|The lights at DaMing Lake.|
In the afternoon, Kayce and Arron came to meet us at our campus. We went to the noodle restaurant that Bob and Anna had taken us to and had a good lunch. Then we caught the bus to the big market that we have enjoyed before to look around. Kayce was particularly looking for the same small store that she had bought a sword from when we went there last time, but we couldn't find it and eventually gave up and went home. David wasn't feeling that great and I wish I had told him to stay home. He really needed another nap.
David's students, Elsie and Conner, had planned to have Christmas dinner with us, so we reserved a room at the canteen (because our apartment is so small) and invited Bob, Anna, Andrew, and Eva to come eat with us. Eva had to go to her brother's home somewhere far away and so she couldn't make it. Bob and Anna sent a message in the afternoon that they had to go to an interview that evening, so they couldn't make it. Since Kayce and Arron were with us, we decided to invite them to come eat with us and they accepted.
|Andrew, Elsie and Conner taking pictures of the food.|
|Conner, Arron, and Kayce. She is such a tease with these kids that we were all laughing a lot.|
|Meat and bread dish. The meat was good, but the bread didn't have much flavor.|
|Eggplant with shrimp and cheese baked in. This was really good!|
Wednesday, the Ding family had invited us out to dinner. Alan, their son, was home from the University of Texas at Austin, so they wanted to take us out to eat so we could see him and to celebrate. David had tutored Alan when we were here four years ago because he wanted to go to high school in the US. They took us to a seafood restaurant and fed us a royal meal. So much food and lots of it!
|Shrimp, a fish dumpling and the long big one was a type of prawn. It was hard to peal because there are prickly spines along the shell that hurt. I only had one, that was enough for me.|
|Ding Rongui and his wife. They are always so kind to us. She doesn't speak much English, but understands quite a bit. Ding travels internationally quite a lot, so he speaks quite well.|
|I am actually eating starfish! They steamed it with the other seafood. You pull off a leg of the starfish and eat the little tiny bit of black meat that is in the middle of the leg. Kind of salty tasting, but not too fishy tasting.|
We accepted the job to tutor a fourteen year old girl that wants to go to Canada for school. Jen is a bright girl and already speaks quite well. She will have about two months of tutoring and then she leaves for Toronto, Canada in February.
David had a meeting with his class monitors on Friday afternoon so that he could thank them for helping him this semester. I met him there so we could go to a new restaurant the we have discovered on Campus. It was a really great meal and we had a strawberry yogurt smoothie, something similar to chicken cordon bleu, and waffles with ice cream. It was delicious! We almost felt like we were back in the States, because the food was quite American. Then a slow walk home because the temperature wasn't that cold.
|Our waffles and smoothie for dinner.|
On Saturday, we did some work in the morning, made a quick trip to get some vegetables and then headed out to meet Kayce and Arron for some fun and sight-seeing. We had just started down the lane from our apartment building when along comes a small truck with a new chair on it for David. His office chair had broken, so he informed the building manager that he needed a new one. The building manager was waving at us as soon as they rounded the corner, so we headed back to the apartment.
The timing was perfect, because the clothes washer had broken that morning and would not spin dry the clothes anymore and I was able to tell the manager, Liu, about it right then. They will order a new machine, which with all the red tape they have to go through will take about a month to get, but they will also send someone to try to repair this old one. If they don't have it repaired by Wednesday, I'm going to have to find someplace else to do laundry and I don't know where. I don't see laundromats in China.
|A wall of old sewing machines that we found in one of the malls.|
|We stopped in a pet store and walked around. Loved the aquariums.|
When we finally met Kayce and Arron at Wanda Plaza, we looked around in the malls and tried to see if we could go up the elevator of the "Bullet" building. They won't let you go up because it is apartments and office buildings. One mall had a contest going on for kids to tell stories. Another had a dance competition going on. We poked around in a store that sells a lot of foreign products and bought some granola cereal. When we got hungry, we went to the Burger King in one of the malls and had supper. We paid over 200 RMB to feed the four of us, which is quite expensive in China.
|This little girl was telling the story of the country mouse and the city mouse. Arron knows enough Chinese to help us get around and understand and get answers when we have questions.|
|Dance competition at the WanDa Mall. All boys in this group.|
|We thought this was fun with the sampan hats on.|
After we were done there, we caught a bus to go to DaMing Lake. They have lights all around the lake and it looks beautiful. Eva and her husband joined us there and as we walked around the lake and took pictures, Eva's husband would tell stories and information about some of the things by the lake and Eva would translate them for us. It was a fun evening, but it was getting late and my feet had been walked on enough for the day. Eva and husband walked us to the bus where we could catch a ride home from DaMing Lake.
|The gate and pavilion at DaMing Lake|
|Some of the lights.|
|This rock is called the "Husband and Wife" rock. They insisted that we go have a kiss at that rock. We had a lot more photographers than just Eva and Kayce! Of course, Kayce was egging them all on!|
Sunday, after church, we had lunch and then sat around and talked until almost four. David and I made our way home and had some supper. We got a message from Anna that she had a gift for us for New Year's. She came over with two of her roommates, Wendy and Jessica, and we had fun teaching them some card games and talking. All three are bright, fun girls. It helped to feel more like home to have them come over and play games like we would at home on New Year's Eve. All we were missing was the eggnog and sparkling cider.
|It took about 15 minutes of waiting to get this picture of what we call, "The Bullet Building." They had a bunch of ads come up in between the photo I wanted. It says, "I love Jinan!"|
|As we were leaving the lake, we crossed over the moat and had to get another pictures.|