Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's next?

As our school year winds down, we've been getting this question a lot and we're pretty curious about the answer too :)

We don't know what our next "job" will be and we still feel okay about that.  I remind myself of the past few years, that we didn't get our Palau position until late July and we didn't get this position until the end of June.  Meanwhile, here's what the next few months look like:

June 23 -- Last day of school and the dorm closes at 9 pm!
June 25 -- We fly to Lijiang, China to do the Tiger Leaping Gorge hike & explore the area
June 30 -- We fly to Guilin, China to do some more exploring
July 5 -- We fly to the US, into Spokane. We'll spend 2 - 3 weeks with Jason's family & then head down to California to visit my family.

After that, we don't know.. 
We are still hopeful for a caretaking situation and applied for caretaking jobs at a vacation home in Costa Rica and a horse ranch in Georgia (US) this week.  If caretaking doesn't pan out for us this time, we've got a few other ideas up our sleeves ... we are excited about the endless possibilities!  And being able to look back and be reminded of how well God has taken care of us in the past really is really thrilling.

Each day I see things here in Shanghai that I will very much miss seeing.  This city has so many interesting and beautiful places that usually pop up unexpectedly.  I'm trying to capture all the sites, sounds and smells in my memory and luckily I have a camera to help with some of that.

And last, but definitely not least ... you see a lot of interesting eyebrows in China, but these are by far the thickest, long eyebrows I have seen yet!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Turtle anyone?

A few weeks ago while riding our bikes, we noticed a man in a hardhat with a large, live turtle/tortoise hanging from a stick.  We could hardly believe it!  Especially since it looked very similar to the Galapagos ones we've seen at the Shanghai zoo.  I couldn't help but wonder if somebody had stolen it from the zoo and was trying to re-sell it.  I didn't think it was a site I would ever see again and then last week, right outside our school, this man is dangling an ordinary looking turtle from a stick. 
(This isn't a great quality photo since I took it from across the street, but you get the idea)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Four down .... sixty-one to go!

Four years ago today, I had the unimaginable joy of being able to marry a man who's qualities far exceeded everything I had ever dreamed of.  After being married for four years, I still catch myself wondering how I came to be so fortunate.  I like that and I hope I never lose the feeling of awe.

With our job, going out in the evening isn't an option so instead we celebrated by going on a lunch date to a place that we both love.  Although we got off to a rough start (my self-esteem issues pick the worst moments to knock me down), we had an terrific date and ate some amazing Thai curry!  Yum!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daytripping in Suzhou

On Tuesday, Jason and I decided to hop the speed train for this city known for it's gardens (some claiming to be 1000 years old).

One of the tag lines for Suzhou (sue-joe) is that it is the Venice-of-the-East ... we didn't find it to be on par with that claim, but it was a lovely little town (only 6 million people) and we had fun exploring it for a few hours.

Suzhou does have a lot of canals running through it that made for some pretty scenery.

It is also known for it's many bridges...

We got to play on a remnant of the original city wall

Atop the wall - complete with grass and benches!
Of course a garden is not complete without a pagoda.

"If you ask me, there isn't enough blue food in the world" - Mark Darcy

I seem to have found more blue food. 
Who knew that garlic could turn this color???

We had quite the surprise when unwrapping our garlic bread from its aluminum foil!  After some checking it appears it just reacted with the butter and/or wasn't quite mature yet :)  Still tasted delicious!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's been awhile ...

I've been a little remiss on here lately.  I think it's because I haven't captured any interesting photos or had any major mishaps to share.  But, we've been keeping ourselves busy with other things ...

Two weeks ago, I found out that my best friend here in China would be moving away not in 8 weeks as planned, but in 5 days.  Needless to say, those last 5 days together were quite frantic, trying to have a bit of fun while getting her (plus her two kiddos) packed up.  We got to hang out everyday before saying goodbye, but I still feel like I'm in a bit of shock.  Obviously, I knew I was going to have to say goodbye, but hadn't really gotten ready to do it yet ... so goodbye to my sweet China-friend, Natalie and her babies, Olivia & George.


On a different note, Shanghai has been lovely and warm the past couple weeks.  Last year this was my favorite time in Shanghai -- warm enough not to be bundled all time, but not so warm that the mosquitos were swarming yet.  I found myself really enjoying our small balcony and being able to have windows open.  This year, things are a bit different around our house --
This is the view from our window.  These houses (that are 20 feet away!) have been under a heavy remodel since February.  Literally the entire interior, exterior and roofs have been removed from both and are now in the process of being put back on.  Clouds of construction dust have billowed over our house for weeks and we get to listen to the near constant sound of what seem to be jack hammers, drills, generators, nail guns, etc.  Plus, these guys and 15 of their friends are at eye level :)

This hasn't stopped me from getting a few flowers though and in spite of the noise, dust and random men peering at me, I love my tiny garden.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Slaying the dragon(fruit)

While my parents were here they were served some dragon fruit on one of our flights, but I didn't get a chance to show them what a cool looking fruit it is. 
So this is for them ... and anyone else who hasn't had a chance to try dragon fruit.  It comes in awesome looking natural packaging, is delicious (has the texture of a kiwi fruit and the seeds taste just like kiwi seeds, so it ends up seeming pretty similar) and was easy to prepare (the skin peels off cut pieces easily). 
Jason and I were curious how these are grown and with a quick search found they actually grow on the end of a type of cactus vine!!  So crazy!