Thailand - the adventure begins

I'm going to try to post this EPIC journey as it happens. No pictures yet, and I'll tell you why in a minute. It is EPIC my friends.

We were scheduled to head out of Xiamen at 12:10. We were at the airport in plenty of time, but our flight was about 20 minutes late out of the gate. While we were waiting I felt two cold sores on my upper lip start to form. Thankfully I had the abreva with  me. We knew it would be tight in Hong Kong and when we got off our plane there was a gal there waiting with our names on a paper and she ran/escorted us to our next flight, only to find out that it was delayed about 45 minutes.

This was all because we decided to travel this area during TYPHOON season. That's right. A typhoon had just left Hong Kong swimming and was delaying flights all over Asia. In order for Hong Kong to catch up they were boarding flights out on the tarmac as well as at gates. So we were handed glorified plastic bags to protect us from the rain that was not then falling. We got on buses and headed out onto the tarmac and up the stairs onto the plane. We were 3 feet from the door when a sheet of rain (we were not wearing the plastic bags) hit us and soaked our right sides and we pushed into the plane. Lovely. It was okay though, we weren't cold.

When Daniel got to our seats there were people sitting in them. Once they moved we had time to pay attention to who our seat mate was. She was the funniest ornery old Chinese woman.She tried to get up to go the bathroom while we were taxiing and then again a few minutes after take off and then she went back to her seat (window mind you, tripping over us each time) grumbling in Chinese and then the group of about 8 that she was with started laughing. I'm pretty sure she was swearing.

Then when it was time for the food they ask us chicken with rice or pork with noodles. She said chicken and I got pork and when she saw mine she said "ick." It was awesome.

Then her daughter came and took pictures of her asleep and awake. When we got up to leave we were waiting to get our of our row and she burped behind me. It was awesome. I always love some entertainment on my flights.

When we landed we got through customs just fine and went to the luggage  carousel. No big pink suitcase (mine). Nor any others. So we filled out the form and gave them the information they needed and they said the would send it to our hotel when it came. So we waited up till 11. Nothing. Then this morning we called and asked the front desk. Nothing. We went to breakfast and then gave all the information again to the front desk so they could track it down for us. They called and it still in Hong Kong amidst hundreds of bags that did not go with their owners. Are you jealous yet?

Here are the things that we needed:

Daniel's medication
Daniel's CPAP machine
my cold sore medication
Daniel's exzema cream
BOTH my cameras. Yes this trip so far had only iphone photos.
clean clothes

So Daniel and I went with his mom to a local laundry mini-everything store and got ourselves some clothes. I got a spaghetti strap dress, a swimsuit (replacement underwear) and a shirt to wear. Daniel got some white linen pants, a white linen shirt and some turquoise swim trunks. Our garments are now hanging to dry on the clothes line the shower after being washed. I hope we get our luggage tonight. But ti's possible it won't be here to till tomorrow. This is a trial, my friends. I real trial. But we are going to do our best and enjoy where we are and hopefully be able to laugh at this story while it's happening as well as in the future.

Check back tomorrow for updates!


Posting things

The amount of posting has drastically dropped since returning to China, as we are having fewer adventures. We are still having fun, but we have fallen into the swing of things. We still have adventures to come though, so I will obviously continue posting.

Here are some of the things that I am up to since returning at the end of August. I was called as an early morning seminary teacher for the Beijing 1st and Beijing China International District virtual seminary class. That's a mouthful. It means that the kids in the Beijing and from 3 other places around China call in everyday at 6:30 am and we have a teleconference seminary class. I am really enjoying teaching and things I am learning about the Old Testament this year. My only issue now is that whole getting up early thing. I usually go back to bed around 8-ish after class is over and I've cleaned up my teleconference materials. This lasts until around 10 or 11, depending on how tired I am. We usually go to bed around 9 or so and are asleep by 10, but I still get tired.

Adding 2 hours of spiritual preparation to my day and starting my day with a 1 hour spiritual lesson, I feel, is improving my personal attitudes and positively effecting my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I truly am enjoying it.

I have also started tutoring a few students. I have a 6th, a 10th, and an 11th grader that I tutor. It's been good for me as I am diving back into my high-school and college writing skills. I am really enjoying that, as well as making money at it too. Plus I have the wife of the President of Life China come twice a week with her friend for conversation skills lessons and I get about 30$ for that each time. My life is a good kind of busy now.

Last weekend and this weekend we attended parties with groups from Lifetime for the Mid-Autumn Festival. As soon as I get the pictures from this weekend's event, I will post about the fun we had there.

I am sad to be missing things at home, but when we got back I realized I missed my Chinese friends too. I will be sad to leave them when the time comes. Until then, I am going to enjoy their company.


Please forgive me

Dear readers - all, I think it's now about 40 of you, please forgive my lack of posting. I took a three week trip home to Utah to spend time with family and friends. And that's just what I did. I spent four days in the mountains (earlier post), time with many friends at dinners and just chatting, a day at the zoo, and many dinners with family where all manner of American food was consumed enmasse. Sadly it added to my "masse." But the gym membership will help fix that. It's odd to be back in China. I won't say glad, because I desperately miss the people and familiarity of home (but no, mother, I am not homesick). But I am back delighting in the oddities that are China. I have laughed a lot over the last 5 days (day 1 back we both slept most of it because of sheer exhaustion and Daniel got sick). It's a full 30 hours from bed to bed. Pheew. Rough.

But I am trying to continues to enjoy this with the same enthusiasm I started with. As I would get asked about China and if we are having a good time the only things that came to my mind were the good things. The people, the food, the experiences and the adventures. It's an experience I never expected to have, even in a million years, and we are loving it. So I am at it again trying to create good memories. (Although the pounding upstairs has gone from jack hammer to some sort of fast rhythmic regular hammer pounding in nails sort of sound.)

Here are a few pictures from my fun, calorie burning day at the zoo with  my best friend Eryn and her kids - all three of them.

 Cute little blondies! Wagons are a good idea, by the way.
 Baby Zuri and momma. I hope to pet a baby elephant in Thailand and ride on an adult.
 This guy was so lazy, it jsut cracked me up. I have felt like that too. It was a warm day.
 At the elephant program.
 Last year when we tried this Grace freaked out! We had put her on the large elephant over by where the elephants are and it made a noise and she was not having it the rest of the day. This year went much better. She was still hesitant, but she participated.
 She was so excited to ride by herself, like a big girl. I was only inches away the rest of the ride, (no need to worry Laurie!)
 He was digging being out of the stroller.
 I want a kid like him. he was so chill and go with it the whole time, even in the heat. Handsome little guy. I'm so glad I got to see him while he was still a baby baby. He hit 3 months while I was there. He's going to grow a lot between now and Christmas! Then I will see him at about a year! So crazy.
 Enjoying the shade.
 I'm not really sure what Amelia's face was, but she is little Miss Personality. It was a fun trip.
What's the zoo without measuring against the gorillas?

Such a fun trip. I'm so glad I got to see as many people as I did. If I missed you, Ii'm sorry. We'll try again in December!


Oops... I did it again.

I cut my hair and turned it purple. Well, to be technical, I had a friend and professional stylist turn it purple then cut it. And I'm so glad I did. The purple is unobtrusive and the short is just what I needed to deal with this oppressive heat. What do you think?

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