Friday, January 16, 2015

Jenny Johnson talks about our Hubei University visit

Jenny posted this reflection on Facebook yesterday.  With her permission, I'm sharing it with our blog readers today.  I think it will give you yet another impression of the special day we had.

Okay so I wasn't planning on posting anything until I got home, but this seemed important, so here goes.

Yesterday, we went to Hubei University and were welcomed with applause and open arms. I gave my introverted self a pep talk before we left the hotel because I knew that I would have to be outgoing to talk to students. Little did I know that it was going to be as amazing as it was.

Abby and Cassie (amongst others) pictured here two of the most incredible and hardworking women I've ever met. Don't ask me to say their names in Mandarin because I couldn't do it even if I tried (which I did). I became so close to them in just about 10 hours and I almost cried when I had to say goodbye. I never knew I could make connections with people like I did with them. There were multiple hugs and email exchanges all around before we got into the bus to head back to the hotel.
(As a side note, I just want to say how inadequate I felt while talking to them. They spoke amazing English and yet I only know about 4 phrases in Mandarin.)

The concert last night was amazing. I got to hear traditional Chinese instruments I had never heard before and watch incredible musicians perform their music for us. Sharing our music with them and hearing them say how much they enjoyed us (or hearing them tell Carl how much they enjoyed us) made being here in China feel even more real.

I am truly touched by the hospitality and kindness we received as the students, directors, and professors showed us around the university, fed us, and opened up to us about all aspects of their lives. There isn't a single thing I would possibly want to do differently other than to do it all again.

Yesterday was by far my favorite day and I am so honored that I was able to be a part of it. Thank you to all involved in yesterday's activities. I am so sad I have to leave, but I will cherish all we taught each other and all the fun we had forever.

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