Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's been a while since I've had time to sit in my pajamas, sip wine, listen to music, and work on photos. There is something incredibly indulgent and care-free about this, and I have to say it is one of my favorite things to do.

That was a few days ago, and I am already into a new week here. The photos of our trip to Fujian province are done, and you can see them if you go to the photo link to the right.

Hope you enjoy!

-Phil and Jen

Friday, April 10, 2009

Peeking Through the Fog

It's Saturday morning here in Shanghai. As the sun attempts to break through the morning fog, I am given a wonderful metaphor for the past week. My house is a mess, dishes are piled in the sink, children's books are strewn on the floor, and the looming To-Do list doesn't look much different from the beginning of the week. The sun is however, beginning to peek through the mess.

After a solid half day of writing, I finished 2 articles and sent them to my editor on time. I also managed, by no small miracle, to get our flights to the UK booked and paid for (I could write an entire blog on what it's like to try to book and pay for airline tickets while living in China, but you might not believe me). So there are 2 major tasks I can check off the To-Do list.

I've started tutoring some children in English 5 days/ week, and I am continuing to study Mandarin with my own tutor daily. Earlier this week, I arrived at the realization that I can't do all of this, run a house, maintain blogs, write for the magazine, exercise, serve in the various groups I serve in, and be a good wife- without some help. Due to the nature of Phil's 13-15 hour days here, we really try not to have anything for him to do on the household front. So...Phil and I have decided we need to hire someone full-time to help me with cooking, cleaning, and grocery errands.

Now, if I could just find the time to do this...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I will try to blog more specifically in the next few days. Without my knowledge, much of the week has slipped away. Phil and I returned home late Monday night from a wonderful 3 day trip through Fujian Province, and I haven't stopped since. While on vacation, we traveled to see the famous Earth Houses of the Hakka people (considered by UNESCO as one of the 8 wonders of the world); hiked; and stayed overnight on a rather European influenced island named Gulangyu.

I am currently trying to work on photos and will be back to blog more specifically in the next week. For now, laundry, bills, house cleaning, Chinese class, English students, and a few articles require my attention.

We hope that wherever you are in the world- you are enjoying Spring (Autumn for our Aussie friends)!

Phil and Jen

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Synapse to Synapse

My brain has gone on strike. I have studied Chinese for the last 4 hours and it will not take in any more information. The characters have taken on a life of their own. Somewhere along the synapse road to my brain there has been a massive pile- up, and the characters that once formed words and sentences have taken on the form of a mangled wreck. I had to take a break from Chinese, so I thought this might be a good time to catch up on some blogging. I can't guarantee that this will be entirely coherent either, but I suppose sharing my incoherent ramblings is also part of the experience of living here in China.

Phil and I are getting ready to go on a short vacation here in China. We will take the long weekend and go to Fujian province where we will see traditional Hakka style houses, drive through the scenic mountains, and visit an island. In all honesty, I don't have a clear picture of what we will be doing, because we decided to join friends on their itinerary at the last minute. I have done just enough research though, to gather that this is an incredibly beautiful, historically rich part of China- and I can't wait!

That's all I have for now. I should post photos of our Fujian trip sometime next week.

-Phil and Jen