Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Parties

Last night, Scott and I went to Jamie's Christmas party for his students. The mulled wine flowed freely, and everybody had a great time taking pictures of the foreigners. It's amazing how much English came out of these students after they'd had a bit to drink! After the students cleared out, the rest of us sat around talking and listening to music for a few hours. The party officially ended at 2 am with a phone call from Sister Ann, a very no-nonsense Maryknoll nun who lives in the apartment directly below Jamie's. All she said was "It IS two a.m." and then hung up; after some frightened, whispered discussion, we all decided it would be safest to go ahead and call it a night!

Tonight was our school's Christmas party... QUITE the event! The venue was the third floor of the school canteen, which is also home to the canteen workers and their families; they attended (observed?) the party in their pajamas. A large group of students spent the entire day today decorating. By the time I arrived to help out, the students had already hung paper snowflakes, garlands, flashing lights, and a "CHRISTMAS PARTY" banner. The place looked great!

Scott, Irene and I were the hosts, which meant we were in charge of bellowing out "Merry Christmas!" and the instructions for games in English (which no one could understand), while the students translated. We played "Pin the Nose on Rudolph," "Name that Christmas Picture" and "Balloon Sandwich." Between each game was a different kind of dance done by students and other teachers; these included an Indian- Pakistani Dance, a Spanish Dance, a waltz, and a jitterbug. Some of the dancers were very talented, and danced surprisingly well (the Chinese are not known for their sense of rhythm). The best part of the party was the Chinese Santa Claus, played by a Chinese teacher named Zhu. His costume was complete with a long beard and padded stomach. Zhu seemed a little embarassed at first, but soon really got into the role by dashing around the room greeting the students.

At the end, we had a free dance session; the students were hesitant at first, but when "God Is A Girl" - a Chinese favorite- came on, they all rushed right out onto the dance floor. After the party, of course, was a 30-minute photo session during which every single student present wanted an individual picture with me, then Scott, then me AND Scott... and so on.

Later tonight, I received this text message from Zhu (the Chinese Santa Claus): I think the students work hard on the party because you come and bring the veriest Christmas party, so they like to take part in it. Thank you, you bring the happiness to us.

I don't know what "veriest" means, but I can guess & it's really sweet.

No comments: