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End of Kunming Homestay

Last night we had a goodbye party, marking the end of our Kunming homestay. Our Chinese language teachers, most of our host families, and some of our ISP teachers came. Crowed into the tiny program house, everyone listened as we introduced ourselves and our host family members. My host grandfather and younger sister were there. My host sister, who is six years old, ran out of the room with her friend when I introduced her, whereas my host grandfather stood up tall and saluted to the entire group. At one point during the night we presented our Independent Study Projects. Alex B. played for everyone a song on the Guzheng which is a traditional Chinese instrument. I would have presented my paintings had I remembered to bring them to the party, so Aiden, Cas, Jordana, Alex K, and I went up and stood while all the host families marveled at Jordana and Aiden’s paintings. Then the Chinese Medicine ISP presented and brought us some comic relief when they treated Faith for bad gas. My language teacher, Leah, sat next to me for most of the party. She helped me practice more words and offered me more advice. She also gave me and everyone else in our beginner class, photos of us taken during our time in Kunming which she had printed out. It was a really kind gesture and it made me a little sad that classes were ending. Right now I’m sitting for the last time on my bed in my host family’s apartment. I’ve just packed up most of my belongings. Earlier I helped my host sister with her homework and looked at a globe together. I showed her again where I’m from, where we are now, and where our group is about to go, to Tibet (Autonomous Region)!