We are at the halfway point of our semester in China and our professors and friends from the Environmental Engineering program here at SMU wanted to have another get together. Our Oceanography teacher, Xing Xiaoli, is going to be leaving for Canada for do more research and as a goodbye we had a cookout at the local park 15 minutes away from campus. To be honest, we were a little cautious about a Chinese BBQ because of all the different foods offered here. We took the local bus to the park and walked a short distance to a place that was right on the shore of the man-made lake. Our professors were already there and they had brought their spouses so we introduced ourselves. While we waited for the grill to warm up we taught people how to throw the football around. For the most part, everyone did pretty good considering it was their first time, but a few people had difficulty trying to get a good spiral.
After the grill was warmed up the teachers brought out the food, it was two huge coolers full of different food. I can't say that I was shocked at the food, because I figured we weren't getting hamburgers and hot dogs, but we had almost everything else and all of it was on a stick. We started off with chicken, leeks, mushrooms, and beef. When it was done grilling we put different spices and seasoning on the food, some was spicy and some were peppery, however everything was phenomenal. A few of us manned the grill for a while as we let the first group that cooked have a chance to eat as well. I enjoy grilling back at home so I volunteered first, it was pretty easy because all I had to do was brush the vegetables and meat with a little bit of oil and rotate the everything so it was cooked evenly.
We started this BBQ at 11 and we didn't leave until 4 in the afternoon. Someone was manning the grill for the entire time cooking more meat, squid, bread, corn on the cob, different mushrooms, sausage, even mackerel. The professors had brought too much food and towards the end of the BBQ, most of us had been put into food comas. We gave some of the cooked away to the workers that came by to take our trash and other people that had passed by. It was fun teaching everyone how to throw the football and we brought a soccer ball to play with but the ground was rocky and had a lot of gravel. The area was great to fly a kite in because it was very open and it was on the water so there was a fairly strong breeze. We didn't fly a kite but people next to us did. At one point a car flew by our area and managed to catch a string of a kite which pulled the kite into a tree. We felt bad because it was a little boy's kite too, so we helped him retrieve it from the tree.
Professor Feng brought his wife to meet us and we got a chance to talk about my family and about Massachusetts Maritime Academy. She was very interested in talking to me because even though I am Chinese, I can't speak very good Mandarin. Professor Xing also brought her baby girl to meet us. She was really adorable, we played catch with her with the football and pass the soccer ball too. She wasn't able to talk yet but she was able to wave hello as we said Ni hao, and even played hide and seek with us for a little bit.