Saturday, February 25, 2012

I have arrived!

25 January 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and everyone,

I have arrived safely, and everything is good. It is not as cool here as I thought. It is basically the same as our house.
When I arrived in Beijing, I could see fireworks out of the window of the plane. I thought that there would be festivals like in Thailand or Japan, but the celebration of the New Year's at least here in Nontang is very family oriented. They mainly have a week off to gather as family each others houses to eat and socialize.
It is 2:30 in the morning, so it seems that I will have jetlag. I want to go to sleep. 
On the twelve hour flight to Beijing, I sat next to a girl named Bing, after the season of Winter, meaning Ice, for she was born in the month of January. I had her be my first teacher of Mandarin Chinese. I bought a notebook that I plan to carry around. The first statements of the notebook that I have in Chinese and English are "Can you teach me Mandarin Chinese? This is all I know. Please review what I know and share more."
I wrote a lot in my journal, read the scriptures, and studied Mandarin. Another question that I added to the list on my notepad is: "Where do you think that I should begin learning Mandarin Chinese. Bing said that I should first learn pingying the finetics of the language spelt out in English.
I am doing well. I have ten days to prepare to teach. Tomorrow Mary and I are going to celebrate the New Year with family.

Alexander Hicken

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