Friday, April 4, 2008

Our Chinese Names

I forgot to mention that we also were given our Chinese names and surname within the first couple weeks of classes. Our teacher gave them to us after waiting a few weeks to see what our personalities were like so that the meanings fit us accurately. I made sure that I was given the same surname as Jeremy. In Chinese, the surname comes first. Lisa's Chinese name is 李瑶 (said "Li Yao"). Jeremy's Chinese name is 李瑨 (said "Li Jin"). These are our Chinese names.

我们的中文名字叫 李瑶和李瑨。

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Life in Beijing


Hello! We safely arrived in Beijing on February 10th, 2008 after our honeymoon and other trips. We settled in here quite nicely and have enjoyed our new life, together here in China, for 2 months now. We had one week off before our classes started at the Academy of Chinese Language Studies and that was very nice. We live in a northwest ring of the city and enjoy walking around our neighborhood. It's actually nice to be outside and walk, but we normally don't go running outside because of the pollution levels. There are many parks in the city. One evening we were out walking and found a huge park a couple blocks from where we live, and there were crowds of people just out dancing in different groups with boom boxes. One group was ballroom dancing, another group was some sort of Chinese line dancing aerobics, and another group was swing dancing. We joined in for a little bit and plan on going back some evening when we are dressed nicely for it.

Within the first month we were able to go to the Beijing International Christian Fellowship on weekends and have made many invaluable friendships there. These have been so important to have. Some times we will just end up spending the whole day with them after the service, hanging out and sharing. It's really neat because there are so many different people who have come here from different backgrounds, and we are all able to worship together in harmony and get along well. We don't have the time for silly debates over theological issues in a foreign country!

Our first month in classes we covered nearly half of our first book. We are going through much quicker than normal college classes in Chinese. By the end of the semester we will have gone through more than 2 books or levels. We also met many of our Chinese language exchange partners the first month of school. We get together with them and learn from each other. We had one young boyfriend-girlfriend couple over for dinner one night and Lisa made Coca-Cola chicken. We could tell they were really blessed to come over to our apartment and share a meal with us.

Living in another country so far around the world and being "foreigners" here has been a challenge for us as a newly married couple. But with His help we've been able to grow much quicker in ways we couldn't have imagined had we not been willing to place ourselves in this adventure prepared for us at this time in our lives. We've also been able to grow much closer together than we were before. We can look back a couple months to our honeymoon and see how much we've grown since then! We are so thankful for all our friends and family back home who think of us so often, we have really needed that. Think of us also for Lisa's pregnancy. It is progressing well and currently at 8 weeks. We just found out almost 4 weeks ago that we are expecting a baby in November. Lisa gets sick often, but especially when she thinks of or smells white buns (Chinese "bao zi") and sweet red bean paste. We are flying back to the U.S. the end of June when our visas are up and staying to have the baby at home. After that we will be open to the next adventure in store for us. We both also are so excited to become parents!

We also are hoping to visit rural China at some point before we leave in June. So far we have only seen the city of Beijing. Many of the people we have met here actually come from other provinces and move here either for college or work. There is probably a huge difference between the urban city and rural China. It would be so sad if we didn't see that part of this great country.