I did not intend to be gone this long.
There's a lot to fill you in on, but I'll only touch on the highlights and I'll give it to you in phases so you're not overwhelmed.
I must begin with an apology for my failure to keep my blog updated. Sometime in mid-September, the hard drive in my laptop crashed and I basically lost contact with the world outside China for the next month or so. Perhaps, it was what I needed to make sure I dived into the culture here right away, rather than seeking daily support from friends and family hundreds of miles away.
And it worked! I formed friendships right away, learned my way around (mostly just to the supermarket and the mall), and discovered how people keep themselves entertained around here.
October and November flew like the wind, and not without their share of festivities and surprises. I built relationships with students as I attended student-organized events on campus or took up invitations to visit places of interest around the city. These were also busy months as I figured out what worked or didn't work teaching Oral English and adjusted accordingly. I'm still learning!
In November, we had the joy of celebrating Thanksgiving with some of our Chinese friends. The president of our university as well as a young couple who work in administration joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of traditional turkey, we had pork and gravy :) Our guests also added to our fare various Chinese delights (and I'm not referring to the expensive heavy liquor our president brought. Long story. Don't worry, nobody had too much to drink).
And here we are! Advent is upon us and I am reveling in the sense of expectation of the Gift to come (the Gift that already came). I'll keep you posted on how we do Christmas this year :)