Sunday, January 23, 2011
On our posting last week I mentioned that I met my friend Carol Lee's son, in an elevator at the Wan Chai Church Building in Hong Kong. Hard to top that, right? Read on...
One of the friends of BYU China Teachers from Jinan came to Hong Kong last week. She brought us the much needed winter clothes from Jinan. I went to the airport to pick her up and showed her a few places, then took her to the temple patrons' housing. This new found friend Gwen was expecting a friend to come to meet her from Salt Lake that same night. Well, I was able to meet her friend, Elissa. Elissa is a delightful lady and we had good visits together. Since she was leaving Sunday, Elwin and I went over to say good-bye and said we should stay in touch. She told me she would see me in St. George because her daughter lived there. Just out of curiosity, I asked her what her daughter's name was. She gave me her last name. I asked her if she was a teacher and she said yes and her first name was Melody. Now, what's the chance of this lady's daughter being one of my favorite students at Dixie State College?
It's hard to believe, but Melody was one of those students that you don't forget. She was one of the best; caring about her students, hard working, responsible and delightful! Three years ago, I was leaving Dixie to go on sabbatical in China, but had just received a science grant for a local elementary school. I recommended Melody to do student teaching at that school to oversee the science program there. The administration was very impressed with her work and before she graduated, she received her job offer. So, this week, I met her mother. I could tell why Melody was such a fine young lady because her mother was special. Now, this coincidence is hard to beat, don't you think?
Next amazement: Thursday was our day off and we decided to go to Shenzhen, China to pick up some clothes from the tailor and do some sightseeing. Before we left, I thought I'd e-mail one of our students from Shandong University who graduated and was from Shenzhen. Henzer is working for a medical equipment company and went to the States for business from time to time. We didn't see him in the States, but stayed in touch. Within seconds after my e-mail, Henzer called. He just got back last night from a business trip to Morocco and Saudi Arabia, and this would be his day off. So, within an hour, we met him at the subway station in Shenzhen. It was a great reunion as we haven't seen him since we left China 3 years ago. He used to come to our apartment in China once a week to visit and chat. He brought us a box of almond filled dates from Dubai thinking that he would come to Hong Kong to see us, but instead, we saw him the next day in his hometown. He took us out to lunch and then took us to visit his parents. His parents thought he was still on a business trip and he thought his parents were still visiting their hometown in FuJian for some celebration. But, everyone was back the night before. Coincident? His parents were delighted to meet us. During the conversation, I kept on hearing them speaking my hometown dialect, Taiwanese. So I carried on the dialect with them and found out they actually migrated to Shenzhen from ChauChow, Fujian many years ago, near where the Taiwanese dialect originated.
Now, is this amazing or what?