Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Showers

Well, it's the rainy season!  It turned to April and the skies let loose!  The heavy rain and monsoon started in March, actually, but it was the last couple days of the month! In Hong Kong, where I was the day before the torrential downpour, a mall's ceiling was destroyed and floods of water poured in because of hail.  The subways also became flooded.  It was crazy!  I was in the city above Hong Kong (Shenzhen) at that time, and it rained a LOT there too, with such heavy winds!  The kids didn't have school the next day because of it!

So it's going to be raining a lot this month.  I have to go for now, but I hope to post more later!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The meaning of a string of numbers...

I was talking with my Chinese coworker who told me a story of a friend with an interesting phone number.  It was an unlucky number in Chinese because of what it sounded like.  Let me tell you some back story first.

In an awful comparison to what it's like in Chinese, think of a child saying the number '3'.  They actually say 'free'.  If they say "I'm free!" it can be humorous, because it sounds like something that they're not trying to say.

In Chinese, many words have multiple meanings.  For example, the number 4 is unlucky, because it is pronounced the same as the word 'death', which is pronounced "say" in Cantonese.  (But you have to say it in a low voice that goes slightly down in order to make the pronunciation correct).  They aren't pronouncing the word incorrectly, it is just the exact same word, tone and all.

So...to the phone number.  Her friend's phone number was 6969694.  In Cantonese, saying this string of numbers roughly translates to "I rolled down the stairs and died".

I hope you enjoyed the culture/language tidbit of the day!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fun with friends

This past weekend my roommate and I were able to venture into China and get a few things accomplished.  We got haircuts, which were long overdue.  It was nice to get a head massage as is custom here before a haircut.  Thankfully they didn't try to wash my ears...they use a tool to scrape out the earwax, but it's almost like a half-circular knife, and I'm not a fan.

We were also able to have 9 other people join us to eat dinner across the boarder.  It was a lot of fun to have a group of friends with us.  I haven't been keen on taking photos lately, so I don't have any photos of the outing, except for one with my hair ready to get cut!  But that one will stay off the Internet ;)

I am busy preparing for classes this week and getting ready for a social event that we have going on here at the English Center.  It's a combined CEC/Church event, and we will be performing in a drama.  It's not quite a Passion play, but it's 5 different characters from that story telling their part.  My role is singing.  I'll be singing verses of  "Were You There" in Chinese and English between the people speaking.

The weather is getting warmer, and I even saw the sun today (though it was quickly covered by fog rolling in).  It's humid as always, and it went from cold to a little uncomfortably warm in the matter of days.

Yesterday was my day off, and I was able to make a family specialty--danish.  It is a very very delicious cinnamon roll, and my coworkers rejoiced ;)  It was fun to be able to make it and share it with everyone.  I don't do it often, as it takes a good chunk of the day to make it.

Just a note: it looks like next year my position will be changing: stay tuned to find out what it is!  I don't have a final decision as to what I will be doing, but change is in the future!  Once the decision becomes official and after I have shared with family, I will be sharing it with you!  I cannot be certain of when that will be finalized.

I don't have much to share.  If you have any questions (besides what I'll do next year!), let me know!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Shenzhen

Last weekend, my roommate Rachel and I had the opportunity to visit our friends who are living in Shenzhen.  It was so relaxing being able to visit, and we got to shop at some western stores (like the Gap!) and eat some western food!  They have a few more western things than we do, though they speak less English there than in Macau!

We took a ferry there from Macau, and it was quite convenient.  At the ferry terminal, we found the subway and took it to 2 blocks away from their apartment!  It was quite convenient, and we had such a great time with their family.  We also got to visit an international church aimed at expats.  It was fun to be able to participate in a worship service instead of doing a lot of administrative work for it.  It was good to have that!

I felt very refreshed after the weekend getaway, and it was difficult to come back!  But I am back to work now, and am in the process of scheduling times to go out with friends!  Hopefully this weekend some friends and I can cross the boarder to eat some Papa Johns pizza!

I am coming down with yet another cold.  I just got over being sick last week and now I feel sick again.  I don't know what it is about my immune system lately, but it's not doing awesome.  Please pray for me!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Updates

Since I have last posted, a lot has happened!

  • My family and I travelled to Beijing, and we saw the Great Wall of China, among other popular tourist destinations!
  • We got a new pastor!  He arrived over Chinese New Year, and has been here preaching for us and sharing communion with us, which before now was a rarity.
  • There has been some restructuring around here, which we are all adjusting too.  I am still waiting to see what changes will be made.
  • A team from South Dakota was supposed to come here on a Friday, but the snow in America (Thanks, America) caused them to be delayed, which cancelled their trip.  They were able to go to Hong Kong, but they couldn't make it to Macau.
  • A team from Nebraska came!  It was exciting to spend some time with them.  I hadn't spent time with a group of people my age from almost the same hometown as me in quite a long time.  It was very nice to meet them and spend time with them.  It was very encouraging to speak to them and to hear what they had to say, and to see their excitement for China :)
  • I am currently searching for the answers to the question, "So, what about next year?"  I don't know the answer yet, and I ask for prayers for guidance as I find my options.  I thought I had it figured out, but I found out the other day that what I had planned was not possible at the time being, so I am searching for other options.  Staying here is an option, but I am not set on it yet.
That's the skeleton list of major events.  Of course we have had classes like normal, and we've been spending time with our students as always.  It is always fun!

Sorry I haven't updated lately.  It hasn't been at the front of my mind, and I will try to put it there again.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And we're off!

My family's been here for a week now!  I am sitting by myself at the HK airport.  Unfortunately, though we are all flying to Beijing, we have 3 separate airplanes!  My parents are scheduled to arrive in Beijing in 20 minutes, accroding to the website!  I am scheduled to leave in about 40 minutes, since my flight was delayed.  My brother is leaving around the same time as me. Even though it's craziness getting us there, we are excited to explore a new city!  I have never been there before, so it should be fun!  We are sad that our little brother (well, not so little..) can't be with us, but for me it's still fun to have my parents and older brother here!  I am excited for new experiences, as I've never been to Beijing before!

The pictures that are included here are from our time in Macau and Shenzhen.  I haven't taken many photos, but my parents have.  These are the ones that I have.

Just a note: my newsletter will be sent out a little late this month, as I will have limited Internet access until next week Wednesday!  I will also not be able to update this until next week.  Sorry for any inconvenience!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Past 2 days

Yesterday afternoon my parents and older brother arrived safely in Macau!  It was exciting to be able to meet them at the ferry terminal, and to show them my apartment and my neighborhood!  Last night I had to teach, so we came to the English center, and while I taught, they went out with a friend of mine to see Macau!  It was a good time.  Today, we started the day with a lunch buffet with some coworkers and friends, and were able to walk around some.  Right now, they are walking to get an egg tart from a famous cafe here in Macau, and I am preparing to teach my classes.

In 2 hours, we are going to go out to eat with the students that I am currently waiting for, and we'll be eating at a brand new restaurant opened by a former student of mine.  I am very excited to be able to share my family with the people that I encounter every week, and to be able to have some fun in the process!  Sunday afternoon we plan to go to Shenzhen to visit some friends, and then to Hong Kong and finally to Beijing!  My family will fly home from there, and I will fly to my friend's hometown for Chinese New Year.  I will come back to work once the holiday is over!

I am so excited for the next few weeks, and I am eager to spend this rare time with mi familia! :)