Greetings from Guangzhou!
As the season of Resurrection comes, may the miracle of Easter fill your heart with joy!
It’s my first Lent and Easter in the mission and my second semester of Mandarin study. I will upload my experiences on Holy Week on my blog. Here are my experiences during the first two months of the second semester.
I attended Ash Wednesday at Cathedral right after the class. I gave a reflection “Tuhanlah kekuatan kita” (=God is my strength, http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.com/2011/03/renungan-tuhanlah-kekuatan-kita.html) for the Indonesian Charismatic Prayer Group. We had the Station of the Cross twice in April.
My reading-writing, conversation, listening classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays afternoon and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays morning. There are 32 students in the list but the class usually between 9-26 students. They are coming from Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, France, Tanzania, and USA. We have four teachers. There is a dictation of new words of reading-writing class, most of the time it’s also the words from previous lessons. For the first dictation, I forgot how to write 喝, 那，啤 from last semester. We had small test for the first 8 lessons of reading-writing class.
I attended optional classes in taiqijuan (=Taiji) on Mondays evening, pronounciation on Tuesdays afternoon, calligraphy on Wednesdays afternoon, writing on Thursdays afternoon, Chinese paper cutting and knots on Friday afternoon. I also have private tutor in pronounciation one hour a week.
Each university have a community of the Indonesian Catholic students. Our community have a prayer meeting on Wednesdays evening. We take turn to lead the worship and sharing the reading of the coming week. Each community take turn to responsible for the biweekly prayer meeting at Consulate General. Five students and I visited home for people with mental disabilities “Huiling” http://www.gzhl.org/. We prepared several games and we also played with them. Whoever available visited and prayed together with the Indonesian patients and their families at Fuda hospital who came from Indonesia for cancer treatments. We take turn to lead the prayer and will be added by whoever is moved by the Spirit to pray. Ten students, Fr. Peter and I visited a leprosy center at Foshan.
I set up a prayer line through yahoo messenger on March 2. Here is the link about it: http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.com/2011/03/sharing-school-of-love-and-prayer.html
On the third week end of March, I went to Hong Kong for our regional meeting but I also had a chance to attend the English Sunday mass at Catholic Center, met several Indonesians, and went to Hong Kong Flower Show 2011 http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/green/hkfs/2011/en/index.php.
My family in Quanzhou asked me to attend the wedding of one of my second cousins. I decided not to attend as it takes 10 hours (in fact 14 hours from dormitory to their house) and I try not to absent from classes. Fortunately, there was holiday for Qing Ming Jie (=the sweeping of the tomb festival) so I decided to visit them by sleeper bus. The bus left from Tianhe Coach Terminal on Apr 1 around 7.45 p.m. and arrived at Jinjiang station the next morning. We went to Quanzhou by small van. I got off the van upon arrived in Quanzhou station and my family waited in the other Quanzhou station as the bus driver’s information. I was not sure, I got off the wrong station or the bus driver gave the wrong information. I visited 4 houses at Da Xia Mei and one house in Xia Mei that day. My second cousin Hong accompanied me to attend the Sunday mass in Quanzhou. There was a screen to show the Chinese characters and English of the order of the mass. We visited the new couple and her parents’ house and then went to one of the ten famous mosques in China which was built in 1009. I stayed overnight at Xia Mei, cooked fried rice noodle, ate a homemade hei guo (black sticky rice with lentil inside, wrapped in dried corn leaf) and watched the video of the wedding on Apr 4. In the evening, I visited one of my cousin’s house and back to Da Xia Mei to watch Minju (A Chinese opera in Min Nan dialect, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujian). On the day of the sweeping of tomb Apr 5, I brought fruits and snacks to 黄 (=Huang, my Chinese family name) ancestor hall where my paternal grandparents used to live and lighted a long firecracker which was bought by Bo, one of my 黄relatives. I visited his house and then walked to another 黄ancestor hall with his wife and daughter. They brought 2 rattan baskets of meal for two 黄 ancestor halls so I also went again to the 黄ancestor hall that I visited in the morning. After that I ate lumpia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpia) for the second time, it’s wrapped in different way with the Indonesian lumpia. In the afternoon, I visited my auntie’s grave and another Chen’s grave as my cousins’ family name is 陈 (=Chen). On the way back home, Hong and I picked up and ate strawberries in the farm. I left Da Xia Mei by a car and then changed to a sleeper bus in the evening and arrived the next morning in Guangzhou. My family gave a Qing Ming Jie snack, white sticky rice with lentil inside.
There was tug a war competition in the school. There were six students who willing to participate so we joined another class plus two volunteers. We were the fifth winner and got RMB 100.00 so we had lunch together after the competition. As I remembered, it’s my first time to play tug a war and I had bruises in arm.
I only can thank and wonder on God’s providence through so many people and experiences during my fourteen months in mission. Thank you very much for your support, love, donation, and especially your prayers and wish you: HAPPY EASTER 2011
With love and prayer,
Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M./黄 莉 莉
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible