Saturday, August 29, 2009

Food, Fearless and Fun in China

And now -- back to China.

Lots of unusual sights in the local marketI'd rather not watch this young lady eat a scorpion -- but DOTH (daughter of the House) tells me she did eat it!

No doubt the noodle-making process would be fun to watch

Seems DOTH's group got hungry watching this, so they headed to a yurt for lunch:
Looks a little claustrophobic to me.
But I hope they did the following BEFORE the meal and not after:
While some of her team went on a rather bumpy camel ride, DOTH opted for something more scary -- a very bumpy jeep ride:

Up and down, in and out the hills and sand dunes at breakneck speed

A little windblown, shaky and trembling -- but she made it!!

She lived to tell the tale. Here she is with her students -- a class of Chinese educators with whom she spent three weeks, teaching them how to teach English to their students And this is what she did in her spare time! Having fun with the local rubber ducky!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hot off the Press!

More China photos to follow, but first -- Breaking News!

Last night we had the worst storm I have ever experienced. It was truly ferocious -- didn't last much more than 45 minutes but the rain was torrential, the winds tornado-like and the continuous fork lightning was quite frightening.

There was something different about this storm and, although I am not usually afraid, I was quite apprehensive about it.

The power went off almost immediately, so we couldn't use the TV to find out what was going on -- we were kept busy anyway, making sure the driveway drain didn't get plugged (we get floods in the basement if it overflows) and keeping an eye on our elderly neighbour's eavestrough which gets constantly plugged and overflows (again causing basement flooding, if we are not careful).

As the storm eased off, since we were in the dark, we each went off to separate parts of the house -- DOTH to watch a DVD on her portable player and me to listen to my iPod (how is it that we can't live without technology, even for a moment!).

Suddenly, I was aware that the house (inside) was radiating an eery yellow colour. It was supposed to be dark (it was after 8:00pm), but all through the house the atmosphere was yellow. Looking through the windows we could see that the skies were yellow - not with sun, but just yellow -- almost like a yellow dust-storm up in the heavens.

So I headed outside with my camera. The neighbours were all doing the same thing -- none of us had seen anything like it before. Here is what I captured:

I don't know if you can tell, but it was almost like flourescent lighting out there. The white dots are rain on the camera lens.

This was the scene to the west of us. You can see the beginnings of a rainbow, to the middle right above, and middle left, below

The skies were getting angrier, and angrier. It was only drizzling where we are, but you could tell something was going on off to the west of us. Below was the view off to the east of us.The power was off all night -- came on around 9:00am this morning. We then heard on the TV that there had actually been two tornadoes, off to the west of us -- in Vaughan and Woodbridge. One little boy was killed in Woodbridge, and people in both areas are very 'spooked.' As they say, "Nothing like this has ever happened around here before."

We have been very blessed in the Toronto area -- very few disasters, and then really only minor ones compared to the U.S (Katrina etc). So we thank the Lord today for His mercy, and pray for those who lost their little boy and the about 150 families whose homes may have to be demolished.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Climbing the Walls in China

DOTH (Daughter of the House) is learning Mandarin, and she recently spent almost a month in China with a team of educators -- teaching Chinese teachers how to teach English to their students.

She had an awesome time, and since she doesn't blog, she's given me permission to show you a little of her trip. This will probably cover at least two blogs, as she has some tremendous photos. She also has great video clips, but unfortunately I can't get them to download -- gotta work on that!

On board fever-check.
Welcome to China...but only if you don't have the Swine flu! Good job she didn't -- she needed all her energy to climb one of the steepest parts of the Great Wall, in Beijing Fashion on the Great Wall - Rubik's Cube purse
"How do I get this thing open, anyway?"
A hair-raising experienceand another one --
a 16 hour bus ride to Wuhai on highways infested with giant and very dangerous-looking trucks. And, yes, that car is passing on the right shoulder...looks like the bus is about to, also!

Not to mention that the bus driver was pretty adamant about not stopping for food and bathroom breaks. Only an on-board mutiny very quickly changed his mind!

Finally! The reward -- the long-awaited welcome meal.

Real Chinese food!