Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our House!

I’ve uploaded some pictures onto facebook of our house! I hope you enjoy seeing our “little home” =)

Make sure to copy the whole link! =)


East Asia Games!

Hong Kong was the host of the East Asia Games this year and the weekend of December 12th Jordan and I went to Hong Kong with some friends to watch the championship game for soccer. Our tickets let us in around 2 pm and we were able to watch North Korea vs. South Korea play for 3rd place and then the championship game which was Hong Kong vs. Japan. We took a bus into Hong Kong, stopped at the hostel where some of the gang was staying that night, and had some Indian food…not my choice, but it was decent. I was in the mood for a big juicy burger that you can only find in HK. Oh well! We headed over to the stadium afterwards anxiously awaiting two fun games ahead! Our seats were first come first serve on the ground level and since we got there early, we ended up sitting on the front row on the 50 yard line. Some guys who were there saving seats for their friends who were cheering for Hong Kong invited us to join them, but only if we were cheering for Hong Kong during the second game. =) South Korea beat North Korea in penalty kicks which made the game even more fun. We loved every minute especially during the championship game. We were “sitting” aka standing in the college section the whole time yelling and cheering until our throats hurt! Our section was super fun and all the press guys were constantly in our area, loving not only the fact that the crowd was wild, but there were eight white Americans on the front row! =) Hong Kong beat Japan after two overtimes and then won by penalty kicks! We made it into the news that night a couple of times! Some of the guys were even interviewed before and after the games! It was a day we won’t forget during our adventures in China!

Tyler and Jordan

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Happy "Sanks"giving!!!!!!!

On Thanksgiving day, we went to dinner with one of the “head honcho” ladies from our school. She’s actually a retired teacher, but works for the local education bureau and comes twice a week to our school. If we need ANYTHING she gets it for us. For instance during the extreme weather change, she hooked us up with a space heater and multiple blankets for our room! A huge help! We meet with her on Tuesday afternoons for about an hour and she gets to practice her English. She has three children, two of which live in the states, so she loves talking about that and comparing lifestyles. She’s been to the states numerous times so at least we have something to talk about. She took us to a great restaurant about thirty minutes from school and we had the ever so delicious Beijing roast duck. It reminded Jordan and me of Christmas 2007 when we had roast duck for dinner in Beijing with Mitzi & Katie. So now, it almost seems normal to have roast duck on special holidays! We ordered a pumpkin dish and a green bean dish to help make it feel a little more like Thanksgiving. It was a great evening, other than the fact that Jordan had been fighting a bad cold and was a little under the weather.

What makes me laugh about the whole night or whenever she takes us anywhere, our school driver drives us in his personal car as opposed to the school van. Apparently he picks her up every Tuesday and Thursday and takes her home too! So if that tells you anything about her “rank”… Her husband accompanied us to dinner along with our driver. Neither the driver nor her husband speaks English which just makes dinner even more interesting. At some point in every conversation, the driver, her husband, or I do not know what’s being said.

Friday night we got together with some others from the group in our area. I mentioned before that there were a lot of couples here and about eight of us got together for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. And when I say traditional, I mean the whole nine yards! EVEN a TURKEY! I know you’re thinking, “Where can you find turkey for Thanksgiving in China?” Well, no other than SAM’S CLUB of course!!! Yes, there’s a Sam’s Club right here in good ‘ol Shenzhen!!!! So our Friday night was complete with mashed potatoes, turkey, cranberry sauce, bread, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, apple pie and even a pumpkin pie! We each brought a dish or two for the festivities! WE WERE STUFFED!!! It only seemed right to have this large meal on Friday since it would have actually been Thanksgiving Day at home! =) One of the guys that came to the dinner is a huge NFL fan and bought some sort of ESPN package that allows him to watch the games overseas. He brought his laptop to the dinner and we all sat around afterwards to watch the Texas vs. Texas A&M game!

Saturday, we had a pot luck style dinner with the whole group at one of the schools were a couple of people from the group teach. Jordan and I decided that we should let our Southern roots show and provided some fried chicken and mac & cheese! Jordan did a great job frying up the chicken in our wok! The chicken was a huge hit at the afternoon dinner and delicious too! =) After eating, Jordan and some of the guys played a game of football on the school field and they loved every minute of it! It was hilarious to watch all the Chinese guys go up to the sideline and just stare!

Sunday, we did our normal Sunday routine which is to take the bus into Nanshan and go to church. It has been such a blessing that we’ve not only found an English church, but the friends we’ve made there too! After church we usually make a quick stop at some Western grocery stores (which when I say grocery store, try to imagine a 1990ish style convenient store food/candy section only…(nothing as large as a QuikTrip) packed with ceiling to floor shelves and over crowded with boxes even on the floor! =) It’s crammed, but a familiar feeling of home goods! After grabbing a bite to eat we get back on the J1 bus and head home so I can tutor in the afternoon.

We love you and hope you’re Thanksgiving was a wonderful time with family and friends.

We so thankful for each one of you! Lots of love,
Tyler & Jordan

From 70º to 40º and back to 70º!

Yes, I know it’s been over a month! It’s a weird concept, but our everyday routine has become a normal thing for us now and I don’t feel like we’ve got much news here. But of course my mom reminds me all the time that I haven’t written and I should just talk about anything! So this one’s for you Mom! =)

About two weeks ago a cold front hit us hard! It went from about 70 degrees to about 40 degrees overnight with winds about 30 MPH! It was ridiculously cold and windy!! I mean, yes we had been complaining about the heat, but overnight coldness- we just weren’t ready for! We had been told that the weather here in Shenzhen is perfect from about November through January- fall-like temperatures and a few cooler days here and there. Everyone (I mean the Chinese folks) kept telling us how rare this was and how special the weather was since it hadn’t happened like this in over 100 years! Of course, “special” wouldn’t have been my choice of words…Beijing has already gotten two large snowfalls, which the first usually doesn’t happen until January. And everyone’s concerned with global warming…China should be concerned with global cooling. =) So with the limited amount of luggage we brought, our winter clothes were left behind…So during the extremely cold week, we went to Wal-Mart (near our Chinese class) and bought us a few things to keep us warm! Yes, Jordan even found a fleece jacket that fit him. We also bought some toboggans, long-sleeve shirts, & scarves- for me =) Jordan and I have been waking up and running around 6:15 AM each morning and we needed some extra clothing so we wouldn’t have an excuse! Jordan thought the weather was perfect and I basically made him buy the jacket. He was walking around in a short sleeve polo and khakis and compared to everyone else, he looked really out of place! It was probably the first week that he didn't sweat at all while teaching! The funny part of the whole story is the day after our shopping spree and since then, it’s been warm. I think I’ve worn my jacket twice now. So we’re back to the glorious fall weather we were told about and enjoying everyday!

I’m sorry that I’ve had writer’s block for the past month, but promise to get back into the habit!

Loving the current weather,
Tyler and Jordan