Total Pageviews

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Friends and Old Lessons

Hello everyone, it has been awhile since my last post.  Not too much has happened since then, but i will let you in on what has aspired to the best of my ability.

School has been going well. Frustrating at times, I know in the end it will be so worth all the time and effort that i will put into it.  I just starting learning some sentence patterns.  It took two and a half weeks to get through the sounds and tones of the language.  At certain points it has been a little discouraging.  I am super thankful to have some routine in my life here. If i didn't have at least a little bit of routine I think i would go crazy pretty fast.  I have recently started playing ping pong at the break between classes with some other foreigners, and let me tell you it has helped a lot with dead brain syndrome, I don't think that is a legit diagnoses.  All in all class has been a real blessing.

I have been going to an English corner every Tuesday.  An English corner is where a foreigner, most likely, sets up a place to meet and practice English.  It is set up so Chinese people can practice their English with native English speakers.  It is a really awesome opportunity to build relationships with people.  I met a guy named Luke there. He is 29, and about to get his PhD in bio chemistry. Pretty intense if you ask me.  Anyway, i gave him my number and told him any time he needed anything or wanted to hang out just to call.

He did call a few days later and asked me to play basketball. If you know me you know i wouldn't turn down an opportunity to play some ball. So we met at the university where i attend to play. I was expecting it to be a shoot around with Luke, Rick, a friend who is my class, and myself.  When we got there there was like 20 courts and they were all full with chinese guys.  So we got a game going with another five guys, we played four on four. I was astonished with how good these guys were.  The worst part is they don't play by points, they don't keep score.  So after awhile after i felt like i was going to have a heart attack, they brought two new guys.  Yao Ming and Nate Robinson, for those who don't watch the NBA, Yao Ming and Nate Robinson are both in the NBA.  Seriously both these guys were so good. Rick guarded Yao Ming to the best of his abilities, and i tried to guard super point guard. They told us that this time they wanted to keep score, sure wear the Americans down to nothing  then pounce on them with two of your best, low blow China. So we ended up losing like 12 to 6. I know pretty sad.  It was a really fun time though.

Back to Luke. Luke and I were talking after the English corner about a week ago. The conversation was going well, we were just talking about life and school. I told him that i was in China to travel and visit, and learn the language. The convo turned to a topic that I was hoping for. Lets just say it was super encouraging to here what he had to say. I gave him the book Purpose Driven Life, and I will discuss it with him very soon. So some really encouraging things have happened lately. Truly the only thing that matters in this life is the relationships we form with other people. I thought i should share that story with you all, i am sorry details were a little blurry. That is some of what has been going on in the last 3 weeks. Hope it wasn't too boring.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back Into the Swing

Hello everybody out there. I hope life is treating you all well and keeping you on your toes.  Lately I have been looking at my life with critical eyes. I have figured out that I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize that i have played it safe.  Look back on my days and see that I never risked anything for the greater good of people.  Only because i was worried about my life and how it would turn out for me.  I don't want to live a life that gratifies my comfort at the cost of others suffering.  I am tired or worrying about what tomorrow holds, when there are so many needs to be met all around me in the present.  I am writing this because i see it in my life.  I all to often forget how short life is, how fragile it is.  I am coming against my faults, fear, distrust, selfishness, and pride.  It scares me when i think that i could live my whole life, and still miss the big picture. I might be ignoring the poor man outside my gate, and not even see it. This is something that i have been processing lately.  I hope this opens some eyes that have been distracted or temporarily shut.  I know that in my own life i have realized that i have been living a half truth. I know that it will be challenging to get out of the rut i have been in. I know also it is possible.

As far as the title of this blog goes.  I started Chinese language classes on Monday.  I have a whole new respect for everyone in our family here who speaks the language. Especially my lovely sister Heather.  Who can speak very well. And who is the mother of four children, six if you include Matt and I.  It has been a lot of fun starting to learn the tones and some pronunciations of simple words.  They aren't kidding you when they say Chinese is one of the hardest languages to learn.  I am thankful for a small class of three. One of the guys in the class is a friend of the family and has studied for six months already. He is super helpful when i just don't get it.  Which is a decent amount of the time.

 I am excited for the challenge of learning Chinese. A little fearful of the days when i will be so tired of trying that I won't want to go to class. But for those days i have an amazing family to show me i am loved even though i can't speak Chinese worth a garbage. I have a brother who will tell me my tones are spot on, when in his head he is thinking, he is doomed. And three beautiful nieces who will show me love even when i am grumpy in the mornings.  I am very thankful for Matt and Heather right now.  Without them i would not be here in China. I know that this time will be filled with adventure, trial, growth, and fruit.  I am excited for what the future holds, yet devoting my full attention to the present.  Living by example as best i can.