Update from the Chinese Front

Dear Family and Friends,

Whew, what a week! I am definitely glad that I am more than halfway done. I have loved it and hated it. I really love learning, I really really do. But I also love doing other things: reading, karate, hiking, playing games. I hate the fact that while I’m doing this Chinese, I can do nothing else. Learning has its price. So, I am glad I’m learning, and I’m glad I’ll be done in four weeks. Then I’ll have four weeks to catch up on all the other things I love, and then back to studying my rear off. And it will go on like that for four years (yikes!). Anyway, I really don’t even mind studying for hours and hours, its just I can’t do anything else, and I really miss all the anything-elses.

We are getting pretty far into writing, enough so that I know so many characters that they are getting easy to forget :(. I think I know 70 or 80, and that is four lessons worth. Well, anyway, this next week is the last week of 102, then the last three weeks is 103. Friday, at 4:30, our whole class (just five of us), plus two of our teachers, one of the teachers wives, and Peng Cheng’s boyfriend (who is in his senior year majoring in Chinese) all went to Joy’s Chinese food restaurant and had an early supper, ordering things in Chinese. I had yi sa chao fan – duck fried rice. I also had crab ragoon, but I don’t remember what that was called. I also had to request chop sticks (since they gave all us “americans” regular silverware). That is qing, gui wo kuaizi, or wo yao yong kuaizi. It was fun and the food was very good.

These past few Saturdays I’ve been going jogging every morning along the bike trail that goes up and down the Olentangy (river in Columbus). When I’m done I spend about a half hour practicing my Tae-kwon-do in the tennis courts. Three or four weeks ago, I met a Chinese man there teaching a older couple some Tai Chi. I talked to them a bit, since I am interested in martial arts. The Chinese man is Mr. An, and he does speak some English, but his native language is Mandarin, so each week I’ve been able to say a little more to him. Each Saturday morning Mr. An is out there teaching someone, and I always say hi when I see him. Last Saturday, I got to talking to one of his students while he was teaching the other. It turns out Mr. An is a grand master in several disciplines and is widely known in the martial arts world, especially in China. Most interesting of all, he was Jet Li’s original sensei, from when Jet Li was about 6 to age 12. It was a *jaw drops stares open-mouthed* kind of moment. Cool!! I have no idea why he is in Columbus Ohio of all places, maybe I’ll ask him one of these days.

I bought a new bike for 50 dollars. Its really old, but well made and well taken care. Its something you would have seen around in the 60’s or 70’s. Hopefully it will be a little less attractive to thieves, and I am going to buy a good bike lock as soon as possible.

Last interesting thing, my family drove up here on Sunday. I got to see them from about 12:30 – 9:00 P.M. We went and had a picnic at the local park and met up with some of our cousins who live in Columbus. That was really wonderful because most of my family (Nana and Grandpa came too), have not seen our Columbus cousins for a while. They had a good time talking together and Serena and I went off on a walk, talked a bunch, and threw frisbees. The frisbee throwing was really funny, because neither of us can throw a frisbee at all. So we had fun laughing at each other’s pathetic throws and running off to gather up the frisbees after they flew in the completely opposite direction than the one we intended. We actually had to stop because we were both laughing too hard to throw. There were also a lot of little red squirrels around the picnic site, and for some reason Serena had a fun time chasing them. Don’t ask me why or give me that look, go ask Serena.

After the picnic, we went for ice cream, and then to church. I took them all to Grace Central where the pastor, Greg Blosser, taught a sermon on Numbers chapter 20. Poor grandpa couldn’t hear him at all, and there were no sermon notes, so I think he might have slept for some of it. Then we went back to my house and hung around and talked till they had to go home at 9:00. I am very glad they came up, their visit has (hopefully), recharged me for the next four weeks.

Hope all is well with all y’all. Feel free to e-mail me thoughts, comments, or just to say hi. You can also go to our website www.blog.10thgen.org, and leave a comment there.

Here’s a parting shot: “Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.” — Psalm 90:16-17

God Bless

In Christ

Lydia Thomas

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