Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Slow Day

Yesterday was a slow day. I needed a “down” day. After Malinda and the girls left, I put a load in the washing machine and I went back to bed and read. When the wash was done I hung the clothes on the balcony. I was surprised at how enjoyable it was to hang clothes on a line. I had not done this since my children were young. It brought back a lot of good memories. (Parents of young children must treasure every moment because your children will be grown before you know it!) Someone asked me once when was I the happiest in my life, and I honestly said “it was when I was knee deep in babies.”

I then walked to Nanputuo, the nearby Buddhist temple and monastery. I just wandered about the gardens, which were very peaceful and uncrowded. I also walked in several small stores selling Buddhist items from bibles to burning sticks. I bought a CD of Buddhist chant and a small present for a friend. (I was really looking for a book about mandalas or at the very least some mandala pictures but I did not see any.)

I then walked across the street and went in several small shops. Several of these shops had American music blaring – I recognized a song by Celine Dion. Most of the adult clothes sizes are teeny-tiny and baby-doll styles that many college students like to wear. (Walking on Xiada campus I have seen many girls wearing lacy camisoles over a shirt but no bare midriff like you see in American college campuses.)

I then went home for lunch and listened to my CD of Buddhist chants . . . which promptly put me to sleep. I used to teach patients how to relax – I should have let them listen to a Buddhist chant and saved myself a lot of work!

It was time to go meet Malinda in Zoe’s class for the first English class (she has been teaching in Maya’s class for a while, but she just made arrangements with Zoe’s teacher this week). It was incredibly muggy outside, proving the adage, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” I made use of the umbrella Malinda gave me for Mother’s Day to create my own oasis of shade, and almost felt like a native. It seems that most women use an umbrella so that their skin will stay light.

Zoe’s class is very big – 38 students! I don’t know how the teachers manage them every day. They were pretty rowdy, and Malinda had to teach them “Quiet,” and “Shhhhhhh,” almost at the start! The kids seemed to enjoy the lesson, especially when Malinda picked out kids to use as models to teach body parts – she would point to the child’s head, shoulders, knees, etc., and the class would shout out the English word. And then they would dissolve into giggles when she wiggled the child’s ears instead of just pointing at them. They all wanted to volunteer after that.

It was much too warm to stay in the park as we do every day when we walk home from school, so we went straight home. We are thankful for AC! We checked online to see how hot it was outside. It was 93 degrees and very humid. Perhaps the thunder storm we had in the evening will tame the temperature a bit.

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