Special Friend Guoming

After I had been here about 3 weeks, I began to notice a young teacher whose great sense of humor was apparent despite his difficulty with English. This was Yao Guoming, the school’s computer administrator and teacher. His strong interest in learning English and my interest in learning Mandarin brought us together and over the past 6 weeks, we have become good friends. Guoming is another island native and lives near the school. He is married and his wife Zhou Hai Qin is a doctor and a clothing store owner. Their lovely daughter Yao Yun is a second grader and one of my students.

Guoming’s understanding of written English is pretty good but he hasn’t had much opportunity to practice his speaking or listening skills. So I can help him a lot just by chatting with him, which we do whenever we can (meaning we both have a free schedule and I have enough energy.) He’s a very good teacher too and has helped me with my Mandarin. Unfortunately, I have simply not had enough time and energy to take advantage of this rare opportunity. I have discovered that preparing and delivering what I hope to be quality English lessons has been mentally and physically exhausting and have consciously made learning Mandarin a lower priority.

The video below documents a very nice Sunday afternoon/evening I spent with Guoming and his family, learning about Chinese cooking. I had a lot of fun watching the food being prepared and even more fun eating it. Guoming is a great guy with a wonderful family and I feel lucky to have him as my friend. We intend to continue our friendship and language lessons using the internet when I return home.

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