Monday, January 31, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Another way too long post! Above are photos of 5 Elephant Square it's basically the city center of Nanning, Ezra and I went there for family night!

Things in China are good! Here are some little blurbs about life in China!

Blurb  #1
The Chinese totally have a thang for colored lights. Lights line the freeways, they're on all the buildings, even the light in our living room changes three different colors- --purple, yellow, and white. And the light in our master bedroom has hello kitty on it, I'm not kidding---it's so romantic! We also have tweety bird in one of the other rooms. Lol Why you would ever want that I have no idea! Funny! (I'll post some pictures soon!)

Blurb #2
The traffic here is absolutely Nutty- Nut—teee. I'm talkin New York times like a million! I took my first bus ride the other day. I could not find enough things to hold onto. There is no such thing as yielding to the pedestrian, or the bike, or anything for that matter.

We were taking some sweet curves at like 50mph and when the bus driver finally used the brake it was not pressed lightly. I'm sitting there thinking "We are so gonna die" and then I look around and everybody else on the bus looks calm and completely content including Ezra (he's weird).

There seem to be no traffic rules and traffic lights are kind of like suggestions. I would NEVER drive here. And I don't want to be in anything smaller than a bus on these roads. There are tons of people on motorized bikes and mopeds. My funny observance is that the Adults always wear the helmets and safety gear while the child/children riding on the back wear nothing. Hmmm.

We go out to eat a lot. Luckily there's a pizza hut and a kfc close, they are pretty much the only places that have forks. Everywhere else you have to use chopsticks. Chopsticks were not really something I thought about before I came here.

The first time I used Chopsticks was when we were out with a bunch of people from Ezra's work. They brought out the food and I started looking around for a fork.. And then it finally dawned on me, "my fork days are over!" And of coarse we ordered noodle soup! So I grabbed those puppies and went at it. Before long noodle broth was flying everywhere and I had all the Chinese at my table laughing.

Within about a minute I also had a table of Chinese businessmen across the way laughing.  Finally a guy from Ezra's work had pity on me and decided to give me a few pointers. I am happy to announce that by the end of the meal I was doing quite well and I have been getting better ever since! Ezra is a natural with chopsticks. He even gets compliments from Chinese people on his chopstick abilities.

We were sitting waiting for our waitress and this women and her little girl walked by. I wasn't really paying much attention. Out of nowhere Ezra says "you've just been the victim of a drive by shooting." Apparently the women had her camera phone out and snuck a picture of me. Ezra caught a glimpse of the picture on her screen. Lol  So funny! I guess if I saw a freak of nature in my hometown I might try to catch a photo too, can't wait til I have a "twin" pregnant belly to add the freakiness!

Whenever we go out parents try to make their children (studying English in school) talk to us. It's so funny. One lady practically forced her 10 year old boy to speak to us. Another lady taught her two year old to say "hello, how are you?"---so cute!

Another little girl was staring at me in Wal-Mart so I said "ni hao" a few minutes later I heard her say "hello" I was surprised and said "hi" with a really funny inflection in my voice. Soon the mother and her two daughters where repeating the word "hi" over and over with my exact same inflection. It was hilarious!

The same trip to Walmart an old lady walked by me with her cart . A few seconds after passing me she started to laugh and laugh. She looked back at me as she turned the corner with her hand held high above her head.  Apparently my height was amusing to her. I couldn't help but laugh too!

I'm trying to be open minded.  So when we go out to these Chinese food places I give just about everything that looks safe a try. The other day they brought out what looked like soggy lettuce. I thought "hey…I'll give it a try maybe it 's covered in some magical sauce that makes it taste good." Nope- I'm here to tell you that it looked like soggy lettuce and it tasted like soggy lettuce.

Ezra loves Chinese food (he is so weird!).  He will try anything. Last night they gave us three boiled bird eggs the size of a robin egg with what looked like bacon around it. Ezra gobbled them right up. I was like "I don't know what kind of bird that came out of but it definitely was not a chicken! No thanks!

Blurb #7
My friend Ashley can speak pretty good English but every once in a while the ideas don't completely connect. Yesterday she called me and told me that we were going to meet with the Dr. around 6pm. So I told Ezra that he was going to have to make himself available to accompany us to the appointment.

To make a long story short Ashley picks us up, takes us to her house to park her car and we start walking down the street in front of this Chinese strip mall. All of the sudden she turns into this little building. Two women wearing white robes greet us at the door, and I can see fish swimming in a little brook next to the stairs. I'm thinking, "we have had a big miscommunication here, this is some sort of Chinese spa, not a hospital."

Ezra and I look at each other but just continue to follow her up the stairs. Soon we come to this little room where we are asked to take off our shoes. And it finally dawns on us. We are going to dinner (Japanese style). Soon the Doctor, her husband, and a few others show up and we all have dinner. The whole time I thought I was going to a Dr. s appointment! But turns out we were just meeting for dinner.

Dinner was actually really fun. 2 English speakers: Me and Ezra. 4 Chinese: The doctor, her husband, Ashley's best friend, and Ashley our translator. I have to say, we hardly need a translator with Ezra. I am in complete awe at his ability to make friends. It's like a language barrier does not even exist. He is able to connect with these people so quickly, the way they respond to him is seriously almost magical.

The doctor is a cute old lady that's been delivering babies for 34 years, she told us that our babies are going to look like angels and the Chinese women were calling Ezra handsome boy in Chinese. lol At dinner Ezra had everybody laughing and laughing. The cute little Dr. is like totally in love with him. When we showed up at our real appointment the next day and the doctor realized that Ezra had also come along she about fell out of her chair with excitement, I was like "what I am? Chop liver?" jk

I was really nervous but everything was fairly normal. The Hospital(which is actually a women's center) was not like anything you see in the states, many people were waiting on every floor. 

Turns out this cute little Dr. is a head hauncho, she let us cut in the probably four hour long line. We felt kind of bad, the other patients were probably thinking, "hoity toity Americans." Oh well….

They poked around and then took us in for and ultrasound. Their equipment is not quite as advanced as in the states but we were still able to get some pretty good ultrasound pictures. They said that the babies are healthy and they could see all the normal body parts and their little hearts beating. Ashley said that they were talking to each other. Baby one is about 1milameter bigger than baby 2. Maybe we have a boy and a girl in there, that would be cool! Best part was we didn't have to fill out any paperwork and the Dr. said that we did not need to pay a dime! Sweet!  It's good to make connections.

Ashley took me shopping. She is all about finding the best price and since she grew up in Nanning she knows where all the best prices are. Everything here is soooo cute. I'm looking at the clothes and shoes thinking "these are so much cuter than anything I find in the states."  I can actually fit in most of the clothes (right now, wink), but the shoes just taunt me. They do not come in my size-not even close and they are soooo cute and cheap and there are sooooo many of them, awwwwww!, its torture. Maybe Ashley and I will get lucky one of these days and find some in my size, she says she knows where some wholesale places are where they sell exports so maybe Ill have luck there. Ashley explained to me that in the South of China everyone is really small.

When we looked up what the weather was going to be like here it said subtropical, well it feels more like sub-zero. I have been so cold, the humidity makes it stick to you! We were told it was going to be like Florida. Maybe in a few months! Anyway I didn't really bring a good warm coat and I've been freezing my toosh off, literally. So Ashley helped me find a cute coat that is soo warm. I got it for such a great deal. I've always been a bargain shopper so I'm like in heaven right now!

Here is the best news of all, we found out that Ashley has immigrated to New Zealand so she is now considered a foreigner in China. Which means that she can join us for church meetings! She is thrilled that Ezra can bless the sacrament for her. Now we have four members in Nanning: Me, Ezra, Dan(Ezra's coworker), and Ashley! Woo hoo! Ashley  has been such a huge blessing to us, I seriously don't know what I would do with out her. I 'm still amazed that in a city with over 6.5 million people Heavenly Father got the only 2 Mormon girls together within a week! I really don't know how we would have been able to find a doctor with out her.

Ezra and I are not sure why we're getting the royal treatment, but we do know that we are very thankful that everything is falling into place so nicely.

Right now is kind of crazy because Chinese New Year is just around the corner, everything shuts down for about two weeks. No one works and there are lots of parties and LOTS of fireworks! They say it sounds like a war and feet of ash and firework wrappings cover the ground! I guess we will just have to get out and try to enjoy some of the festivities! When in Rome do as the Romans, right? We are headed to Hong Kong for a few days  over the holiday! I'm excited to go there, the plane ride is only and hour, whew! Ezra says it's his favorite city, we're going to hit up the sites, and hopefully be able to go to the temple.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Getting settled in: China!

(The picture above is a view of Nanning from the Marriott) We'll have some better pictures of Nanning soon!

Warning: This is my longest post ever. If you need to take a few snack/potty breaks while reading I will completely understand.


Wow! There is really just too much to say, I'm living in China!


Here's a list of some things I'm going to have to get used to:


1:Funny/yucky smells- cigarette smoke, real Chinese food, fish and other assortments of smelly things. Everywhere I go there are interesting smells. Being pregnant and having the smelling capabilities of a golden retriever has turned out to be somewhat of a curse- I have literally been praying for a stuffy nose.


2: My New Shower-, which is basically a fancy nozzle, that comes right out of my bathroom wall, no shower stalls here. I learned the hard way about our hot water supply. Luckily our second bathroom has a better supply.


3: Noises- There is no such thing as disturbing the peace in China. Honking, talking, banging, sawing, bicycle alarms are all noises that can be heard through out the day and into the night. Luckily I grew up with seven younger siblings and have been blessed with the capability to sleep through noise.


4: No dryers or ovens- we have to hang all our clothes out on our balcony to dry. And No more baking for me- okay I didn't really do much baking before so it shouldn't be too much of an adjustment. My new diet is going to consist of a lot more fruits and vegetables. 


5:The Ground: The ground here in Nanning is very unpredictable you have to watch your feet when you walk even when you are inside buildings.  I tripped on the way to lunch the other day with Ezra. I was holding the keys to the company condo in my hand when I fell and accidently flung them into a garden. Good news is I was able to find both the keys and I was able to catch myself before I hit the ground.


6:Hard beds: All Chinese beds are very hard, but I actually think that they are growing on me. We'll see how I feel in a few months when I have a belly out to…who knows where.


7:Staring- People constantly stare at me wherever I go. I don't think they would stare any less if I where green and my head where shaped like an upside down egg and I had two little antennas.  People in the US think I'm really tall; I'm like a female Goliath here.


8: The Language barrier: Ezra and I can say hi and thank you in Chinese. So often people make the assumption that we know more Chinese, so they try to talk to us. That's when some advice from the movie Madagascar comes in handy: "Smile and wave boys, smile and wave." And that's literally what we do.


So what is a girl that hates loud noises, crowds, and being the center of attention doing in China? Truth is I don't really know, but the one thing I do know that has been made very evident to me is that for some reason Heavenly Father wants me here.


Truth is, if I had made it my choice, I would not be in China right now. And even though I hid it fairly well this decision to move to China has been a terrifying one for me to make. Especially when I found out I was pregnant, and not just with one but with two.


This decision quickly became more than just a leap of faith, it began to feel much more like a sprawling, grasping, hurling bound from one side of the canyon to the other. Especially after I traveled for 26 hours straight with morning sickness and very little sleep, just to wake up the next morning for another plane ride and end up in a weird little airport with a bunch of luggage and take the craziest cab ride ever to end up in a place that is so utterly unfamiliar that it felt like a dream.


I have offered up more prayers in the past week than in the last year combined. But they have gone from prayers for comfort and peace to prayers of inexpressible gratitude to a Heavenly Father that has taken care of all the details and allowed me to have the wonderful experiences I have had every day since I have been here.


We have been blessed so much.


Blessing #1

We were able to find a good, way too big apartment on the second floor within a 5 min walk to Ezra's work and all the shopping we could ever need to do, right next to an international kindergarten. I can see children play from my windows.  Most of the China noisiness I hear now is the laughter and singing of little children. I'm going to see if they'll let me come in a couple times a week to teach English.


Blessing #2

The couple we are renting the apartment from are the nicest people ever, the husband (can't remember his name at the moment) came and spent six hours making sure everything was in working order he even bought us our own water machine. It's true what they say about Chinese hospitality.


Blessing #3

There are five or six translators that work for Ag Feed in Nanning. I have had the privilege to spend some time with a few of them while we were looking for apartments.  They told us that we are good people because when we arrived the sun came out and it hadn't been out for days. They are the cutest girls. Jes (the first translator that we met) says that she is my "copy" she is really funny and invites me to parties; I told here that I would come when I stop throwing up.


It's funny the Chinese I've spoken to don't really seem to understand the whole pregnancy thing. I was trying to explain to Jes that I get tired very quickly and I don't feel well. She told me in not so many words that I was lazy and need to go to the gym. Lol I was thinking, "so next time I feel exhausted and like I'm about to throw up I should remember that a healthy bounce up and down on a treadmill would do me some good. Ha! So funny I just have to laugh.


Cat is the other translator that I've been able to spend time with, she is my best friend, I'm just not sure if she knows that yet. She is so cute, I just love her. She explained to me that having twins in China is very good luck and everybody wants twins. She also told me that sometimes it is lonely being the only child and she wishes she had a sibling. She reminded me how much more often I need to count my blessings.


Blessing #4

The accountant at Ag Feed is the nicest guy, he's lived in China for several years. He knew that I was looking for a doctor here in Nanning so he set up a lunch date with his friend Ashley who is Chinese and from this area. Well come to find out Ashley is Mormon!


She has come back to China to take care of her aging parents. She said she doesn't know why Heavenly Father wants her back in China but she thinks it is because she needs to be here to help the church. She usually lives most of the year in New Zealand and found the missionaries while she was there.  When she was investigating the church she sat in the foyer because someone told her that they would suck out your soul or something silly like that. 


She was inspired that the missionaries would spend their own time and money, whatever the weather and preach the gospel so far from their families. She was able to read the Book of Mormon and feel the spirit and was eventually baptized.  


She explained to me how she knows what I'm going through being a foreigner in a strange land, and she wants nothing more than to take care of me. She said, "You are a pioneer."


She is already setting Dr's appointments up for me and says that she will come with me. She is bubbly and kind and almost old enough to be my mother. Unfortunately

she cannot attend church meetings with us because it is illegal to have Chinese Nationals part of our meetings. Dang.


Blessing #5

I am finally feeling better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel mostly normal during the day and only seem to have a little spat of nausea at night. And my appetite is back and in full force.  The twins must have gotten sick of all the measly meals they got for the past couple months and are trying to make up for it now. You know, you really start to appreciate feeling good when you haven't for a long time. I'm ecstatic, I can finally go do some of the exploring I've been wanting to.


I know I have been blessed, even though the trip here was basically torture. When I needed to get my bags off the plane or walk to the hotel or wait in line or go look at apartments I was able to have the energy and strength to do it and I know that's not a coincidence.


I could name so many more wonderful blessings and experiences and can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father is involved in all the details of my life. I have been so richly blessed. I already wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


This is actually a test post. Come to find out, we can't get on any social sights such as youtube,facebook,or blogger. So my bother inlaw Adam being the awsome person that he is set it up so I can blog from my e-mail so this is a test run to see if it works. He also told me about google reader so I can read your blogs, can't see your pictures, but it's still fun to know what your up to.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just when we thought it couldn't get any crazier!

So guess what! We're pregnant! We had our first ultrasound last night. The doctor prods around and we see our tiny babies heart beat and I'm happy because now I can see that I am 100% truly pregnant. Then the Dr. says "lets view it from another angle." And I'm thinking "no thanks that first angle was good"(ultrasounds are a bit more uncomfortable than I anticipated).

Then he says "Do you see that?" and I have no idea what he's talking about. He says "there's two in there!" I become totally bewhildered and think "this man is lying to us." And next thing I know I'm hearing both of my little babies heart beats! Twins! Ezra and I look at eachother in shock and of corse I start crying.

Then he says that he can't see a membrane separating the two sacks. And that could cause cord entanglement and there's a significant risk we could lose one or both of the babies. After a few blessings, some fasting and prayer, and a trip to a specialist we found out that the babies are perfectly fine in their own little sacks. We are so thrilled! And knowing that there two little guys inside of me makes all the nausea and vomiting seem a bit more worth it.

I've learned a few good lessons from this pregnancy so far number 1 being that if i want to keep my pregnancy a secret for any length of time, the one person I should not tell is Ezra! Lesson number two is Ezra and I need some serious help in the "planning department!"

In other news we're off to China in the morning-----my life is feeling seriously sureal. But here we go! I need your prayers 14 hrs on a plane with morning sickness may be a trick!

Stay posted!