So much to say!

7 09 2005

Where to even begin? Let’s see, well, today we went to the other campus of the university, and visited a few dance classes, and music lessons. We saw ballet, traditional Chinese, and Indian dance, and I got to observe two voice lessons, one that was a Chinese operatic song, and the other that was “I don’t know how to love him” from Jesus Christ Superstar. I loved the fact that I could tell what the instructor was trying to convey most of the time because I’ve heard all those same things before a hundred times. “sing from your diaphram” “don’t trap the sound in your throat” “sing through the hollow space between your eyes at the top of your nose (this is usually conveyed by holding the bridge of the nose at the top and making an upward motion :)” Hehe, it is all so familar, only they stopped their students every third note, and that would have driven me INSANE. This evening, some of us girls joined a group of women who get together in the evenings to “dance-exersize”. It was loads of fun, but sometimes difficult to follow.
Yesterday I had an adventure! Matt and I were assigned as partners to go exploring some of the local area around the college, more towards the outskirts of town. In China there’s such an odd mixture of different kinds of building closer to the edge of town, small residencial areas can be right next to high rises that are being constructed that can be right next to well cultivated parks with amazing waterfountains. It’s kind of bizzare. Another bizzare thing is that often stores that sell the same thing are all clumped together, so you get “sports street” and “silk street” It’s so weird to ride by a whole row of like 11 small stores that all sell lock boxes and security doors. Anyways, I was telling the “adventure” story. Matt and I started out by having lunch that we ordered kind of haphazerdly from a cheat sheet that the Rushes had given us, and almost got what we asked for. Then we took bus 56 out of the city about 3 stops before the woman drive turned back to us, the only remaining passangers, and started rattling off in Chinese. She probably wanted to know where we wanted to go, but we decided it was easier to get off. Across the highway was a really pretty garden, so we crossed and started walking across it. We continued on and found ourselves in a large complex that’s main purpose seemed to be the growing of plants for sale. There were huge green houses, but it was also a mini city of sorts with some helpful maps at some corners that even had english. The place was really well kept up especially by Chinese standards, and and we meandered through for a while kind of making a semi-loop. We were going at a fairly good clip, and so we just kept walking. We eventually started getting out more into the “boonies”, and past smaller homes, and small fields with a large veriety of crops in each one. Oh, right before this we saw a really big beautiful mini-mansion. I’m guessing the owner of the plant company or something. Anywho, in the more rural part that we walked through, I heard a dog bark for the first time here in China. I had noticed that although there were quite a few dogs around they never ever barked. It has to be a trained thing. After walking for a while on the dirt road through some village type area, we finally came to a large road in the making, and headed towards a large road that we saw to our left. My instincts told me that this road would meet up with the main one we had come on if we turned left on it and just kept walking for a ways. This ended up to be true in the end, but what we really did was walk a long ways on it, tried to ask for directions a couple times and totally failed even though I had the college name written in charactures, and then retraced our steps alway back through the village area and the plant farm, and back to the main road. We were walking for almost 3 hours. I was really tired by the end, and discoved that I had a really weird looking sun burn after I woke up from my 2 hour nap. I had played soccer the night before, and my legs are still trying to recover. By the way, playing soccer and being the only girl is kind of difficult. Ok, there’s so much more I could say, but I should quite there. I’m sure I’ll get a chance to talk about more of the stuff on my mind later. Oh! My new Chinese name is He Si Lan. Si Lan being the given name and meaning “missing a beautiful flower” it took a bit, but I really like now. Love Steph




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