Bethany, Bonnie, Dustin, ZhuKui
Bonnie (Country Directory) and ZhuKui (Program Manager) visited Anshun awhile back. We had a nice hike up the mountain behind the dormitories and then around the back of the school. The back gate, a single door, opens like clothes parting in a wardrobe, revealing overturned rice paddies covered with stacks of rice stalks and women picking heads of Chinese cabbage before the frost sets in.
They visited my apartment as well. "What are those?" Bonnie asks, pointing at some disfigured, withered plants that were there when I first moved in well over a year before. "Oh, those. Well, they are... an experiment?"
She looks with curiosity at my walls, and the pathetic hangings whose sole intention of covering the bleak, white, cracking walls is only too obvious. I use one wall for hanging things sent from home, including pictures, postcards, and little notes. The wall threatens to swallow this small display, and the two dead light bulbs in my 6-bulb 'chandelier' certainly don't add to the ambiance. "Where's your bathroom?" she asks, before heading through my kitchen and through the back hallway to take a look.
"I'm ready to go," she says, "but I need to get a picture of your soap sculpture first."
Please don't ask.
She nods towards my bicycle on the way out - another pitiful thing with the seat removed for hauling loads of wood and tires clearly flat from months of disuse. I almost felt like my apartment was some kind of extension of my volunteering skill; like the disorder was a manifestation of my ability and, therefore, my teaching would also be the same in her eyes: a broken down display of ineptitude.
But I'm sure she didn't think so.
Posted by Concerned Citizen at 7:17 AM