Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


i am thankful:
- for being able to bake pumpkin pies and sweet potato casserole on this side of the world
- for friends who take me to local markets to find pumpkins and sweet potatoes
- for friends who have extra (toaster) ovens* that they generously give to us so we can now bake
- for friends to feast with tonight

*note: most kitchens here don't come with ovens. so the next best thing is basically a big toaster oven. and ours is even a convection oven. ooooh...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

mail and bananas

after 1 1/2 months, i am happy to say i know how to send and receive mail here.

i had stocked up on some beautiful stationary and thank you cards from dozi before leaving the States. btw - she's having a giveaway in honor of her blog's one year anniversary, so go check it out!

several stamps and a mandatory (i.e. boring) "standard airmail" envelope later, they were finally mailed off and will hopefully brighten someone's mailbox soon.

we've also received our first postcard in the mail(exciting). And then a couple weeks ago, our first care package arrived, which included this:

um... yes, if you do the math, it arrived a little too late to be filled out and counted.
But we still watched the election results from here that day. And as we watched, hannah kept repeating the name of our new president - "Barakobanana! Barakobanana!"

Monday, November 24, 2008

this time there's something for mom *and* daughter

Once again, Grosgrain has a couple more fabulous giveaways:

Perhaps something for hannah

or something for mom

Thursday, November 20, 2008


one of the neat things about living here is that you are bound to meet some interesting people who do inspiring things.

this weekend, i met the co-founder of Shokay.
Shokay is a company specializing in luxury products made from yak fiber (think cashmere, without the itch of wool).

For you moms out there, they have an adorable baby collection.
For you knitters out there, they have wonderful, luxurious yarn.
For you Christmas shoppers out there, they have handknit and woven goods for the home, for women, and for kids.

I guess I fall under all those categories, which makes me extra enthusiastic.

But perhaps the most meaningful aspect of Shokay is that it was started in order to "empower some of China’s most impoverished communities".
From their website:
"At Shokay, we aim to impact the lives of Tibetan herders in China oppressed by poverty. By introducing luxury yak down to the global market, we hope to create a market for yak fiber, thus increasing the value of the raw fiber to provide herders with long-term employment and a greater sustainable income."

I'd post a few pictures from their website, but I rather you head on over and take a look for yourself. Feel free to pass it on to others too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a journey

Ten years ago, I came to this place. And a few days ago, after 10 years, I got to return.



Over these 10 years, she has seen so much change, so much growth, so much faithfulness. I was beyond words to see and reflect on this amazing journey we have both been on these past 10 years.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the city


this past weekend, we took a trip to Shanghai, and soaked up the, um, more modern feel of the big city.

I'll post a few posts about our trip, but of course, our trip would not be complete without FOOD adventures. On Saturday, we went to this crazy big and packed food court. We circled around the whole thing to check out the selections. There must've been 30-40 different stands, selling all sorts of goodness. But perhaps the more impressive point is that all 40 stands were selling some kind of Asian food. Who knew you could have so many choices in just Asian food alone? I guess that's why we Chinese people like to eat. =)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

from a child's perspective

So last week, my girl suddenly developed some drawing skills. Instead of random scribbles, she actually drew objects that had some semblance to what she said they were.
You know how you record your kids' first words? Well, here are my daughter's first objects she has learned to draw (in actual order), along with what she called them shown in "quotes" (english translations provided in parenthesis when necessary).

1. "goggles"
she gets very excited when she sees goggles. maybe because she loves swimming. but we haven't found a pool here yet, so maybe the deprivation is making her dream about goggles and swimming.

2. "yu yu" (i.e. fish)


3. "dun de matong" (i.e. squat toilet)


Ah. The beauty of living here, expressed through art. =)

Note: Art shown are not the original first objects drawn, as those got wiped away on the Etch-a-Sketch. However, drawings shown are still by original artist, though proportions and shapes may have changed somewhat since the originals.

By the way, thanks for all your suggestions on creative constructive activities too. I enjoyed reading them, and mostly just hearing from you. I will have to try to implement some soon, as the garlic peeling seems to have lost its appeal.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

what do you do when...

you haven't found a playgroup for your kid? or there aren't a wealth of fun programs or storytimes or playgrounds to take her to? and most of her toys and books are still on a boat somewhere on the ocean? and she seems kind of bored and keeps asking what we're going to do?

you put her to work.

...and she actually finds it really fun to peel garlic and it keeps her preoccupied for a while. and mom has one less thing to do too. =)


of course, i'm open to other suggestions for some creative constructive activities... anyone?

Monday, November 3, 2008

this is too cute

the idea of trick-or-treating has not quite caught on around these parts, so i am just living vicariously through other people's blogs. haha.

look at this cute cute costume:
Tropical Tree Frog Costume Giveaway!
...and you can try to enter to win it too if you're already gearing up for next year.

you can be sure, though, that when Thanksgiving comes around, we will be feasting over here and not just salivating over food blogs. =)