Tuesday, May 31, 2011

That's how we roll in China.

Monday's are my days to get things done!  Since we have had our little foster guy, it's been more complicated to keep up with things.  He had a  severely compromised immune system when we got him last fall and at the advice of the pediatrician, we kept him in for most of the severely cold winter.  It's been warmer here for about a month but it can still be challenging to get things done with him. We live on the sixth floor of our building...and we don't have an elevator.  Carrying a low muscle tone, limp baby up the stairs in addition to groceries...not that fun.  Add in that that our local market is two stories with stairs.  If I walked over to the market with him, I can only get vegetables and meat- not the milk, yogurt etc. that is on the second floor.  I can't do the stairs with a stroller and he is just too heavy to carry and carry groceries.  Plus, there are no carts to sit him in.
So on Monday's, my helper comes.  I try to head out as soon as she gets there but that can be challenging.  Our little guy is a morning napper but the time varies.  If he isn't asleep when I leave, our soft hearted helper lets him get up.  This leads to a challenging day all around!  I need him to be asleep when I leave.
Yesterday was a fairly typical day.  In spite's of Sunday lack of naps and late night, our little guy was bright eyed at bushy tailed at 5:00 AM.  I've gotten used to waking up this early and most of the time don't mind getting up with him.  Most of the time.
Fortunately, he went to sleep right at 9:00 and I was able to go out immediately.  I had a meeting at the international school at 9:30 to discuss some ESL curriculum development and I wanted to be on time.  Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles - there was a taxi right outside our apartment complex.  I headed out to the school (about 20 minutes away),  and had a wonderful meeting with one of the Chinese (nationality not teaching matter) teachers.  Some exciting things are happening in our city with schools and curriculum and it was good to be able to think about being a part of that.  I hadn't been able to find my keys that morning and I thought Elisabeth had had them, so I went over to the high school to ask her.  No keys but it was nice to see what she does during the day.
Then- big miracle!  There was a taxi outside of the school.  The school is at the end of a road, surrounded by factories and the countryside and the main traffic is donkey carts.  But there was a taxi with a very nice driver and we had a good conversation about family and American propensity towards divorce.
Back home to a still sleeping baby so I decided to get on my bike and go to the big grocery store.  Spring is wind and dust season here and wow!  风很大!Dust and wind and wind and dust!  I made it to the bank to get out money, only do have the bank tell me "system error."  We have an American bank that has a China partner and rarely have issues getting out money.  I didn't have enough cash to shop (using a debit card is rare here) so I biked back home to call the bank.  We love the google phone!  Called the  US bank and guess what....a holiday!  Banks are closed for Memorial Day.  So that was that.
At this point, our little guy was up and needed lunch.  I also ate lunch- our sweet helper had made us zongzi  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zongzi  so I ate one and some soup.  At one o'clock, a student came over for help with her writing.  She has been accepted into a PhD program in England but needs to increase her IELT's  score a little.  Her spoken and written English is really good and it's really a pleasure to work with her.  She is from a small village and is just so interesting to talk to.  She saw the picture we had from the 25 anniversary of the Shenyang International Church and that lead to a great discussion about the kinds of things we like to talk about!
After she left, I biked over to the local market to get milk and food for Tuesday's dinner.  However, when I got home, I discovered that our helper had only made vegetables and rice for dinner.  We had thrown out some meat that was in the freezer when we defrosted this weekend so maybe she had planned on using that.  Either way, the chicken that I bought for Tuesday's dinner became Monday's dinner and now I need to go back to the market.
Elisabeth got home around 4:00 and we ate a quick dinner around 5:30.  At 6:30, people started to arrive for the class that we have on Monday nights.  We studied the story of the woman caught in adultery.  There is something about slowing down and looking at a familiar story in a different language that is really refreshing.
Collapsed into bed around 10:00....only to be woken up by a sweet and happy face at 5AM.  Today I get to stay home and work on curriculum and work with my tutor.  Both days are good kinds of days.


Goosegirl said...

I love reading about your days. Your little guy is so sweet. And I get so excited reading about how life is there. I can picture it from your descriptions. Thank you.

Walking to China said...

Thanks, Sivje.

Alida said...

oh my goodness... I wish I had your energy!!!

beth said...

I'm exhausted now!