Some sisters here in Tianjin are so happy to see Rachel!
Rachel arrived on December 17th to a snow-covered city. Due to the bad weather in Tianjin, the driver I hired to take me to Beijing had to cancel because the highways were closed 🙁 So I had to brave my way via taxi, to hi-speed train, to subway, then airport express train to finally get to the Beijing International Airport – nearly 4 hours after leaving home. It was my first time making this trip alone and it was an adventure, especially in the bad weather. However, to my surprise, the weather in Beijing was sunny! As I traveled on the hi-speed train to Beijing I watched as the skies and the ground cleared.
View from my train window leaving Tianjin
Fifteen minutes later, on the outskirts of Beijing, the skies are clearing
Airport Express train arriving at the airport under blue skies!
The weekend of December 6 -8th, I had the opportunity visit Michael in Hong Kong for his final exam presentation for the fall semester. During their last year of university in the HKU Architectural studies, students have a one-year project. Michael’s assignment is to design hypothetical Olympic village shops and housing for guests who will attend the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. I am very proud of his excellent work and it was a treat to meet some of Michael’s classmates.
Here Michael helps his friend prepare her drawings for her presentation.
Above, Michael took me to his favorite Dim Sum restaurant for brunch. Later that day we took a ride across the harbor to Kowloon. The Hong Kong skyline is very beautiful from the ferry. We visited other of his favorite places to shop and eat and the weather was delightful. At Michael’s local grocery store they were even selling REAL Christmas trees. Look closely and you will see a price tag of about 700 Hong Kong dollars, which translates to about $100 USD.
This is a common sight in China, as one travels throughout the city. Trucks piled high with boxes which are then bungee wrapped together, so they stay in place (although this wrapping job did not seem to do the trick). The truck drivers ride in a small two-seater un-airconditioned cab. A much different level of comfort from the American truck driver with his extended cab rig, with full size bed, air conditioning, and television.
Maddie found this great idea online, and thanks to grandma and grandpa Headrick who sent us candycorn and malted milkballs in a fall carepackage, we were able to make these cute turkey treats. Megan had her friend, Naomi, over to play the weekend before Thanksgiving and Maddie put her creative skills to work teaching the girls how to make these turkeys.
Our sweet Chinese friend who has been working at our school for a few years now, and who recently got married and Megan was the flower girl, took a job at another company in our city. Although it was sad to say goodbye knowing that I won’t be able to see her each day when I go to work, I’m happy for her to have this new opportunity and I’m glad that we can still be in touch, since she did not move away from Tianjin.