Soon I will upload pictures from the first two weeks of April living with a lovely Chinese homestay family in Kunming. I have a Chinese mom, dad, and little brother. My mother is an accountant at a company that makes and sells signs, such as bus stop signs, street signs, etc. My father is the head of the Anthropology department at Yunnan Mingzu Daxue, so he’s perfect for me, right? He was extremely busy during my time here, so I did not get to know him as well as I wanted to. He did, however, inspire me, even more than I already am, to learn Chinese so that I can read the book he wrote on the Hani Chinese ethnic minority. He gave me a copy and actually signed it for me!
My little brother, who I just call didi (and he calls me jiejie. how cute is that?) is 14 years old and I think is in eighth grade. His English is pretty good; however, my mom’s English is the cutest in this house. She has been trying to learn English for only a year. During the first week of my stay, she would write down sentences with new vocabulary in Chinese and in English. Then after dinner, she would sit me down and ask if she could say the English sentence that way. It was adorable. During my stay, we mostly speak in Chinese, apart from a few words (well, not a few) that I don’t know yet. But in that case, she will either ask didi what the word is in English, or I’ll look the word up. Either way, my conversational Chinese improved drastically.
My parents’ house is not the average Chinese style or sized house. And by house, I really mean an apartment. This is a penthouse apartment with two floors. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living rooms, an American-size dining room, a large kitchen, a computer room, and a beautiful rooftop terrace, which currently overlooks the beautiful Kunming skyline of construction. Construction aside, the rooftop terrace is beautiful and relaxing. I was actually allowed to have a few friends over to celebrate Easter by decorating eggs! And we had that little party on the rooftop terrace. It was a lot of fun.
I will write more when I have time on the bus trip to Dali, Lijiang, and Zhongdian in the next two weeks, but for now, I do not want to abuse the privelege of using my didi’s computer. I’ll be posting a lot more when I get back from two weeks of travelling, and if I get internet access during that time, I will be sure to send a short post about what I’m doing!
Love to all,