Like a quote out of context…

[Scenes from a weekend in Huaxi]

Last night we arrived at a friend’s restaurant for what we thought was going to be a quiet dinner with a few of our students.  We climbed the stairs to the rooftop terrace and over twenty of our students began going through Charlie’s acting warm-up and performing some of their lines from the theatre productions from the past two years.  Over their heads was a banner that said, “Charlie and Bekah, Love Forever.”  Then they presented us with a cherry-topped cake that said  “Happy 11th anniversary” and a bouquet of roses and lilies.

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Life Inside a Music Box…

[Scholar’s Pavilion, Guiyang]

Life inside a music box ain’t easy. – Regina Spektor

As we were walking across campus this beautiful Spring evening, we began listing off all the things we will miss about our life in China.  We are entering the final ten weeks of our service in the Peace Corps, so we thought we’d try to do some Top Five lists of things we will truly miss.

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Storied China 2012 (6 of 6)

“My father was taken away by [the] Red Guard [on] December 5, 1966,” my grandfather told me with a deep voice.

“I was 20 years old in 1966, and I had two brothers. That day, my mom was preparing a delicious meal for us. My father, brothers, and I worked hard in the field. Everything seemed [to be] going normally, but it was just an illusion.

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Storied China 2012 (5 of 6)

[On] a cold winter morning, there was a little boy playing on the snowy ground. Suddenly, his sight was caught by a little snowball, which could move. He used his fingers to touch it, and he felt [that it was] soft and a little warm. “Wang!” the snowball made a clear noise. This was a frozen dog.

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Storied China 2012 (4 of 6)

It was a raw morning in winter when I heard [this story] in the old house in my hometown. I sat beside the fire with my aunt. The raw weather chilled my interest [in] outdoor activities. The north wind [was] whistling in the drizzling rain. The doors and windows [rattled]. Everybody was out. Only [my] aunt and I were at home, so we [were] telling stories to kill the time.

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Storied China 2012 (3 of 6)

There was a small old house, which just included one bed, one table, one iron pot, and two chairs. My grandma and grandpa had a daughter, when they were [both] 20 [years old]. After one year, they had another baby, unluckily for them [it was another] daughter. They wanted a son, by virtue of the value of [male children]. After that, the whole family placed great hopes on the third baby. However, another unfortunate girl was born. The whole family was crazy. My grandpa’s mother shouted at my grandma. [She] even wanted to drive my grandma away. At that time, in the countryside, [every] family wanted a son because they believed sons were better than daughters. He [would] have adequate strength to do farm work, yet she [would not have such strength].

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Storied China 2012 (2 of 6)

When I was born in a small town, I lived with my [grandparents] for my parents were busy with their own work and business. Therefore, I had no other choice but to stay with my older parents. Of course, I was too little to have the right to choose. With the passage of time, I grew to the age [that I could] go to a primary school, and the relationship between my grandpa and grandma confused me. [They spoke few words], and they seldom had [anything to talk about]. Sometimes I really doubted whether there was a love between [them]. Everyday, they were very busy trying to earn money to support the big family. They didn’t act in any [of the] romantic ways [that I saw] on television or read [about] in books. In their opinion, “I Love You” was too luxurious for them to say. Buying a gift [for] each other or [for] one’s birthday was even more out of the question.

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