Friday, June 24, 2011

The last things ...

This week has been FULL of last things.  We leave in the morning for 9 days in Southern China and will return to Shanghai for less than a day before we leave for good.  So, we've been trying to soak everything in as much as possible.  Here are a few images of our last things in Shanghai:

Last bike ride (yay for a sunny day Wednesday -- sold our bikes on Thursday)

Last time finding a cute, Shanghai cafe on accident

Last interesting street foods -- I think this is lotus root/flower?

And, also bananas being sold along the road - I love that he has an electronic scale on his cart (most the fruit vendors do!)

Last recycling carts.

Last laundry and teeth brushing on the sidewalks

Last bird-men carrying their birds to the park to visit with other birds.
Last soccer day with teachers & students.

Last morning with our students.

Last amazing foot massage at Dragonfly and last time at our school.

And last of the last things ... I don't know that I'll  ever see a man wearing loafers , slacks and a collared shirt with a blow torch putting on the roof on next door!

Oops, I lied ... one more. The last time we may see our street at night. It looks kind of pretty this way.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last church service in China

It has officially begun ... all of the "last" things.  Seeing people and places for the last time.  My eyes fill with tears as it sinks in: we are really leaving Shanghai. 

Yesterday, we attended our last church service.  When people ask me what I will miss about Shanghai, this is one of the biggest things that comes to mind.  We've been SO SO blessed by our church!  It has been truly incredible to worship each week with people from over 60 countries!  We think it has been a small glimpse of heaven -- when we will one day worship with believers from all over the world. 

This week was a baptism Sunday and of the 15 baptisms, 11 countries were represented.  And man, what an awesome feeling of celebration was in the air!  It was a beautiful and a perfect way to end. 

In addition to an amazing service, we got to see Eri from our Bible study group one last time and we got to meet her brand new husband! They just got married on Wednesday!  Congratulations sweet Eri!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Getting soaked in Hangzhou

Since Jason didn't get to go to Hangzhou (hahng-joe) when my parents were here ... we decided to sneak over on the speed train on Tuesday.  We hadn't really checked the forecast, but should have known ... it's been raining here for days and there does not seem to be an end in site.  It rained the whole day!  We still had a great time (water logged shoes and all) - it is amazingly good for the spirit to get away from the noise and chaos of Shanghai and be able to see more than just a brief glimpse of nature. 

The fishermen were out in full force -- this man had quite the catch!  His wife came by on her bicycle, they shoved the still flopping fish into her bike basket and away she went!

We thought that perhaps because of the rain we would escape the crowds ... not so!

Sadly, we did not get to go for a ride in the dragon boat ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

'Now, undo your face'

I'm a wretched communicator.  I have known this for a long time.  Even though I still keep pen-pals and can happily spend hours handwriting letters to friends, I tend to clam up when it comes to speaking with the person I am closest too (i.e. my husband).  Spending the last 3 years living in countries where English is not the first language has not improved on my already poor skills.  Now, even when I do try to speak, my words make absolutely no sense.

Yesterday, this is exact instruction I gave Jason...'now, undo your face.'
What is he supposed to do with that??

Being the sweetheart that he is, he simply said 'uh, what does that mean?' as he smiled for the self-timed camera taking our photo ... here is the result:

What I had meant was ... can you move your umbrella so that your face is in the light for the photo?
Would have been a lot less confusing!
Of course, Jason is smiling away, looking cute - meanwhile, the camera catches me talking, with my face in the most shadow!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tea-time at the Peace Hotel

Don't you love it when you move half-way around the world to find out that someone who lived 5 minutes from where you grew up has also moved half-way around the world?

Shortly after moving here in 2009 I found out from my Mom, that Cindi and her husband Dale were living/working in Shanghai off and on for his work.  Their house in the US is about 5 miles from where I grew up.  We've enjoyed their company on several occassions and on Friday I got to introduce Cindi to her first ever experience with indulging in high tea!

I've been wanting to get inside the Peace Hotel ever since they re-opened last year and this was a perfect opportunity.  As always, I am fascinated by the history that surrounds many of the buildings in Shanghai.  This place is beautiful ... and the tea is amazing!  (Way more food than even I could eat!)

Jason is thinking of applying here ...

Or maybe ... I should be the one applying!

We were on a walk around our neighborhood last week when Jason let out a chuckle -- he couldn't believe there was a whole company dedicated to this!