Annnnnd we’re off!

Hi all. Just thought that I would post something to let you all know that I am still alive.

We’re about to leave for the Trek. We will be going to Guizhou province for our service project. Guizhou is one of poorest provinces poverty wise, and we’re going to be up in the mountains. A total rural China experience. Apparently the weather forecast is for 0 degrees Celsius and possibly lower. So we’ll be in cold, freezing, and possibly below freezing weather up on a mountain. The place we will be staying has no electricity, little running water, etc. I’m looking forward to it, actually. It will be a break from the city hustle and bustle. We’ll be there for half a week. Not really sure what it is that we’ll be doing. That is completely up to our hosts and what they need done.

After that, we are going to Xi’an for 2 weeks where we will be doing our history presentations and attending our lectures for our history class. Once we take our final, we will be off to Beijing and Shanghai for the remainder of the Trek.

We will be returning to Xiada at the end of March, so we’ll be gone for about a month. I will try to keep you all updated, but since I don’t know when I will have access to the internet (probably in the big cities, and not at all during the service project for sure), it may get even more irregular than my posts already are.

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Yup, that’s all I’m taking. My purse, a small duffle, and a backpack. That’s it.

No longer a teenager

It’s official. I’m not a teenager anymore. Yup. I’m 20. Strange thought. Anyway..yeah. I got to celebrate my birthday here in Xiamen. I didn’t have an official celebration, but a group of us went out to Dim Sum for a late birthday celebration for Daniel. We went to a fancy hotel downtown. Oh my goodness. The food just kept coming and coming. A lot of it was similar to dim sum back in the States. So good. It was all you can eat and the food was super good. It cost 78 kuai per person! It was worth it, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to afford to go back. 😛

Aubrey, Quinn, Tim

Aubrey, Quinn, Tim

Kristen, me, Chase

Kristen, me, Chase

Daniel, Will, Yili, Janelle, Tim

Daniel, Will, Yili, Janelle, Tim

Some of the girls had presents for me. Kristen and Janelle got me these super cute socks, and Aubrey knitted me a headband. It’s funny; I think this is the most pink that I have ever owned at one time since I declared my dislike for the color many years back. I don’t mind it quite as much anymore, but I still find it amusing that all three gifts had pink incorporated in some way shape or form.

The monkey socks were from Kristen, the headband from Aubrey, and the koala socks were from Janelle.

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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. Cutest thing ever. Yesterday morning (yesterday was Valentine’s Day for those of us here in China), Kristen (my roommate) opened our door and found 2 roses outside. Each had a Dove chocolate bar taped on it, and they had notes, one addressed to each of us. When we went to Chinese class, we found out that all of the girls in the group received one. All the notes were addressed to us individually, a sentence or two of encouragement, and a verse. We don’t know who it was. The writing is super neat and in pink pen. It was probably one of the guys on the team, but whoever it was, I hope they know just how much all of us girls appreciated their thoughtful gift.

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To celebrate V-day, most of us girls went out for some fun and dessert.

Kaylee and Steph

Kaylee and Steph

Tiana

Tiana

Aubrey

Aubrey

Me and Kristen

Me and Kristen

Lantern Festival

On the 8th, the majority of us took a bus to the mainland to go to the Lantern Festival at the Expo. Oh my goodness. It was gorgeous. Everything was absolutely beautiful. There were lights everywhere. Since we are students, we got in free with our ids. It ended up being a pretty late night, but it was so worth it.

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A Fixed Tooth, A Miracle, and a Thank You!

My tooth is fixed!

The inlay

The inlay

The inlay is in place and I don’t have to go back to the dentist until April 15th. Don’t worry, it’s just for a check up on the inlay. They want to make sure that it is fine in 2 months.

When I came out from the back, Tim made my appointment in April for me. Kept it nice and simple. It’s on a Sunday at 1:30pm. I got my money to pay and after a few quick words from the lady at the desk, Tim turned to me and told me that she had said that I don’t need to pay; it’s been taken care of. I looked blankly at Tim for a few seconds while what he just said sunk it. It wasn’t really registering in my head. He turned back to the lady, and the two of them exchanged a few words in Chinese. I took my appointment card, and the two of us left the building. As we walked down the hall, he told me that he had asked her who had done it and that her reply was “foreigners”.

I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t. Except for “Thank you, God.” There isn’t much else that can be said about that. Because of that person’s (those people’s?) generosity, I have money to live off of for the rest of the semester and figuring out how to get money out of my debit card (which, at the moment, is just about impossible) isn’t going to be as imperative a task as it would have been.

I thank you, God, for most this amazing day.