Thursday, August 31, 2006


I knew I would miss cheese.

It was actually easier not having it at all rather than now, when it is available but very expensive. The temptation is great.

That said, I have plans to make grilled cheese sandwiches tonight for our dinner here, and sometime this weekend eating pizza. Oh the anticipation of satiating a craving :-) I really truly hope the pizza is good.


Sunday, August 27, 2006


I am greatly comforted by the connections all about me...Lisa Rex once observed that I valued networking, and boy am I in the right country for that! I hope that my brain grows enough to have space for all the people that I am meeting. Already there are so many good contacts in Shanghai who I know will be of great help. I hope they enjoy my presence, because they will have to put up with me for 4 months! At the least ;-)

Here is a picture from my dinner Friday night at a friend of Clare's...

Monday, August 21, 2006


Sunset over Tianjin

Well, things are falling into place here- Hopefully today I'll get my ticket to Shanghai. Did you know plane tickets aren't that much more expensive than train sometimes? Like now? It's amazing. So I'm flying to Shanghai. It will take less than 2 hours, as opposed to the way I was going to go, by train, which was about 12. What a difference, eh?

I've been at Clare's for a week now, and getting the hang of life in Tianjin a little more. It's so different from Guyuan. But even with all the perks of a big city, I think I will continue to prefer the small-town. Maybe living in Shanghai will change that. But then again, maybe it will just confirm it.

This second homestay is amazing- two Chinese roommates and 2 American roommates, although Leslie is pretty much moved out, and she's basically Chinese anyway. She's been here about 5 years and is getting married in early October to a Chinese man.

Melissa is the other American, from of all places Ohio. She reminds me of Brittany, my dear Brittany. She teaches English and is athletic. She played volleyball in college. Her personality is very laid back, but she is persistent when she really wants something done. Like the light switch to start working again, or the refrigerator to stop leaking.

Jennifer is the other Chinese besides Clare. She is a teacher assistant at the international school here, and very sweet. She's very responsible too, being the eldest child and helping support her parents and other brothers and sisters. She likes to tease Melissa, and they sometimes sound like an old married couple. It's quite humourous.

As for me, I've been spending my days either volunteering at the orphanage nearby, reading, writing, or trying to get pictures online. It's very relaxing. And yesterday we had spaghetti for dinner, complete with mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic bread. Reminded me of dinner with mom, dad, gramma, and grampa. Thanks for the memory!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Loving it


Hello sweet coolness!

Alrighty- update: I am now in Tianjin, about 2 hours from Beijing, living with my dear friend Clare 
and her roommates for the next couple weeks.

My goodness so much to say! I really miss Guyuan- the smalltown (270,000?) life is definitely 
more familiar to me than the crowded craziness of the subway in Beijing or the bus in Tianjin. 
Although the bus yesterday wasn't too bad. We just had to push push push to get on and we 
made it!

Today and yesterday have been very cool. I think it may be because of the storms in the south 
bringing us cool weather. 2 nights ago when I was in Beijing, it rained almost the whole night, 
which is nearly unheard of here.

It was sad to say goodbye to my American family at the airport- but I am so thankful for Clare, 
who was with me and has many of the same memories. Those guys know me so well from the 
past month. So thanks guys. I'll try and get out those weekly updates to you- but we'll see how 
that goes.

Clare and I ordered 2 dishes last night and rice, and it was waaaay too much! I am so used to 
eating with at least 7 others at meals, it will be sad to have only 1 or 2 choices of dishes for the 
next few weeks and in Shanghai. Hopefully I'll make friends quickly, and learn how to order the 
food I like. There are so many good things to eat!

Okay, hopefully that is sufficient for an update for now. Maybe I'll figure out how to get my 
photos online someday soon (maybe today?) so email me or give me your email if you want the 
link and don't have it.

Tsai Chien! 

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I'm here!

Sitting in the internet cafe with my roomie for the past month! Whoa! The time has flown. Positively. I could use a better keyboard though.

Life is good. So good. I am having a great time in Guyuan! Sad to think of being gone in less than 2 days. Then it's on to Yinchuan and then Beijing, then Tianjin and finally Shanghai for school in September.

I can hardly believe another summer has gone by. And I was at summer camp- although it was very very very different from the last three. This time I was with 1 roommate for 4 weeks! And I have only had 5 others in the past 7 weeks :-)

Well I better get going. An hour goes by quickly on here. Sorry to have been so silent. Give me a few weeks and I'll have more access again. I've been working with only about 1/2 hour a week! And no, dear ones, I have not missed the internet. But I have missed many of you periodically.

Send some ni hao!

ps- sorry for the weddings I have/will miss. I really truly wanted to be there for you. Especially Katie, Kristin, Sarah, and Elizabeth. Sorry guys.