It seems strange to me that it was only a year ago almost to the day that I first met what have become my Chinese friends. This year has been such a profound exploration for me that it seems that all I have learnt could not possibly be contained within the space of a year – half a lifetime, yes, but not a mere 365 days. It is interesting how time expands and contracts in this way, one day sometimes seeming so brief and a year, as here, so long.
I will be away for three weeks this time, with a weekend’s break in the middle during which, I gather, we will be taken on a mystery trip to somewhere beautiful near the Vietnamese border. Then back to
I will return, as usual, very changed, and, as usual, too, stimulated by the excitement our work there arouses. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to continue my work so productively and in such a welcoming environment. With all the slaps life can deliver, it does indeed often give us the most surprising and unexpected gifts. This is one for which I offer up thanks each day (but not yet in Mandarin, though my studies are going on apace!).