This year’s Halloween party was pretty different compared to last year’s. During the week I invited students over to my house to watch scary movies, which was both fun, and funny. Some of them weren’t frightened at all, while others were cowering behind their friends. The weekend before Halloween I visited a fellow volunteer, Joel, in Deyang. It was my first visit to Joel’s, but it sure took a lot to get there. That city is only 1-1.5 hours away from my site, so I thought it would be pretty easy to get there. Well, after my Friday afternoon class I packed my bag and went downtown to catch a bus to find out I missed the last bus by 15 minutes! I decided I would go to the next city (Mianyang) and try and get a bus from Mianyang to Deyang, thinking there would be a lot since they were only 45 minutes between them, but no. So then I went to the train station because there are always trains between Jiangyou and Chengdu that stop off in Deyang. Well just my luck, there aren’t any! So I had to go all the way back to Jiangyou. I took one of the first buses back in the morning.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. Friday I had developed a small bump along my jawline. I thought it was a muscle spasm or insect bite. Saturday morning it was causing me extreme pain (especially to eat) and that side of my face was quite swollen. I decided to go ahead to Deyang anyways. The day was mostly okay, though I couldn’t really eat anything. It was nice to see some of my friends (you can check out the pictures I put on my windows site). That evening was the main party. We all dressed up. I was a panda, and Leo was a panda killer. It started out fun, until I developed a fever around 8:30 or 9 and went to sleep. The next morning I called the PC doctor who wanted me to come in, so Leo and I took the bus to Chengdu. Turns out I had a bacterial infection of my salivary gland. I wish that on no one! I had to take 2 different antibiotics for 10 days. I took 1 pill 2xs a day, and the second pill I took 3 pills 3xs a day. I also had to drink mass amounts of water or risk suffering heartburn that could kill a person! The medicine also left me extremely tired and dizzy, which was not great since at the end of the week there was a teachers’ sports meet that had me performing a dance, jump roping, sack race, relay race and tug-of-war. I will try to find pictures of the dance, since we did spend two weeks practicing for it.
Anyways, it also turns out that the medicine I was taking is also used to treat anthrax, which I found mildly amusing.
Halloween day, or rather night, Mary and I held a party for some students. It was nice, and I think they had a good time, despite my pain and lack of energy. We watched Thriller, read a children’s story about Halloween, had a mummy wrap, bobbed for apples, played pin the nose on the pumpkin, hit a pumpkin piñata (that I hastily constructed during the week before), carved bell peppers and watched a scary movie. I had forgotten my scary movies at Joel’s, but Leo had the original Halloween on his computer, which we watched. I didn’t require the students to dress up like I did last year, because it would have taken too much energy, but I think they definitely had fun and learned more about this holiday.
So, unfortunately Halloween wasn’t the most fun for me this year. I am crossing my fingers that I have no ailments during Thanksgiving (which happens to be my favorite holiday)