Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Program!

Some images from our AMAZing Christmas program at Rong Chang Hope School!

The kids were fabulous, the costumes were all handmade by our Headmaster and teachers, and the evening was so incredible:

getting ready...

some of my beautiful 3rd graders

the Headmaster - isn't she absolutely regal?

preschool girls' dance

Kung Fu - 4th grade

Donna and Johnny, our MCs, using their English with Jenny,
the music teacher and my Chinese teacher

1st and 2nd graders

"Santa" came to visit bringing presents for the kids

2nd grade boys

Girls' dance 1st-5th grade

3rd grade

our cook played the Chinese violin

5th grade played the recorder

on of my little 2nd graders singing a solo

4th grade girls

Now tell me, do I have the raddest job, or what?

Happy Chinese New Year!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Aaand a few more...

I thought I'd add to list of new/strange things I've eaten in China:
  • cow lung
  • blood sausage (or a nasty semblance of it)
  • cow stomach
  • authentic Kung Pao chicken - quite different from your local Panda Express
and the latest...
guess what I had for dessert??

Chinese frog fallopian tube (yes, the female reproductive organ) soup!

<--- (click to find out more!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goodbye 2008, hello 2009.

I welcomed 2009 last night with a buffet dinner of Western food with a few friends, a foot and back massage, and by watching the fireworks in Hong Kong with my parents over Skype. It's amazing how I can watch fireworks in Hong Kong while in China over my TV, and my parents, 16 hours behind, can watch the same thing in America through my computer, but in my time. Crazy technology!

2008 is gone. What a year it has been.

This past year brought a lot. I'm pensive and rather contemplative lately, so I'll recap, for my sake...with poor quality photos. ha.

I said goodbye to my Grandma Marla in Kansas as she went home to be with the Lord. Her cold and snowy funeral was filled with old friends, distant family, and big, weathered farmers' handshakes gently giving condolences.

And like always, my family turned it into a road trip: 3 days, several thousand miles, and A LOT of snow.

I started dating an incredible man.

He makes me laugh, makes me think, and helps me dream.
He is my boyfriend, my brother and daily becoming more of my best friend.

I went to Baja as a TA and once again fell in love with that enchanting and indescribable landscape, wildlife, and culture.

And of course I shot a TON of pictures.

I created a Senior Thesis show at Biola, built 15 frames, editied hundreds of photos, and enlarged three gorgeous Indian women's portraits...and survived!

Show partners: Elly, Erin, me.

I made a new family, or was truly welcomed into one: the Conrads - who helped make my show such a success.

I graduated from Biola! Yay Class of 2008!

art buddies!

Lifelong friends came to celebrate. They truly are family.

I worked at Indian Hills Camp for the 7th summer
as a Dean, assistant photographer, and big camper as always.

The Dean Team - never a dull moment :)

I went to NICARAGUA to serve with my dear brother Emerson.

I fell in love with a small town called San Ramon,
played with kids, took bucket showers, sweated profusely, and ate my fill of beans and rice all while serving with the most an amazing team - ever!

I kept up with my incredible small group, my girls,
even though life and adulthood is taking us all different directions.
These girls are priceless.

And then I went to China.

And began teaching at Rong Chang Hope School.

I have met many wonderful people:
Sally, me, and Jimmy with gelato in Hong Kong.

Me, Tony, and Jimmy at the beach.

And my life daily continues to be a stretching and growing adventure.

I miss home. I miss community. I miss being known and understood by people that genuinely know and love me. I miss having someone I can talk to at the end of the day. But this is where I have been placed for 2008 -2009, and despite the occasional downs, I am enjoying it. My kids are beautiful, the school is wonderful, Shantou is busy and dirty, and I am growing up. There's always growing pains, right?

Here's to 2009. It's You and me here, truly.