Monday, June 22, 2009

Fwd: Cheer's family

Here are some picture's of Cheer's family at a big lunch together.  The oldest people are, obviously, her grandparents.  The rest are aunts, uncles, cousins, and her mom.  They are eating out of a big pan with a fish and some vegetables simmering in it.

Farewell Beitang School

Friday was my last day teaching at Beitang Primary School until the fall.  Here are some pictures of me with the students.  These students are second graders.  Each picture has half of a class in it.  I couldn't fit all of the students from each class into one picture without going outside.  Some of the pictures include their other English teacher.  They have a regular English teacher that they see every day, and then they see me once a week.

Exhibit A

I said in my previous post that my dad has taught me how to do many things.  Here are some pictures of one of the most recent repairs that I have made.  I had to fix a giant hole that my dog made in my bathroom door.  I think I did a pretty good job.  It is amazing to Chinese people that I can do something like this.  To be honest, it's amazing to me too.  I am so lucky to have a father willing to teach me useful things.  He was always quite patient (though I may not have realized it at the time).  Thanks Dad!

Happy Father's Day

Here are some of the things that I love about my dad. 
1.  He is one of the hardest working people I know.  He has taught me what it means to work hard and he is a great example.  2.  He loves coffee as much as I do and is always willing to treat me to a good cup.  3.  He is always supportive of me and my choices, even though he encourages me to think twice sometimes.  4.  He challenges other people and often will encourage people to consider a broader range of options or opinions before settling on something.  5.  He knows so much about so many things and has always encouraged me to try to do things myself! (this is something that my friends have said about him too.  They are also thankful to him for teaching them how to do so many things.)  6.  He gets excited about things.  I know so many other people's parents who are always so subdued and don't seem to ever really get excited about anything.  There are so many things that I love about my dad, I just wanted to share a few.  I am lucky to have such a great dad! 

Monday, June 15, 2009


Here is a picture of me with my good friend Pinky.  He is the one who took me to his hometown.

photos of my visit to the country

Here are the pictures I took with my friend's cell phone.  They're not very good, but you can see the brick making set-up. The big oblong structure in the valley in a giant kiln for firing the bricks.  It is surrounded by bricks stacked to dry before being fired.  Then they haul the finished bricks away with tractors. As you can see, we also picked peaches and hiked around.  It was great.  I especially like the picture of the kitten in the kitchen.  It is a very "country" style kitchen, and the kitty has the responsibility of catching mice.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

new apartment pictures

These are pictures of the new apartment.  Ours is the one on the top floor, far left.  Here is also a pic of the view from our enclosed balcony, and one of cheer inside the apartment.  As you can see, there is a lot of work to do (there isn't even a road built to the building yet...just lots of dirt).


I miss him already, but hopefully he will be happier at his new home.
Read below for details.

calm before the storm

Well, I just had an amazingly relaxed couple of days in the countryside with my friend Pinky. Unfortunately I forgot my camera! There were so many interesting things I could have taken pictures of. We stayed with my friend's grandparents about an hour and a half from Weinan. They produce bricks on their property. It was an interesting and dirty couple days. There are millions of brick everywhere there. Some are wet, some half dry, some ready to be fired, some finished.

I spent my time relaxing. I hiked around with Pinky in the hills, we picked peaches, and just sat and drank beer. (it was extremely hot there) There was always something going on there. There are workers doing stuff 24 hours. Most of the workers are migrant workers from other provinces. I managed to take some pictures with Pinky's cell phone, so I'll see if I can put some up here. I'm not sure why I love visiting them so much, but I think it's because it reminds me of summer camp. No real toilets, no heat or AC, nothing to do or worry about, food is provided for me.

It was the last that I'll see of Huzi for awhile. If you don't know, Huzi is our half-doberman dog. He was driving us crazy, chewing up anything in sight. We figured he just wasn't happy living in an apartment in the city. it didn't matter how much we walked him, he was still destroying our apartment. So, I took him back to the country to see his old home. He saw his mom (who didn't remember him and snapped at him). Now Huzi has a new job. He is in charge of protecting some sheep for a relative of my friend. I was shocked when they put him in a big burlap sack and tied him to the back of a motorcycle, but they assured me that they were just transporting him to his new home. I like the idea of him having a job. He was like our unruly child, and now he is at military school. They will whip him into shape and force him to take on new responsibilities.

Now I'm back from my little break in the country and I already feel the pressures of daily life again. So many decisions to make and so much to do. I probably won't have much time to relax until after the wedding in August. They just finished the electric and plumbing in our apartment. They should be doing the in-floor heating this week. Next week our new tile floors will be installed. I'm working overtime to fill in for one of our teachers who is on vacation. When summer intensive term starts I will be working 7 days each week until the wedding...arghhh!

I promise I'll post some pictures soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

We're home owners!

Well Cheer and I have finally done it! We bought an apartment last week. It's pretty big and in a great location. It's 130 sq. meters, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, spacious living room, dining area, small kitchen, large enclosed balcony for washing/drying clothes, and a large storage room in the basement.
Unfortunately, it's going to cost us a fortune to build the interior to our tastes. We have been negotiating with a company for about a week, and have finally decided to hire them. They will coordinate the workers to do the ceilings, walls, floors, heating, etc. They will also help us design our bathrooms and kitchen. It's pretty exciting, but more work that I had hoped for. I would include pictures, but they're not very interesting...just bare concrete walls right now.
We are going to be so busy this summer trying to get our apartment done, planning the wedding, and working!

On a more exciting note, I managed to escape a fight in a very movie-like way this week...A man backed into me with his car the other day, and I hit the back of his car with my hand because I was upset. A few minutes later, he found us on the road and stopped his car to try to start a fight. We could see that he had been drinking. He followed us to one of our favorite restaurants. We went inside to order food and he stood outside and called his friends to come beat me up. The owner of the restaurant tried to reason with him but couldn't, so he took us out the back door to the alley. We escaped, but didn't get to have dinner there :(

I will try to take some good pictures of our new place to post soon!