Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Traveling, and a month & a half later in Ch.i n a

A mighty whirlwind!  Is how we can describe the last 6 1/2 weeks in this ever growing cold land.  Our apologies are given towards our first blog being so late.  I will dive right into how life has been for us: difficult, in every way.  The traveling was... okay... until we left the states and arrived in Beijing.  That flight from LA to Beijing was 13 hours... It was grueling, for me anyway.  Of course Dozier chatted his neighbors ear off and slept like a dead log..ugh...  That man can sleep anywhere.  We were in a row of three seats and both of us in the middle.  We ended up being separated after all... Oh well..  As the flight progresses,  I tried to sleep  and could not then was unable to get my hands on the meds I brought to help me sleep.  My bag was ino the overhead bin that it seemed near impossible to let them down and dig so hard my own bag.  This was a large plane, I think it was a 777.  Large, packed and not one empty seat.  It was a long, hot, miserable flight.
As soon as the flight took off, they fed us.  It was our first authentic meal; it was tasty!  (That is a very common phrase the locals use when something is good)  After the meal I was beginning to swell from lack of water... hooray....  Every lay over was rushed or everything was closed, so we had no way of getting water for a long time.  Finally, the beverage carafes were being served and I was sooo ready to down my hot soup and then the 'cold' water they were serving.  I was given my 3 ounce cup, I felt like a child but was desperate for water so I gladly took it in one large then one small gulp.  To my surprise it was very, very warm water.  Not hot enough for a tea bag but hot enough to take in slow sips.  I almost spat it back out, but held it together and had my first experience of real Chi.ne.se food, beverage and a hospitable cup of hot water.  The lady next to explained the Ch. drink hot soup as their beverage with their meal, no glass of cold liquid in any form, then after the meal they serve a small cup/mug of hot water.  Its custom and shows hospitality.  If you go back many years, the Ch were very, very poor and would serve hot water as we would serve a hot cup of coffee or tea to guests as a sing of being hospitable to your guests; it also shows you are somewhat wealthy to serve hot 'tea or coffee' after a meal.  Every meal we have had in an authentic form, they have served us hot water and hot  every soup is served.  Now, at every meal, my body is used to the hot liquid and I crave having it.  Another reason for the hot soup served is, eh, to put it politely  it 'gets things moving' within the body.  The hot liquid makes you have use of the lavatory soon.  It wakes up the large muscle and keeps the body regular.  I thought it was fascinating.  :)  What a different culture, what a different people.  So neat.

Life is sooo simple here, but more simple outside of the city.  The city living people are upscale and high society; but that goes for any region of the world, I would think.

Well, back to our travels...  After the meal, everyone closed every shade and slept for about 9-10 hours straight... Including the passenger to my left and right.  I watched two movies, talked to the L and asked HIM to help me make it because I could not fall asleep.  My body began hurting all over so I began sweating  profusely as my body made preparations for the imminent death from the dehydration settling into my bones... I called for a flight attendant to beg for mercy IE: WATER!!!  Well, I got the same 3 ounce cup with room temp water.... Oh how it was refreshing.  I look between the tiny crack between the seats and Dozier is passed out.  I lay back and just cried from the pure misery I felt.  My attempt to wake the sleeping passengers went with no success as I cried to myself in dire need of the lavatory.  Finally, I just rudely climbed over the non English speaking man to go.  Barely did I make it there and back.

Our room was not set up upon arrival, we did not get to shower or even refresh until about 8 hours after landing.  When we finally got our bags into our rooms, we showered and went to the cafeteria for diner.  We ended up moving to a different dorm room three days after, the first one was dark,  very dirty and had mold in the closets and bathroom.  Finally, we packed the small taxi full and moved across campus to a tiny one bedroom efficiency   Wow this room is small but at least our bed lifts to so great storage compartments in our bed frame.   Its kinda neat the way it is set up.

The next day after we landed, Saturday, I went to my school to begin preparing for classes ON MONDAY!!  Well, I got there about 9:30am and within about 30 minutes, I started feeling sick.. REALLY sick.  I had no phone, no idea who to call, and I was getting sick fast.  If I had a mirror I bet I was white as a sheet.  Of course, my classroom doors were shut as I tried to call out for help, I felt so sick I couldnt even draw in a full breath to yell for help... all I could do was lay my head down on my desk and try to breath.  My whole body went numb, I could not feel anything.  Next thing I know, another new teacher, from California, came in and she finds me face down on my desk.  I was laying there about 3 hours in pain, and in this weird total body numbness.  I was terrified.  Thank the LOR.D she came in.  We are really good friends now :)  She brought me water, like 4 cups, because they were kid size and the water is down the hall.  Bless her.  I made it to a couch in the teachers lounge with her help and laid there for another 2 hours.. I think.. Maybe just under two hours.  Well, finally I came out of it and I think I was was just crazy dehydrated.  Plus, my body had been trying some crazy foods for the last two days.  All of that sickness was strongly rebuked once I regained strength to speak it OUT of me!!

No more weird spells like that, just some other minor, things I and we both have dealt with in the weeks to follow arriving.  Life is smoothing out more and more.

Well, to wrap up a few final thoughts on the beginnings of our new life here, it really took us about 4 weeks to feel settled and stop waking up at 3AM.  Yes, that was probably the second hardest thing to adjust to, the sleeping patters here.  (the hardest things have been the lack of knowledge of where and when to buy water, and adjusting to the foods right away)  For the first few weeks, we were wanting to go t bed by 6:30pm, that is when it became dark in the late summer.  We were up with the sunrise around 3am to 3:30am every morning.  In a way it was very nice, because he and I would just talk for hours about so many things around us, past, present and future.  This was very healing for us, since we just graduated college, long endearing talks were quite scarce during the semester months.  Now, we are on a normal schedule, in bed around 10 and I get up about 5 to 5:15am.  Him, around 6:45.  I just like to be in my classroom about 6:45 to 'set the tone' of the classroom by talking to HIM!  :) :) :)

I will write again soon about how our classes are going; a small snippet: I LOVE BEING A TEACHER!!

Pictures to follow soon.  Love to all.

In Chine.se we would say Zai Jian  (Ts iya jee-ehn) That is good-bye
and good night is Wan An (wuah ahn)

Please keep pr. a. y ing for our health, our relationships, finances and our hearts.  May ALL things be given for HIS  G L O R Y!!!!!

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