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Monday, March 21, 2011

“You are the First Foreigner I Have Ever Met”

"You are the First Foreigner I Have Ever Met"
If someone says that to you and it doesn't rock your world, I don't know what will.
This past weekend (3/12-13) was an amazing weekend - Rayna took me to her parents house for lunch and her parents cooked us a huge 6 or 7 course meal with some amazing food - oh man...homecooked Chinese food is the best.
Her parents did not speak any English, so of course I had to bust out my very limited Chinese, but it worked out very well - her father was very happy that 我会说一点汉语。 We talked about Chinese culture and history, the earthquake in Japan, what I was studying and where I was from, and just other random stuff like that. Where we couldn't communicate, Rayna stepped in as our translator (very often). 
It was really humbling to be considered an honored guest of a family who invited me into their despite never having met me before. They treated me so well, I am overwhelmed by some people's kindness here. As much as I know you would like to see pictures, there are just some situations where you don't want to pull out your camera - it seemed impolite. 
The next day - Sunday, I visited the West Campus of L.U.T. - 西校区,as they call it here. The campus is massive and you can tell it's a fairly new campus. The copious amounts of dust that have stained the buildings here hasn't quite taken a hold on the West Campus. I went to meet 3 friends, but our numbers eventually swelled to around 10 or 15 at the peak of the day. 
Everyone at the West Campus stared at me - apparently there are no foreign teachers at all on the West Campus, so many people have never met or actually seen a foreigner, which is something that still blows my mind. It's so different than America - America has every type of people from every country because it is on top for now and many people want to come to America to live or visit. Because of that, we see people of every race every day - not so here in Gansu, China. Everywhere you look, it is just a sea of Chinese people - sure, different ethnic groups like the Hui, Dai, Yi, and more, but they all come from the basic genetic pool - black hair, the Asian eyes, shorter in stature for the most part, and roughly the same skin tone. Someone like me REALLY sticks out. It is a continual reminder of where I am.
The students at the West Campus have been really cool - I got invited to a random person's apartment and they made a massive meal for the whole crowd in the room. After the meal, we all just sat around and chilled for a while and talked and then they showed me the campus. It was a great weekend and I got to meet a bunch of people and see some cool stuff. 

(I am sorry I haven't posted much lately - my internet is really, really, really unreliable. It's so hard to get on). I have 3 or 4 more videos made, but I haven't been able to post them - sorry :(


  1. Man, that's really cool stuff. I always assumed that the rest of the world was at least somewhat diverse. I guess that isn't always so. Guess you are a minority now. Congrats.

    Daniel Murrey

  2. Skype me sometime. Which brings me to the real issue . . . your lack of reliable internet access :

    How much is an internet "air" card there ? Basically, that's a PCMCIA card or USB dongle that plugs into your computer, and gives you internet access via your cell phone carrier. Probably you'd need to take Rayna or someone else with you to get it, because you'd need to ask questions about coverage and how good the the 3g service is in your area.


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