The Thanksgiving Party!

The Thanksgiving party,  

No we didn’t eat turkey and mashed potatoes. It was a thanksgiving party for Joyce. When I arrived at the classroom where the party was being held the lights were out and the girls were all standing in 2 lines facing each other holding lit candles. They were singing a beautiful Chinese song about friendship and goodbyes. As they sang another student walked down themiddle of them with a large, gorgeous cake covered with whip cream topped with rows of fruit and lit candles on it with We Love Joyce in the middle. I could not control the tears. I was so moved by the sincerity and tune of the music. Even if I could not understand them I felt it.

Some of the women were crying as well. I got a text from one of my old students saying “have fun at your party, don’t cry like a baby.”  I know last time when I left I cried a lot. I honestly didn’t know I would ever come back so it made me very sad. This time I believe I will be back. I am not done with China. It is in my blood and I truly love teaching these students.

After I blew out the candles on the cake it was my job to cut it and serve it on the little paper plates they provided with the cake. The women realized we did not have enough pates so they tore them in half. They were only about 5 inches round as it w, so half of a plate was small.  They had bowls with candy in them and loved the cake. It was not as delicious as in the U.S. because it is not too sweet. I liked it though; it tasted like a sponge cake.

A few of the students wanted to perform a song for me. I cried again because of their courage to stand up in front of their peers and sing. They both had beautiful voices and I really enjoyed the song.  It is especially moving for me when I see them stretching out of their comfort zone to sing and give me a gift. As they would say “I have a gift to present to you.”

Each girl stood up and told me what they appreciated about the World Academy For the Future of Women. They told me what they learned from me.  Many of them have been so shy these past few weeks they won’t even share in the classroom. They always start by saying “I am a little shy, or I am a shy girl, and my English is poor.” But, they shared and that was really important to see them grow like that in the short 5 weeks I have been here. One of them said “you said you found yourself in China, I found myself in the World Academy.”  She then shared how she has gotten so much more confident and courageous since before she was a member.

Many of the students had a gift to present to me. It is so cute and kind how they always have something to give. I really do love how they are so willing to do anything for me.  I have to be so careful to tell them something is cute or I like it because they will go out and buy it for me or give me what they are wearing or have.

In my opinion these women are angels. I taught in open forum today about experience the sheer joy of being alive, and gratitude. They got it and repeat the things I teach. In advanced class I taught the gift of miracles. It was fun to have them share miracles they have had in their lives. Many of them are angels in my life. They have helped me so much. I have an easy stay here in China because of their service to me.

I have mixed emotions about leaving tomorrow. I miss home, Steve the kids and grandkids. I will miss these women and their powerful, kind, loving spirits. They teach me more every time I come about listening to me, taking it in, applying it and living it each day. They want their lives to be different and are willing to do anything to make their dreams come true.  When they hugged me they said,” I will work hard, and make you proud of me.”  I am already proud of them and their courage just to stand up and share tonight was amazing.  What a gift I receive each time I come here to love and be loved by women with hearts of gold.