My apartment is a little less than two miles from where I work at the ICC Center. The Center is at the top of a hill, so it's uphill most of the way, but thankfully, a bus picks up staff from various parts of the city, and there is a stop just a five minute walk from my apartment.
In the afternoon I like to walk home, barring blazing heat or torrential downpour. It gives me some time to decompress, to think and to pray. It also gives me a chance to observe and assimilate my surroundings and the lives of the people around me. It helps me appreciate all I have -- even when it seems to many that I have given up so much -- and also makes me smile to see the juxtaposition of old and new that is China. So take a walk with me!
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Today I did something just for myself. I took a shower. Haha...well, that doesn't sound like a big deal, and it isn't that unusual. Except. Today I pampered myself just a little, and oh, how lovely it was.
You see, my bathroom is all tile and unheated, and in November, it is cold. As in, COLD. There isn't a separate shower, just a shower head on the wall, and the water drains into the squatty in the floor. (If you don't know what that is, google it.) I will say that that dedicated water tank on the wall puts out a lot of hot water, for which I am daily thankful. Even if it isn't hooked up to the sink!
So it is Sunday morning, and since I didn't need to rush I decided to take a few extra moments and this is what happened:
First I found an extra space heater in a closet and plugged it in in the bathroom. After a few minutes it definitely took the chill off.
Then I had an inspiration:
Okay, it's no spa, but I rarely light candles at all, and this one didn't really give off much scent, but it made me smile. I hope you take a few minutes to do something special for yourself today, too.
If you find you have an interest in the work I am doing with older orphans, please join me by making a financial contribution on our Donate page.
Have you ever wished you could send us a little care package...and then were discouraged by the crazy CRAZY shipping costs? I know many of our friends have asked about sending us a little something now and then, but the cost of even a small package makes it so impractical.
If you are one of those people, here is your chance... we have a courier coming to us NEXT WEEK who will have a full suitcase dedicated to things for us. Does anyone have their Christmas cards ready to send? We would love one! A handwritten note? Send it! Some special treats for the holidays? I have an Amazon wishlist set up with the things we would love to have. It's not a long list and nothing expensive, but things that would really make life over here a bit easier. There are also some craft items that I can use for our youth program. Click on the Chocolate Chips below to see the wishlist! (hint hint)
Here's the catch: everything needs to be in Chicago by November 21st (ONE WEEK!) in order to get packed and ready to go before our little Saint Nick takes off.
If you aren't sure what to send or are worried it won't arrive in time, donations to our PayPal will go towards buying last minute items and things not on the Amazon list to go in the suitcase.
Thanks so very much!!
I think I will just stop apologizing for my dismal lack of posts. There is almost too much to say, and while I think about it often, getting it down in writing seems overwhelming at times. But here I am, and it is on my to-do list to post more often. This is just a very surface summary of our first month.
Yes, we have been in Hengyang for 3 1/2 months! That in itself is pretty amazing. Rereading my previous post I see that I did NOT boast about my good luck with jetlag... and it's a good thing because shortly after I posted that I was sick for a month. That is not a great way to introduce yourself to new teammates and to launch into a new work. I know it had been coming for awhile, and I just needed a break. Our US trip did not lend itself to the rest and peace that I really needed, but thanks to a very understanding team here in Hengyang and a sweet daughter I finally took a much needed break and am doing much better.
On my good days I was able to spend half-days at "the Center." (Also known as "the Centre" because most of our team uses British English.) That's what we call the building that houses the ICC project here in Hengyang. I sat side by side with the teens and young adults in the craft workshop and in the recreational craft classes. I watched what they were doing and gradually learned their names and discovered a little bit about each one's personality.
Home life that first month was pretty much about surviving. Since we didn't have an apartment yet, we shared one of ICC's guest apartments with a physical therapist from Canada who was here for 6 months. It was great to have Emily around to help with our adjustment and to hear about her experience here. The guest apartment is large and well furnished, but it was hard to feel at home without our own things in our own place. Since I was often ill I didn't venture too far from home. Kristen and I learned the way to the grocery store and also took a couple of trips into the main area of the city for Starbucks and McDonald's. So I think that pretty much catches you up on our first month here!
If you find you have an interest in the work I am doing with older orphans, please join us by making a financial contribution on our Donate page.
About This Blog
Part documentary, part family chronicle and part personal reflection as I try to sort through the ups and downs, the joys, heartaches and surprises of our life and work as we follow the path that God has set for us here in China!
Kristen to continue to adjust to college life and find good friends.
Donna to have wisdom in planning and implementing new programs for the youth and for financial provision to cover our expenses.