WOW!!! I have sooooo much to say!!! I haven't been writing much in the last week as so much is happening in the remaining days (for this trip) in Zhengzhou. Remember when I mentioned that the reporters came to interview me - and they came to the clinic the day I 'ganmao le' - caught a cold, and how the reporter came later to take pictures of me practicing qigong, dancing and writing to you all? Well, this morning when I woke up, I had a text message from the reporter saying that the story was going in the 2nd and 3rd pages of today's paper!! On the front page there is also a picture of me - saying 'Ta jiao Kailun...' "Her name is Karen - she's a blond haired, blue eyed 'meinu' woman from the U.S. here studying Chinese medicine - Are you curious what she says in her journal?" ...and then it tells people to go to pp. 2-3 to find out more :) - Oh how exciting! I have several copies and will show you when I get home. The second page has a picture of my typing my one of my updates to you :) Each link below will take you to the different pages.
Also, before I got to work today, Dr. Zhao called me and said 'Gankuai lai shang ban. Henan dianshitai yao lai fangwen ni.' "Come to work soon - the Henan TV station is coming to interview you" as they too had just read the article in the paper. OMG!! Wow!
At lunchtime today with Ayi and Dr. Zhao (before the TV reporters came in the afternoon), Dr. Zhao said that although many Americans come to China, very few are in the papers, let alone interviewed on TV. "Yibeizi tamen ganbushang" - in a lifetime most don't get on the media" -- Also, sometimes, Dr. Zhao explained, some people must pay a good sum of money to get in the paper or on TV and this just came to us - the newspaper reporter heard 'through the grapevine' about me coming to study Chinese medicine with Dr. Zhao and today the TV station read the paper and called Dr. Zhao immediately to come do a story too -- This is another Beautiful Gift that just....'plop' .. is here in our lap!! Dr. Zhao is a very humble and thankful man too - and today before we ate lunch, he showed me his alter and the 2 'pusa's' (for many Americans, the equivalent is 'angels') -one being Guanyin watching over him and those he loves. We both bowed and felt great gratitude for our Blessings!
The atmosphere in the clinic was truly one of excitement the whole day and as soon as I arrived in the morning, Junlin and LiZhun already had my 'white doctor's coat' ready to wear for the reporters :). JunLin said to 'lai zhao ta' call her after my lunch with Ayi and Dr. Zhao and we'd 1) do our veggie shopping for our dinner (I made a 'thank you' dinner for everyone tonight and practiced my Chinese cooking skills :) and 2) she'd brush my hair and put it in a pretty hairdo for the reporters :). Oh I love JunLin!! She is so great!! Sometimes I feel like a young girl running over to her friend's house 'to play' after lunch :). At times we ride bikes, or practice dancing, or I help her with English, or we play ping pong, or she helps me with MANY things, or we talk and laugh and eat pineapple or drink yummy hot water and honey drinks (note: this is good for 'meirong' for beautifying our skin :)) before going back to work :).
And I just love both of my sisters -- LiZhun is back working at the clinic now too and the 3 of us are quite the team! We call each other 'Sister' - as I'm teaching them English - and for all the little kids who come to the clinic, we are quite a sight -- the 3 smiling 'Ayi's' "Aunties" :). Also, sometimes if there aren't any patients in the clinic, both 'sisters', Junlin and LiZhun, go to the back room to work with the herbs. As they leave, they practice their English and we all smile and say, "see you later" promptly followed by several giggles :). When practicing our English, if Dr. Zhao isn't busy with a patient, his eyes light up and he comes over with a smile and great curiosity and eagerness to learn -- he loves studying English too and will come practice the phrases I'm teaching my 'sisters' :)
Cooking my First Big Chinese Family Meal (with GREAT help from my 'Sisters' :))
So the TV reporters came in the afternoon and again, the clinic was quite 'renao' -very lively! They also came to my hotel room to film me typing my letter to you:) and to ....Dance!! YAY! This time maybe the dancing part will make the news. And...then the reporters came with me to JunLin's home to film me making my first formal Chinese meal for JunLin's family, LiZhun and Dr. Zhao and Ayi! This was quite an out-of-the-ordinary experience for all of us! First, it's already rare to have a 'wai guo ren' come to one's home, but then to have one come that is bringing a TV crew of 5 people is even more rare!! Everything happened so fast that I realized I hadn't even asked JunLin about the reporters coming into her and her family's home.....but her and her family were just Thrilled! These reporters were a lot of fun too -- all in their 20s and everywhere we went there was a lot of laughing and good cheer.
So I and the TV crew arrived at JunLin's about 6:30 p.m. and I was aware I had much to do -- I had bought LOTS of veggies for several dishes, tofu, and a small fish. Cooking Chinese food is very fast....BUT the chopping and preparation is what takes the longest. Well.....my 'sisters' (Bless them!) had prepared all the veggies - washed and chopped them, put them in neat separate bowls, cleaned the fish and stuffed it with ginger, my other Ayi (JunLin's mother-in-law) made a big pot of millet and sweet potato zhou (porridge)-- YUM!!, had the coal stove piping hot (really - they are super efficient and HOT HOT HOT!), and had smiling faces and an apron ready for me to wear. They are so wonderful!!
So when I arrived, JunLin and LiZhun guided me into the kitchen, put on my apron, had me do a 'spin' for the reporters, fixed my hair, put the spatula in my hand and said, "Lai, Kailun, ni chao cai ba" - "Come, Karen, you can stir-fry all the veggies now" :) Again, this was all while the 5 reporters also followed me in with their cameras!
After the cooking, the reporters left saying they'll come back tomorrow and they're also coming to the airport (along with Dr. Zhao, Ayi, JunLin and LiZhun) the day I leave for Inner Mongolia to see me off! I just keep thinking, "This is so amazing!!!" All of my experiences are so much more than I imagined!!! Each day I make it my practice to 'see, feel and be the Perfection and Love I desire" - as one of my teachers, St. Germain instructs. I feel so much awe and gratitude.
And, another thing to share from this evening....after dinner and chatting and cleaning up, Dr. Zhao and Ayi left -- with Ayi pausing with a twinkle in her eye, saying to 'hao hao wanr yihuir' -- to stay and 'play'/enjoy my time with my 'sisters' for awhile - as both she and Dr. Zhao know how close we've all become. So....after they went home, JunLin's 12-year old son (he is GREAT!!) put on some of the dance music I gave to JunLin and we had a most Awesome, Spontaneous family dance!!! WoooHOOO! Included one dancing picture below of me and her niece. JunLin, her son and her mother-in-law also danced with us! JunLin's husband, Zhao Miao video taped us so JunLin can 'study ecstatic dance' while I'm away! It was so fun to dance with them!!!
Oh I have so much more to say!! I'll be writing more in the next few days. I have much to share on what I'm learning with the medicine, feeling pulses, 'writing' another prescription -- really it's Dr. Zhao telling me the herbs and this time I actually knew how to write them (as I've been practicing!! :)), and more.
Thank you again so much for sharing my journey with me!! And THANK YOU for your emails!!! Also, thanks to my friend, Rick, for creating and updating my travel blog where all these emails are posted. (see BTW, he does great web work if you're looking for someone to help in this area :))
Much GREAT LOVE and BLESSINGS to you ALL!!!!