Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just a quick note to catch up.

Jon's parents are here. They are sleeping in the apartment next to ours, but they do hang out here a lot.

Classes started this week. Two of mine don't start until next week. My first class is today. I taught these kids last semester.

The ai yi came yesterday. She did a good job. She cleaned my floors! She also made lunch for us. She made way too much food. We all ate until we were stuffed and then we told her to quit. She was planning to cook one more dish. We had enough leftovers for supper. We had a little trouble with communication but I think it will get easier.

I have been kind of sick. I am thankful that I was so healthy last semester. This is my second round of sickness this break. I have a cold, which is tolerable. I have also had "china Belly". I finally broke down and took some medicine for that today so I could go to class. I made it through my class and then came home to take a nap. I don't have class again until Friday. I feel better than I did at lunch time. I guess I will live.

I guess vacation is over now. We are getting into the full swing of everything. Next week all of our classes will have started and English corner will start too. This semester is going to be much better than last semester.

I need to post some pictures soon. I will work on that tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ai yi!

We are getting an Ai yi! What's that? Well, Ai yi means "aunt" or "auntie". Sometimes it is a term for any older lady. It is a sign of respect a little like "Miss" or "Ma'am". But sometimes it is a house keeper or nanny. That is what we are getting. We met with her today.

Yan did a lot of work on this. She found her, and arranged it all and translated for us. She even wrote up a "contract" for her. At first we thought we would be getting one for nearly everyday, but she has another job and we did not want her to quit right now, so it is only part time. She will help with the laundry and dishes and cleaning. She will cook lunch for us and will watch the kids so we can actually go out some as a couple! I am really excited about it.

I know that she wants to do a good job too, because she told Yan that she had trouble sleeping last night because she was so nervous. It should give us more time for homeschooling and other work.

Next week we will be in Shanghai most of the week, so she will start the following week--the same week that classes start.

Oh yeah, we are going to Shanghai to meet Jon's parents. They are coming for a visit. Please keep them in your thoughts as they travel.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The letter A

Back a few weeks ago some of my other blogger friends were playing a game where someone would give them a letter and they would write about ten things that begin with that letter. I was a little late to the game and then we had the holidays (Chinese Holidays, more about that later), and then I got sick, but now I am back at the computer and ready to tackle the letter A.

1. Asia—Ok I was hoping for the letter C so I could say China, but A will work too. Of course I live in Asia now, namely China. I love it! I sometimes have bouts of homesickness, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be. Asia has had a special place in my heart for about 10 years now.

2. America—I am American, and even thought I live half way around the world I am still American. I am proud to be American too! I would love to teach a class on American culture, but I just have to add it to the oral English and Listening class when I can.

3. Airborne—That stuff is great! I swear by it. There have been times that I have felt a cold coming on and started taking it, and I have been fine. Once Jon and I got the same cold and I took airborne and he did not. I was better days earlier than he was. There is a Chinese version of Airborne here, and it even tastes a little better! I brought a couple of tubes of regular Airborne with us.

4. Air mail—There is no longer surface mail from he US to China so it is all Air mail. The bad thing is that means it is more expensive, the good thing is that a package will arrive in about 10 days as opposed to 4 months. We love getting packages! They can really brighten our day. We are blessed with family and family at CC that regularly send us packages.

5. Acupuncture Needles—Did you know that is what started all of this? Back in February of 1998 we were looking at the booths set up in Bader Gym during the FHU lectureships. We came across a booth that had Chinese stuff. They had a small case with acupuncture needles in it. Jon spied them and picked them up to look at them. Both Bennie Mullins and his wife Kitty talked to us about the opportunity to go to China to teach English and the Good News. (sound familiar?) We went for one year and then came home. We knew we wanted to go back and we finally hooked up with the team and Clear Creek about 2 years ago. And here we are! Would I ever have acupuncture? Yes, I would I think that it can help some things, but luckily I have not needed it yet!

6. Armed Forces—Did you know that I am a military brat? My dad spent 20 years in the Navy. He joined before I was born and did not retire until I was in college. I never lived anywhere for more than 4 years until I came to Henderson for college. My brother is in the Navy now. He has been in for something like 13 years. My Grandfather was also in the Army Air corps during WWII.

7. August—August is a busy month for our family. It is the month that we moved to China. We will probably almost always go back to China in August. It is also a busy month for us as far as birthdays!. My dad’s birthday is the 8th and Eryn’s is the 9th . Yes she was born the day after Poppa’s 50th birthday. Jon’s birthday is the 13th, Beverly’s (Jon’s mom) is the 21st, and Karen’s (my step mom) is the 30th! It is a busy month.

8. Adventure—I always said that one of the cool things about living in China is that everyday can be an adventure. When you live in another culture especially one where you don’t really speak the language and are illiterate (no, I can’t read Chinese) just getting around can be an adventure. We never know what we are going to see , or who we are going to meet. It is (usually) a lot of fun.

9. Alaska—This is not really about me but Jon. He wants to go to Alaska. He says when we finish with China that he would like to live in Alaska. I am not so sure about that. I keep reminding him that he does not like cold weather! He has an uncle that taught school in Alaska and then moved back to the lower 48 quite well off. I think we would like to visit Alaska, but I am not so sure about living there.

10. Airen—ok,I am stretching things here. I was hoping that I would get a letter that I could write about some cool Chinese word. There are not too many Chinese words that begin with A, or at least not ones that I know. This word basically has two parts Ai which means love and ren which means person so it means love person or husband/wife. My Airen is Jon and we have been married for 13 ½ years. He has been my best friend for about 15 years. He is an amazing husband! Just an example, he just finished washing the dishes (by hand). He has washed laundry and hung it up today and he cooked lunch for us. I tell you he is AMAZING!