Last night I called my neighbor to tell her that Megan had a cough and she wouldn’t be going to Chinese school the next day. (My neighbor friend, Wendy, drives Megan to school each day along with her own daughter, Ning Ning who in the same class with Megan– Wendy is a Chinese language teacher at our school). Anyway after I told Wendy my plan for Megan she went on to tell me how she wanted to thank the Lord and share with me a testimony. Well as it happened, she was going out to meet a friend in the courtyard and accidentally shut her apartment door without having her house keys. As soon as the door closed she realized that she was locked out and she had something cooking on the stove. Her only set of extra keys were in her classroom at our school. So she quickly called the head secretary, who had to return to work to let Wendy into the building. And in the mean time, her gas stove was on! As she was driving to school, she noticed her 5 year old daughter silently praying. Ning Ning, with her child-like faith was praying that God would take care of them and keep their apartment from catching fire. My friend shared with me how her little 5 year old daughter ministered to her in her time of need, and how very thankful she was to the Lord for HIS protection and revelation. As it turned out when they returned to their apartment, everything was fine, and nothing caught fire.
With the prompting from her brother, Rachel has decided to try a tumblr blog account. She has created some pretty unique entries over the past month, including some nice photos of she and her sisters AND some of the yummy food that she is learning to make recently. Below is a screenshot of one of her blogs about daily life. To read more of her blog click here: http://watercolor-world.tumblr.com/
Last Friday night Maddie invited some of her 8th grade friends over for a sleepover. They all had to be at school the next morning to catch the bus to Beijing for a soccer game. I was surprised when I heard them singing “Happy Birthday” from Maddie’s room. I went in to find the girls in front of Maddie’s computer screen singing to their friend who moved to Hong Kong over the summer. It was this friend’s birthday, and all the girls were having a “virtual” party, with her. She being alone in Hong Kong and the other girls here at our apartment just hanging out over skype and sharing life together. Technology is great!
Most Fridays at school there is a business casual day. Usually the teachers are required to wear a dress shirt and tie to work every day. Last Friday, the elementary and middle school students had their annual field day event called Scipmylo (Olympics spelled backwards). A friend of mine took this photos of me and Sean in our matching TIS polo shirts.
Megan enjoys playing out in the courtyard in front of our apartment building when weather and time permits. These early days of fall have brought us very nice weather, to which I am so thankful. This particular day Megan was out playing with neighbor girls and suddenly a lady came out with two adorable puppies. Grabbing the attention of the girls, the puppies were very friendly, and the owner even let Megan hold one. I know that if I said yes, we’d have a puppy ourselves, but hi-rise apartment living does not afford an easy job of pet ownership.
This past weekend our PR office participated in the 1st Tianjin Expatriate Community Expo. It was held in conjunction with the China’s Annual National Tourism Convention here in Tianjin. One hall was designated for Ex-Pat services and businesses. It was rewarding to meet other foreign friends and also to greet and spend time with curious Chinese patrons of the convention. Of particular interest was the lego table that we had set up for small children to play. Many asked were we selling the legos? But then they realized that we were a school. Here I am pictured with the ladies I work with in our Admissions and PR office. (Two Americans, two Chinese and one Korean)
Megan draws a lot of attention while she plays legos with another friend from school.
From the looks of this picture you can take one guess as to how Megan is adjusting to her new kindergarten class at the local Chinese kindergarten.
She has met many new friends in the last couple of weeks. I have been told by our school’s 3 year old teacher and also by many ESL teachers that kids who are put in an immersion environment usually just listen for the first few months. Then they begin to speak, putting the words together that they have been hearing every day. Her new teacher, Mrs. Zhang, is very nice and does speak a little English, which is very helpful for me. Here are a few other pictures of her in the school building.
On our bike ride home from school I decided to pick up one of Rachel and Maddie’s favorite streetfood items…roasted sweet potatoes. The lady pictured here has a large 50-gallon drum on the back of her bike. Inside she has a coal burning fire and above a grate with the potatoes roasting. She will set up here for the afternoon/evening and sell potatoes for about 5 kuai each (in US dollars that’s about .80 cents). Next to her a man has set out his produce for sale…corn and onions.