Sorry to any readers who I may still have out there...blogger has been shut down over here and I'm only now finding a way to post (assuming that this DOES post!). Alot has happened since my last update, so I'll try to take some time in the next few days and give summaries of life over here. For now....
Spring: Wuhan had a few miserably hot days, but mostly our Spring has been lovely, with breezes sweeping through the apartment and enough rain here and there to slow you down and make you drink tea by an open window. I've kept my windows open for about a month now and have loved waking up to soft winds and the sound of children playing in the kindergarten below.
Birthday: I turned 25 last month with allll sorts of fun and am continually reminded of how blessed I am. The day before my birthday, my Reading Group students came for Study at my apartment and brought a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of coke, a cute wooden fan with pandas on it, and a gorgeous plum blossom ink painting. I was blown away because I didn't even think that I had told them that I had a birthday coming. My students are SO considerate and sweet to me. I really can't express how glad I am to have them in my life. We had a great study that night that really encouraged me for the Work that we can do here.
The next day I made the trip across the Yangtse River to eat at my favorite restaurant in town, Aloha. This place has the best western food in Hubei--hamburgers and mexican options and incredible milkshakes. After lunch I returned to my side of town for our weekly ladies YARP meeting--at which Katera surprised me with a REAL American birthday cake with REAL icing. In China, the cakes are really decorative, but they taste more like a very plain shortbread cake and the icing has little to no sugar--so they're not my favorite. But Katera had a western coffeeshop in town make me a real cake and it was one of the best things I've eaten all year.
After YARP, it was time to be young and frivolous. For explanation of what occurred, you need background: Blue is my all-time favorite color. I am also a big fan of monochromism--my favorite paintings, outfits, housewares etc are typically always just different shades of one color. I've noticed that when shopping I'm always drawn into the stores that group their clothes together by colors. It's one of my things. Finally, I've always wanted blue hair. I've toyed with the idea of dying it blue many times, but either didn't want to bleach it first or felt that it wouldn't be a good career move or have just been too lazy. Some have asked me why I would want blue hair...as in, what type of statement would I be trying to make with blue hair. Rebellion? Punk attitude? Unconventionality? No. I JUST. THINK. IT. IS. BEAUTIFUL. I love blue hair.
And so, upon turning 25, the stars aligned and all my wishes came true. I found a blue wig in a streetside shop earlier this year, I found a sparkly blue tank top on the day of my birthday, I got a manicure with bright blue polished topped with blue sparkles, and loaded on blue eyeshadows in many shades for a night of beautiful blue fun. The outfit was complete with fake eyelashes and my wig securely on and me and some of my favorite girls went out for a night on the town. We danced it up like we would be in our mid-twenties forever. I can certainly say that I've enjoyed my youth!!!
The Great Wall: And now I have just returned from my second trip to the Great Wall. We spent two days on the wall, camping overnight between. I'll write more about this tomorrow--but it was one of those moments in life. We went to a section that is less touristed and so for long stretches had much of the wall to ourselves. We saw the sun set over the wall and woke up in time to see it rise, with wisps of fog and mist rolling over the wall and mountains as the light filled the sky. Incredible. One week into my 25th year, and I was spending the night on the Great Wall of China. During the rest of our trip, I was in Beijing partaking of la vie americaine -- all of the Western restaurants and shops that the capital of this country has to offer. I saw two movies in the theaters, Star Trek and Wolverine, and ate hamburgers, sandwiches, mexican, and indian and even had a quick spa stop. It was lovely. More to come on that.
So--assuming that I am still able to access this site to post, I'll have the complete Great Wall tale and others soon. I don't think I can post pics currently and it's not letting me hyperlink--so I'll put my pics on facebook and you can see them there until the web returns to normal--if it ever does. Stay tuned for more as I have time...
Strong and Courageous
1 week ago