Zhongguó

Sleepless in China

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was difficult to sleep on the hard beds in China (I didn’t like that a third of the trip was spent in rooms with two separate single beds either. I had David push them together one night). But there were other factors that disturbed sleep just about every night while there.

  • Cars honking. They honk all day and all night in Beijing. I think it’s part of the requirement for driving there. Even out in the peaceful countryside of Huangshan, we would hear cars blast their horn as they went rip-roaring the through curves in the road to warn everybody they’re coming. Our room had a great view of the bend in the road our hotel sat on.
  • A construction site right outside the window.
  • Someone buzz-sawing in the morning.
  • Strong wafts of cigarette smoke coming from the windows or hallways.
  • Someone ringing the doorbell (they have doorbells for each room) or calling your telephone at midnight or 6am.
  • Tourists getting up at 4am and talking shouting in the hallway.

But now that I’m home, and thoroughly enjoying my soft bed, and I am even tired enough to sleep through the construction next door to our own apartment.

Zhongguó

Cultural and Pregnant Experiences

All kinds of advise comes your way when you’re pregnant. Some you take with a grain of salt, and others come in really helpful. My mother-in-law was born and raised in China, and every once in a while she’ll share her ideas she grew up with of what to do or not do during pregnancy. Some of it is really different but I try to keep an open mind. I am thankful she is open-minded, too, when it comes to my final decisions about my body and baby. She’s really supportive. I’m blessed to have her.

All kinds of advise comes your way when you’re pregnant. Some you take with a grain of salt, and others come in really helpful. My mother-in-law was born and raised in China, and every once in a while she’ll share her ideas she grew up with of what to do or not do during pregnancy. Some of it is really different but I try to keep an open mind. I am thankful she is open-minded, too, when it comes to my final decisions about my body and baby. She’s really supportive. I’m blessed to have her.

David and I decided to go to China with his parents before I got pregnant. And so, when we found out our baby was on the way, David’s mom wanted to know if I still wanted to go.

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Zhongguó

China Trip Chapter 1: Dream Come True

Jennilyn and I had been dreaming of going to China since we’ve been married. I had an opportunity to visit China with my family in 2005, but I declined because Jennilyn had returned from Japan fairly ill. While I had no regrets in staying behind while my brother and parents had a great time in China, I looked forward to the day I would return to China.

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Clearing the Cache

Mariachi Band Prayer

Perhaps an over-spiritualization of the situation, but we got to bed around 1:30 AM after organizing and facilitating the Portland Swing Dance Club’s Spring Swing weekend. It had been a long day and we had no trouble falling asleep.

We woke up to a drum pattern rattling outside. Then it was a full on Mariachi band playing somewhere near the outside of our apartment at 5:30 in the morning. They played loud and proud. At an hour, possibly six hours from that point, we might have happily walked outside to enjoy the live music. At that hour of the morning, we were groaning at who would be so inconsiderate!

Jenni popped in her earplugs. They finished their song. The next drum beat started and we groaned. Then I prayed to God half-asleep, something along these lines:

Dear Lord,

Should I not be praying for the leaders in our congregation, our city, our country? Am I not to ask you to increase our faith? Why am I praying to you, oh God of the Universe, about silencing a Mariachi band outside our apartment? Please stop them from playing more music. We would like some sleep!

Thanks Lord. Amen.

After three lovely songs, I heard some shuffling from nearby apartments. The band stopped playing and we returned to sleep. I’m thankful that God answers prayers, and no prayer is too small—or too strange.

Straight to True North

Life After High School

My senior portraitBack in high school, all I wanted to do in life was get married and raise a family. But as graduation creeped closer, I realized I couldn’t just sit around waiting for “Mr. Right.” I also remember wanting to stay a senior because I was having a lot of fun, and college and beyond was kind of scary to think about. But someone once said to me that “There is life after high school.” After striking out on a few adventures of my own, I adopted that saying for myself.

In following David’s lead, I too would like to peek into the last 10 years as it is also my 10 year high school reunion this year.

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