I spent the first few days of my vacation traveling with one of my students to her grandparents’ apartment in Mianyang and then to Langzhong, her hometown where her parents live. Both cities are in Sichuan and Mianyang is about 5 hours north from where I teach. We took the bus up there first because it made the trip a little shorter and she hadn’t seen her grandparents or her cousin who lives with them since the beginning of the semester. They all moved to Mianyang a few years ago so that my student’s cousin could attend a better high school there. Her grandparents were so kind and welcoming to me even though I couldn’t understand a word of their Sichuanhua – a dialect of Mandarin. It was also pretty interesting to see the family dynamic – it seemed like her grandparents lives revolved around cooking meals and providing support for their granddaughter so that she could do well in school.

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