Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why China?

(SORRY Blogger won't put breaks in the paragraphs.) The other day I was prepping Samantha a little for our China trip. We are going to visit the orphanage that she's from, and I was telling her about her adoption. Then it occurred to me to tell her WHY we chose China. I'm feeling like blogging about that today. When I was in college, I befriended a girl from Hong Kong. Something inside me stirred, thinking there was something special about this people group. When I was working on my master's at Temple for a degree in ESL, I got to tutor an elderly woman in Chinatown. At first the strong smell of garlic in the area disturbed me, but when I met with my student I couldn't help but love her amazing hospitality and bubbly character. One thing about the Chinese is that they love to laugh. You may think they're a rather serious lot b/c of communism and all that, but quite the opposite is true. Sometimes their laughter is at the expense of others, but unlike in the USA, it's different b/c it's not mean-spirited and people don't take offense in the same way. It's all part of the culture. I admit in giving this "expertise" I'm borrowing a little from exposure to other Asian cultures, especially the Japanese, whom I had more contact with as an ESL instructor when I officially entered my profession. When we were in China, it seemed that random individuals or groups would burst into song. How many times have you walked around a city and heard REAL singing, not someone who's in their own little world or someone performing for a dime? This confirmed my theory that the Chinese are happy! Another thing I love about the Chinese is their industrious nature. They may be a little too much so. You know why everything, I mean everything you purchase was made in China? They never stop working. They're literally up all night working. Construction in the city continues, no one worries about people in nearby four star hotels who may be trying to sleep. Speaking of everything being made in China, I bought a gift for our upcoming trip at a midwestern breadstore called Great Harvest. It was a wooden bread plate carved with their logo, which has a stalk of wheat. I thought, how nice this would be, showing a little about the heartland. And to my dismay when I went to pay for it, there was the tiny sticker "Made in China." I had already rejected several other gifts for that reason. I bought it anyway. I've noticed this seemingly inbred industriousness in Samantha. She loves to organize and help with cooking, laundry, and yardwork, to name a few. I have no doubt she'll succeed in life even though school continues to be a challenge for her. She can't help but succeed, she's Chinese! One more thing before I end this ramble. When Dave and I were starting to catch a larger vision for missions, we attended a conference on China. We got all excited about me teaching ESL and Dave doing something with economics in China. We even considered living there. I'll tell you what, that dream hasn't died. We still see ourselves doing short term trips to China in our lifetime. So why China? Because underneath all the twisted political and cultural brokenness, there's a group of people that know how to live life.