Tuesday was my birthday. I have no classes on Tuesdays so it worked out nicely. I stayed up till 2 AM talking to my brother Olan so I had planned to sleep in late Tuesday morning. But the text messages wishing me a happy birthday began pouring in about 7:40 so I just got up then.
We have a new neighbor. I heard a lot of racket late Monday night and found out Tuesday that a German girl moved into one of the fifth floor apartments directly over my head. She's only here for 3 months to teach German. Her English is really good so we've hung out a little since she's been here. After teaching here for her three months, she will begin her travels around the world - at least for as long as her money holds out. Until then it will be nice to have another girl around here!
Anyway, Tuesday morning I decided to make some banana bread muffins to welcome the new neighbor which took up my morning. For lunch I met Jaime near the medical school. She and I haven't spent much time together so it was really cool getting to know her better. She has a really gentle spirit.
After lunch I planned to return home to nap (since I stayed up so late and got up so early), but it didn't work out. A Chinese guy, Michael Li, called and said he needed to talk to me, and the Lewis girls wanted to come over to retrieve something they had left at my house. The girls arrived first, and we were all hanging out in my room when Michael Li arrived. He came in and was acting kind of awkward and uncomfortable. We chit-chatted for a little bit, and then he got to the point of his visit. He told me he had been attempting to study but was seriously distracted, and then I popped in his mind. He asked me if I've ever seen Forest Gump, and told me that I reminded him of Jenny. I think the conversation just got weird after that. We talked for a little while longer, and he finally left.
Around 5 Derek and I went to Darla's apartment. Several Chinese friends were preparing dinner. We spent the rest of the evening eating, celebrating my birthday, and then watching Monster House in Andrew and Jaime's apartment to celebrate Halloween. It was a good way to celebrate my birthday, and my friends were very kind and generous to me. I got three birthday cards from some new friends whose English is just kind of so so. The cards are written in Chinese so it might be awhile before I actually know what they say. (:
MEXICALI SOUP NIGHT
Last night we all went over to the Lewis's. Rena made some amazing Mexicali soup, complete with tortilla chips and salsa on the side. As much as I love Chinese food, the Mexican flavor was a nice break from the typical meals we have. The Lewis girls prepared PowerPoint presentations for our viewing pleasure with pictures of the different things we have done here and of the people who have become such a big part of our lives since we've arrived. It was really touching.
Today Angel wouldn't stop calling Brian or me until we went down to the Post Office to pick up our packages. I got two packages from my mom and one from my best friend, and they were filled with candy and food and all kinds of other goodies. It's always so exciting to get packages. It makes my entire week pretty awesome!