Maya seems fully recovered, and did fine at school today. Good thing -- I had to teach my last class today, and wasn't sure what I'd do if she was still sick!
So, with classes over, my only work duties are grading papers and distributing the books and office supplies I had shipped here. The Fulbright program allows you to ship teaching materials and other books via diplomatic pouch -- I think that's really funny, that's it's via diplomatic pouch. I've always had this vision of the diplomatic pouch as a briefcase handcuffed to some diplomat's wrist. I've since discovered that there is a "Pouch Facility" in suburban Washington, D.C., and boxes and cases and crates are shipped through there to embassies and consulates overseas. I shipped 5 boxes, each about the size of a banker's box, filled with books. So much for the romance and mystery of the diplomatic pouch!
To distribute the books, I'll give right of first refusal to several faculty members who teach American law or comparative law, and then the rest of the books will be donated to the Xiada law library. I've already promised my two DVD sets on the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court (both PBS series, and very good) to the history professor I've mentioned -- I think they will be more useful to history students than law students.
It's also time to start getting serious about getting packed up to leave. We're going to try to come home with no more luggage than we left with, so I need to be ruthless about what we leave here. I've already got one suitcase packed with the few winter clothes we need to bring back (so much of the stuff is now outgrown or worn out so we can leave it behind), souvenirs, and the tons of gifts we acquired while in Guangxi Province. We'll leave all the household items we've bought and all the English reading material we brought with us for the next occupants. Once we subract everything we brought with us that was consumable -- shampoo, toothpaste, medicines, etc. -- we'll be fine, I think. And if worse comes to worse, we can always buy another suitcase and pay the overweight charge -- it'll only be for the domestic flight from here to Guangzhou, since we only had one checked bag apiece coming over and we're entitled to two checked pieces on the international leg.
We still have a little time -- our flight leaves Guangzhou for LAX on July 31 -- that's 14 days. But we're looking at taking a little trip to Xi'an next week. It's the one place in China I've always wanted to go and have always managed to miss. Some friends of ours from Fort Worth (Hi Sue, Maggie & Meredith!) will be visiting there, and we're trying to make plans to join them. And I'm about to make our flight plans from Xiamen to Guangzhou, and I'm thinking about going to Guangzhou a day early and having one last fling at the White Swan before we leave China. So all these frolics and detours are going to cut into our purging and packing time.
My goodness, I think I better stop writing and get busy! Bye for now!