-Highlight: Securing a new apartment right across the street from campus. It's massive and cheap and keeps us from riding 20 minutes to class every day back and forth, but it's essentially a concrete shell right now with nothing finished or hooked up.
-Lowlight: Realizing that this sparsely populated, newly built apartment complex won't set up gas lines or telephone/internet service until 70 PERCENT of people have moved in. Why? Probably to save a few bucks, but I think it's just an attempt to anger the other tenets who already signed contracts like wedid.
-Highlight: Got to take a class in the city for a week and stayed with my good friends David and Marianne Dean and their 2 year old, Sarah, who I have been trying to win her approval since I
was in China over 2 years ago. I think I made some headway when I got a text the week af
ter telling the story of how she would point at the chair I sat in for breakfast every morning and say how it was my chair.
-Lowlight: She would say "That's Danielle's chair!" Real mature, David. Though as we discussed earlier, it is much funnier if you think of it as something she's saying on purpose to get under my skin. Kinda like this. In a related lowlight, David and Marianne are leaving soon (and Sarah
too I guess) after almost 7 years (I think...) here in China. David and Marianne have been here the entire time time I have and have been great friends who have helped make life in China much more livable for me. They will certainly be missed!
-Highlight: My birthday this past week. I spent the actual day in another city nearby for a men's weekend where we played baseball in this country where few people actually know what that word means. But we got to take batting practice, field grounders and have an overall time of
crowing and showing off from our glory days in high school where we all threw 95mph and hit tape measure homers.
-Lowlight: Not getting a chance to brushback Gunter and Gregory from the mound. It was all weak sauce pitching from behind an L-screen.
-Highlight: Celebrating with (most of) my American friends here. The Shelleys were gone to
Beijing already to have their baby, but the rest of us did my favorite thing in the world for me:
cancelling meetings to do something fun. Instead, we went to this Thai restaurant in the middle
of nowhere that also had a driving range. Team Jung made a cake with the 4 kids from The
Wire on it (they recently had their Wire addiction cut short by the series
ending and this was the best way to get their fix I think) and the fam
ous line from Marlo Stanfield, "MY NAME IS MY NAME!" It was
awesome. We spent most of the night trying to hit the ball-
recovery cars on the range instead of being
serious, but it was a great night overall and I was glad to spend it with friends here so far away from my family and friends.
-Lowlight: Had to say good bye to Chad and Kristy McGhee as they go back to the US to have their baby as well. Chad has been a good friend since I was a freshman and has always been a guy with great advice. You might be noticing a trend here, how one of the hardest things about living here long term and being in that mindset constantly is that people often come and go. It can be hard saying goodbye so often. Obviously I haven't experienced that a whole lot, but I'm starting to realize how hard it can be.
-Highlight: Getting to see my brother! He got here on Wednesday with some friends to study for the summer at my school and though we havent had much time to hang out yet, I can't wait to make him eat weird foods and show him what life is like out here. He brought a big suitcase of stuff for me, so I've had a few meals consisting of beef jerky and gummy bears already.
-Lowlight: Some of you know that on that same day, I got a message that my mom had been rushed to the hospital because she was pretty seriously anemic. No one really knows exactly whats going on, but she's had at least one transfusion so far and is awaiting some test results. I've normally seen my mom as someone who's pretty invincible, who can handle anything no matter what and it was pretty sobering to realize that even though I have no control over anyone's health, even my own, that being far away from home is really tough in times like this. I can't just hop in a car to go see her and the best I can do is just call a bunch.
We've been praying for her a lot this week and ask that we continue doing so as she's still recovering from a pretty serious hit and isn't yet back to normal. But she IS recovering and the Lord is helping both Matt and I lean more on him and has protected us from a lot of destructive thoughts and worry that really amount to nothing except bitterness and anxiety. Mom just got home recently, and will be recovering (hopefully without trying to push it...) for the next few days and weeks. Thanks to those of you who support me and my family by praying for us in times like this!