Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A few observations from the peanut gallery

I get to talk to my Mom every morning and hear the progression she and Dad are making into settling into their routine and life in general in China.  And then there's the challenge of developing a curriculum in a subject neither of them have ever taught in - and despite being told their students would be the most basic of English speakers, they discovered students in their classes had already read Gone With the Wind and the Harry Potter books!  Back to work on those syllabi!  Dad tends to lean on his knowledge of technology more, with lots of PowerPoint and web examples, but that gets complicated on a day like yesterday when Dad walked into class and found some facility workers who had just REMOVED the electricity wiring from the room!!

They've had things slightly lighter at the start of classes, because they haven't had to teach any freshman level courses yet, because freshman have required military training and no academic classes the first two weeks.  They'll begin teaching those next week.

Also, here are some random things that they've observed since their arrival in China: 

First, it is NOT a handicapped-accessible country:

 Between their limited menu and the massive amount of walking they are doing, they don't present too much of a problem for our fair heroes, but Mom estimates it would cost a at least billion dollars for China to become handicap compliant.

Secondly, they are well-seasoned world travelers and have come to a realization about language and the countries they've visited.  Of the many, they've only been to 3 countries that were so large that they have no driving need to speak a language other than their own: America, Brazil, China. However, people living in the countries of Europe are often mullti-lingual, speaking at least 3 to 7 languages so they can interact with all their neighbors.  Mom attributes this to their geographic situation putting them practically in each other's back yard, whereas the other 3 are large enough to get by on just one.

Also, they've come to not pray for missionaries the same old way anymore, now that they know more nearly what they are experiencing in the MTC and in the mission field.  The weight of being a beacon and putting your boots to the ground hits a lot closer to their hearts than it did before.

Last week one of Mom's students asked her, "Why do you come to China to teach? Our elderly people just stay home and relax or take care of grandchildren."

Funny, I had the same question!  Her answer though, spoke volumes about who John and Roslyn Kuzmich truly are:

"'Where more is given, more is expected.' If we in American have been blessed [Chinese: lucky] to have good health, an education and a comfortable (not rich) bank account, then we fee it is only right that we SHARE our resources/blessings with others who can use our help."

And that, folks, is the heart of this Chinese adventure.

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