Sunday, October 7, 2007

National Day Vacation

Last week, there were no classes for the Chinese National Day. While some more adventuresome teachers may have chosen to travel to destinations within mainland China, Scott and I decided that what we really wanted was a relaxing week in Hong Kong. The journey from Zhanjiang takes a mere eight hours by bus, but Hong Kong is a completely different world... kind of like taking a tropical London or New York... except extremely clean.

We stayed at the Maryknoll House, which is in itself a haven of comfort: the wonderful staff, excellent food, fabulous views of the ocean, and interesting group of eccentric priests to chat with makes this a great place to unwind. There was an environmental conference going on during the holiday, so priests doing mission work around Asia were there as well for most of the week. I especially enjoyed meeting one angelic man who has spent the past two years working with Cambodian children with AIDS. He's learning to speak Khmer and also ministers to families whose homes are the local garbage dump; they make their livings by collecting plastic bottles and aluminum cans. This remarkable priest is incredibly generous and extremely dedicated to his work... but needless to say, he was thrilled to be spending a week in luxury at the Maryknoll House!

I spent two days at the beach, saw a movie, went shopping for class supplies and home decorations, and satisfied most of my Western food cravings: margaritas, feta cheese, quesadillas, nachos, cheeseburgers, and lasagna never tasted so good! Saturday I returned to Zhanjiang with a 70-pound suitcase full of canned goods, sodas, and snacks to last me for the next couple of months until I go back to Hong Kong.

It was a perfect vacation in every way; I'm leaving the week refreshed and ready to continue adjusting to life in China.

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