I charged the battery on my bike all last night so I could ride it today. Had some teddy grams and apple and headed to the community center to meet Ron and Allie. I got all the information about paintball and headed to Concordia, one of the American schools here. Set my table up and sat throughout the lunches trying to get kids to sign up…. You would think a bunch of middle school boys would jump at this inexpensive opportunity…. I only got a couple kids to sign up. I think we have 20 total right now but seriously?!
On my way back to the community center I decided to take a detour to Starbucks. One of the nice things about Starbucks, aside from their coffee, is their smell. All Starbucks whether you are in North Carolina, Pudong, or any of the other places I have been they all smell the same. You open up the shop door and the deep, strong smell of fresh coffee envelopes you. I got my coffee and made my way upstairs to sit and look out the window. It was like I was back home again, the taste, the smell, even the look. The only difference is that if the only seat available is one at somebody else’s table, here in China you could sit there without a weird look or having the other person leave. I thoroughly enjoyed my drink and then hopped on my bike and headed back the community center. On the way back my bike decided to die on me so I had to pedal the rest of the way.
After a short nap I woke up with a sore throat, ate a quick dinner, and headed over to Lee’s house. Lee, Kristen, Natalie, Adrienne, and I all went out for desert at “The Kitchen,” a nice place next to the water. We had a wonderful time and ate delicious deserts! Sadly Adrienne is the first to leave and so this was a kind of farewell to her as well. We said our goodbyes and all headed home after a fantastic evening. On a side note I have to say that I have never felt more comfortable being a woman and walking around somewhere. Even back home in my own backyard or in Charlotte I don’t usually feel safe. Here I have no problem walking around our compound late at night or being with a group of girls downtown, I feel and am, safe. Don’t worry I am still cautious J haha.
Anyways I got home and had a very sore throat, attempted to go to sleep and my throat got worse. I went through my bags looking for some of the Halls I brought but they are missing. I noticed once I got here that some of my stuff is missing… I know they went through my bags at the airport but I’m missing a few t-shirts, Tylenol PM, Halls, and a few other things – A bit odd! By about 2am I had a fever and my whole body ached. I went downstairs and made some tea and looked for anything to take. Without luck I came back upstairs and attempted to sleep. I was up all night and then had to help out at one of the schools so I headed off to SCIS with Ron. We were there for a couple of hours then headed home. I got home and came to lie down, Ms. Evelyn wanted to take me to the doctor because I didn’t look well and I was burning up but I told her to give it another day or two. I took some Chinese remedy stuff and some more Dayquill and went to bed. I slept the rest of the day and Ms. Evelyn kept checking on me, I have the best Chinese mom ever! I slept until about 1am got up managed to eat something and drink a bit, and then fell back asleep and didn’t wake up until this morning.
Today my driver took me to SAS which is actually the school Andrew and Bryan attend. I met up with Ron and we found a table, he had a meeting to go to so I sought out kids to come play paintball. To my surprise Andrew and Bryan both said hello to me and came and talked to me!! I thought with them being in 5th and 8th grade they might be embarrassed to have me talk to them… but nope! Even their friends who I knew said hi to me! SAS is about a 45 minute drive from our house so my driver waited for me to bring me back. Ron came with us and we stopped at Johnny Moos for lunch – I had an amazing cheeseburger. My driver dropped Ron off at the community center then took me home.
I dragged myself up the 5 flights of stairs up to our house and got some more meds. Ms. Evelyn and I then headed out to the fabric market to pick up our dresses. Hahaha what an experience!!! We went to the one making the summer dress first. Well he held up a sheet and told me to try it on haha. So I slipped off my shirt and pulled the dress over, only to find out it only covers half my chest and one strap is crooked. For the record this was a new guy we were trying and will NOT go back to. He dropped the sheet to see and he was like “Its ok its ok, and started trying to move it around.” One thing here is if you don’t like it they try to tell you its ok. Hahaha even if it obviously is not ok! By now an audience has formed as this guy is trying to make it fit. I couldn’t stop laughing, good thing I’m never going to see these people again hahaaha. Then ms. Evelyn tried her dress on…. Well it looked great but she wanted a thing or two changed so she went to take it off and couldn’t get it off! I had to help her and between the two of us and all our giggling we finally got it off. She told him she wanted the zipper longer and he told her she shouldn’t rush to get her clothes off hahahaha. I’m sorry but sometimes you can’t take forever to take your clothes off. So we left laughing, our dresses supposedly will be fixed and ready tomorrow. I was a little weary to go to the second place… We got there and they handed us our dresses and shoved us behind in an actual curtain dressing room and we tried our dresses on. They both fit perfectly!!! I love mine so much, now I just need some cute heels and accessories to go with it. As we were leaving a fabric caught my eye and I had to get a dress made out of it! I explained what I wanted and showed them a couple of the already made dresses and how I wanted this of this one and that of that one and this like that and so on haha. I got measured and it will be ready Tuesday when I get back from Beijing. I convinced ms. Evelyn to get another dress made as well.
We headed to Super Brand Mall, 10 stories of everything imaginable, to look for shoes. I found a few pairs I liked but nothing in my size and nothing I absolutely loved. Ms. Evelyn bought a cute pair that will look darling with her dress. We are now home and I need a lot of rest and some more meds haha. What a day!
Well apparently I seem like a local now! At SAS today one of Bryan’s friends asked him if is mom was white haha. And at the fabric market today a couple of white people asked me if I lived here and how long I had lived here. The guards at the community center all smile and ask me how I’m doing when I ride my bike in and out. I love it!
I am feeling much better today; I think the worst is over with. I have little to no fever today and have been taking lots of Dayquill and I have some sort of eardrops that I have been putting in my ears which started hurting, and Advil for my head. I will be fine and hopefully ok for my flight to Beijing tomorrow.
Oh and I got good news the other day. JJ has been matched with an autistic boy in Tampa FL. He will be his companion dog and go everywhere with him and assist him in many ways. JJ must notice the signs that the boy is being over-stimulated and guide him into a calmer setting. Sometimes pressure is needed to calm the boy so JJ will learn when to lie down on the boy or press up against him to calm him. I don’t know about the boy JJ has been matched with but some autistic children are known to bolt, so he may be used to keep him from running away as well. Sometimes people who are autistic have difficulties figuring out which sounds are important, whether it be a fire alarm, a piano, or a cricket, so it’s JJ’s job to alert this boy of important sounds and get him to focus on what he is telling him. I’m very proud of my little boy and am so glad he is changing this family’s life. It really makes it all worth it, and when I am down in Florida in a couple of months I might get to see him and meet the family, if they are willing.