So. This is actually something I wrote a while ago about my trip up to former Tibet for Thanksgiving, and now I thought I'd go ahead and put it on my blog.
I left our city on Saturday with a couple of friends. I suppose we got up there at about one o'clock and started eating almost immediately. We had chicken; stuffing; garlic mashed potatoes; rolls; tacos and fiesta chicken care of the Brazilians, Mexicans, and Peruvians; sweet potato casserole; a pork roast; spinach with cheese; and desserts including, but not limited to, apple pie, pecan pie, Tollhouse pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and regular cheesecake. It was pretty unbelievable.
After lunch, the guys all headed out to this field in the middle of *nowhere* for some good, old-fashioned flag football. There was nothing around but plains, and then massive mountains in the distance--it looked like we were playing on the moon. We ended up playing for three hours or so, at the end of which I was personally covered with dirt, and with my fair share of wounds. I went ahead and told the others that I wasn't even going to try to catch any long passes, but I ended up playing a good game--scoring a couple of points and making an interception.
That night, one of the couples there had us over to their apartment. It's very warm, and decorated like Christmas. And we were all packed in, laying all over everything, and just drinking coffee and chatting. It really reminded me of all the late-night talks we'd have with friends in college.
The next morning we had a pretty unbelievable gathering, where we all talked about what we were thankful for. I talked about how thankful I was just that I could be there with so many close friends, having something that really felt like a holiday. I also talked about being thankful that things are allowed to happen to us that we wouldn't have chosen, because we would always choose poorly. We also talked and sang about Christmas coming up.
I ended up staying another day, rather unexpectedly, which was really more of the same--excellent times with people that I hope to continue to get closer to. Then, the next day, it was back home.
As another random piece of information, the next Sunday, I ended up leading an English corner of about ten students.
Afterwards I had dinner with the teacher who'd set it up, one of his old students, now about 30, who'd come to the English corner, and my best friend here. It was one of the best times I've had in China so far, with everyone interacting very pleasantly, everyone relaxed and engaging each other. Even though most of the conversation was in the local dialect which I can't understand at all, it was just... perfect. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I felt incredibly comfortable around each of the individuals. But something about it reminded me of home.