Last week was completely crazy, between teaching Adoption Law six hours a day and the girls going back to school and Xiaoli visiting. Don't get me wrong, it was all good, just a struggle to manage!
Xiaoli's visit was wonderful, though I wish we had had more time to entertain her. She, too, was teaching 6 hours a day. We took her to the airport this morning, and the kids already say they miss her.
Friday was only 4 hours of teaching, so we spent a few hours in the afternoon introducing her a bit to Fort Worth's cowboy culture. We toured downtown Fort Worth, with its great old buildings and statutory tributes to cowboys and long-horn cattle. And I showed her Log Cabin Village, with cabins and a school house and an Indian tipi, all from the mid-to-late 1800s. She was amazed at some of the similarities from the inside of the cabins -- like the iron stove in the school house. She said when she was in primary school in northern China, it looked very like the one-room school house, complete with stove in the middle. What amazed her were the wood cabins on the outside. They didn't build log cabins like that in China.
Between restaurants and dinners at my parents' house, and at a friend's house, and even my puny attempts at cooking, we introduced her to a variety of "American" foods (she's been living in a predominantly Chinese part of Queens, and hasn't eaten much non-Chinese food in the U.S.). I have to put "American" in quotes, of course, since the meals included Italian and French and Mexican cooking! She's also experienced the joys of "Southern" cooking, and is a new convert to biscuits.
We had a number of great conversations about the differences and similarities of American and Chinese families, and I'll try to post about some of them in the next few weeks as I remember them!
The Adoption Law class was also wonderful, though completely exhausting. I'll also try to post about some of the most interesting parts. For me, the most interesting parts tend to be my students' reactions. Most of them come into the class knowing little more than the "happy-happy-joy-joy" script about adoption, and really surprised to hear other perspectives.
So, we've survived what I hope will be the craziest week of the new year -- yippee!!!! It'll all be downhill from here!