I just wanted to let everyone know that I have heard from my parents. They sent me an update to post here for everyone:
We have been here a week and time is passing quickly. We have settled into the routine and adjusted well. The weather is generally mild temperatures during the day and comfortable at night. We leave nearly all of the windows open in the apartment all of the time. There is no central heat/air conditioning in any home in this portion of the whole country. It has rained at some time during each day so far but that should be ending soon. The dry season is starting and there will be no rain until next March or May. We are on the 5th floor of this building and there are no elevators anywhere. One of the team members lives on the 6th floor. They have 2 small boys and a baby this means 91 steps up & down every time to go in or out. It’s a way of life.
We have been busy supporting the other team members here with listening ears and some home schooling. Judy has completed reading classes and even some science experiments. She even helped to put together a balsa wood helicopter. I have lead the boys on several bike rides for exercise and to give moms a little space. The kids here are just like every other kids and love attention.
It is funny trying to communicate. I tried to order a 5 gal bottle of water this morning. It is 1600 (4 pm) now and the water still hasn’t arrived. I just called again. I have this script to read to them which has our address written in phonic Chinese. It generally goes well but this time the girl started asking me some questions which I couldn’t understand at all. Finally she must have recognized who I was because she said,” OK-bye bye” and hung up. She probably turned to her co-worker and said something about dumb foreigners. We’ll see if water arrives or not. We have succeeded in the past getting our shui (water) we go through about 1 5gal jug every day. You need a lot of water here because of the altitude.
Judy has been involved with 3 English classes which the team members teach to the local kids. Some of these are kids from the professional class whose parents are sending to learn English. There are a few kids from a local orphanage so they are a bit challenging. They have a difficult time with some of the English letters. D and V are particularly difficult because they don’t use this sound much here.
Tonight is the formal English Corner which we talked about last week. There should be more people at this corner since this is the end of the National Day holiday. Last week I noticed that some students were actually speaking English and others were just saying memorized sounds (like ordering water). It sometimes is productive for the team.