For two weeks in July we had the opportunity to host two girls from China in an exchange program. I was a little nervous knowing how different our cultures are and wondered if they'd think our family was absolutely nuts. When I picked them up from the coordinator's house on their first night here I tried to be myself, but not too loud and crazy :) They were very kind but very quiet. We got home and I showed them the sleeping children and our house, where everything was, and they went to bed. For the following two weeks each day got a little better. They were more honest about what they did and did not like. Their names are Shang Cheng Cen (She picked Claire as her American name) and Jin Xiao Zi Ruo (Michelle).
They thought we were fun and they loved the kids. Just about every day they had an itinerary that had them gone most of the day and visiting lots of places including Hollywood, UCLA, Disneyland, Las Vegas, and more. When we had them it was usually for dinner and a little time at night but they were always tired from a long day out. We spent time just talking about each other's lives in China and the US. I asked most of the questions. We had random dance parties, we introduced them to a lot of foods, they met with the missionaries, we went to a movie in the park and we got each other signed up on facebook and weibao (like a Chinese fb). They also signed me up on WeChat so we can keep in touch easier. Claire had a birthday while she was here (she turned 19 and Michelle is 18).
They both attend the Beijing School of Film and both want to be actresses. They're from different places in China but met at the school. Claire is an only child. Her dad is a police officer and her mom is a secretary...I think. Michelle has one brother. Her mom stays at home and it sounded like her dad was a the equivalent of a city manager. They're both really wealthy and spent a TON of money while here. Literally a ton, atleast, on just souvenirs and clothes.
Their last night here the whole group prepared a presentation and performance for all the host families. They made food from China (it was mostly all good :) ) There was lots of singing and dancing.
The day they left we were all teary, it was very sweet. We really enjoyed having them and have told them they can come back whenever they want. We keep in touch on WeChat.
|Jack, Michelle, Cooper, ? and Adele|
|Claire and Adele|
|So many good dishes, my two favorites had eggplant in them|
|Elder Schneider from Utah and Elder ? from Hong Kong. Nice boys!|
|Most of the group|