The whole apartment was filled to the max and buzzing with conversations, laughter and games. But, in that moment, four young ladies had pulled me aside and I was taking a minute to get to know them.
One of the reasons we love living here and what makes teaching these students so exciting is diversity. Three of the four of my new friends were from different minority groups. Before we had visited Ch!na we pictured everyone as Han – the majority people group. I couldn’t have been more naive.
Of the girls I was chatting with one was T!betian, one from a muslim people group Hu!, and another from the Tu people group. As I listened to them tell me about their different villages, food and customs I was struck again – I love living here with these people!
The university where Hubby is teaching has a new policy to only accept local students from this province. This is helping students from the countryside who are part of minority groups get accepted into the school. Of Hub’s freshmen oral English class %90 are from Q!nghai which accounts for the greater diversity in the open houses and student activities that we plan.
It isn’t just Hubby’s classes – as I am getting aquatinted at the orphanage I am learning of the diverse backgrounds of the teachers, nannies, foster families and also the children. Just two examples, the teacher who is quickly becoming my closest friend is Hu! and a 7 year old new arrival to the children’s home is T!betian.
With diversity comes challenges. We are working hard to understand and get to know the people who have been placed in our lives. They all respond differently and bring different cultural understandings to our table. We enjoy a good challenge but could use your thoughts as we strive to connect and love our friends here well.