Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yellow Flower. Or NOT!

Funny story...
So on Monday, all of the teachers & school staff were sitting around a table in the kitchen...them chattering away in Chinese while I smiled & nodded. Then the principal cleared his throat, & I knew what was coming, "Teacher Saph-een. Do you find Chinese name yet? We ready to hear it." That phase is worn out from all the repetitions & this time was no different than the rest. I did not have a Chinese name. But instead of watching my principal's face fall & hear all the old ladies cluck their displeasure, I made a rash make up my own Chinese name.

I got up & scrambled over to my school bag, pulling out my Chinese-English dictionary. Since my name is similar to Saffron - a yellow flower, I thought, "Yellow flower sounds pretty good." And proceeded to tell those lounging around the table. I did not receive the desired effect, not at all. Several murmurs of displeasure & grunts were heard from my audience & the principal said, "Very interesting....but not very good name. I give to you better name." to which I replied, "Oh thank you! But I really like it; it has a special meaning to me." (Not to mention that the several previous times he tried to name me, they were quite complex names that would take me years to master...) He kind of left it at that & went on my merry way, not realizing what I had done.

Until tonight that is. Tonight we had several of our teachers over for a Bible study/English lesson & dinner. Two of them, Vivian & Becca teach at one of my schools. Somehow the topic of Chinese names came up, & they asked me (just like everyone else) if I had a Chinese name. I was quite excited to tell them that, yes I do have one, it's Yellow Flower. Everything went quiet for a second & then the ladies busted up laughing. They demanded to know who had named me, & I explained that I named myself, more laughter ensued. Then they proceeded to tell me that yellow is the color of "sexuality" in Taiwan, & that if I thought that was bad then being named flower was 10 times worse. Without knowing it, I put together the two most...promiscuous & shifty names in the Chinese language & proudly shared them with the staff at my Monday school.


Needless to say, I'm looking for a new Chinese name!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Home.

I am SO very sorry for not writing sooner!

Life has been crazy. We got into Taipei about 11pm on Tuesday the 26th & made it to our hotel an hour later. The next three days were jam=packed with training sessions & seminars. Then on Friday we spent most of the day traveling to our little town of Yuli. And I love it! The countryside is amazing! The people are friendly, the kids are eager to learn & I am so at peace. Tired, but at peace.

I left my camera cord at home, so I'll put photos up when mom mails it! =) (Thank you mom!!)

Some prayer requests:
- That I would be productive this afternoon. My classes are over for the day & I have time alone to work on things - pray that I take advantage of it!
- Ministry opportunities. The English teacher I worked with for 2 classes this morning saw me reading my Bible before class started & asked me why my God was different than hers. The people here are very open to hearing the gospel, but because their religion is so intertwined with their culture, change is incredibly difficult.
- Our team. That we would continue to work well together toward the common goal of glorifying our Savior & see insignificant things for what they are - ridiculous!
- Energy. I come home from school exhausted. The kids drain you & attempting Chinese drains you even more. :P Please pray that He would sustain us, but also give us wisdom on what activities to participate in & events to attend. (Trust me, the invitations are never ceasing!)

That is all for now, love you!