Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Last week "count down"‏

Dear Family
We are down to the last week in Qingdao and it seems unbelievable..... I seems like just yesterday we arrived. What a lifetime of memories in 10 1/2 short months!!!!
I never dreamed that I would fall so hopelessly in love with my dear students. They are wonderful.... I am sure that you are all so tired of my ranting on and on about them,
but they are very precious to me.

It has been so hot and humid here in Qingdao. As soon as we leave the apartment, in the morning, the sweat starts to roll down our backs. And, as we walk home or
uphill, on our way home, we are soaked in sweat. It has rained a every day, which is refreshing. However, yesterday, I went across the street to a little market
and as I ran home, hoping to reach home before the storm "hit" - I was caught in a cloud burst... When I got back to the apartment - I was soaking wet. My clothes were dripping wet and my shoes were full of water and my hair was stuck to my head!
As I go to my classes, for the last time - I really get emotional ! When I tell them this is the last class, their eyes fill with tears and so do mine! I feel so protective of them
and it never ceases to amaze me that I love them so unconditionally. Every single one of them.....
I have received some of the most tender notes of appreciation - notes I will always treasure. Roger's students are older than mine and they give him lavish gifts. Yesterday,
the class gave him a fancy photo album as well as a t-shirt with all their pictures printed on it! And tomorrow night 3 of this students will pick us up in a taxi at 6:00 p.m.
and take us to dinner. . . One of my girls gave me a little notebook she has had for 5 years that is her favorite. It was so special to her that she had never written in it - but
there was a note for me as she presented it to me. I was very touched. They have so very little - materially. Yet, they are so willing to share whatever they have with others.
They are a perfect example of Christlike love. As I have said before, they have taught me much more than I could EVER teach them. And, I have also learned alot about
myself during my stay in China. I have done things that I never dreamed I could do, I have eaten things that I never thought I would ever eat and I have been places that I
never knew existed. But, I know I am a better person because of my association with the Chinese.

We have missed all our family and friends. As the time to return back to the "good old USA" approaches, our hearts and thoughts are of each of you. And, with this week
being the 4th of July, we are thinking of the founding Fathers and the sacrifices that were made for the freedoms that we enjoy and cherish. We can hardly wait to set our feet
on the soil of freedom and all it stands for.

Much Love,