Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"We're not in Kansas anymore..."

Mandy's beautiful apartment! It is crazy how cheap the rent is over there. I could definitely stay in this get-up for a while longer.
(I mean, let's face it. We all know Mandy Liu is a diva at heart.)

This is view from right inside the door/patio area. It overlooked the high school's gym facilities. Just a few weeks prior the government had come and selected students to perform drills for the army. Mandy and her room mates were able to watch and hear from their windows... I was not quite so lucky. (Gladly)

This would be lunchtime in Mandy's school. I was cautioned by her roommates prior ;) But the dragon fruit to the left was awesome. I had never felt so cool at lunch in all of my life. ALL the children wanted ot sit with me! It only took me 26 years to get here!
This would be my sweet friend at work. She truly is so gifted with these children. 
(I am sure my presence in the front corner was no distraction at all... I like to think "Inspiration")

Um..... taxi?

My first ever experience with this. I was not sure whether to be turned to the front or the back. Luckily I think I got it right. The people in the salon couldn't understand why Mandy and I were laughing so hard.

The first and best part of the scariest haircut ever. A wonderful 20 minute hard core head message.

Which placed me in wrappings... the last my hair was all up and together for a long while. Yes, this would be me kissing it goodbye.

This would be the outcome. What else could I do but laugh? He just kept on cutting......
And I must ay that it was the most amazing salon experience i have had- just not sure if I should allow someone to chop my hair who has never handeled "rare" locks before!

So, me and my new mom cut had to return to school the next day to give a presentation on the U.S., where I come from, and then also about Germany and its culture.

And yes, they all still believe that I am German. I think I am ok with that.

Doing the Heisman- these children represent at least 8-10 different countries. It was such a privilege to get to know them briefly. 
"Miss Mandy, Miss Mandy!!!!!"
Following my presentation every child worked on his/her German flags. This young boy is Nicholas- his parents are from Brazil. He was quite smart and spoke great English.
Little German Nationalists!

SCHOOL IS OUT! Time for some liquid energy.
Just a quick stop in the piano store to play some Liszt. You know, it is much more intimidating to sit down in a Chinese piano store than in an American one... Why would this be...
Yes, it is true. In Dong Guan China.
They even had "Great Value"! (which I may or may not have capitalized on)
 I did NOT however, capitalize on the lovely Sake and booze section here in the back.
Bummer, I know.
Wish I could have brought a few of these back.... talk about some "liquid energy"!
 Too bad I don't eat this kind of thing. You can get big bags for super cheap. You would think this is for tourists, but the locals were the ones cashing in.
My favorites were perhaps the tiny little Chinese girls who were stuffing candy into big plastic bags.
 And they have uniforms... not sure what they say.
Some sort of beef with TONS of sodium in it.

 Was looking pretty good until we got more into this soup. I have since found out that those mushrooms are called "oyster mushrooms" although they look like Gollum's friends from Lord of the Rings.
 Awkward and scary grizzle on this supposed chicken- still, we pushed through!

 Here is Mandy's classroom and also her amazing and sweet TA Jordan :)
Another dinner at "Muslim Noodle" where they make all of the noodles in-house, and in front of you!
Mandy and Jordan's favorite*

 Oooooh the milk tea
This was the start of a fateful day...

First, we walked for probably 2+ hours trying to find "Flower Street" ... Mandy?
The shrug I got before our third hailed cab...
And before our eventful night in Hong Kong.
Dun dun dun....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Home is where half of my heart is...

Hello to you all! I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post and also for the nice expanse of time between the time I last posted to the present...! I wanted to say that I have not forgotten about the blog and have been told on numerous occasions in the past 3 or so weeks I have been in the states- that my blog has been followed by people I never expected and also encouraged in ways I did not think possible.

I am currently in Birmingham and trying to manage working two "part-time" jobs and begin "planning" (haha) this next chapter  in my life. Now that things are beginning to settle, or at least those foundational things such as place to stay, job, etc.- I would love to share the end of my 6 month Germany and short China adventures, but also continue to keep the blog through life here and the journey that in many ways, the Lord is only beginning in my life!

As the Christmas season fast approaches and just as quickly leaves, I have had the most wonderful year of feeling His faithfulness and seeing it displayed in my life. I think I might choose Christmas everyday...

Thank everyone for their support and encouragement! Update in the next day or so...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Autumn in Germany Part 3: Harvest of the grapes!

So much symbolism here! Between spiritual and physical harvest, labor in the fields and "battlefields", the glory of God is seen in this sheer beauty and in the community of the church!
 Perhaps on the coldest day we have experienced to the present, a group of us gathered in the vineyards of a fellow brother in our church to help with the harvest. In the words of Hans, the "lord" of the vineyards, this is a sign of community and love between "brothers" in the body of Christ... He then put us to work!
 Cold and drizzly... but stunning.

On the vine next to me, the power team. (They like to think so, at least ;)
 On the left Alex Adolf and to the right-  the Atomics Baseball coach Rob Piscatelli.

 Carrying the loads...

 My two best men, Jakey and Alex. And yes, we all stopped halfway.. reek reek!
 Yes, I am fulfilling every woman's dream of being the "token" girl in the bunch. Take that, "Samford Ratio"! Encouraged by a hardworking but fun group of men.

 Tut tut, looks like rain and home!
 Our reward:
 Many cups of hot coffee, tea, breads, marmalades, meet, cheese, and even a bit of Schnapps to warm up the hands and heart ;) 
It was worth it!