Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Finally Home.

My wonderful "family" who took me to the airport :)

The girls on our final night in Shanghai.

Final Group Dinner in XinTianDi!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


It's all coming to an end so fast! I'm enjoying my last day with my small group friends.
Actually, right now it's 4:40am and a bunch of us are up watching the USA soccer game. SO TIRED. But anyways, leaving China is bittersweet of course, but I can't wait to come home and give everyone hugs! haha.



Shanghai to Seoul, Korea
Seoul to Seattle
Seattle to Minneapolis
Minneapolis to DETROIT


*See yall on the other side.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Duanwu Holiday...much needed.

So for the past 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) the Chinese Government declared a 3 day holiday break called Duanwu which literally translates to "Dragon Boat Festival". In some provinces, people race dragon boats! Not Shanghai though :(

Today, although I have loads of papers to write, I was invited to go over to my Chinese friend's house. Her name is Diya and we were paired together at the beginning of the semester by my program. Every week, we help each other in our 2nd languages.

Taking the bus about 40min away, we arrived at her parents apartment complex, right across the street from the only prison in urban Shanghai. The apartment was surprisingly nice and fairly clean. Diya told me it was built 10 years ago. The houses right beside it (smaller older houses which were very run down) used to cover all of Shanghai but within the last 10-15 years, the city government has relocated poorer people who live in such run down houses to build up apartment complexes. Diya said the people actually are waiting in anticipation for the government to move them?!

We sat around and looked at Diya's baby pictures for a bit and waited for her mom and dad to finish cooking. (I also asked my roommate whose family is from Hong Kong what kind of present I should bring her family. So I stopped at the food mart and bought 8 oranges. #8 is China's lucky number and oranges b/c it OF COURSE means Good Luck.)

Finally, the feast was ready and we sat around the table of about 8 dishes and WOW were they all amazing. We had Bamboo shoots, corn/mushroom soup, sticky/sweet rice, Beijing Duck (which is my favorite), steamed edamames, asparagus dish, chinese pickles, fruit/mayo salad and watermelon and cherries. WHOA was I full by the end! I loved the translation of going back and forth between english to chinese as Diya was our interpretation for most of the meal. Her parents were friendly and were noticeably trying to make everything PERFECT. It was cute and very hospitable.

Her mom kept putting more food on my plate and telling me to try it!! Her mom was adorable and seemed to love to make people happy.

It was a wonderful evening learning about the Chinese culture from a local family and exchanging funny differences.

Perfect night. Perfect way to conclude my stay in China.

12days till I return to the states!! Can't believe it...


Also, BIG NEWS. For those of you who haven't heard already, I've decided to get baptized this Sunday (6/20) at the church I go to here in Shanghai called SCF - Shanghai Community Fellowship open to all foreign passport holders. Although I have been waiting for over 10 years to be baptized, I realized God was calling me to do it NOW and stop making excuses. I would love to be in the presence with family and friends but it's not about having the "exact" people in the "exact" place but fulfilling His word.

I really have been blessed with the people I have been surrounded by here. Some of you may have seen Facebook pictures of big groups of people from different ethnicities and that's all because I have found a family away from home. In my cell group (bible study group), there are over 50 people from all over the world. From Singapore, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Australia, South Africa, Grenada, Brazil, France, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Taiwan, and many many more places. Coming together to worship and to fellowship seeking the Lord week after week (in such a spiritually low place) has really challenged a lot of us and how we are to act and live as a believer. I, as well as many others, have started to do QT's every day (Quiet Times) where it's just you reading the Word and spending time trying to understand who God is through parables and teachings. This for almost all of us is quite difficult, especially when we're all very busy. But as my mom and dad always say, "What ever is a priority you will make time for it no matter how many things are going on in your life."

A few months ago, I decided to be a leader (one of 9) for our small group. The leaders and other members in our cell group have really grown together and can't wait to reunite in 2017 where we plan to meet in Israel!! :) Crazy idea. It's exciting to see our group grow and of course, we're faced with the challenge of the vision of our unique set up at our University.

There's a lot more about this part of my Shanghai experience but I'd rather just say that earlier in my Shanghai trip (the first month), I was spiritually, mentally, physically low. CULTURE SHOCKED and just very depressed. God provided in his timing and listened and has now blessed me with so many brothers and sisters in Christ that it will be very hard to say goodbye to them in about a week or so left.I've learned so much from people around the globe and can't wait to see where we will be in the future after this similar Shanghai experience. He is good.

Friday, June 4, 2010

count down 3 weeks...

I can't believe how fast its flying!! I only have 3 weeks left here in Shanghai. Yes, it's bittersweet. I can't wait to go home and reconnect with family and friends but I also am going to miss my routines here and friends I've met from literally all over the world.

The next few weeks are going to be crazy with papers and presentations and of course CHINESE MEMORIZATION...

But I just want to say that I miss everyone a lot and can't wait to see you all.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beijing Bound.

Finally, the time has come. I'm headed to Beijing for the first time on Thursday night. WE're taking an overnight train (yes, that's how the locals do it!) to save money and to just try it. It will take around 12 hours and we arrive in the morning :) Of course, we're seeing the Great Wall...+others.

Update soon! Spending 4 days there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

At last...the real China.

I am out of the city FINALLY and in inland China :) My mom, aunt and I flew to Guilin and are staying in a beautiful hotel in the middle of mountains and rivers in Yangshuo. What a crazy day we had today! (Friday)

We woke up at the crack of dawn and headed out to the Li River. After the 45min car ride, we pulled up to the edge of the river and took a quiet boat ride surrounded by uniquely shaped mountains. There were no other boats out and we had the river all to ourselves! We even went to the spot where the picture on the 20RMB bill was drawn!

After the relaxing ride, we walked through a quaint town and had an amazing western breakfast. Across was a local famous painter and a musician so we bought some paintings and the musician taught me how to play a Chinese instrument.

Then, we headed into Yangshuo again and got bikes! These heavy-duty mountain bikes were perfect for the rough terrain we were about to encounter. We rode 30minutes along farmland and mountains on bumpy trails leading up to a bamboo raft ride. I can't put into words how authentically chinese this was but we were pushed by 1 man on the back of about 7bamboos tied together with 2 chairs in the middle...thats it.

We meandered down the river (while local Chinese had floating stations in the water trying to sell beer, saying "Hello. Hello. You want? Beer. Good." Then they would ask if we wanted to buy beer for our driver...hahaha. YA RIGHT. There were about 10 random waterfalls that we would go down. The whole front end of the boat would go under the water!! At the end of our 1 1/2 hour ride, we were taking a group picture then all of a sudden, another boat comes besides us and the man slashes us all over with water!! He wanted us to smile in our picture :) it worked.

If things couldn't get any better, our bikes were waiting for us at the end and we rode to another destination point called Moonlight cafe and had the BEST chinese food of the week!! So fresh and locally grown.

Our relaxing morning was followed up by excercise! We hiked up over 800 steps to the top of this mountain which had a wonderful view of the city, mountains, and greenery. We climbed down and took a 1 hour bike ride through the small, intimate villages along the farmlands and locals. What a BUMPY BUMPY ROAD! Our butts were sore!

MORE TO COME! We love it here. Don't want to leave....the air is so fresh and

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chongming Island & MOM and Aunt Diane lai Shanghai!

So by far, this is the best weekend yet.

I just got back from a 2 day adventure to an island close to Shanghai. It took us (20 people from my small group bible study) 2 hours to travel there on a public bus. We first dropped most of our heavy thing in our hotel and then headed out to a National Park.

This national park was unlike any in the States. This had blow up obstacle courses and blow up hamster wheels in water, mini-rides, grass skiing, go karting, ziplining, and much much more. All of these toys were located in a really beautiful forest and river. Since the park was so big, we all rented bikes for the afternoon.

We ended up barely doing anything but playing this volleyball game one of my friends taught us.

After the maingate to the park closed at 5, we could still walk around inside. We spent another hour and 1/2 walking through the beautiful trails in the wilderness and playing Mafia on a bridge. It was a great bonding experience with so many people who didn't know each other.

Then our on-call driver picked us up! (we made friends with this guy who had a van that fit us all in it! We would just call him and he would take us places...if we paid of course.) We went back to our hotel, went to dinner, and the group split as some went back to Shanghai.

The rest of the night was spent near the water in the moonlight singing worship songs to my friend's amazing guitar skills. It was wonderful.

We were all exhausted by the day but decided to continue our night when we got back to our hotel. (6 girls in 2 rooms and 8 guys in 2 rooms). We played mafia again for 2 hours until 1am!! Our group really liked this see true personalities come out :)

"Momma Lindsay" as they referred to me as woke every room up at 7:45am because no one was up at the time we had planned on! haha.

We went to our elaborate breakfast feast in the hotel and played mafia yet again in the lobby for an hour while we waited for our guy to pick us up.

Most of the day was spent at a wetland where there were crabs EVERYWHERE!!! People, as in the Chinese people, would jump off the platforms and pick up crabs to play with! They would collect them in boxes and bottles. To me and the rest of the people I was with definitely thought this was strange and CHINESE-Y.

Of course, with such a crazy group of 14 of us, we would walk around for 20min then stop to play other 'camp game'. Some were drawing attention to us but we didn't care. We already stood out.

So this VERY local island (we didn't see any foreigners) was a great escape from the big city and congestion.


My mom and aunt are in the air right now!!! They are flying here and will be staying for 10 days. The first two days will just be 'Lindsay Tour Guide' days around Shanghai and then on Thursday we are flying to a beautiful city called Guilin and Yangshou. Here there aren't many skyscrapers because it's mostly nature and water. This is supposed to be one of the prettiest places in China :) We're staying until Saturday or Sunday!!

I'm so excited that my mom and Aunt Diane have the chance to visit. A lot of the reason why they can come is because of Christy and Dale Larson. They offered my mom and aunt to stay at their apartment, right downtown in the middle of everything. Housing and hotels are not cheap in Shanghai, especially right now that the EXPO just opened 1 day ago!

More to come on our family time together in CHINA! :)

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