Monday, August 24, 2009

Round Two!

And, we're back! Hopefully, we plan to stay another 10 months to a year. Our visa situation and other things are different this time, so we will see. Our first stop, Beijing, a huge bustling city with alleyways that swallow you up. We ended up staying in a hostel instead of with friends and it is inside a labryinth of hutongs (alleyways). Everyone seems to know where we are going somehow and many have offered their services as guide, even walking us down the streets to our destination,. One old man just beckoned to us without words and when I asked him where he was taking us, he just waved again as if to say, don't worry, I know where you are going, its this way. Sure enough, after 3 or 4 right turns, there was our hostel, just as he had promised! Last night we came out of the subway at what we thought was the right exit. It was marked B downstairs and C on the street. A couple of teenagers saw we were perplexed and stopped to help us, even calling the hostel for us. They were not locals and said they often got lost here so wanted to help someone else. Sure enough, we were only just around the corner. We have visited the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the Night Market with all its strange offerings to eat. I am not able to post pictures right now but don't worry, we will not let you miss the fried silk worms and snake on a stick or the scorpians, crickets, and seahorses skewered for your eating delight! We only have 1 more day here and want to go the Great Wall. We have been a little lazy today and yesterday, laying around to get over jetlag and then walking all evening to sleep the night through. So far, I have not had a bad time of it. We really enjoyed our time at home, it flew too quickly past. It feels as if we have never left China. Except for the food, we did miss the food. Last night we had braised cold rabbit and country style pork with peppers, basically fried bacon with hot green peppers and salty black beans, with the best broccoli and oyster sauce Frank had ever tasted. I never saw him ooh and aww over vegetables before. He couldn't get enough! Wednesday morning we head for Korea for a week before returning to our city. I will post pictures as soon as I can! Here we go again!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

And miles to go before I sleep...

We leave Thursday at 6 am. I can't believe how well I have handled leaving this time. Emotionally stable even at this late hour. Now, don't get me wrong, I have had plenty of moments but even my friends noticed how much I have progressed. I really do want to go back.

Ok, that was written Wednesday morning and I was fine. Wednesday evening was another matter entirely since I was around many of our friends and they were all saying goodbye. I bawled like a baby. At least I lasted up until then. I still call that progress. Having such close family and friends who encourage you and support you means that leaving feels like your heart is being ripped from your chest. It will take time to adapt all over again. Just bear with me, ok? I told Frank that I couldn't possibly be the only person who has to deal with this. His response? I might be, since most people who have such strong attachments to home, don't leave. Hmmm. Anyway, here we are at the Toronto airport awaiting our 3:00pm flight to Beijing. Our journey begins again. Perhaps I am too tired at the moment to be very excited. Check back tomorrow once the China experience begins in earnest and I have some sleep under my belt.
Thanks from the bottom of our hearts for all the support and encouragement, the gifts and the time you made for us while we were home, and for what we know we can depend on through e-mail and Skype while we are gone. We will carry it with us to recharge and continue our assignment.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eight Days To Go!

We visited with some friends tonight around 7:30. This was our first week with no work and we only have one week left. (sniff) It was so nice to be with them and they were so supportive and encouraging. I seem to be handling this departure a lot better than the first one. I know in my heart that going back is the right thing to do and it doesn't hurt quite so much this time. Don't get me wrong, it hurts! But the fear of the unknown is one less thing I have to face and the extra trip to Korea for a teacher's conference, and seeing old friends and new goes a long way to easing the pain of separation. Last time we just jumped into real life and didn't get to see much of China at first. Instant Assimilation. Ouch! This time we might even get adjusted to the time difference easier since Korea's time is a little off China's and we will have less flying time. Anyway, just wanted to check in with everybody and let you know I am still hanging in there emotionally, so far anyway.