in china? What can I say? Perhaps it says enough that
my three-week intended visit to this fascinating county
has been transformed into a five-month adventure. I
still find myself postponing my departure date, unwilling
to forsake all that I learn and experience daily about
the wonder of Chinese life.
students have taught me much about dedication, commitment,
the strive for achievement and the need to excel. They
have also taught me much about patience, understanding
coaching and confidence building, about coaxing out
the best in people, which is waiting to be expressed.
I have learned, too, about the wonder of creativity,
and the importance of humor and persistence, when the
discretion of hear, hangovers and apathy invade the
classroom. Perhaps most importantly, is that which my
students have shown me about respect and kindness, about
people, about genuine interest in others.
beyond the classroom is carefree and beautiful. Days
are spent swimming in the river or in maintain springs,
exploring the countryside on bicycles, dealing with
punctures, failed brakes, vaporizing pedalsˇlearning
mandarin, Chinese pointing, calligraphy or Tai Chi,
reading, listening, beingˇdrinking local beer, meeting
new people, eating delicious Chinese food, bargaining
in the markets, scrambling up hilltops, getting caught
in the rain and rediscovering the essence of life.
in China is also full of the frustration of adjusting
to a different philosophy of being: seeking direction
and answers when there are none. Expecting frankness
where there isn't any hoping for proactively, flexibility,
responsibility, organization, when they are hard to
find. Ultimately, you are a foreigner in a totally foreign
culture. You quickly learn to re-evaluate your life,
yourself, your world.
hope the above captures the essence of my experience
in China thus far. This is what life is about. As the
Chinese would say, "jump in the water" take
the plunge. Rediscover it for yourself.