Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Break is Here!

The first semester is over. I gave my last finals on Thursday. I feel like I've been in China my whole life and just a couple of weeks all at the same time. But in actuality, we have now been in China for almost 4 and a half months. We are now entering our winter break. Unlike in the U.S., we do not get a break through the (American) Holiday season. We taught classes and gave finals during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now it's time for all of you back home to go back to work/school and we get our turn!! Our break will last about 6 weeks. The Chinese Holiday season is focused around the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). This year it lands on February 14 - our Valentine's Day. Although we were out of school and heard some fireworks, Chinese New Year is when the Chinese people consider that we have started a new year. This is also when everyone grows a year older - not on your birthday. So the feeling in the air that we usually experience around Christmas is finally making its way to China.

There are so many things to be excited about over the next couple of months. Although I love teaching, my students, and doing my best to Work, I feel like a break will do me some good. First of all, we are going to spend some time traveling. As some of you know, Michael and I are on a long-term team (the rest of whom are back in the States). Our team is currently trying to find where we are being led to Work, and as of right now, we are looking seriously into SouthEast Asia. So for the first few weeks of our winter holiday, we will be going through SE Asia and giving it a look. We will take a survey trip with our team at the end of our year in China, but this first look is just a way for us to see the sights and see what life is like there. And we do plan to "have a rest" (as they say in China) and spend some time relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Vietnam. We will head to Vietnam first, then on to Cambodia and Thailand. We hope to meet up with some other Workers along the way, get to know them, and see what they think needs to be done in the area. We will be in SE Asia for about 3 weeks. After our time there, we will fly north to Beijing. Our entire group of Workers in China is meeting there for a conference of sorts - to get reoriented to our work and encourage each other. But to be honest, I am mostly excited about this because my Daddy is going to be there! I have been missing my parents very much and am looking forward to seeing him in Beijing. He will be one of the speakers at our conference. After spending about a week in Beijing (and hopefully getting to see the Great Wall), we will come back home to Hangzhou, where we will soon be picking up my mom! She couldn't come with my dad because of her work schedule, so she is coming on her own. I am so excited that she will get to spend about a week with us here in HZ. My only regret is that she can't bring Annie with her :) We will begin our second (and final) term in China on March 1.

Hopefully I will be able to update my blog along our travel route (and post some pictures, too).

And, I just need to say a QUICK word about my boys - the Texas Longhorns (You didn't think I could make it through this without saying something, now did you?). Although we didn't win the National Championship, I am so proud of the way we played and especially the way we lost. That poor freshman quarterback fought as hard as he could. And there are not enough words that I can say about Colt. He is just an amazing testament to our Father. I will end with his post-game quote. "I never question why. God is in control of my life. And I'm still standing on the Rock."

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