After I got pregnant with my second child I wondered “is it possible to love another baby as much as I loved my first?” I soon found out is definitely possible. After four children I have loved each one individually and enjoyed each of their different temperaments and personalities. I didn’t know it would be possible to love my Chinese students as much as I love those of my first year here. Not true, I am falling in love with these students just as much as my first. There are always the favorites, only because they spend more time with me. When we walk home from class, those that walk with us and visit become fast friends.
I became the mama this week when I started braiding one of the girl’s hair. It was calling to me. She was standing in front of me and I just automatically starting braiding. She was so excited. She said “this is so wonderful it is as if you are my mother and playing with my hair. It is such a good memory. Even though I am an adult now I can be a child again when my mother combs my hair and I can feel younger.” Other girls started to shyly come forward and say “I would like a braid in my hair too, would you do so?” I enjoyed it.
We are very busy these days with preparing the women in the academy for the 9th Annual Women’s symposium next weekend. They are all preparing a speech presentation to share the projects they have been working on all year. Their English is a little what I call “chenglish” and each speech has to be edited (58 in total) to make it more understandable. It has been a lot of work. The beauty of it is that the students are more than eager to have me correct them and show them how to make it sound better. They ask me to please help them and do not seem to get offended. It is a lesson to be learned for me to accept constructive criticism that might help me to be a better person, better communicator, and a better student.
We are also interviewing the new women who have applied for the academy for next fall. These poor students are sweating bullets, some almost moved to tears they are so nervous. I love hearing their stories and why they want to be a member of the academy. One of them today said “I want to find ways to help the poor and to serve more in my world so I can be a better person and broaden my horizons.” They are so excited to make friends with us foreigners and want to spend more time visiting. They tell me I am lovely and kind. I feel the same way about them. I have more love to share and can’t seem to quit loving who they are and what they give back.