Since I last wrote, we have traveled by bus, train, plane, boat and rickshaw.
After a long and exhausting day (exhausting, is the nice word I came up with after sitting here and pondering for several moments) of traveling we couldn’t find taxis. Only 4 people are allowed in a taxi, so we need two. We opted to jump in two of these crazy contraptions with our luggage for the last leg of our journey. The kids thought it was hysterical. My husband kissed me and said this is why he married me. Hehehe – I guess it only takes me being a bit crazy to keep him crazy in love with me!
Where did we go that was worth traveling by rickshaw?
We went to a community center in south China to meet up with others who work with our company teaching english in various parts of Asia. In part this was to fulfill the yearly requirement of training, but it wasn’t just training (although there was a good deal of that). We enjoyed getting to know others who live lives similar to our own – we worshiped together, studied together, shared stories and gained encouragement. On top of that, the kids loved the classes and activities that were prepared for them!
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t mention that I also enjoyed not cooking, staying in a western guest house that had a washer and dryer! We also enjoyed the english library and playground along with some warmer weather. I am embarrassed at how much pizza, hamburgers, and coffee we consumed. I am not a huge McDonalds fan – but there is something about not having a hamburger for 6 months that makes a Big Mac and a Diet Coke taste super yummy. The drink I got at Starbucks was also heavenly!
While we were there we celebrated Little Monkey’s 7th birthday. Birthdays are a big deal in our family and I have never tried to pull one off while away from home. It stressed me out a bit. But, I should not have worried. All the kids at the conference enjoyed pitching in for a birthday bash for our girl and our sweet leaders planned a special evening of activities – cupcakes, an orbz ball (kinda like a human hamster ball that kinda made me want to be sick but the kids thought it was grand fun) and fireworks! She deemed it the “best birthday ever” as she watched the fireworks and ran around with her new friends spelling her name with sparklers.
After the conference we tacked on a few days of rest at an M guest house. More reading, more western food, more warm weather and new family memories.
The short of it.
We are now trained, rested, fattened up, and ready to begin a new semester!