• 15Aug

    well maybe not quite the moon, but that could explain the long time between posts….

    Coming back to China this time has been an interesting eye opening experience  (for those that didn’t know, I went home for the month of July.  Mainly for my cousin’s wedding, but as a bonus I got to go: camping with my family, 5 Dodger games, a trip to Arizona with my parents, and was home to be there with a good friend during his wife’s final days here on this earth).  First off, I think that this is the first time that I have come to China where I really felt like I was coming “home”.  The excitement of returning out weighed the disappointment of leaving all that I love in the States.  But there were some things that were tougher to leave behind too.  I was so happy to get to meet the three latest members of our family, Bryant and Nicole (the new babies) are going to be tough to only get to see grow through pictures and Karissa (my cousin’s wife) and I had a blast hanging out the few times before their wedding.  I am definitely bummed that with them living minutes away from my parents now, that I won’t be there to get to hang out with them more.

    As I came back this time to China it was strange to feel as though I never left.  Everything was so much “the same” and familiar.  It was like I had only been gone a weekend.  But I still needed to be reminded of things, like needing to actually pay attention when crossing the street because people who drive here don’t follow the same rules we do.

    It was also great to get to do things that I really missed while being in the States.  Exercise being one of the best things to get back to.  Today I walked 45 minutes to meet a friend.  In the States I’d just hop in my car and the only exercise I’d get would come from rocking out to some music on the drive or the fist shaking at the people who drive too slow.  And then there’s the seven flights of stairs.  I’ve forgotten how tiring that can make you!  The first two days back I went up and down the stairs three times each day!

    It’s wonderful to have rice in my diet again, rice and a ton of vegetables.  The other night it was awesome to see bell peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, squash and cucumbers cover the table for our dinner.   It’s so much different than in the States where meat is the main attraction.  It’s also been funny to come home to the seemingly never ending comments of “you’ve gained weight”  “you look fatter than before” “you’re darker than before” “did I mention that you’re fatter now?”.  I’ve learned to accept them as compliments, then they just make me laugh.

    Life over here is just as busy as it was while I was back in the States.  A ton of lunch and dinner meetings, a trip to Dali (to deliver some of the stuff I picked up for a friend in the States), a trip to DongChuan (to visit Ruth’s family), a trip to ChengDu (to go to the US Embassy to hopefully get Lucy’s visa!) and finally move down to WenShan.

    Speaking of WenShan.  Things are slowly changing with the plans down there.  The new idea is to start a small English school and education center.  It’s still a pretty basic idea that has a lot of planning to even get to the starting stages, but it’s something that we’re getting very serious about pursuing.  The hope is to start an education center that will specialize first in teaching English, then teaching others how to teach English, then teaching businesses how to use English in their businesses, and finally be able to teach team-building and character building training in businesses.  The dream is there, now it’s about setting up the details and seeing if it’s all possible.  More details to follow as soon as I move down there and start the actual work.

    Here’s some pictures from the past few months for you to enjoy!


    Before I left for the States I made sure to go see Ruth’s family.  Here we are at the retirement home where they were working before I left.  (They’ve since returned back home.)


    The first day back to the States I got to meet Nicole and Bryant.  Here’s me holding Nicole for the first time.  I guess I’m a pretty comfortable 1st cousin twice removed!


    I was so excited that being home in the summer meant that I could go “Camping with Warren and Doug”.  It’s been a family tradition (along with people from our church) to go camping every year.  Here is a picture with almost all of the years we’ve been camping represented by the shirts/sweatshirts from each year.


    It was a smaller group this year, but it was a ton of fun!  Here is a group shot from those left on the last day of camping.


    After camping my parents and I went to Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, AZ) to watch the Dodgers play.  It was great to add another stadium to my list of stadiums visited (Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Petco Park (Padres), SBC (Giants, booo Giants), Chase Field (Dbacks), Ballpark at Arlington (Rangers), Tropicana Field (Rays), Dolphin Stadium (Marlins), Wrigley Field (Cubs), Comisky Park (White Sox), Miller Park (Brewers), old Yankee Stadium (but not for a game and boooo Yankees), Candlestick Park (old home of the Giants, again boooo Giants).  The Dodgers lost, but it was great to get to meet some of the players including Trent Oeltjen and Andre Ethier.


    I was able to visit my Grandma too while I was home.  It took her awhile this time to remember who I was, but I think by the end of the trip she realized who I was and could remember that I was living in China.


    On a Sunday afternoon Darren and Alisha came over to our house with Bryant for a bit.  It was fun to get to hold the little guy (not even 2 months old!).  I guess I’m a pretty comfortable 1st cousin once removed too!


    The main event was definitely the wedding.  I am so excited for my new cousin!  I don’t think I can express in words how happy I am for both of them.

    Some artsy pictures…




    Of course here’s some fun pictures too.


    Some guy walking around town with a bunch of live chickens in bags…. just another day in China.


    I moved a bunch of my stuff down to WenShan already.  I hired some moving company.  These people were crazy strong.  I tried to get better pictures of them carrying ridiculous amounts of things in one load, but this is the best I’ve got.  A chair apparently becomes an instrument to help you carry a lot of other things.  The craziest of things was that my dining room table has a thick piece of glass that’s on the top.  It’s very very heavy and awkward to carry.  I had trouble even moving the piece of glass with a friend from one place to another and yet the mover guy carried it by himself up the stairs like it was as light as a feather.


    Sorry about the glare, but I hope that you can make out some amazing English sentence!


    Sometimes you wonder if people know what their shirt says in English.  Here is a girl wearing a shirt that read “My cat is my best friend”.  It could be true and she could know that’s what her shirt says… but my guess is that she has no idea.

    What a great month plus!

    Sorry for the long gap in-between posts.  In the future the plan is to post shorter posts more often, at times maybe even just being a quick sentence or picture!



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