Monday, August 27, 2012

Friends In China ~ Episode 1~ Tiare

Introducing Tiare and family!
Tiare's family.
Tiare is originally from Idaho, while her husband grew up in Virginia. They met at BYU Idaho while he studied history/Chinese education. In order for his Chinese teaching career to take off they decided to move to China to get some real experience. He worked in Ma'Anshan Anhai at a teachers college. They lived right off campus there from February 2011 to December 2011. While the adjustment was hard, mainly because there were no other foreign people, it was still rewarding and enriching and Tiare misses it. The college students really took the family under their wings. Tiare learned to cook with the students and the children played and played and played some more with them. Tiare is so grateful for these students as it took her ten months to find butter. She did not have an oven or a can opener. She truly learned to thrive off of whatever she had. She looks back fondly of her time in Ma'Anshan Anhai. It was there that she became pregnant with her third child. They decided to move back home to America to have the baby.

Back in America they missed China; the people, the food, the culture. Since their oldest would be turning five they knew education had to be part of the package so Tiare's husband applied to some international schools. In a wonderful turn of events he was hired on at Beanstalk International Language School. In mid-April they packed up their five year old, three year old and two month old to move back to China!

The oldest joins dad at Beanstalk in a program that is 70% English and 30 % Chinese instruction. They appreciate being at an international school, with other foreigners. Because foreigners are often stared at, touched and used as a distraction here, it can be uncomfortable; especially for little ones.  
Tiare's kids crowded with spectators.
Tiare spends most of her day being a mom and homemaker, a lot like in America. Although China presents some challenges that makes the job a little more difficult. While she is able to walk to the market for her fruits and vegetables, she mostly bikes and takes the bus everywhere else she needs to go. She loves the bus, people are accommodating to her and the children. She even got into a non-verbal debate, while pregnant, with an elderly woman about which one should take the seat. Eventually a younger woman gave up her seat so that both Tiare and the eighty year old woman could  both have a seat. 

Tiare mostly cooks chinese cuisine because it is cheaper and the ingredients are more readily available than foreign foods. They do not eat out very often because the boys still haven't gotten the hang of chop sticks. It is just easier for her to cook at home. Although, the oddest thing she has seen in China is the meat that hangs outside. Other odd things she makes sure she asks someone about and she soon finds out that it really isn't odd after all. She doesn't speak Chinese fluently but has a good ear for understanding what is said. Many times charades help her to communicate.  Her husband speaks Chinese well.

Tiare has learned to love reading while here in China. She also has exercised more, eaten healthy, learned to barter and has learned more patience. The thing she misses the most about America is going to the temple and, of course, her family. When asked how China has changed her as a person, her reply was, " I am a totally different person from coming to China. It truly has changed me for the better, I think. China is hard but a refining fire wasn't suppose to be cool."

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