James and I at a Roaring 20’s themed work gala. James on-boarded with me in October 2016. We were assigned to the same school and the rest was history. He is like a son to me, mostly because he insisted on calling me “Mumma,” against my will and he knew it got on my nerves. Finally, I conceded, because James is pretty friggin awesome. Of course many in the office including the locals tried to mimic James’ British, “Mumma,” when addressing me, but I would not have it. James was the only one that could get away with calling me that. I miss him. He was my only family over there.
China Folk Villiage Theme Park in Shenzhen.
In China, when you go to a theme park and you are a foreigner, especially a black one, you are more of an attraction than the theme park. As I strolled through the Folk Village I noticed many children were there on field trips. I was tickled at how excited they were when they saw me. Many asked to take a selfie with me and then thanked me with an excited xiexie and then told me I was beautiful. After much studying of the park map that was in full Mandarin, I finally figured out and made my way to the exit. I realized I’d passed it about five times. I just couldn’t concentrate as I was simply exhausted after taking pictures with the children and adults alike.
Farewell Party 05-22-17
I think I’m overwhelmed. Overwhelmed as I just do not know how to express how I feel at this very moment. Or how I felt yesterday when one of my students gave me a bouquet of flowers as I walked into my own farewell party in the Life Club Room with 26 of my students gathered. Yvonne said to expect four to fourteen. Not even she expected the turnout I got. My eyes started to moisten as I playfully pretended to walk away as if not to join the party because I didn’t want to cry, “Ok, I cannot do this.” But I had to. I turned back and smiled as my pupils greeted me, giving me little trinkets and snacks they purchased for me.
The above is a snippet of the last chapter in I Came To China To Die. Below are some pictures from that party.
View from my apartment.