Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 34 - Chinese Toilet

Day 34

David had classes this morning.  We met Eva at the special place that teachers at the University can eat at.  We get compensated for the days that we teach for 4 hours.  It accumulates on the card so that you don’t have to use it for that day, but whenever you want, as long as you use it all up before the semester ends.  She ordered some really yummy dishes that we all enjoyed together.  She also ordered too much, so we came away extremely full and didn’t eat much supper. 

After lunch, we went back to our apartment and picked up some banana bread that I had made and then met Eva in the parking garage so that she could drive us to RT Mart for some last minute things to get before our trip for the National Holiday.  We walked home after we did our shopping and got the cash we will need for our trip also.  The rest of the day was just making sure that we had everything packed for our trip and our classes were ready for when we get back.  

For those that are curious, here is a Chinese toilet.  


Yes, you stand over it (hoping you have the right aim) squat and release.  Flushing TP is a no-no (although, I do anyway).  That's what the green basket is for in the corner.  The little red button on the wall is the flusher. There are "western" style toilets available in many places.  I try to choose those, but can't do it all the time.  They are usually meant for the handicapped.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 33 - First Freshman Classes, Teaching on Sunday

Day 33

Today was make-up day for the students who will miss Wednesday because of the National Holiday, so I had to teach on Sunday.  My first class was a class of new freshmen students. They have just finish 3 weeks of “military training” where they learned to march all day long and had to shoot a gun once.  They are tired and ready for school to begin.  There were 38 in my first class.  There are always lots of ooh’s and aah’s when I show them the picture of my seven children.  Then I show the one with my children and grandchildren and they start to clap and get all excited.  A little later, I show them a picture from our last Petersen family reunion and they usually gasp.  It is fun to see their reactions.  I think I like the freshmen more than sophomores, but I’ll give it more time.  Their language skills are not as good, but at least right now, they are really eager to learn and I have already bonded with some of them quite well. 

I had a second class this morning, also freshman.  We started out in a classroom that had 45 seats.  The girl who is the “class monitor” started counting seats and knew that there would not be enough seats for everyone, so she came and asked me what to do.  I suggested looking for some chairs.  The desks in these rooms are usually 5 seats across with a bench in front for a desktop.  There is no movability in the way they are arranged and really, no way to put extra chairs in the room.  As it turned out, there was a woman there from the English Teaching Department and she saw the problem, went out and found another classroom in the building that we could use, so we all moved into a much larger classroom.  I didn’t have time to be intimidated that there was someone there from the department observing, but in a lot of ways, I was so glad she was there to help out with that situation.  She took pictures of some of the activities I was doing with the class and brought me a pomegranate at the end of class.  I had been having the students fill out some information cards that I use in teaching, and because the class was so large, I ran out of those.  I had a “get to know you” mixer planned and I was going to scrap that and just go on to something else if I didn’t have enough papers, but I had just the right amount for the class, so I was able to do that. 

I had to go back to teach my sophomore class at 4 p.m. and things went well there.  For the roll call question that I had for today, I wanted them to tell me about their Chinese names.  That was very interesting!  They like to be in harmony with the five elements of the earth: fire, air, water, wood and metal.  Some of their names are so that they can have more balance in their life by being given a name that gives them more of an element that their parents felt they were lacking.  Some were given names that represented who their parents wanted them to be when they grew up, i.e. one girl’s parents wanted her to be kind, friendly and outgoing, so her name represents those characteristics in Chinese. 


I will add one more video from yesterday’s park adventure.  I love the little kid in the green shirt in the back.  They just did this over and over again. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 32 - Hot Pot Restaurant and Thousand Flower Park

video

video

Day 32

We decided that we needed to go to Walmart and see if we could find some things there that we hadn’t been able to find anywhere else in Ji’nan (like granola and Jello).  We met Wayne and Libby Clark there since they had been there before and thought they could help us find them.  We found lots of things, but Jello and Granola are eluding us here in Ji’nan. 

We got our treasures home and after a short rest, we went out in search of food.  One restaurant looked interesting to us, so we went in.  It is a “hot pot” restaurant.  Here is how it works.  There is a hot plate in the middle of the table and you order the type of broth you want.  It comes to you hot and the hot plate keeps it boiling.  You also order vegetables, noodles and meats to put in the boiling broth.  It is a little like fondue, but it is also different.  There are also different sauces that you can choose ranging from mild and tasty to hot enough to make you sweat.  They didn’t have an English menu for us, but a nice young woman came over and explained the menu and interpreted it for us.  She happens to be a teacher at Shandong Normal University and her husband is a teacher at Shandong Central Campus.  She spent a lot of time with us and we were very grateful to her. 

Eating at the hot pot restaurant.  The woman that helped us can be seen at table behind us in the white top and blue dot skirt.  A great way to eat lots of veggies.


Our food came and we started cooking it.  I slid my chair over to let David have better access to the boiling pot of broth and all the goodies in it and inadvertently hit the extension cord that the hot plate was plugged into and turned it off.  We didn’t know what had happened until the pot stopped boiling and the food was taking ever so long to cook (we were hungry!).  They discovered what I had done and we got it turned on.  I moved the chair and it kept turning off, so there was probably something wrong with the extension cord or the plug.  It was a fun experience and one that we will repeat.  We took one of their paper menus home and plan to have it translated so that we can do this again and know what to order. 

After lunch, we went to a park that is not far from David and I called, “Thousand Flower Park.”  The flowers are mostly gone now, but it is still a beautiful park.  We started around on the main path, but we kept getting off of it because of all the things that we wanted to hear and see.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking today.

People will bring their birds to the park during the day and then take them home at night.  David thinks they are some kind of a thrush.  They sang to each other and it was just wonderful to hear.

One of the ponds at the park.




We also had an interesting experience in the park.  As we were walking along, we hear someone behind us singing, Handel’s Messiah!  We turn around and see a woman walking about five feet behind us.  We start singing with her and even get into some harmony with it.  She let us know that she was a Christian.  She gave us some pamphlets and kept talking to us, but we don’t understand anything she says.  She shows us her music.  Can’t read what songs she has either.  It was funny in a way.  We can’t talk to Chinese National’s about our religion because it might be considered preaching, so having this woman come up to speak to us and letting us know by the fact that she was singing Handel’s Messiah, figuring that any other Christian would know that song also was something that made us worry a little.  It wasn’t us that contacted her, so I think we are okay if anyone saw it and had a problem with it.



Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 31 One Month Anniversary

Day 31 - One Month Anniversary
One month ago today, we left for China.  What a great experience this is being.  So happy we did this!  We are making friends and learning a lot.

David had two morning classes to teach today.  Kristina, from the Foreign Teacher’s Affairs office, knocked on our door about 10:30 a.m. and said they had found a desk to replace the little tiny one that I have been using. It was starting to cause problems with my back and neck for how I had to sit in at it because it was so small and it had a tiny shelf where my legs needed to go.  I was so happy.  I moved the old desk from where it was, swept and wiped the floor down (it was pretty dirty, not sure when the last time it was moved and cleaned under because I haven’t since we have been here).  They had to clean it up some and then brought it in!  It looks wonderful and my legs fit under it.  I can stretch out when I need to and I have a place to rest my arms! 

David and I went to lunch with one of his class monitors, Sophia.  She had said she would help us mail a package home, so after lunch, we picked up the package from our apartment and headed over to China Post so we could mail them.  We showed the clerk what we had to mail and she found the right size box and packed it for us, so it should land state-side in good shape.  As we were leaving the post office, there was a man and his wife sitting by a little wagon outside and he was repairing shoes.  The stitching on David’s sandal was starting to come apart again, so we stopped and since we had Sophia with us to interpret, we got his sandal repaired.  His wife was sitting there with him knitting a pair of gloves for him to wear in the winter.  I got a picture of them.  Such a cute couple!  He stopped working on the shoe he was working on and fixed David’s sandal right away. 


Shoe repairman stitching on David's sandal.

This is the wife knitting the glove.  She had about 8 knitting needles in there doing the last two fingers.  You can just barely see Sophia, our helper today, behind David.



The afternoon was working on lesson plans and having supper.  After working for an hour or more tonight, we went for a walk.  It was really pleasant, starting to get the nip of fall in the air, but still warm enough to want to be out in it.  Bought some apples and an ice cream treat at one of the little places that they have on campus.  They were really excited to serve us.  I think they consider it an honor to have their foreign teachers stop and buy from them.  Wish our grasp of the language were coming along faster.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Days 28, 29, 30 - Half a PPT, Joint Restaurant, Entrance/Exit Station

Days 28, 29, 30

Tuesday, I just lay around the apartment.  Tried to get some work done, but I just didn’t feel well enough to sit up for very long. David had to run several errands: getting copies, pumping up his bike tire.  He had some students (class monitors) come over in the evening to get some things organized for his class.
Wednesday, I did feel a little better.  David had to teach in the morning.  I got ready for my class.  Made a couple of Powerpoints for it.  Tried to be as organized as I could.  So I went to class and the first hour went quite well.  I had more than enough stuff to fill the hour.  After the break, I got into the lesson and discovered that I had not saved half of the Power Point that I was going to use.  It was still at home on the computer!  ERG!!  Oh well.  What else could I do?  I pulled some things off the CD from the book and it got pretty boring from that point on.  Never forget to save your Powerpoints to the USB from now on, lesson learned for today!

Stan and Nancy Pace came over and we went out to dinner together.  We chose a restaurant where they cook up pork meat from the backbone joints all day long.  They just have a big pot of them cooking.  So you come in the store and tell them what vegetable you want to have with it and they bring you a big bowl of this delicious meat in the broth with a bowl of rice and a small bowl of some “pickles.” It is a very delicious and filling meal, but you have to eat a lot of it with your hands because the meat is that which is around the bones.  It just melts in your mouth and the broth is so good.  The only problem we have is that they don’t have an “English” menu for us to look at and say, “We want that vegetable.”  We had looked on Google translate ahead of time and I knew that they had squash, seaweed and cabbage there, but couldn’t remember anything else, so we printed the pronunciations for those and also potato and yam in case they had those.  You could also make the choice of 2, 3 or 4 joints of meat in your bowl. 

Once in the restaurant, armed with our trusty (?) translations of what we wanted, be proceeded to try and tell the clerk what we wanted.  We thought we have gotten it across to her, so we go sit down to wait for the food to come.  David ordered the squash and that was what he got.  I ordered the cabbage and that was what I got.  Stan ordered the cabbage and that is what he got.  Nancy ordered the squash and she got… seaweed!  One thing that we are having trouble learning to enjoy over here is the seaweed.  We had a fun visit and David took some of Nancy’s seaweed and he gave her some of his squash.  It all tasted so good though, except the seaweed.

Thursday.  David taught again this morning.  I went to the market and got some meat.  The lady doesn’t speak any English, but she is kind and honest and she has some of the best quality meat around.  On my way back, I usually stop at a little stand nearer the road and get some fruit from a lady there.  Today, she had some large yellowish fruit; about 8 inches in diameter that I thought might be a melon, so I bought it.  She was trying to talk to me and I think she was asking me where I came from, so I told her (in Chinese… aren’t you proud of me?) America.  She was so happy that I could understand that much!  She said a bunch more stuff, but it all went over my head, so I just smiled a lot and left. 

I started to cut the fruit open when I got home.  It gave off a very citrus smell, so I knew I didn’t have a melon. As I tore it open I knew I had what looked to be a VERY large grapefruit.  So into the trusty computer I went and Googled citrus fruits.  Right away, I saw a picture of my fruit that I had bought and it was a Pommello!  Now, I realize that some of you have bought them in the States before, but I have not.  I have an aversion to buying fruits that I know are grown in a more tropical climate and shipped to other parts of the world or nation, not in season.  I enjoyed the pommello!  I will be buying that one again. 

Eva drove us to the “Entrance/Exit” police station so that we could pick up our passports with the now official designation that we are officially in China for the year!  So happy to have that back!  Then she helped us with a few things that we needed help with. 

After dinner, David had 8 girls that were class monitors come over and help him with collating some papers for his class.  He is going to be doing reader’s theaters with them and he got them all copied off, but needed them sorted and put together.  They were all such fun to talk to.  We showed them a bunch of pictures of our home and family.  They all LOVE EVAN!!!  They are excited that he is their age and I know if he wants to start up some pen pal relationships, there would be many girls who would take him up on that!  It was so funny to hear them talk about how beautiful he was!  We sang them a song and they all recorded it on their phones.  They asked about Alisa getting married and they think it very strange to be 21 and getting married.  They are all about 24/25 and they are starting to get to the point that they can think about it because they are almost old enough now.  I showed them pictures of Alisa’s wedding dress and they said she was very beautiful and she was so slim in it. 


We got the pictures from our excursion as Chinese movie stars, so we are putting those on this blog.
Some of the first shots.  I know this lady next to me was thinking, "This is not what I planned to do when I came into work today!"

The whole crew.  The young lady that is the second one in from the left on the back row was our interpreter.  Every time she told us to make sure that we smiled, she pronounced it, "smell."  She did really well otherwise and I know she probably didn't plan on doing that when she came into work today either!

David with the head engineering guy.  He had pretty good English and was very kind.

Gathered around the big motor.  I wish I had known that I was to play the part of an American Executive and worn something more executive-like.  Oh, well.


Two other engineers joined us.  I am sure their thoughts were the same as the other, "This is not what I thought I was going to be doing when I came into work today..."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 27 - Gifts From Sherry

Day 27

I had to wait around for the people to bring water here this morning, so I did Facetime with Rachel and Alisa.  It is always good to hear their voices and talk “face-to-face.”  I also got some work done on the next two units for my Wednesday afternoon class so that I can be ready for the next few weeks and after the holiday that is coming up on the First of October.  One of the girls from my class, Meg, needed to get a paper from me to take to the Biology Department on the East Campus so that I can get my free meals at the Canteen for teachers, so I met her at noon and get that to here.  We had planned to eat at the Canteen for lunch, so David and Danny met me there and we sat with Ken, the teacher from Scotland, for lunch.

I started to not feel good about an hour after lunch, but I worked away at my units for teaching.  David was working on his also trying to be ready for the holiday.  Sherry came over at 5 p.m. and brought us two moon cakes and also a scarf for me from the Hangzhou area where they are known for their silk.  She also talked about her fun Mid-Autumn holiday trip had been with her parents.  She brought David a brochure about the area.  She visited until she had to go to class again.  I would have offered her something to eat, but if this is more than something I ate, I hate to spread it. 


We continued to work on our lessons tonight.  The weather turned cold and rainy just as we were finishing lunch, so we had to hurry home and then we stayed in the rest of the day.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 26 Sunday

Day 26

David had to teach today to make up for the Mid-Autumn Festival Holiday that we just enjoyed. A few of the other BYU teachers had to teach today also, but there were 7 of us that were lucky and didn’t have to.  I went to Church alone.  Rode the bus by myself and remembered the stops and I was actually early because we found a new bus route to take and it only takes 45 minutes to get to Church now! 

A first for the CCID Branch happened today!  We had a baby blessing in Church!  They have not done that before and I’m not sure it the other Priesthood holders were actually in the room with the father or if it was a virtual as it seemed to us, but it was wonderful.  I had this thought come to me as it was going on and I was feeling the strength of the Priesthood, “Even though we are separated by distance in our Branch, we are all under the umbrella of the Holy Ghost.  It reaches out and touches our hearts.”

David was able to make it to the potluck dinner afterward and we enjoyed the fellowship there.  We went to the Clarke’s apartment with them and they gave us an extra fan that they had.  We have been sweltering with the heat and humidity here.  The AC does not work very well in our apartment.  It is only in the living room and doesn’t reach into the bedroom.  I think we will be able to sleep better now.


As I was preparing the green beans for our potluck today, I had the presence of mind to take a picture of the green beans that we have here in China.  They are about 18 inches long!  They look strange, but taste almost as good as the ones from our garden at home.  We have missed our garden.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 25 - Foreign Teacher Party

Day 25

Eva planned to spend some time with use today to help us find some things that we haven’t been able to find yet in the grocery stores, salt being one of them.  There was some here from the previous apartment dweller, but I was almost out of it.  We went to a huge outdoor market and found some great deals on some fruits and vegetables.  We finished our shopping around lunchtime and went into Jingren Pie for lunch (they have a fruit salad there that is divine!) and while we were there, the rain started.  It came down pretty strong for quite a while.  Eva was helping David with some questions that he had about teaching his students and when we were done, we had hoped that the rain would let up.  It kept coming down hard for about 15-20 more minutes and finally let up enough that David and Eva, who had the umbrellas, could make it to the car and then came and picked me up with the heaviest of the groceries.  That is the most rain I have seen here in Ji’nan since we came. 


The afternoon was spent getting lessons ready for next week.  At 4 p.m., we had a gathering of all the foreign language teachers from 3 of the Campuses of Shandong University at our apartment complex.  Lots of good food.  I made BBQ spare ribs.  Several of the leaders and people that we work with in the Foreign Languages department came also.  In total there were about 35 of us here.  David brought out his guitar because the Deputy Director had brought his 9 year old son who is learning classical guitar and had him play some.  Then David and I sang some songs.  Morgan, a guy from France that teaches French (imagine that!!), was so excited to have another guitar player here, that he ran up to his apartment and brought his guitar down and then we had a real jam session!  A good time was had by all!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 24 - Red Leaf Valley

We left our apartment at 7 a.m. today so we could meet with the other nine BYU teachers here in Ji’nan and go see the Red Leaf Valley.  It was a long bus ride on an extremely crowded bus (after we were packed in like sardines, they started turning people away from the bus and wouldn’t open the doors unless someone was getting off).  The bus ride took about 1 ½ hours and we had to stand the whole way.  The Red Leaf Valley is about 40 miles away from the center of Ji’nan. 

A young woman started talking to me in English and before she got off, we had exchanged Skype names and plan to contact each other again.  Some of the other teachers were talking with other young people on the bus also.  Even though we had to stand, all these encounters with the Chinese people made the ride more pleasant.

As soon as we got off the bus, we were not sure of where we needed to go first, but there were some very enthusiastic men motioning for us to follow them.  They are the shuttle bus drivers that take you on the 5 mile journey up a very steep and windy road to the entrance of the valley.  It was 15 Yuan per person to get us up there and with the 11 of us, it took two vans.  I have learned to laugh at the driving of these Chinese drivers and so the drive up the mountain was a “laughing” experience.   Arriving at the entrance we bought our tickets into the valley and then had to climb a steep set of steps to get to the admission gate. 
 
This was where we got the shuttle buses to go up to the valley.


The first set of stairs leading to the entrance.

This beautiful walkway was nice and cool to walk under.


The Red Leaf Valley is called as such because the trees that are planted there turn red in autumn.  It is still a little early in the year for the colors, still mostly green, but it is a beautiful place and we had fun exploring it.  You can hire open cart shuttles to take you to some of the main attractions, but not us!  We walked!  We walked up stairs and we walked down stairs most of which were made of stone and uneven.  By the time we were done exploring the valley, we were pretty tired.  We also walked up the steps of the big pagoda and saw a Buddhist Temple. 

The men all said they wanted a picture of us beautiful women by these women and then promised that we could take a picture of them when we found the Adonis statues.  We never found the Adonis statues.... 

One of the lakes up there.  Looked like fun.  If you will see the building up on the far hill, that is the pagoda we walked to.

David found a friend.

We were walking in this area and all of a sudden, we noticed that they were more than just cute cabins, they were tree houses!!  We don't know if they rented them out or if they were for the workers, but it was cool to see.

More tree houses.

Cool!

David in the stairwell that went inside the tree to the house.


As we were ready to leave, we had to get the shuttles, at the same price of 15 Yuan to take us back down the mountain.  No one felt like walking on that road!  After they let us out, we crossed the road and had to wait about ½ hour for the bus to come.  There were some vendors on the side of the road selling fruits and gourds and nuts.  One guy had some shelled walnuts in a bag, about a pound and a half and wanted 25 Yuan for the bag.  That made it about $4 US and they are very good nuts.  Large and sweet!  If you know me and how I like nuts, you know I am in heaven!

Closer to the pagoda.

The view from as high as we could get in the pagoda.  They only let a few go up on the fifth floor and we didn't feel like waiting in the line that you had to wait in to go up there.

The light green shirt nest to the blue shirt is me.  

Just another beautiful place.

Shrine outside the Buddhist Temple.

There were more shrines inside of each of these buildings.


As we were waiting for the bus, a guy who had a larger van (probably would have held 9 people compared to the 6 of the shuttles) wanted to take us back to Ji’nan.  At first, he was only going to charge 80 Yuan for taking most of us back, but when we showed him the address of where we needed to go, he jumped the price up to 200 Y!  We decided not to take him up on it because there were still 2 or 3 of us that would have had to sit and wait for the bus.  He came back to us and said he would take us for 180 Y.  We still didn’t think that was a good enough deal when you can ride the bus for 3 Y a person, so we ignored him and caught the bus.


We were lucky enough to get seats on the way back.  We were pretty tired, but believe the whole bus ride and everything was worth the price it took to get there.  We may go back in a month.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 23: A "Spring" Day

Day 23

Eva picked us up about 9 a.m. and we drove to Five Dragon Springs and walked around that park.  It was beautiful!!  Ji’nan is a city that was built around an area that had 72 springs in the area.  They dug a path for all the springs to go into a river that made a moat around the old city of Ji’nan.  It makes a wonderful walkway and place for people to go.  There are also memorials that have been made to different people of China and Ji’nan. 

Tribute to the greatest warrior of the Tang Dynasty.

Murals depicting his accomplishments.

Some of the weapons used then.

Eva (our Chinese angel) and I in front of some more murals.


Outside of one of the memorials at five Dragon Springs.


After we finished at Five Dragon Springs, we walked across the street and went to Baotu Springs.  It is a larger park area and has a more famous spring in it.  This spring naturally bubbles up in three places right in a row together, as if it had been engineered that way.  Our feet were getting pretty sore by this point and we were getting hungry, so we stopped at a local Chinese fast food.  This is authentic Chinese food that is quickly made.  I tried tofu for the first time in my life and liked it.  Not sure if it was just the way that place prepared it or not, but I will try it again. 

At Five Dragon Springs.

Five dragon Springs.

Five Dragon Springs.

These are the Five Dragons of Five Dragon Springs.


After a little rest there, we walked along the moat to another of the famous springs, Black Tiger Spring.  Along the way, we saw probably 20 more springs, many of them in gorgeous settings.  It has been fun being here.  If someone is brave enough, to say “Hello” we say “Hello” back to them.  Often, it is said just as we are almost past them, but we say “Hello” anyway.  There is always a great reaction from them.  One little girl, looked to be about 6 or 7, was brave enough to say, “Hello” and when we responded to her, she was so pleased and then instantly turned shy and hugged her mother (maybe grandmother), then turned back to us and smiled even bigger.  There were 5 college students walking around together and they got brave enough to say “Hello” to us and then asked a few more questions in English, so we talked for a little bit.  Then they wanted a picture with us, so we all got in a picture together.  I was asked by a few people to pose in pictures with them and I know several pictures were taken of us without them wanting us to know that they were taking the pictures.  Ji’nan has so few Anglo people here that you become quite a celebrity. 

One of the springs.

Carp of all colors: leopard, gold and silver.

Rocks to climb on.

I loved seeing the pomegranates growing on the trees.

There were several tables of men playing Chinese Chess.

The group of young college students that wanted our picture after we talked to them.


When we were done with the springs for the day, we took a bus back to Eva’s apartment.  On the bus, we met a man from Australia who teaches at one of the other campuses and also does the English Language testing for students that want to go to Australia for further education. 

More springs.

China's "liberty bell."

About the only way David could probably win against one of these Chinese Chess players....

Baotu Springs!

One Tiger Springs.

Black Tiger Springs.  People will not drink the water out of their taps unless they boil it.  They come here to the springs, fill their water buckets and haul it home.  It is good tasting water.



We arrived at the apartment to a warm welcome from Eva’s 72 year old mother in law, and her 15 year old daughter.  Eva’s MIL was going to teach me how to make the Chinese dumplings and Eva’s daughter wants to learn guitar and also loves to sing, so we did some singing, David taught her a little bit about the guitar and also some tips on better singing performance (not that we are experts, but we have picked up a few things from all the choirs that we have performed in).  We also at a BIG Harvest Festival meal with them!  This is also called the Moon Cake Festival, because it is the traditional food of the Harvest Festival.  We had dumplings (that I helped make), sea fish, two of the largest shrimp I have ever eaten in my life, ham, pickled pigs ear (don’t gag, it was a little crunchy and gristly, but not bad) and Moon Cakes!   The Chinese tradition is to feed you until you burst, or feel like you are going to burst!  The MIL wasn’t sure that we had eaten enough, but we were sure!  Even though Eva had to translate for us, we still had a great time talking, laughing and singing!

At Eva's house for dinner.  Her Mother-In-Law (I don't remember her name), Eva, Zina and Alayna.

Pictures taken by Alayna.  It was all too good!

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