As I have told you before my life in China was something.
The last 6 months, that I worked there, I was in Quanzhou. A wonderful city, 2 hours drive from my home in Fuzhou. I lived in a condominium there, with all the Chinese teachers and learnt so much during these 6 months, about teachers, about the students from young age up to 18 and about the city. Quanzhou is different from Fuzhou. It is humid, very humid. When I arrived there I opened all the windows in the apartment and everything got wet. I had never experienced anything like this. I just wanted fresh air and got a wet apartment instead.
I want to share with you, in this post, the gift my students gave me on my 65th birthday. I was helping at a wedding, cooking for the guests, a foreign teacher was getting married to a Chinese girl.
When everyone had eaten my students took me to a corner and circled around me with one of the teachers. They had a present for me. They knew how I loved Chinese art and they knew about my situation. They knew I would have to leave my beloved China and sell my house in Min Hou. They wanted me to be prosperous and the fish is the symbol of prosperity. I would never lack money, having this wonderful wood carving with me.
Now it is in my beautiful apartment in Portugal. I look at it many times every day and think about my students. True Chinese art with gold. Every detail perfect. Every thought perfect.
Now these students are grown up, they have got their degree and the live has begun. I hope they are all happy. If I go to China in the future I might even be able to visit some of them. One of them is an artist. Another is an architect. One is a teacher and it goes on and on. One is studying to be a doctor. He will take care of the sick and vulnerable. What a joy to have been a part of their lives, even though just a few months. I will never forget them and hope they will remember their foreign teacher who loved them with all her heart.
I sometimes wonder if the teachers are the same. Have they left or are they in the same place all their working period? I don´t know but I can find out. I will write to Martin. He invited me to lunch before I left and took me on his motorcycle. I have never been as afraid. On a motorcycle in the Chinese traffic. It was horrifying. I survived and we got a wonderful food in my favourite restaurant. He gave me a travel tea set. I have got the tea set in the green bag with his phone number and e-mail written on it. He, as all the other teachers, was much younger than me but it did not matter. Somehow we connected for life. That is the beauty of it all. The connection that never brakes.