This has been a very interesting day. We had church this morning, and I caught parts of it on my Flip video (thank you John Deere staff). The service is done in English and Chinese. The sermon is translated into English by one of the members as it is given. The woman who translated is a student at the Center, and her English is quite good. She gets a copy of the sermon ahead of time, and the pastor stops every few minutes for her to translate. The litergy is done in Chinese, but the foreigners (that's what they call us) say it in English at the same time. Same with the hymns. They are sung in English and Chinese simultaniously. The hymn books and the Bibles are are in both English and Chinese: Chinese verses first, English verses below.
One thing I didn't know about the Chinese language is that although there are two different dialects, Mandarin and Cantonese, there is only one written language. So if the televsion, for example, is on there are always written Chinese subtitles. So both Mandarin and Cantonese speakers can watch the same program.
The church here is small, but the members are very dedicated. It is easier to be a Christian in Macau than it is in Mainland China. Macau has 50 years from 1999 to become a full member of the People's Republic, so they still have most of their own government.
A couple of the other teachers and I went shopping this afternoon. I see very little of the stuff they ship to Wal Mart. The clothes here are pretty much western style, and while you would expect to see lots of souvenier shops, there really aren't that many. There are a lot of street vendors, but they sell things that the locals need to buy. I expected to see more Europeans and more western tourists. The tourists that we see are from Mainland China and most of them are in the Casino areas. The casinos are everywhere here, and they are as big and glitzy as Las Vegas. The students I have talked to say what most people say when gambling comes to their area: It has brought about as many problems as it has solutions. The casino jobs pay better, so that's a good thing, but it has also changed the complexion of the city.
Tomorrow is the teachers' day off. I am planning to meet with the team leader and then go to
the beach. It is between 85 - 90 degrees every day here.
I appreciate your comments. It's good to know someone is reading this. :)