29 September 2012

Over the Moon

We did some new things this month, but now in our second year of teaching in China most of what we see is old hat and we don't often feel over the moon.
Daniel started a Technical English Corner especially for science teachers, with the help of a new chemsitry PhD who invited him to a lecture, all in Chinese but diagrams and formulas are a universal language, so the lab tour made sense. 
Our Oral English classes with freshmen started after their military training. We read the rules -- attendance required, -10% if unexcused and so on -- but they still love taking pictures with us. Often we're the first foreigners they've talked to.
We invited 4 of the students we taught last semester who are now in third year to come to our apartment and cook dinner. They took over the kitchen and turned out a feast.
TV stars -- we had an unexpected new experience when the university office called us and asked if we were free in the afternoon to make a TV commercial. They picked us up at our apartment and took us to Qinzhou's 5-star hotel, where Daniel had his first taste of makeup.
After about two hours showing off the conveniece of bank credit cards they rewarded us with gifts, flowers and moon cakes. We didn't get to ride in this Rolls Royce, but took the opportunity to pose with it outside the hotel -- notice the license tag, number 1.
Moon cakes are the traditional gift for the mid-autumn moon festival. The full moon this year is Sep. 30. The fancy wrapping is often more important than the cake itself, so we felt honored, and took this photo before Daniel cleaned off his enhanced eyebrows from the TV makeup.
But what to do with all that moon cake? We'd be overstuffed, but the students love it. We cut the cakes into pieces and gave to our last classes before the week-long holiday. Most of our students are going home, and we're getting ready for a vacation to Sichuan, so everyone was in a festive mood -- over the moon.
An evening lantern contest added a dash of color to the campus.