“Hello. I am happy!”

“I love you without knowing how, nor when, nor from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you this way because I know no other way to love,”  ~ Pablo Neruda

“Hello. I am happy!” This is the resounding response of seven and eight year olds to the questions, “Hello. How are you today?” This uncensored, sincere response touches my heart for sure!

I’ve now been here in Zhengzhou, China for five days.  I’m finding my way around and am successfully navigating my neighborhood walking to market and to my work.  I am comfortable hailing a cab or taking a mobee (a ride on an e-bike). The streets, every bit of them, sidewalks and roadways are packed. There are no formal laws for navigating e-bikes on the streets, so drivers head the wrong way on one way streets, and horns of auto drivers are sounding all the time.

I am working in a private school setting where the students come to the program after school and on weekends and holidays.  My first impression is that parents are parents and families are families the world over.  Parents and grandparents and aunties and uncles are snapping photos of their little ones taking part in on hands learning activities and graduation ceremonies.  The love in the eyes and the pride on their faces reflects the same as any other parent.  The parents meeting and greeting each other in the hall ways, feels the same as when I had my children in school and after school programs.  Even with differences in culture and language, love remains the same.

In my city of Zhengzhou, English is not a language spoken in shops or on the streets.  An application called WeChat is widely used for everything from texting and free calling cell-to-cell, to paying utility bills, scanning QR codes to order food at restaurants, and to pay for car and driver, and within this program is also a map and a translation tool!  I’m finding that everyone is curious and wants to connect and to help.  Shop owners and restaurant owners are curious as to where I am from and they want to help me.  There is mostly a curiosity and a need to do business, though a bit of altruism, too.

My city is also largely a commuter city and in most families both parents are working.  The scenario really isn’t much different from America, with perhaps the exception of a broader extended family at hand for pick-ups and drop-offs of children at school. And kids will be kids!  There is a sweetness and an innocence in the children and young people here in China.  Off the cuff and comparatively, western children have bit more of a sophistication and street awareness that I don’t sense in Chinese youngsters.  My time here is so new, I will surely learn more and be exposed to more, though initially there is a sort of naiveté, a humility within the people I am encountering, a genuineness that is refreshing and reassuring in a pleasant way.  There is always a quick smile, if not a wave of a hand, and always a curious look my way.

I am adjusting to my new surrounding mostly the time change, so my posting has been a bit erratic here.  I promise to be more connected and to post more snaps of my lovely city and my experiences! Thanks for visiting…


Love Remains the Same

My reflection in your eyes

Your touch on my heart

Hand in hand, little and big

Reassurance and support

Giving peace and guidance

Your reflection in my eyes

Hearts in hands

Love remains the same

SB © 2016

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