We've been in China for 2 weeks, and although I'm "just" a stay-at-home mom, this is my first opportunity to update my blog. I am mentally overwhelmed by the world outside my window, but I think we are doing a fine job of embracing the path our lives have taken. Madilynn, my beautiful 6 year old, has asked me multiple times, "Is this real life?' I'm sure to a 6 year-old this whole new world is more than she can fathom as being real. As a 27 year-old sufficiently educated woman, I am also sometimes asking myself if this life I am living really does exist. I must first acknowledge that we are doing well, thriving, and enjoying our time here. I make this statement to clear the air and allow my father to relax while thinking of his baby girl so far away. As much as I hope that he finds comfort in our well-being, I'm sure he's reaching for a Marlboro Red at just the thought of me out in this big, big foreign land. Madilynn and Owen seem to enjoy being here in China. They make comments of missing friends and family, to which I just agree with them that my heart aches for those people, too. I remind them that this is a gift for us to travel the world and meet new people that will touch our hearts, as we will touch theirs. As much as I wished we spent 10 months in sunny South Carolina instead of rainy Nova Scotia, I am thankful for God taking us where we were meant to be. What a beautiful place we got to see and what great lifelong friends we made. As scared and nervous as starting all over makes us, it's just the beginning to another great part of our story.
We found an apartment, but have another 2 weeks until its ready. Till then we are enjoying the plush pad Michelin has set us up in. Somerset serviced apartments is lavish and comfortable; very modern and spacious and suitable for a family of 4 to spend a month living in. If the suroundings were more children-friendly and this was closer to the school, it would be a definite possibility to live here. However, the smell outside is not very welcoming. Initially, I tried to think of how to describe the stench, and was only capable of describing it as a mob of people with food-poisoning crop dusting in front of you, in every path you take. If you try to get out of the line of fire, it only hits you double time in a neighboring air pocket. After further thought, I have come up with a more specific description. I would say it smells like mildewed water in a vase of rotting flowers with a few bursts of sewer. It doesnt smell like this everywhere outside, but it is a very popular smell on our walk to any of the nearby shopping plazas or dining establishments. This smell, along with the constant grey sky, makes me homesick for clear blue skies and the smell of corn fields and freshly mowed grass. If anyone can bottle that smell for me and send it this way, I'd appreciate it. I know we plan to come home around Christmas, but just the thought of grass, corn fields, and grilling out makes me wanna delay our visit till a warmer time. Thats just a thought- I'm not cancelling our winter plans; we will make our trip home as soon as we can. Dad, put down the Marlboros. :)
Since we have been here, we have met some great people, had a ton of fun at neat places, and eaten some awesome authentic chinese food. I will post pictures and details of all those memorable experiences as soon as I can, so stay tuned. :)