19 April 2008

Bike Repair

Currently listening to: Eyes Open by Snow Patrol

Currently watching: Vitus (a Swiss movie about a piano wunderkind--very good!)

So a few weeks ago, I rode my bike to the local supermarket. I had two locks--one that is attached to my bike and a normal one that can be taken on and off. My bike had sat for a time during the cold winter months, so I'm not sure if that was the cause or if it just decided it was finished, but when I came out of the market, the lock that was attached to my bike wouldn't open. I probably tried for 15 minutes to force the key in but to no avail. Finally, I got so fed up that I just ended up putting my bike in the back of a taxi and taking it home. I had the taxi driver drop me at the back gate where I knew a key maker usually sits. As luck (or providence, I guess) would have it, the key maker was there and I showed him the broken lock. After looking at it, he told me it wasn't good and to wait until he was finished with someone else. So I took a few pictures to show what life on the street corner is like as a businessperson.

The bike/cart of one of the other vendors on the corner. Check out the hand brake on the bar of the bike.

His business all set up for customers--complete with a stool to sit on and wait.

In the bag are a bunch of blank keys ready to be cut.

The tools of the trade.

His solution for my broken lock was to unscrew it from where it was mounted on the bike and then to take a saw to it. Now I have a U lock that isn't mounted--live and learn and then find a skilled key/lock cutter :)

Tomorrow we are headed to the countryside to visit our company's adventure site. Right now we are Thinking about the weather--the current forecast includes a 60% chance of rain. Also, please continue to lift up the preparations for the carnival next weekend.

Seeking the Kingdom,

16 April 2008

Belated Easter pictures

Currently watching: Popmart--U2 Live from Mexico

Currently reading: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

So it's been a while since I've posted. The obvious understatement is that I guess life has been a bit crazy. Here's an update through pictures.

Easter was amazing. We had some of our university friends from English corner over to dye eggs. Also, during Easter weekend, many of the new staff participated in a pr@yer walk of the city.

Egg Experimenting:

Zach and Noah giving a demonstration to our local friends about how to properly dye eggs.

The girls' eggs at the varying stages of being dyed.

My friend proudly displaying her egg.

A work in progress!

The girl on the right is Family--please Think of her--that she would have boldness to share with the other members in our group.

I've learned that postcards from America make great gifts (they are small so they travel well and they show pictures of my hometown/state).

Out and About in the City:

On our city tour we stopped by the Taoist temple on Ancient Culture Street. Outside they were doing some sort of time period performance.

Check out the shoes--talk about high-heeled!

Aren't they just beautiful?

Randomly at one of the upscale hotels in town we stumbled upon real, live Easter bunnies.

Being an Olympic host city is giving many areas of town a nice face lift (but it's also causing major traffic in our neighborhood as they dismantled an entire market area and are widening the streets and bike lanes)

In the old British concession area, red telephone booths still exist.

I love the graphic on this sign!

As you might have come to gather, celebrating major holidays looks a bit different living overseas. While a traditional Easter meal in the States (at least in my family) would normally include a honey-glazed ham , scalloped potatoes, and a green bean casserole, a "traditional" meal for us in China has come to include ribs. The most tasty, fall-off-the-bone rib meat is found at a restaurant maybe 30 minutes from our house. This meal in all of its glory (including fried apple and pineapple pieces for dessert!) has come to be our meal for celebrating. This being said, the above picture is of Mia and I outside the rib restaurant on Easter morning. The best part of it is that Mia is wearing my dress I used to wear when I was her age. My aunt bought Laura Ashley dresses for my cousins and I in London many moons ago. It's so fun that she can now wear it! :)

Please Think about our upcoming carnival. It's quite a big event and hopefully will raise enough money to support all of our summer trips.

Speaking of trips, in one month, I will be on our 7th grade spring trip in Shandong province, and in two months, I will be in Inner Mongolia for our middle school summer trip. Oh, and only 20something more contact days with students. If those last two sentences aren't amazing, I don't know what is...

In gratitude of His goodness and faithfulness,