Saturday, August 22, 2009

The apartment

Lots of people liked seeing the video I put on facebook last year. I made another video. It is the new apartment. It is not exactly professional, but you can see the basics. Feel free to ask questions, nd let us know what else you want to see.
video

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This year and Last year

Lately I have been thinking about the difference from this year and last year. This year is much better! Why?
I think the biggest difference is that we have a home. Last year when we got off the plane we were told that we would be staying in a hotel for a while. I really tried not to grumble, but I could not even really unpack—we hand no place to put things. All of our suitcases were stacked in the corners of the rooms. I wish I had thought to take pictures. This year I unpacked all the suitcases the next day.

Last year we were pretty tired, but couldn’t stay cooped up in the hotel all the time, so we went out. We really needed to explore the city some. We did, and we got lost! I mostly remember that it was VERY hot. We all got pretty dehydrated, which did not help the jet lag! This year, we have gone out in the heat some, but so far we have not got lost. We know how to get around the city now.

Last year all the kids got sick! It was terrible. This year so far (knock on wood) we have been pretty healthy.

Last year, while we were still in the hotel, we did not even have a way to do laundry. We washed clothes at Josh and Yan’s place at least once. We also hand washed some things. We did not even have a balcony to hang the clothes so we hung them around the room and on a rack that we borrowed from Josh and Gao Yan.
This year, I was able to wash clothes the day after arriving, and hang them out, and the Ai yi helped wash clothes too.

Last year we did not really have internet access for several weeks. This year we got on an unsecure network for 2 days but now have our own internet, and a way around the great firewall! So we are able to stay in touch with loved ones on the other side of the world

Last year, we were in a dingy, dark, cramped hotel room and then we moved into two apartments across the hall from each other until they broke the hole in the wall. Once we were in the apartment, the kids slept on a mattress on the floor in the room next to us.
This year we came home to our bright and clean apartment. The kids each have their own beds.

Last year we knew no one (except our team) in the city. This year we have friends and even more possibilities. Jon has already picked his studies with Alex back up!

To me it is amazing to see the difference. This year is much better than last year. We are excited about the potential for the new year! Please continue to pray for us, that doors will be open and that we will find those seeking Him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

getting back in the swing of things

I am typing this from my living room in Hangzhou. We made it safe and sound. We have been here one week now. The trip was pretty uneventful. It was long! From the time our plane left Memphis until we walked into our apartment was 23 hours! We flew from Memphis to Atlanta to Shanghai. Then some students and a driver picked us up at the airport and drove us to Hangzhou. We were one bag short. One of our bags got lost, but they found it and we received it late Saturday morning.
We are pretty much over jet lag now. We are now back to sleeping at the correct times, more or less.
I slept until about 7:30 this morning!

I have lots and lots to blog about. I uploaded my pictures form this summer, and there were more than 400! Don't worry, I don't plan on putting all of them on here. I do hope to catch up soon though. Hallie and I are also planning to make a video of the apartment (hopefully today). We keep getting side tracked.

Jon does not start school for a few more weeks yet, but I plan to start the kids next week. That should be fun.

We are still adjusting, but over all things are going very well.
It is really nice to be back.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're going Home!

Sometimes it is hard to know where to call "home". I guess right now home is China. I do slip up and call the US home too. We are starting the long journey back to China today. We will leave Henderson this afternoon and go to Memphis. We will spend the night (or part of the night depending on how you look at it). Our plane leaves Memphis at 6 AM. We fly to Atlanta and then to Shanghai. Our school should pick us up in Shanghai and drive us to our apartment (home!). How long will all of that take? A LONG time! At least 20 hours not counting any layovers! We will be exhausted!

It may be a few days before we are really back on the Internet all the way. We don't really have Internet at our apartment yet. It is one of the first things we will do! Some things are blocked in China right now, like my blog and facebook. I have signed up for a program that should allow me to use those sites. We will see how it works!
I hope to be back and posting soon!

In the mean time, pray for our travels and re-adjustments!