Wednesday, March 25, 2009

After we had tea we went for a walk and found this area that was set up with some interesting traditional Chinese things.

This is a very traditional tea setting.

Jon's new friend. Jon is wearing the guy's hat.
Liam and Eryn found a game. The game is called guo (pronounced go). I do not know how to play, but there are lots and lots of little pieces. The other little boy is the son of a co-worker.

. Evidently this is a place where people come to take wedding pictures. This couple was decked out in their wedding outfits.

We were going to get the kids to move, but the couple wanted to take pictures with the foreign kids!

Tea house

A few weeks ago, it was Women’s Day. That is not a holiday we celebrate in the U.S. but it was on my calendar. The school invited all the women out for tea and the guys and kids got to come along. We went to a nice tea house over looking the canal. We drank tea and ate lots and lots of snacks.
This is our family eating the snacks.

I drank this kind of tea. It is called eight treasures. There are eight things in this tea. I don't remember everything that is in it, but it has orange peal, a couple types of flowers, wolf berries, dates, sugar, and some other things. It is not bad. I think it is very pretty.

This is what we could see from the window of the tea house.

Turtle Turtle!

Alex was a student of both of us last semester. I think he may be attending one of Josh’s classes this semester. He really wants to improve his English. He is also our friend. We have been having him over about once a week. Recently he has expressed interest in learning more about our favorite Book. We are trying to get him together with Frank or someone who speaks better Chinese.

Anyway, the first time he came over this semester, he brought the kids a present. Pets! Three turtles! Jon was pretty grossed out.

We had thought about getting a small pet, but we were thinking about something furry. Alex said that he thought about getting a mouse but he said it has a smell. We think that the turtles smell!

Alex also said that once the turtles get bigger, we can eat them. Yes they do eat turtle in China. I have seen them in the grocery store. They are not cheap at all. We have tasted turtle soup (when we were in China before) We do not like it. We will not eat these turtles!
I spent some time on the Internet trying to find out what kind of turtle we had and how to take care of them. The kind of turtle we have is commonly known as Reeve’s turtle. The good news is that they do not grow to be very large. They are some of the smaller turtles.

The turtles came in three small glass bowls.

We bought a tank and gathered some rocks and also bought a heater and lamp for the turtles. They seem as happy as turtles can seem.
I have taken responsibility for cleaning the turtle home and feeding them. So far they have not been too smelly, but that may change once the weather gets warmer.
The kids think that the turtles are great and they do enjoy watching them and feeding them. But they do not seem too attached to them.

This is what the turtle home looks like now!
Here are two of them "sunning" on the rocks.
This is the other one in the water.

I do not know what we will do with the turtles when we are in the US for a few weeks this summer. Maybe Alex can take them for us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What to do?

Well, it is that time of year. It is the time of year that foreign teachers (that's us) decide if they will come back next year. Of course we do know that we will come back to China next year. We just don't know if we will be at this school. We have started hearing some questions from the school. The problem is we have decided that I (Jenn) will not teach for the school next year. So the question is, will this school let us stay in this apartment if only one of us teach? To be perfectly honest, I don't know what we want to do. I wonder what would really be best. We like the convince of living on campus, but frankly some of the "opportunities" we thought would be here, have not panned out. We wonder if living further in town would not open more doors and be better for the kids. I guess, we are asking for prayers for guidance and wisdom as we make these decisions.

Last night at English corner I had a really good discussion with some students about some GOOD things. One showed a lot of interest and will be in my class this afternoon. Please ask Dad to help us say the right things as we pursue that relationship.

It seems we are starting to finally see some fruit and interest from some of our students which makes the decision to leave even harder. We will keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

sick o

Well, I haven’t updated in quite a while. Jon’s parents are still here. However we have not been able to do very much with them because it has been raining and raining. It has rained everyday for about 2 weeks.
Classes have started again, well we are in the 3rd week. I guess that is going pretty well. The last few days I have been sick. I started feeling bad on Sunday but by Monday I pretty much just laid around all day. I had a class on Tuesday and I went, but it was not good. I let them out early and stumbled home. I may actually be on the mend now. I am able to sit up and type. I slept all day today. I had to cancel my class today. I am hoping I can make it to class tomorrow. It is such a pain to make up a missed class. I am thankful that Jon’s mom was here today because I did not have to worry about doing as much for the kids. Please remember Jon and his parents and pray that they don’t get sick. The kids have been sick too. Pray that they will get better quickly!

Also, the school is trying to give me at least one other class (maybe more). The problem is that it is either Friday night or Sat. or Sunday. None of those days are good for me! I hope to be back to normal and on track in a few days!