Well, Thanksgiving was a better surprise than I thought. In the morning there was a Turkey Bowl game and the bitter cold weather made it really feel like home.
We had lunch at the fairly westernized cafe on campus. It was really good. We had lots of awesome food; they had a turkey and pumpkin pie, (I missed the pie but pigged out on a bowl of sweet potatoes with marshmallows instead).
Here is the large array of ymmy food and the table next to us.
These were some of my table buddies for lunch!
Starting out, I felt a little sad being away from home knowing that my family was all together with you me. That quickly was remedied with loving people around me who were all feeling the same thing. It's funny what a place like a college dorm will do to people. It brings families and singles much closer together than otherwise any where else in life. People all say that Peter Hall is a unique place, and that it is. Every one here is like a big family. We function like a family sharing stress with teaching, challenges with cultural differences or just with each other and we are not afraid to say what we really think. Their seems to be not much of a social barrier as it does in the professional world. Sometimes I don't feel like being social and I turn off my lights and lock my door (those are my hermit crab days). We have the freedom to do that here. It's awesome. :)
I have already started decorating for Christmas. I cut tons of snow flakes while I had a couple of skype conversations and while I watched a few movies. It's amazing how much I can get done in a couple of hours! The funny thing is that I used the old marked up copies of my lesson plans! (don't worry, I have them backed up on my hard drive AND email) I also bought some white lights for my room and living room. They will still be nice to have up even after Christmas. These are very cheap, low maintenance decorations.
We are planning on doing a White Elephant Christmas party next weekend with all the teachers before they leave for break. I think having the parties and baking cookies will help chase away the blues. However, I had the coolest realization the other day. I was walking to a store on campus and a thought came to me, "I get to spend Christmas in China!" Whoa! How cool is that? I have been so sad and down in the dumps but ever since that day I have had a new joy that is making my attitude so much better. I am actually able to fully enjoy myself. I really think it had to do with some culture shock. There are four stages of culture shock; excitement, withdrawal, adjustment and enthusiasm. Hmmm, I think I know which stage I am in! :) There are quite a few other teachers sticking around for the break so I think that will help me out a lot. My biggest fear was that I would be stuck here with nothing to do. But I am looking forward to having movie nights, shopping days, cooking together with everyone... I've even heard rumors of mattress sliding into the main square of campus...on the ice...(mischievous plans are popping into my head!) If any of that happens I will be SURE to take pictures! :)
Thanks for reading! I hope to share the rest of my adventures with you soon!
Oh yeah! One more thing! I recently received the largest jar of honey I have ever seen!
The cool part is that it's local honey and it actually can help fight local allergies! But I don't usually get allergies so I will just enjoy it on toast! MMMMMM