Wow, it has been much too long since I have written a blog entry; my apologies to those that enjoy reading it. Last semester ended quickly, but well. Similarly to last year I had a Christmas party for teachers. A few teachers came, and two brought their child with them. It was really nice. The children added a nice element to the party. We had a nice dinner at a restaurant, sang Christmas carols, and decorated cookies.
For the New Year I had the pleasure of meeting Leo’s mom, sister, and his future brother-in-law when they came to visit him in Yibin. My students were kind enough to help me prepare some gifts for them—calligraphy for his mom, and a beautiful red paper cutting for his sister and fiancé (a common decoration for newly married couples). When my students were preparing the gifts, they kept asking me if I was nervous (I should make a note here that Chinese people usually only introduce their boyfriends and girlfriends to their parents when they plan to get married—and it is usually “hello Mom, this is my boyfriend. We are getting married.”), but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I was a little nervous. It was a nice time spent around Yibin—bamboo sea, a banquet hosted by his waiban, a lunch with his students, a hot pot dinner hosted by Leo, and hanging in and around the town.
Not long after Leo’s family left, his best friend from high school flies over. This time we spent little time in Yibin, though we did manage to go to a nearby hot spring (very nice in the damp, cold winters of Sichuan). The three of us travelled to places around Sichuan. I appreciated that Eric was willing to put up with me when he came to visit his boy Leo.
Naturally, when everyone was done visiting, Leo and I were pretty tired. We spent the week we had between visitors and our Peace Corps training just relaxing. The training finished up our winter vacation. It was a busy (and cold) winter as compared with last year, but meaningful.