea together. But first she had to go to somewhere to make something. I should've guessed what, we did meet in a bakery supply store. Then she told me we could go on her motorbike. It's more like a scooter, but I was super excited. Then it got even better. She had a helmet for me to borrow!!!! So, we hop on and scoot all the way across town. She is giggling the whole time and every time she speaks or I speak. This is really okay with me because that is how I feel about the whole situation. We arrive at her place of business. She bakes cakes. So, for about 2 hours I sit and watch her make cake things and ask about her family and life. It was super fun!!! I really loved it.

I have to tell her I have to go though because I'm supposed to watch a Latin dance performance with a friend. She walks me to the bus stop and she lets me know she really wants to meet again and practice English again. I tell her I would love to see her again. Maybe next week I'll make cookies and visit her.


Saturday, August 6, 2011