Foggy Day

China
Blog A15

08-02-2009

Foggy Day

I woke up today and thought of
Carl Sandburg’s poem when I looked out the window.

FOG

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

The main difficulty just now is that the fog is not moving on. There is no
breeze and the humidity seems to be rising, so that it is getting denser (is
that a word?).

The weather here with all the humidity is lovely for the softness of my hair,
but it has awakened all the unruly curls I enjoyed forgetting that I had. I
either have to find a way to make the curls less frizzy, or some really good
hairspray. At any rate, just now, a hair dryer is kind of a pointless tool
since I mainly used it to straighten the curls.

We rode the taxi into the city yesterday to go to church. $25 U.S. each way!* That certainly
can’t continue. Next week someone will show us how to take the bus. It was a
nice meeting. People were very friendly and it was nice to be able to
understand what people were saying and have them understand us. Apparently the
attendance is down right now but will pick up when school starts and people
come back from vacation. Our girls will double the size of the Young Women’s
group. I’m just glad to hear that there are some other youth for them to make
friends with. Most of them also live here in Clifford. In the Young Men’s
group, three of the boys’ names start with "J" and only one person’s
doesn’t. It’s pretty funny.

I can hardly wait to get into a home and be able to start taking Mandarin
lessons. I feel like such a dullard not being able to speak the language here.

The school admissions test is out of the way and we just await word of whether
or not they are accepted. They seem to be highly motivated to accept
Western-looking, native English-speaking students, since it is highly ironic
for the "American" international school to have predominantly Korean
passport holders and Asian-looking students. I know if they go there, my kids
will be pushed academically, which I think will be very good for them. In the U.S., a good
education is taken for granted and many have the attitude that it should be
made easy and handed to them. Here, people work very hard for the opportunity
of good schooling and take it seriously because they know that they will need
the knowledge in order to have a successful future. All you have to do is walk
outside a few blocks and you have ready testimony to what life is like without
education. Still, this school is American in style rather than the Chinese
"eat-sleep-and-breathe-your-studies" type of school. Many families
want this school, just because they know it allows them the best chance to have
an education plus some family time.

I’m so grateful for the chance to get on here and post. Sometimes you don’t
even realize all the freedoms you have, until someone comes along and limits
them or takes them away.

 

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