I ate dinner with one of my students at his home the other day. This was my first time eating with a student so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
His mother had grapes out on their coffee table and tea and coffee ready for me when I first got there. She was busy in the kitchen preparing the food while David Cairo Messi and I sat down and talked. Yeah, his name is David Cairo Messi. “Cairo” is his English name, while the name David is from the soccer player, David Villa, and Messi is from the soccer player, Lionel Messi. He loves soccer almost as much as I do… almost.
We sat down at the table and she put two dishes in front of us. One was a fish dish with hot peppers. At first I thought it was eggplant, but upon closer inspection, I realized they were little thin fish that you eat whole. It was tasty, but difficult to get past the crunch of the spine. The other was a simple vegetable dish, although also very tasty. We did not wait for her to join us, because I suppose it was expected that we eat without her while she finished cooking for us
We also ate a type of mushroom, I believe it’s called “Jews Ear”, whole shrimp, Coca-Cola chicken wings, and a type of thick soup. It was so delicious! David Cairo Messi’s mother didn’t speak any English, so we mostly conversed in Chinese, with DCM translating a bit here and there. He’s an eager learner, so that makes learning English much easier for him and he’s a joy to have in class.
He kept mentioning his father, so I asked him where he was, assuming that he was maybe still at work. Actually, he owns a restaurant in a neighboring district, so he doesn’t live at home with his wife or son. DCM only gets to see his father during holidays. That made me really sad, but it didn’t seem to faze him. I guess that’s normal?
Today, I taught at Xin Lian Primary School, a school in the same village as mine. In fact, it’s probably a 30-second walk to that school. The reason why I taught there is because their foreign teacher got injured (her Achilles tendon got sliced, actually) and she is recovering in Japan, where her family can wait on her and take care of her.
Anyway, CTLC is responsible for covering her classes, so I was asked to sub for a few of them since I live so close. I subbed for three classes today in grades 5 and 6. It was fun because I got to teach some of the kids that I tutor, as well as experience what it’s like in a primary school. I have only taught middle school, so I was a little anxious and excited for today.
The kids were adorable. Absolutely adorable. In between classes, I was bombarded with little children running every which way, bumping into each-other, screaming, and playing rock/paper/scissors. I’m glad that I didn’t teach the little ones, though, because I think they would’ve been a bit much for me to handle on my first day in a primary school.
In my third class, the teacher informed me that the children would be singing a song before class started. So, I sat down in the front of the room and waited for them to begin. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen! All the children, in unison with every other child in the school, began singing a Chinese song about bringing your smiles to school and being happy. I am going to bring my camera next week so that I can record it.