Happy November! (how did that happen so fast?! do you feel the same way?!)
Anywho, today was good.
I love checking people's license plates to make sure I am getting in the car with the right random stranger.
It happens to me more than the average person, I think.
Today after my classes I found myself checking the license plate of Li Na's husband to make sure I was getting in the right car. He was to drive me to a farmer's restaurant about an hour away from Hangzhou.
We were having a meeting about me taking over the orphan program at chrch and setting up a time to visit another orphanage. I have a group of students from last year who have organized a drive of milk powder and are ready and waiting to deliver the goods to the babiez. (awesome-ness!)
Because this is Ch.ina (well, to be fair, I think this happens everywhere...) everything takes a lot of time to happen. Nothing is really efficient. We have to have 800 meetings to discuss a little thing like a orphanage visit because there are a lot of rules concerning who can go when outside people don't have a relationship with the orphanage. This is why these meetings are so important. They keep up our "guanxi" (Chi.nese business practice of relationships that is hard to obtain).
Eating and hanging out builds our guanxi, allows the chrch and the orphanages to have continual partnership and keeps us all safe. Of course, the real benefit besides all that serious stuff is that I sincerely love these people and could not imagine my life without them.
I met the two hospital worker women 2 years ago. The older one, Li Na calls me her kid. And allows laments how she doesn't take good enough care of me. haha. Precious. Both have become family* in the past 2 years.
Today's lunch was productive in business and personally. We have decided an orphanage to sponsor, have divied up the work of collecting children's winter clothes and milk powder, and we had a darn good time doing it.
I love these meetings. I love the wheeling and dealing that goes into Chin.ese business practice. It's all a game. And I like to play.
I also love the bonding that comes when a group of women come together. It's powerful. We do most of our business/chatting in Chin.ese with the help of my iTouch dictionary and a woman from chrch who is of Chin.ese descent.
Today's lunch was fresh from the farm and it was DELISH! I love these farmer restaurants. The food is legit.
Here's some proof:
Chinese mom (who is now retired) and sis:
Hangzhou International Fellowship orphan committee and Hangzhou Orphan Rehabilitation Center Sponsorship Secretaries, an amazing partnership that is changing lives one child at a time (haha when did I start writing Hallmark cards?!?!):
Now I'm off to the grocery store then studying for the evening...Midterms next week! EEK!
"If you can't feed one-hundred people, then feed just one." -Ma Teresa.
Walk Slow. xoxo.