A wonderful "Sunny" day!

A wonderful "Sunny" day!

Today (June 18) I was supposed to visit a Chinese family, and my day turned out to be more eventful and more fun than I expected!

I met with Sunny, Steven, and Arthur, three new Chinese friends, at the entrance of the dorm this morning so we could go and visit Sunny’s family. I had recently met Sunny at one of the discussion programs at SDUT, and she requested that my roommate, Deanna, and I, visited her home today.

Sunny’s English is excellent. She plans to spend her last year of high school in Canada and hopefully attend an undergraduate university in the U.S.

Sunny lives in a modern high-rise apartment in Zibo City. She lives with her mother and father, and her sister is serving in the People’s Army. Sunny’s parents were not in town today, and her sister was away on duty, but Sunny still showed us her home and welcomed us with a delicious breakfast consisting of green tea and cherries.

Sunny’s friend, Li, was also present. She was shy (even more so than myself). Her English wasn’t as proficient as Sunny’s or the other boys’, but her serenity said much about her.

I saw pictures of her family, and what a beautiful family she has. The pictures showed Sunny’s parents and sister all together in family settings in Zhongxing. Sunny had previously told me that she and her sister were quite different from each other, and often fought.

I couldn’t imagine any monumental differences between us, for we are the best of friends. But perhaps the difference in age or ideals between the two sisters complicates their relationship. Sunny is a Christian while the rest of her family is not.

As enjoyable as it was to talk to Chinese youths with religious and moral systems similar to which I have been raised, I couldn’t help but wonder about a few things. I asked Sunny if many women served in the army, and she replied that very few did. I wondered why Sunny’s sister chose that path.

I also wondered if religious people and non-religious people are prejudiced toward one another. I would hope that the previous statement is false at least in the realm of Sunny’s family.

We all spent the entire day together. We walked and played in a nearby park, ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and spent the rest of the afternoon in Zibo City, and concluded the day with a quick bowl of mutton soup.

While eating lunch, Sunny ate the chicken’s foot which was something she had not yet attempted. Deanna and I were so impressed with her bravery!

I am happy to have made such good friends in China. I gain new thoughts and insights about China from our conversations. We also shared many laughs. One of the silliest parts of the day was when Sunny suggested we eat soup for dinner, but she pronounced “mutton” as “mountain.”

The boys corrected her with giggles on their faces and she laughed heartily with us. Sunny really brightened our day by choosing us to visit her home, and all of our friends made sure we had as much fun as possible.

    — Sarah Halter, a senior English major