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  • Dozens of dumplings later I had finally proven my worth.

    When I first arrived on the farm, I overhead grandma telling her sister that I couldn't understand Chinese. Overheard isn't exactly accurate. She said "ting bu dong" right in front of me because she didn't think I would understand what she was saying. I understood and I was crestfallen. She obviously didn't believe I was very smart or that my 6 weeks of study had amounted to anything.

    Tonight she had a change of heart. Among her generation, women who learn to cook well and fast are highly regarded. My jiaozi passed the test and she exclaimed to her daughter in Chinese, "She's actually pretty clever." Unfortunately, this time I didn't understand her, but when I heard the translation I beamed with pride.
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