This afternoon when I arrived to teach my first and second graders, I found out somewhat belatedly that the two classes needed the time to prepare for the school's field day tomorrow (a phone call would have been nice... )
I spent the first hour hanging out with two sidelined 2nd graders who aren't able to participate tomorrow. The first child told me he couldn't participate because of asthma, but I don't know if that's true because he spinned a number of tall tales in a very short time (like traveling by bicycle to Taipei in northern Taiwan in a 2 day, 1 night trip...).
The second asthmatic child, English name Ruby, is much smaller than her classmates. Ruby is one of the brightest kids I see every week when it comes to English. When I asked about her family, Ruby shared flatly and matter-of-factly that her mother had abandoned them. Her mother is not a foreign Vietnamese or mainland Chinese bride (as one might expect when one hears about a mom who has left a Taiwanese family) but a local from a nearby city. I told her later in the conversation that God loves her very much and she quickly added that her father loves her and takes her for walks to the school every weekend. Out of the blue I asked her when her birthday was, and was surprised when she said it was yesterday, a fact evidently lost on her teacher and classmates, as she was very shy, hiding behind me when I told two other teachers (unless this was a tall tale too!). Bless Ruby Lord! I hope to have a chance to drop by and say hello to her father since I know now basically where they live. I'll also be back at the school first thing in the morning for at least for all the pomp and circumstance of their field day opening ceremony (much more ceremonial that what we would have in the States).
April 16: Went back today for the field day. Ruby (on right) and her classmate asked me to take a picture with them!