Hong Kong started school this past week. To some of you it might seem a little late, but school also doesn’t end until July here so I didn’t mind the wait. Sarah Grace’s December birthday put her in kindergarten here and we found a private school that teaches mainly in English except for when they study the Chinese language every day. With Hannah’s outgoing and easygoing personality, we decided to put here in the cheaper and closer local government school which is only for three hours each morning. It is in both English and Chinese. We can walk to both of their schoolswhich is a big plus. (Click here to view pictures)
The girls have been so excited for weeks now and Monday morning they both had their uniforms and shoes and backpacks on before I even made it out of bed. When we dropped Hannah off, she waved goodbye and never looked back. Then we walked to Sarah’s school and on the way we get to see the local ladies doing Tai Chi (a form of exercise that looks like standing-up yoga mixed with slow motion dancing) or fan dancing if it is close to a special holiday. (see pictures) Up unto this point, Sarah has been so excited to go to school and get to stay and eat lunch there and not have to come home for a nap. But once we get to Sarah’s school, she realizes just how overwhelming it all is. She is the only North American in the class, and she is the youngest, and it lasts from 9am to 3pm everyday. Daddy comforted her and prayed with her again and she felt a bit better and after a few pictures, she was ok with us leaving. I haven’t had much time to get used to the idea of Sarah starting kindergarten and then to be starting kindergarten in Asia!
With Hannah being in local school, we are having to truly adapt and live in the culture. At her preschool, no child is allowed to wear diapers or pull-ups. So, we have been talking to Hannah and building up the idea and on the first day of school, she wore big girl panties and we sent her off. She can home dry and has been so all week. I don’t know how they did it, and not much can be deducted due the the language barrier, but I am just glad Hannah is potty-trained! And she got to choose an ice cream treat of her choice after school for her accomplishment.
Hannah also has homework every night and has six books she has to bring back and forth each day. She has a little book that requires me to take her temperature and initial it each morning so she can give it to the teacher and be allowed to enter the school each day. Friday was birthday day for all those that had birthdays over the summer. They were allowed to wear casual clothes and Hannah came home with a little bag of goodies. It had fried prawn chips, green dried seaweed and some fruit-type chews. The seaweed is still in the bag.
I am finally enjoying a few hours of separation. The moms from Sarah’s school get together on Fridays and have dim sum. It is a meal like brunch where someone orders a lot of little finger-type Chinese foods and everyone digs in with their chopsticks as the lazysusan is constantly turned. It has been good to meet the other moms but bad on my poor stomach. I have thus far avoided the fried chicken foot and mystery-filled rice noodle wrap.
Sarah has already told her teacher that we love Jesus at our house and that we travel around to other countries and tell people about Jesus. I’m glad Sarah isn’t the one in the government school! I just pray for the influences on both of the girls and the educational pressures in this country that they will encounter at school. I pray the Lord protects them and strengthens their hearts to love Him and show His love to others.