Monday, November 30, 2009

um.....I thought I remember you asking me

One more house story, just to let you in on my daily laugh.

Remember the other day how I was suddenly asked to pick my paint colors? I am sure I was, it wasn't just a dream.
Well today we went to the house to help Brad and some of the students clean the yard.
As I walked into the house I was more than a little surprised to see some of my kitchen walls painted yellow. A rather bright yellow.

For a moment or two I stood rather confused. I went outside, looked at Brad, then went back into the house for a second look.

3 of the walls were painted the color I had asked for, but the fourth, a rather large wall, was indeed yellow.

Then I had to laugh, kinda.

Remember how I said they had laughed at my choices and tried to show me other colors. Well, this yellow was one of the colors they had really pushed for. It was called Sunflower. I 'told' (see hand motion/pointing/head shaking) them that no I wanted the Manilla color.

Not sure what happened.

I thought of asking. But just couldn't bring myself to do it. I am not sure why. Let's just call it acceptance for tonight.

Some new friends stopped by and said I lived in the rainbow house. I chuckled.

But these new friends did bring some great news. They told us of a couple that is considering moving to Cheung Chau to start an English/Cantonese fellowship. My heart jumped at this. We have discussed this and prayed for this. We hope to connect with them next week.

On another note, Brad and the students found a bright green poisonous snake in the yard with a whole rat in its body. I was slightly grossed out as the kids stood around oohing and aahing as Brad cut it open. Lets just call that 'Biology'. We were told that cats are good for keeping the snakes out of the yard.
I plan on getting about 10.

From now on I shall be known as

"The cat lady in the rainbow house"

Now to find some one to translate that into Cantonese!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


A few days ago as we were walking on the island, Brad had pulled Ethan aside and was 'talking' to him. Ethan is a very happy 6yr old boy who lives in a world all his own. Most days as we walk we have to constantly call Ethan to move out of someone's way, and honestly, 9 times out of 10 he ends up cutting right in front of someone else.
As Brad was discussing this with Ethan once again, another young boy wearing his school uniform rode his bike up beside Ethan and Brad. In a wonderful Chinese/British accent he asks
"What are you doing?"
Brad replies
"Just talking to my son"
The boy quickly takes in the situation and asks
"Was he naughty?"
To which Brad chuckles and says
the boy responds
'I am naughty sometimes too!"
and then rides off showing us his riding with no hands trick.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The house

I must put in here first that I am EXTREMELY thank full for this new house that they are renovating for us. It is VERY rare for a family to live in a private house this large and have the huge courtyard we will have. I really can not stress enough how blessed we are to be getting to live here, so please take the following as just some humor and a bit of frustration
This is me in front of our new house. See, I told you it was pink. Did I tell you I really don't like pink? Just reminding you in case you forgot.

So yes, that is it. Stunning no? And let me tell you, everyone now knows where we are moving to. If anyone asks were we will be living, and I say the big pink house, they know exactly which one I mean. So that is a good thing..................right????

Yesterday one of the staff told me that they had started painting the bedrooms and asked if I liked it. He looked quite excited about this new addition, which in all honestly frightened me a little bit. He saw my 'concern' and suggested that perhaps I should go and check it out the next day and let them know if I wanted it or not.
So, this morning the kids and I stopped at the paint store to pic out some sample colors to take over. Remember, I was going to have to explain what color I wanted in sign language (me no cantonese, them no english). I was excited to see the paint sample strips in a display cabinet. But the glass sliding door wouldn't open. Looking up, I saw that they had taped it shut. I laughed out loud. It wasn't like they only had one of each strip, no, there was a stack of each one. But obviously these were for display only. When I asked if the cabinet could be opened so I could take one or two, I was only met with very puzzled looks. They were very helpful tho and let me take the sample book they had behind the counter until I could return it later.

So off we go to the house.
The kids went running inside and came out very excited telling me how much they loved their rooms and could we please not paint it over. I went in to see that they had done some funky painted multi color layering effect type thing in all the bedrooms. Not necessarily my first choice, but the kids are very excited about it so that is great. The workers were also very happy to see how pleased the children were.

I quickly explained that I did not want that in the living room and received disappointed looks from the workers. They were just about to start in on the living room. Then I was asked what color did I want for the walls and what kind of cabinets did I want.

This is were I got a little confused.

See, when we first got here I was told that I could pick out the counter top for the house. Then they said I could pick out the tile, paint, countertops, cabinets etc. That was very exciting, but when I inquired further I was told all those decisions had already been made. Buy that point, I didn't care nearly as much, I just wanted the house finished so we could move out of our 'one room' house.

Then, suddenly they want me to pick it all out as I stood there. Well, except the countertop. That was already there.

I laughed out loud. Again!!

So I asked them if I could have an hour or so to pick it out. Sure sure sure they said.

When I went back and showed them my choices ( a little more conservative than their rather flamboyant ones ), they laughed at me. They gave me more disappointed looks. They showed me bright greens, yellows, reds. But I held steadfast in my choice.

I mean, can you imagine walking into a red/pink house to find your self in a bright green room. Wow, that is a little more than I can deal with.

And like I said, it is not like the houses here are colorful like that. Just for me I guess.

Another rather confusing aspect is that I was told last week that they had ordered all the cabinets but nothing had been delivered yet, so honestly, I am very confused today. Did I just pick out the cabinets, are there some already on their way? I guess we will find out.......

Here is a few more pictures of the house and yard. Next week Brad will start going with some of the boys to get the yard cleaned up. We asked where the garbage needs to go and was told that they still are not sure where it will go. So, we are going to have a designated garbage corner so at least it is a little more manageable. Brad is also going to show the boys how to cut the trees into smaller pieces so they will burn.

Ethan found this hat in the yard and has been wearing it ever since

these are the trees they cut down from the yard and tried to burn, plus A LOT of garbage

and you can't even see the old mattress, couch, boxes and lighting corner

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That's right.....blame it on the Canadians

Well, just a few short days ago we were wearing shorts, tank tops and letting the kids go swimming in the afternoon to cool off. This week............



Well, technically not freezing. But it is only 10 out right now. But think of it this way. We live in a cement building. The windows are single pane, and most have large gaps in the corners rather than a snug fit with weather stripping. The floors are slate. We live looking over the ocean, but that also means the wind comes whipping up our hill right at the house. The kids sleep on the floor on inch thick foamy mattress'. And........

there is NO heating.

So we have made a few trips to the storage room to exchange our shorts, tanks and sun dresses, for pants, sweaters and anything that will keep us warm. Extremely strange. But, we were all missing the crisp cool air in Canada, so I guess I could just look at this as a gift.

Tonight when we spoke to Alman he asked us how were dealing with the cold. Then he laughed and said we must have brought it with us from Canada.

That's right, just blame it on the Canadians. Not the many many Europeans who live here, no not them, but definitely the Canadians. Too funny! At least they tell us this is abnormal for here. This is usually what the weather is in January or February for a few weeks.

So tomorrow we head into town and look for a room heater.

And tomorrow as I am all snuggly in my blanket and heater blazing away, I will shiver as I think of my hubby at the school.
Not only will he certainly not have any heater. The windows are even thinner and gaps even larger. And he will not take a nice warm shower before he crawls into bed.
Remember this picture.........

This is where he will shower or rather 'dip and pour' to clean after the day and it is certainly, most definitely NOT heated water. BRRRRRRR! I don't know, if that doesn't produce a little character in the students.....nothing will! Well, maybe just a little hair on their chests, well, hopefully only the male students! If not hair, then hopefully a deep appreciation for the person who created hot water tanks.

Maybe if he thinks of it like camping in the cool fall Canadian wilderness it will...................nah, that is just plain and simply cold. Sorry honey.....really I am....I will think of you as I snuggle in my bed!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

School friendships

A big part about us coming was that we came as a package deal. We were not just coming so Brad could go work at the school, and I would live some sort of 'expat' life with the kids, but that we come together, we will all be involved. Of course, hubby will be there the most, but our hearts all there with him.

Since he started working, the kids have been taking turns going with 'daddy' to the school. The staff is very open to this and what a blessing. They are also open to us going with Brad and doing school with the our kids there while the students are in classes, and then helping/hanging out during the afternoon.

It is not just a blessing that my kids can go with daddy to work sometimes, but the relationships I see our kids developing with the students at the school. Walking thru a group of the students with the our kids is almost like at the end of a hockey game when the two teams shake hands. Almost every student says hi and breaks out into big smiles when my kids respond back. The look for the kids to say hi way more than myself or even Brad.

Sammy is the most outgoing, and quickly earned a reputation with his big smile (which earned him many a cheek pinches). Ethan still tends to play shy, but that seems to have become and challenge with some of the girl students who love to get him to smile. Today a few of them almost fell on the floor laughing when he showed them how he can wiggle his ears and flare his nostrils. And my dear Nefeshya. She has stood back and bit, assessing this whole situation. She is not a child like Ethan, and realizes that. She also realizes some of the girls are not that much older than her. But as she opens up, I see them being drawn into her laugh and love. My heart bursts as I watch these things happen. Alman has given all of the kids Chinese names of which they are very proud and the students know them by these names.

Nefeshya - A le(prounounce the E a short e), meaning Smart Girl
Sam - Summae, meaning beautiful forest
Ethan - Efan, meaning spaghetti (he was a little offended at first but thinks it is hillarious now).

I also am excited about opportunities to build relationship with the girls. Unfortunately, Nefeshya has been sick quite a bit since coming here, so I have been home a lot with her while the boys have had chances to go with Brad. We finally took her to the Dr. yesterday and he gave us some meds for her intestines which he said were quite swollen. I know many of you have been praying for her, thank-you so much. When she hears of some one saying that they have been praying for her she always always tells me to make sure I say thank-you for her. So 'THANK-YOU!!!!'. I do hope to start going to the school more often, and am dreaming up things I can do with Nefeshya and some of the girls to start building relationships.

I knew coming into this what an important role the kids played, and I stand in amazement as I watch it begin to unfold before my eyes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

sniff sniff sneeze

Today me and kidlets hunkered down and watched wonderful things like Mary Poppins, Hellen Keller, Harriet Tubman. We are all sniffling and sneezing and few coughs here and there. We stumbled into town and back as we had no food in the house and were amazingly blessed by running into a new friend who bought our groceries for us. The kids played and had a cheap McD's icecream cone while we had a lovely conversation thru my foggy brain. It was a good day. Being sick stinks and we all agreed on this. But we loved one another and had grace and patience with one another today. Now they are asleep, mostly peacefully other than the odd sneeze or sniffle and I pray that I won't be woken to sore tummies or stuffed noses tonight.

And I can hardly wait to have my hubby home tomorrow night again!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

where we live

here is a photo of our house. Okay, lets see if I can give you directions. Left side of the photo is a house just sticking out. That is NOT us. Move right and down and you will see another house.
That is us. Town is over that little hill behind the house and down again. Or we walk around by ocean to the right. Straight ahead you see the little beach area we visit frequently to catch crabs and snails.
Now you all know how to find us when you come to visit!

2 months and counting

Now, it is two months.
Things that were once new and exciting or frustraring are becoming every day. Everyday in a wonderful way.

I don't stand in the grocery store completely dumbfounded as to how to cook a meal. I know how to take the MTR without a vague sense of panic that perhaps I am going in the completely wrong direction. I have 'my' produce vendor they know me/I know them and it is comforting. These are all unto a sense of settling in and that is good.

But, the reality. I knew what we were giving up. We made the choice to follow the voice that calls. I don't miss our van, or our house, or even Great Canadian Superstore and all its millions of choices of cereals. I miss my friends and relationships. I miss seeing smiling face or talking on the phone and not feeling the need to explain who I am or why I am. There is great comfort in that sense of belonging. And I miss that. I do!

I see the beginnings of a relationship like that. It is precious to me. I am thank-ful.

But I still miss those faces that flash before me. To be held dear in a glance. To be understood. To be counted as precious.

I am not sad or dissapointed, just sharing my heart in transition tonight.

May you blessed today with community who love and support you!