I have to admit that today was the first day that I have been homesick. I think its because I know that everyone on the other side of the world will be spending their 4th with family and friends, grilling, playing, boating, watching fireworks and taking part in all the other independence day traditions. I woke up in China and it was like any other day. I put on red, white and blue and made my best efforts to be patriotic. The nurses wished me a happy independence day but other than that, just a normal day. Mikey was supposed to be back from Beijing today and we were going to shoot off fireworks together, but he had to stay an extra day (I am demanding fireworks when he gets back tomorrow). This is the third year in a row that I haven’t seen fireworks on the 4th. After sitting around most of the day feeling sorry for myself and the lack of patriotism that surrounded me, I was getting ready to take off to downtown Luoyang by myself. I know of one American restaurant in this town of 6 million. I figured that out of the 40 foreigners that lived here, some of them might be congregating there. I was a little nervous to walk a half a mile to catch a cab, carrying 2 business cards with the address to the restaurant and then the address back to Maria’s. I think the nurses were worried about me so 3 of them offered to go with. We had a really nice time. It was a lot of fun to eat hamburgers and french fries and be as American as one possibly can in China. The nurses asked me a lot of questions about my family traditions and what my life was like in the US. They couldn’t believe that normal working class people had cars, it was a foreign concept to understand that we could go to whatever site we wanted to on the internet, and making more than 300 dollars a year seemed like a fortune. It was really fun to talk to them about my culture. It turns out, that that was an incredibly American way to spend the 4th. Talking about my life in the US and the opportunities and freedoms that we have there, made me realize even more just how much we so often take it for granted. So, as I am going to bed on this 4th of July, I Know that so many of you all are just beginning your day, planning what food to take on your picnics and deciding where to go to see the best fireworks. Enjoy your freedoms, love your family, hold your flags high and don’t take any of it for granted!
Love from China!