Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chopsticks and an Octopus Head

About fifteen years ago my husband and I traveled to China and spent two weeks there when we adopted one of our daughters.  I would have gone hungry quite often if I hadn’t learned to use chopsticks.  There were no forks in China, except for one an American brought along with her and would not part with.  I was hungry, the food was good, and so I learned pretty quickly.

After reading missionary stories about Hudson Taylor and Gladys Aylward, we were motivated for our students to learn also.  

We bought a pair of chopsticks for each student and sat in a big circle at lunch one day.  We gave each of them a bowl of popcorn and a lesson on how to use chopsticks.  Then a week later we had the “test” -- eating a bowl of popcorn in five minutes.  They had plenty of time, and they’d been practicing with their chopsticks, so of course they all made it.  

Their reward was a trip to a Chinese buffet, and they were encouraged to use their chopsticks, of course.  

We again paired them up with their buddies and this really helped the younger ones go through the buffet line, especially when the taller older ones could read the signs that said, “Octopus”.  One adventurous student ate the head and kept the legs to bring to school for morning "science".