Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Halloween!

This week, I milked Halloween for all it's worth in my classes. I did a Power Point presentation about the holiday with the younger students, taught them to say "Trick or treat" and then handed out candy. I distributed any leftovers to whoever could yell TRICK OR TREAT! the loudlest. Needless to say, they loved that!

I had the college students perform Halloween skits... many of them were extremely creative and funny. One girl played the part of a disgruntled lover who had killed himself by slitting his wrists- he then became "an angry ghost with no eyes." We also had a Poltergeist re-enaction and a "bloody ghost" - the blood was conveyed by holding up pieces of red chalk and dropping them to the ground.

We have English corner on Wednesday nights, so this week was a big Halloween party. I was impressed by the great decorations the student planners obtained... the place looked great andt he party attracted about 300 students. It's quite an experience to stand in a room surrounded by 300 people, all of whom are talking about you and taking your picture. I will never be so famous as I am here!

Anyway, we waited until they were all gathered in the lobby, then turned out the lights. Some older students dressed up in skeleton costumes and ran around scaring the kids... at which point all hell broke loose! Everybody screamed, scattered, and then clumped as tightly as possible around Scott, Irene and I. I thought I would be crushed by the masses!! Crazy time, but I survived the trampling.

After English corner, I had a party at my apartment for the class of 25 college students that Scott and I both teach. We got stickers, colored paper, and markers for everybody to make masks, which was a big hit. Jamie, Kevin, Ruth, and a few Chinese teachers from our school also showed up, and the students all had a good time practicing English and taking pictures with all of us.

Also, Kevin Clancy from Hong Kong was visiting this week and took the Zhanjiang Maryknoll crew out to a buffet dinner at the only 5-star hotel in town. It was really good to see him again. He comes to visit each group a few times per year to check up on us and make sure we're doing okay. We all especially enjoyed hearing anecdotes about Kevin's upcoming wedding- he's getting married to a Chinese woman during Thanksgiving weekend. There will be two ceremonies: the traditional wedding for his family in Hong Kong on Friday, and the Chinese-style wedding in Guangzhou for everybody and their brother. My dad will be visiting during that time (!!!!) so Scott, Dad and I will all attend the Guangzhou wedding. Can't wait!

Last night, Linda (a Canadian teacher at the Normal College) invited all of us foreigners and our Chinese friends Ruth and Shang over for dinner. She made the most delicious meal: baked chicken, baked potato, carrots, Waldorf salad, rolls, and cake for dessert. Somehow she managed to find an OVEN, a rare commodity in China. It was the first time I'd had home-baked goods since June. After dinner, Kevin Clancy, Kevin DiPalma, Jamie, Ruth, Shang, Scott and I met up at a local bar for drinks. We all had a lot of fun chatting and laughing together. The seven of us drank nine bottles of beer; the tab at the end of the night totaled 30 yuan, or about $4.25. Can't beat that!

This weekend, my number one plan is to visit the new Wal-Mart that opened in Zhanjiang Thursday. I've got several VERY excited friends who have already visited. I hear that the following goods- most of which I haven't been able to find in Zhanjiang- are available there:

Bacon, Campbell's soup, tuna in water, varieties of packaged pasta, sunflower oil and olive oil, Hunt's pasta sauce, Welch's juices, Heinz BBQ sauce, Heinz ketchup, baked beans, Del Monte corn.

You can't imagine how incredible it is to be able to purchase these things until you've gone five months without them!

Have a good weekend, everybody.


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