I chose jia as the word of the day because, after six weeks of living out of a suitcase, I finally am in my new home in China. Hooray! My arrival in Qufu has been a long time coming, and now that it's here I am getting a little apprehensive about starting outreach and teaching on this campus. There is so much here that I can't do or understand on my own, which means I have to depend on the Lord and on the people He's placed in my life, especially my two teammates. Dependency is a good thing, and it will be good for me.
I have a few pictures to share -- join me on my journey to Qufu! This post is especially for people back home who are curious about my new place and don't mind wading through a long post. (So basically, this is for you, Mom and Dad. :) )
On Sunday night, we took an 8.5 hour night train from Beijing to Qufu. The train station was complete chaos: it was oppressively hot, and there was a massive, pushy crowd. I have heard that the Chinese equivalent of "dog eat dog" is "man eat man," and after spending an hour at the train station, I can see why. It's every man for himself! Here are a few pictures from my perch on the top bunk:
We were stacked three high in the "hard sleeper" section. This was my view down.
Sara got to celebrate her birthday on the middle bunk on a night train in China. She is another new teacher who will be in my province.
Looking down the aisle from my bed. I had a great night's sleep and we arrived in Qufu at 7:45 the next morning.
With my teammate Tarah beside our iron horse.
My other teammate, Lisa, getting some noodles with me on the day we arrived in Qufu.
Shoot, I love me some noodles.
My apartment has several big rooms and some basic furnishings. When I first saw it, it seemed like too much space for not enough stuff. Hopefully it will start to feel like home soon.
Here's a market just outside campus. It's streets like these that make me love China.
We took a pedicab for a team outing to help me get acquainted with Qufu. Tarah and I are enjoying the bumpy ride.
So there's the beginning! The rest of this week will be devoted to settling in and doing team-building activities. When I know my class schedule, I will start lesson planning. Please be lifting up my students, who will be arriving on campus very soon.