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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Wednesday: Time!

Sitting here this evening and for the last several
days, time has lost all sense of meaning for me. There
seems to be so much of it, and I simply try to figure
out how to fill it. My life has gotten to the point
where it feels all that I do is plan on where and how
I am going to travel and what I will eat. My classes
have all been planned out for the past several months,
so there is no preparation time. I just show up and
speak on a topic which I have chosen. On some
occasions like this evening, my class may be as simple
as taking my students out to dinner and discussing
topics with them. Most of my day is simply spent
scouting around the city, deciding what to do over the
weekend, talking with people, or eating. It really has
become a little crazy. Today in my spare time, I
walked all over the entire mountain resort and watched
a movie being filmed and a Chinese puppet show. Both
were very exciting and a lot of fun. I really do enjoy
the puppets. The are actually flat silhouettes behind
a screen. They puppets are colored, but when you see
them from the other side, they simply look like
shadows. The rooms are all filled with benches and old
people, and one man behind the screen does all of the
voices while music plays in the background. It is
really a wonderful part of Chinese culture. It is sad
to me that most Chinese people have never seen it
live. Of course, most of them have abandoned their
traditional culture by labeling it as backwards and
moving forward in the great progression towards the
dollar. The rest of my afternoon was spent walking
around the city, calling my mom, and making travel
plans with Laura for this weekend. She is helping me
prepare for Wuti Shan which I hope to leave for
tomorrow night. Other than this, my classes were
farley simple and wonderful. My first one we had a
lovely conversation on their greatest dreams and child
rearing techniques. Most thought that they would not
spank their children as they had been spanked by their
parents. One had an abusive father and decided that
they would not do it. They also all wanted to pay more
attention to their children. One of the girls had an
interesting story as she was raised by her step
grandmother until she was nine years old. At that
time, her mother and father came to get her. She said
that the words meant nothing to her as she had only
saw them once a year before and disliked them greatly.
Only after awhile, did they begin to have any
sentiment to her. Many of the girls have bitter
sentiments like these after they had been abandoned by
their parents. The boys never have these feelings as
they are not likely to be abandoned by their parents
or forced to live with their grandparents. It proved
to be a very thought provoking and moving discussion.
My second class was only four people which involved us
going to dinner and eating a marinated cabbage,
roasted peanuts covered in M.S.G., Flatbread stuffed
with spinach, and sweet shredded pork. Quite
delicious. We ended up discussing life in America.
After dinner, we walked back home in the pouring rain.
It was a wonderful afternoon. Keeping myself busy has
helped me to divert my attention from Claire¡¯s
absence. She called me from the airport this morning
to tell me goodbye. It was terribly sad. She wants me
to come to France, so this may be my next destination.
I do not know. It is something to ponder, and I am
sure that I will think about this for a long time to
come. Oh well, it is late and tomorrow is a busy day.
Talk to you later,



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