"Before you can search for truth, you must be interested in finding it." -Miroslav Volf

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Friends and Farewells

Some mid to late October photos of some of the important people in my life in China...

Admittedly kind of an awkward photo. But Alex (left), Mark (center), and Andrew (right) are a trio of students I often connect with, usually for basketball—all super thoughtful guys (don’t know the guy with glasses…he just sort of snuck into the picture). Not sure what’s going on with Alex’s waist grab and my slightly-biting-my-lower-lip smile. And yes, those are bunny ears. Boy, he really got me with those bunny ears, didn’t he? :)

It’s intramural basketball season; this is a freshman team made up of girls from my English class. They’re not great basketball players, but they have fun and put on a good show. I suppose maybe the same could be said of me when I play.

Same story, but these are some of the sophomores from my computer class. I love Chelsea’s nervous-looking pose/gesture. But don't be fooled—she’s a feisty player, especially good on defense.

Jesse and I enjoying a hot-pot (Chinese fondue) style meal, where meats and vegetables are cooked by the customer in a simmering pot at the table. This is the same meal where I “enjoyed” the aforementioned pig blood. Yum.

Ok, vote: who went the most all out for our Halloween party? Mim the lion, Dorothy the cat-mouse hybrid, Maria the black cat, Ann the vampire, or Matt the She-man? I’m wearing Mim’s clothes, and used rolled up T-shirts for “the rest.” The students thought it was hilarious, although some in Mim’s class were apparently worried and confused, not sure “why, because he’s so handsome, he would want to dress like a woman.” I think maybe they misunderstood the spirit of Halloween.

Pizza! During our recent weekend excursion to the big city (Wuhan), we enjoyed some American delights—Papa John’s pizza, DQ blizzards, and, of course, Starbucks. As big as Xiaogan is, it’s really kind of the boonies compared to the larger and much more international city of Wuhan.

Playing Mahjong for the first time, a traditional game here. It’s actually a fairly addictive kind of gambling for elderly people, at least in Xiaogan.

A farewell party for Jesse, with several of his long-time friends, some dating back to junior high. He is moving to the U.S. to finish flight school. I have mixed emotions about this; Jesse has become my closest Chinese friend. I’ll say more about this bittersweet happening in a future post.

A good Jesse-and-me shot. I mainly included this because of my Clint Eastwood-meets-Ludacris pose. I think I’m probably more photogenic when I smile.


Barb said...

Mahjong is addicting!!! Do you need me to come over and coach the girls basketball?

Elizabeth said...

Matt - I too had the experience of absurd experience of odd food + hot pot (what is the Chinese "ho po" I think?) My list includes pig brain and frog skin. Frog skin was worse because one cannot swallow it quickly.