Just within the first few weeks of teaching this year, our teammate Elizabeth had a birthday (Sept. 9th). Unfortunately for her, she said how that time of year is when there is often high levels of transition since it is when classes begin and most people are trying to get a handle on the new schedules and workload which limits the ability to do many large celebrations. This year, she was hoping and asking for at least some sort of celebration, so our team worked to plan what we could for a fun start-of-the-semester celebration for Elizabeth’s party.
There was a bit of a challenge since we did not know Elizabeth that well yet and no one on our team is very interested in planning and organizing large party events, but even still we had fun preparing what we could. Elizabeth did hint that she wanted a surprise birthday party and possibly smores (which are nearly impossible to do here), so we worked with what we could.
It was hard to surprise Elizabeth since she practically knew the only times we could have a celebration, but I think we were able to slightly surprise her with the whole city team. We got everyone together for some hot pot at a nearby restaurant and then dessert in my apartment. I loved the chance to host everyone in my room since it was the first time that I could do so since I switched rooms to take a slightly bigger apartment which I was permitted to do as the new team leader.
Overall, it was a great time of fellowship and celebration with the whole city team, and we were even able to make some makeshift smores with just our team of 5 at Nandaihe (HIFL) when we had a small team meal together later the next week to celebrate as well.