Welcome to the last day of my Everyday Life blog for January. Here’s how a Friday in Taiwan goes for me during my winter break:
In the middle of the day, in the middle of the week… even on a Sunday night, a traveler to the Aroma Cafe might hear the cheer, “Fridaaay!” yelled out and its echoed answer cheerfully given in return. Why? I do not know. Sometimes people are just weird. Some stare at the two, others give a sidelong glance and return to their business, and some chuckle under their breath or just ignore them.
Yeah, you guessed it, one of the two would be me. 🙂
Sometime a long time ago, Cloud, the assistant pastor of Aroma Church, and I did this short ritual for the first time, probably because I was really looking forward to Friday that week. And ever since then, as a greeting or goodbye, either he or I will call out “Hey! Friday!” and the other will answer back, probably louder, “Fridaaay!!!” (This word might be repeated as many as 10 times back and forth.) Just something that makes my day, any “Fri”day of the week. 🙂
Fridays are always an important day in any circumstance, but there are a few things that make them great here. 1. Easy day at school. But you will remember that I am not teaching at the moment. (Winter break.) 2. Coffee Talk at Aroma. 8 pm. Every Friday, baby.
This morning I woke up at 7:15, prayed, and then Skyped with Lacey for a couple hours. Lacey had some exciting news to share (confidential) which made my day. Then directly afterward, I Skyped with my roommate from last year at Crown which made my day for the second time. 🙂 Sarah, you are the best! I love planning shenanigans with you!
So that brought me up to noon…
Got ready for the day, ate, planned for Coffee Talk (I will explain), and went to a make-up language exchange with Alfie from 2:30-5. A language exchange is where you exchange lessons for lessons, eg., Chinese for English. Alfie is so kind as to give most of the time to teaching me, and I like his style. He has me copy things he says, teaches me sentences and conversations, and games.
Afterwards, I finished my planning for Coffee Talk, went home for some snacks, and returned to the Aroma.
At 8:15 pm, Envision interns and English speaking friends who have found there way to Aroma joined me in the prayer room in the basement of the Cafe to brief for the event. Then we took some extra folding chairs and found a table labeled 1-7 that were filled with happily chatting Taiwanese. But they were speaking in English, not Chinese.
It was my turn to lead tonight, so I introduced the night’s topic: The Job Hunt. The conversation and activities would all be focused on this topic, and, as the pattern usually is each Friday night, here are the things we did:
Each table was lead by one of the foreigners (said interns and friends) and first we went through some vocabulary to prepare them for later discussion. Some of the vocab tonight included “job description, expectations, employee, candidate, human relations, customer service, to apply for a job, experience…” etc.
Then there were 10 discussion questions about jobs and interviews that the 10 or so people at my table took turns answering. Some of the questions were, “What was your favorite job?” “What are some common questions that employers might ask you?” “What things should you do in your interview?”
After a little while I turned the projector on, got everyone’s attention, and read a funny article from Readers Digest about things not to do in an interview (there it is for your entertainment) to the room. Then we watched this hilarious clip about an Armageddon-type interview prank.
The last activity was by far the most fun! 🙂 I really enjoyed it, and this is a shout out to the other leaders for helping me come up with a great way to do it. Each table had been given a fictional job that the table would then have to create a job description and about 10 interview questions for. They ranged from a flying elephant trainer to a hot-air balloon designer for a travel agency who lets customers customize their rides. It was fun to see people’s creativity for the questions! (My table’s was the person who has to give killer monkeys a bath for a strange zoo. One of the job requirements they came up with was that the person must know Kung Fu.) For a twist, the Aroma table leaders then rotated from table to table a few times to be interviewed by the table for their particular job. It was super fun!
At the end, each table shared their job title and description with the room and they found out that one of the jobs was actually a real job (armpit sniffer–check it out). We all laughed. 🙂
I wrapped up the night by saying goodbye, please pick up your garbage, Aroma is a church and we have services at blah and blah times and please help the coffee shop workers go home soon by making your way out quickly and join us on FB.
- Please pray for the people who come to Coffee Talk (CT)! We do our best to be ready to answer any questions about our God and what he has done for us. Sometimes people hear about God’s love for them for the first time from one of the CT leaders.
- Please pray for next week–I am also leading next week’s CT! Pray that the right people come and that I can prepare a great lesson.
- Please pray for future leaders for CT and for good conversations, curious minds, and strong learning.
Afterwards, I talked with Eva and Alfie and a few other people for a little bit and walked home. My flatmates were watching The Matrix, so of course I had to stop everything and watch that with them. Now they are all in bed, and I will be shortly.
The rain is pattering on the tin roofs and continuing to dampen my clothes that are still on the line on our balcony… It has been three days since I washed them. Nothing ever dries here.
For me, please pray for my friendships here to deepen. It is so hard to make real connections with someone from another culture… sometimes you are both trying, but things still don’t meet in the middle… It is a beautiful and a sad thing at the same time. Pray for me to have wisdom and patience, and never to replace my friendship with God for a desire to have a friendship with someone on earth.
Important people of the day:
What God taught me today (or rather, yesterday): Don’t be so self-conscious! I was worried I might have conveyed something offensive or guilting by something I said, but I felt God stop me from sending an apology message. “Don’t worry about it!” he said. “They are not thinking about it at all!” Also: Be yourself. Pretty much the same as the first, but this time in action instead of thought. Don’t worry! 🙂
I hope that you can hear that message too.
Keep the Faith, guys.