Saturday, October 31, 2009


Stan and Juliane had a Halloween Party at their school and invited us to come! We dressed up ~ Kyle like a Vampire, me like a cat ~ because it was a costume party after all. :) I had cat ears and a tail and he had white face paint on his face and hands. We had to catch a bus to get to their campus! We were stared at A LOT! Especially the older generation. People just didn't know what to think of us! It was hilarious! Once we got to their campus we were informed they had had an H1N1 break out and all parties were to be canceled! Vincent, their waiban, got the party OKed - so it was still on. When we walked in we realized that Juliane, Stan, Kyle and I were the only ones that had dressed up! The chinese people all had some masquerade looking masks, so not only were we Americans ~ we were the only ones dressed up haha! we really stood out! It was a lot of fun though. We played games and got to know a few of their students so it was really cool! After the party we went and hung out with Stan and J @ their apartment and then went home via taxi.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Today on my day off I went exploring! I heard there was a WALMART close to us but hadn't seen it yet! I looked up the address and headed there on the search for a halloween costume ~ I thrive on last minute dashes to the store. Kyle wanted to be a Vampire and I really wasn't sure what I wanted to be. Knowing that I was in a country that doesn't celebrate halloween meant that I'd need to be creative in finding a costume. I walked along a street looking at each number for 550, turned the corner and found this beautiful sign! I figured if any store would have Halloween stuff it would be Walmart. I went in and it was a beautiful sight! With Smiley faces smiling at me and finding great value brand and equate I was excited! Walmart didn't have a really big imported aisle but they did have some good selections on things. The best and greatest difference was that in any other supermarket here I find myself feeling anxious to get out and claustrophobic with the smaller aisles and huge banners hanging from the ceilings but in Walmart it was nicely spread out and I felt like I could breath! :) It was a great experience! They had some Halloween things but not a huge selection. I called Juliane wondering if she wanted to meet me at the next store because it was close to her apartment. I found out the bus I needed to take, went to the bus stop but the bus didn't stop there. I was puzzled and asked a Chinese woman if she knew where the bus stop was. She couldn't speak much english and was really struggling. A car pulled up to pick her up and she asked her husband and his friend where it was. They came to my rescue! They couldn't tell me where the bus stop was but offered to take me where I wanted to go! They were very nice business men so I jumped in with the other woman in the back seat! They said they were headed to the airport to go to Xian for the weekend. The man in the passenger seat had great english and was named Kenny. We had a lovely chat on the way to Auchan ~ a store where I was to meet Juliane. They dropped me off and went on to the airport. I wish I had their email to thank them. What great hospitality!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Job Satisfaction

My students are so appreciative it's unbelievable. It's hard not to compare them to the kids I've taught in America. This week I'm teaching about Halloween. Many of them hadn't even heard of it before! I was astonished. They thought some things we do were really funny: Trick or Treat, Hayrides, haunted trails, carving that I think about it some things ARE a little strange but it's all so much fun! China doesn't have a holiday where they dress up and act like something else, now that they know about Halloween I think so of them wish they did. It is satisfying being able to share my culture with another people group. I think in doing this we can both have a little bit deeper understanding of each other. I'm thankful for my time with my students in China.

“Famours” For a Day

Before I came to China people told me, “They treat you like you’re some kind of celebrity because you are so different from them.” Living here this past month, I’ve noticed an occasional double take or nervous glance our way but I never experienced anything like this!
It all started with an email from our Waiban, Joy, asking us if we wanted to participate in a traditional Chinese wedding. We jumped at the idea and volunteered Stan and Juliane as well! We had NO idea what we’d gotten ourselves into! We thought it would be a little celebration, some sort of parade, and a ferry ride across West Lake...Today I learned that China does nothing small! When we arrived we were overwhelmed with cameras and interviews from news casters wanting to know, “Why did you come to Hangzhou to get Married?” Everyone wanted our picture, even the Chinese wedding couples! There were 100 couples to be wed, and since we were the foreigners we were put in front of all the other couples! (Which didn’t make it easy when we couldn’t understand our chinese instructions and had to look behind us to see what we were supposed to be doing) haha. There were thousands of people lining every street or walkway we went down...amazing. Next time I sign up to participate in something here I will find out how big it will be first!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Orphan Babies

I was blessed with an opportunity to visit a hospital today! The facility specializes in bringing children with disabilities from orphanages all over the province and giving them the care they need. Most of the children need surgeries and therapy. They do all kinds of surgeries but mostly cleft palette or heart surgeries. They told us that the child stays in the hospital for a long time after the surgery for therapy - physical, speech, etc. So the lay out reminded me more of a day care or kindergarten than a hospital.
It was my first time to visit and I didn’t think I could leave! The children craved so much attention! After spending a few minutes with the little orphans they wanted to show us another part of the hospital but I couldn’t leave them! They were too precious! I’m very excited about this new work and looking forward to my next visit!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Holiday in Shanghai

Stan, Juliane, Kyle and I decided to go to Shanghai over the national holiday break! We bought train tickets a few days before and booked a room in a hostel when we arrived! I couldn’t believe how blessed our trip was. Not knowing the language has made me expect difficulties while traveling but we experienced none on this trip! At every could-be-obstacle someone came to our aid! It was fantastic! During our stay we caught up with one of Kyle’s old students and team mates, who now works in Shanghai! He invited us into his home where he lives with his brother, sister and mother we called “Ma”. They cooked an incredible lunch and dinner for us and Ma taught us how to make jiaozi/chinese dumplings. In exchange Juliane and I taught them how to bake peanut butter cookies! We had SO much fun with them. I really enjoyed being able to experience China in someone’s home, it was a cool experience.