I have always been more of an introvert, I’m not usually one to be gregarious. Before coming to China I decided I needed to expand my horizons, push myself out of my comfort zone, and become more of an outgoing person. Through doing this I am slowly starting to become the woman I have wanted to become. I secretly hoped before I came that this trip would help me discover who I was, and it is starting to. There are times when I wonder if I can hold down the food, or try to explain something, or understand, or find my way home but it’s pushing me in a good way. – ok enough of the sentimental stuff here is what my day consisted of.
Headed to HSH after a breakfast of coffee and freshly baked scones! I arrived and was told I was going somewhere in a van with three people. I figured this out after a couple of minutes of understanding a few of the words and hand motions. I kept a smile on my face and nodded, telling her I understood and that it sounded good…?! Haha I had no clue where I was going or what I was doing but I hoped in the van with two big boxes and we were on our way. Right before we pulled away Christina, one of the head leaders ran to the van opened the door looked at me and said something to me very quickly and in Chinese then closed the door. I had no clue what she said other than I understood the words van, drive, home, no, thank you, and noon. As I went to answer I somehow managed to swallow my gum in the process and my answer was more like “sh-gum going down throat-ir.” Yeah… haha only me! We were off and heading in the direction of my compound. The one girl with us was yelling directions and laugh because the driver kept missing turns and laughing. They all were joking back and forth and I sat there trying to figure out what they were saying. They figured out I could understand parts if they spoke slowly and could figure out what they were saying… they spoke quickly and laughed a lot. Hmm haha. I just smiled and was still confused at where we were going and what I was doing. Soon we were 2 blocks from my compound and then pulling into Lee’s compound. We pulled up to the community center which is Pudong’s community center- it’s confusing. Anyways we got out and took the boxes upstairs to a big room with other tables. Turns out it was a fundraiser for different programs and there was a speaker and everything. We sold some stuff and I learned a lot more Chinese!! Lee was there selling books and so I talked to her for a bit then Ms. Evelyn came by to drop off some of the scones she made for the bake sale. A little after noon I walked home and had lunch and Chinese tea with Ms. Evelyn.
The tea was great, the company better! We talked for about an hour telling about our day and talking about the different things going on in our lives. We then got a rags and a bucket of water and headed downstairs to clean the electric bike off. Ms. Evelyn told me while helping me clean it, “Chelsea you have dirt on your face. You are too white… the dirt shows so much!” haha. After cleaning it we turned it on, I figured out how to work it and man that thing can go fast! Ms. Evelyn said it’s mine while I’m here, I already took it around the block. Now mom especially, I know you are probably freaking out right now because you have experienced the craziness of Chinese drivers, but I will be careful!! As long as I always look in every direction and expect the worst from other drivers I will be fine. I’ll experiment on it more tomorrow and maybe get some pictures of me on it! I had a relaxing rest of the afternoon and helped Bryan with his math homework – I wish I was in 5th grade again!
Kristen, one of the girls I met the other night, called me and asked if I wanted to go to dinner and a play with her and Lee, and of course how could I say no! I had sweet and sour chicken, which by the way is so much better here than it is in America, spring rolls, and rice. We saw The Sound of Music at one of the American schools, it was phenomenal, the youngest was 4 and absolutely ADORABLE, she could sing and she could dance and she was the cutest thing ever. The talent was amazing; some of the high school kids had extraordinary voices! We walked home and now I am heading off to bed. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I didn’t have my camera with me most of the day.