Monday, October 31, 2005

foreign service, an interesting option

so today while listening to a very inciteful lecture by John Louton (a representitive of the US consulate) I had some interesting thoughts regarding my future. Two options that I hadn't given a lot of thought too, but I could enjoy would be international education or being a judge. But more than that I was realizing how much my desire/willingness to spend time abroad opens up new options for me. Louton shared a scary statistic from 4 years saying that only 50% of US congresspeople had ever left the country. Now that is not to say that one can't have incredibly important and stretching experiences within a country, or that entering another country gives one an automatic advantage. I mean teaching in a poor high school for a year could be as chalenging as going on Peace Corps, but there remains something about really visiting a country and culture so different from one's own that is imperative to gaining a broad world view. I have only 33 days left in China, just barely over a month and in 43 days I will actually be in London. But I am in China now and that is what is important and what I keep trying to focus on.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

around a month left

and actually only 3 of those weeks will actually be spent in Chengdu. While I find myself thinking of home more and more, I keep trying to get the most out of my time here. I know that as soon as I get home, I will be begin to miss so many random things about China such as: -all the cute tiny dogs, which is kinda weird because before SST I thought little dogs were not much better than overgrown rats. But the dogs here are cute, not yippy and just so China, I want one! -the food, although it seems weird right now to think of missing something like food that I am getting tired of, I think I will miss it -getting to wear the same clothes 3-4 days in a row without getting any weird looks -not being to deeply ensnared in academia -living in a city, riding on the buses, taking cheap taxis -being able to have really odd and inappropriate conversations in public with no fear that others are listening in, sometimes english is it's own little secret language -our group, yeah I am gonna miss everyone in this group so much

Thursday, October 20, 2005

so you know what makes your sickness feel better?

um some sprite, a banana, some crackers oh a little thing called Chocolate. yeah there ain't no sickness that a little johnny depp can't cure, through in a spectacular cast, great soundtrack, oh and beautiful man who both plays the guitar and dances, and yippee on another note, still in China and still the stomach hates me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

three things to complain about and three things not too

- I have a ginormous blister on my little toe + I got to teach my English class some slang and decided to increase the popularity of the word ginormous - I have a massive head cold which drains much of my mucus into my stomach therefore making me feel full all the time - my tooth still hurts, and chewing is definitly not a pleasent experience + because of the mucus, not hungry for food I couldn't eat anyways + despite the increase in cold weather, our unheated dorm room remains warm due to the 8 people who generate body heat in it

Saturday, October 08, 2005

an open letter to my mom for her birthday

Dear Mom, I am sorry about the lack of happy birthday on your actual birthday, but I was planning on telling you that on the phone. But because that didn't work out I figured I would send you one by email instead. Although as a good daughter I should know this, I am not sure what age you just turned. 53 would be my guess? or maybe 54? But then you could just take this forgetfulness on my part as a compliment and indication of your timeless quality :) I just had a really nice Indian food dinner with Dan, Meryl and Steph. Although pricey by Chinese standards, it was only around 5 dollars and the food rivals that of a good restaurant in the states. So our group was quite happy. On the way back we took a taxi and I successfully communicated our school name to the taxi driver which was actually a first for me. Chengdu looks quite beautiful when you drive through it at night. The street lights reflected off the river and the skyscrapers loomed. The streets were full with people but not bursting as they some times are. The days are getting cooler here, which is a nice relief and the open window of the taxi created a nice breeze. Anyways though this email is about you, so I just wanted to say I think of you and Dad often and all the rest of our family that is scattered around the globe. What did you end up doing for your personal day? I actually did quite a bit of journaling on my birthday. How does marking another year lived feel for you? I am sure you feel this even more than I do, but sometimes I am amazed at where the years went. While I do feel older than my junior high self, I also can't quite belief I am two full years into my twenties. I think I tend to find my birthdays a little bittersweet as of late, I mean while I am still young, each year that passes does tend to remind me that my life is very temporary in the grand scheme of things. Last night I watched one of the animated shorts from the 75th Academy Awards (I bought a DVD of them, pirated of course) in which it tells the story of two rocks on a hill and when it is in their time humans whirl through history starting from the stone ages and speeding onto modernization, but for the Rocks it takes only a few minutes. I guess sometimes I look and my own life and feel the temporariness of it. I hope you and Dad are doing well, I just read the Assemblyline for tomorrow and saw the fall retreat is coming up and the barn dance. I hope both are better attended this year. Maybe having fall break on a different weekend will increase college students attendance at retreat. Have you heard much back from Marshall and Bethany about their travels? Tonight Dan brought up how neat it was that they attended our send-off, I know all of us former MYFers really appreciated it. Well this email is getting on in length. Oh I have really been enjoying buying presents as of late, I figure since our Christmas presents this year are taking the form of plane tickets I would make up for that while I am in a place where most everything is so much cheaper than the states. Anyways I should head back over to the Waiban, but much love and a huge hug from your very loving if slightly late daughter, All the best, Abby

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

happy birthday dear abby, happy birthday to me

I would have to say that birthdays in foriegn countries have so far been a complete awesomeness. Of course this has also been my first birthday outside the US, but hey a rating of 100% coolness doesn't hurt. So here's a run down for the day: -slept in to around 10:30am -did a little Taiji -took a shower -journaled about how I am getting old and where my life is going, etc -went across the streat to get some yummy dishes (which I ordered and we got also most every dish correctly (4 out of 5, and one was really really close) -then I did a little bit more journaling about the awesome time I had with my Chinese friend Hillary -followed by a Settlers of Catan game with Steph, Meryl, Sarah, and myself (which I won) -Then I played tichu until around 5:45 -Then me and almost the entire SST group (plus British Dan) went to Pizza Hut, which is actually pretty fine dining here in Chengdu, nice Italian inspired decor, fancy menus etc. And they actually got a table for all 19 of us, which was awesome. So I had pizza for the first time in a while and it pretty much rocked -Then I came back on the bus, chatting with my amazing friends, finished the Tichu game and then came over here So I would definitely have to rate this birthday in the top 3 at least. Lots of love to you all across oceans, etc. And thanks to all of you who emailed me happy birthday and even to those who didn't. You all rock!

Saturday, October 01, 2005


I am definitly learning a lot of Chinese these days, however it has yet to make that transition from a series of memorized phrases that seem to be comprehendable into an actual language. At times it feels like an odd little system of codes and passwords, in which one need to memorize in order to make certain food appear, arrive at certain destiations and excuse one's American ways