Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quality Time Is My Favorite.

   What's my favorite thing about ND?  The people.  What a cliche thing to say, but it's true so I won't try to come up with something original.  Living together with these new friends has been only a blessing.  Of course, I've only been a team with the other Summer Staffers for a few weeks, but we've already had some great adventures (running through a torrential downpour for the sake of donkey sandwiches - yum!) and some struggles that we've worked through together (cooking breakfast for dinner for the multitudes - yikes!).  My love language is quality time and I've had loads of it with these peeps!  My 6 weeks are passing by at an incredible speed, which is especially evident now that we're halfway through.  I'm extremely grateful for what I've been given and I wouldn't trade these friends for anything!  

Summer Staff 2014 (minus two that just arrived this week!)

Fluffy puppy (and one of my roommates, Hannah)! She's not as fluffy as this dog, but I love her lots anyway!

Elevators and stairs were the arena for a competition between Rob and I.  He definitely got to the top first most of the time, but I was wearing flip flops.  Totally unfair. 


   Funny story: ND had a ceremony two weeks ago to celebrate a new sponsor and their generous donation to the Foster Home.  We, the volunteers, were asked to prepare a short performance for entertainment.  We have two volunteers from Ireland who offered to lead us all in an Irish dance - what?!  We practiced for a long time, but the Chinese supervisor of the program said that our original dance wasn't flashy enough!  She wanted kicks and flips, so dear Hannah taught Rob a few swing dance moves to add in the middle!  Such a funny scenario, but we all had a good time and did pretty well.  Orla and Rob, who taught the dance, told us not to tell anyone that we know Irish dance now because the amount that we had to alter it to please the audience was a bit over the top!  These are the things that I will certainly never forget!

Orla and I are pro Irish dancers.

Orla and Grace, posin' with the balloons before the ceremony!

We couldn't take ourselves seriously, but it sure was fun!



2 1/2 Grovers.  Lois on the right has attended a class at Grove City College, so she counts!

We love Lois.  This was before she left us in Beijing to fend for ourselves.

Sarah with little Hannah!

   A brief explanation of the way volunteers work here: there are 3 foreign families who volunteer at ND and they're all wonderful! All of the kids that you see in these pictures belong to one of the families.  Besides those long-term staffers, there are the Summer Staff (that's me!) and short term volunteers that may be individuals or teams that have chosen to come and help out wherever they're needed.  Finally, there are many paid Chinese staff that work in every facet of ND.  Strong unity can be difficult, due to the language and culture barrier, but I have been glad to see ND's leadership emphasize and encourage it, both among foreigners and natives, as well as between the different departments of ND.  


Rachel had the privilege of getting a picture with the two youngest Harverson princesses.  

Beautiful Maya :)

Orla and Grace are so dear to me!

Pretty ladies!

Katherine makes me giggle in her baby rain jacket :)
I got to spend a little time teaching English at a middle school with these Summer Staffers and World Racers, a volunteer team that's here for several weeks.
Kevin didn't do anything to make this meal, but he wants you to think that he did. 

We all made it onto the crazy-packed subway, but we had to count to 9 in Chinese to be sure.  Just working together, you know. 

 Spending time with all of these folks couldn't be more lovely.  I'm holding on to each day with them because I know that they and the days are oh so precious!  

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