Well in class this week I was telling my story. I told the students about where I went to college and that I was an art major. I told them about my family and friends, and everybody back home. When I got to the part about my hobbies I told them that I liked to play card games and Clue. I have been thinking about my apartment and how much I have been blessed, and thought that I need to share my blessing with others, so I invited two of my classes over this weekend for a Game Night.
My classes range anywhere from 29-54 students so I started small. I asked my smallest class to sign up for game night. Only 15 signed the list and I know I can hold at least 30 in my living room so I invited another class as well which brought the number up to around 30. I thought I could handle that without getting too overwhelmed, and started to get really excited planning everything. About 4:30 pm yesterday thought I got really nervous. “What if they don’t come?” or worse “What if they do, and bring all of their friends with them?” I planned a couple of games including charades and balderdash. I spent all afternoon making balderdash cards before deciding that charades would be an easier game to teach and settling on that. I do think Balderdash would be fun though so maybe I’ll have my American friends over one night to play that. I wish I had the cards for the actual game, but had fun printing crazy-long words off the internet.
I wanted to do something for the kids that would be memorable for them and I think it was. I made homemade peanut butter and sugar cookies. It was a feat I must say. Ingredients for baking are hard to come by in China and I had to borrow butter because I couldn’t find any at Walmart. I ended up mixing half butter and half wesson oil to make the cookies but they came out with a great crispy taste.
Chinese people don’t cook so the only things I have in my apartment is a toaster oven and hot plate. One of my good friends and confidants, Mary lives downstairs. Mary is like a grandmother to me and a few of the other girls and I came over yesterday. She made pancakes with syrup, bacon, sausage and biscuits with gravy for breakfast. It was just like being at home in the states. I loved it.
After breakfast we made cookies. I mixed food coloring with white sugar to make the sprinkles on top because you pretty much can’t find sprinkles or colored sugar in China. Mary has a table top oven, which can fit a 9×13 pan, so we could bake a whole sheet of cookies at one time. It took a little while but was a ton of fun.
Here are some pictures of my Wal-mart run. I saw whole chickens, and when I say that I mean the whole thing. In China meat is expensive and the Chinese don’t waste anything. It really grossed me out though. Even at the vegetable market the slab of meat are hung on giant hooks in the open air market and the guy sits there with a fly swatter to keep the bugs at bay. That being said I still eat meat like street food and such, I just refuse to cook any chicken that doesn’t come in a sealed package from the freezer section.
I also saw these ugly fruits. I’m not sure what they are called but they are supposed to be pretty good.
I hate that I don’t know the chinese names of any of the foods that I’m eating because it makes it impossible to ever order it again. Everyone tells me that I need to make friends with my Chinese students so they can help me order food and get a taxi and all the things that I haven’t yet figured out how to do. I know they are right but I try to be too self sufficient sometimes and hate to admit that I need help… I’m working on being more humble.