Saturday, October 16, 2010


posted by Alan
click on pictures to see them full size

Every first week in October is a huge national holiday here in China. The ENTIRE country is on holiday. Keeping with our tradition of escaping to a remote, tropical island in the South Pacific, this year we went to Siargao Island in the Philippines. It's known as their surfing island, with the famous Cloud 9 break where there is a big international surf competition every year. It's a really small and undeveloped island and we figured that this will be our last "roughing" it trip before the baby comes.

To save you from paragraphs of reading, I'll try to summarize the trip in bullet points(and pictures):
- Most beautiful natural beaches and water I've ever seen (better than Hawaii, Malaysia, Jones Beach, etc.)
- The local people on the island were SO friendly and happy. Especially our new family at our guest house.
- Fresh seafood and BBQ right on the beach
- Island hopping, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, massages on the beach and motorbiking. And Daisy did everything except for surfing at 7 months pregnant. I got a good wife.
- Fresh tropical fruits for breakfast
- Karaoke and basketball with the locals. Two Philippines national activities.

Click here to see a full album of our trip to the Philippines: Philippines 2010

In other news, the 2010 World Expo is coming to a close on October 31st. It's a relief to many in Shanghai, but it is kind of sad to see the end of such an epic event. Just this Saturday, there was an unbelievable 1.03 million visitors to the Expo. On Saturday, the Expo was the 9th largest city in America. I'm not sure if I will ever see an event so grand again in my life. It was a huge blessing and adventure to be a part of and I'm going to really miss the people that I've worked with that are leaving. But it's time for Shanghai to get back to normal.

Here are some pictures from the craziness that is/was the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai:

Saturday, October 9, 2010


posted by Alan
*click on pictures to see them full sized

One of the most confusing things about living in such an international city is simply greeting someone. The word 'Hello' seems to be pretty universal and understood in many countries around the world, but it's the accompanying actions that are so hard to keep up with. When meeting or seeing someone in Shanghai, you don't know whether you're about to get a handshake, a hug, the handshake-one-arm-manhug, a kiss on one cheek or a kiss on two cheeks. It all depends on where the person is from. The result is many awkward hesitant lean-ins and pull-aways where you have to come back in for a hug or a kiss. I have yet to find a solution to this dilemma, but if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know.

We've just hit Autumn in Shanghai...which pretty much consists of the month of October. We get 4 weeks of beautiful, sunny, 75 degree, no-humidity weather before the dreaded, humid Shanghai winter starts to creep in. It's making me count down the days to when riding my scooter no longer becomes enjoyable. So, before then, allow me to show off my favorite summer joyride machine.

We were also able to get out and enjoy a little late summer retreat with our small group a few weeks ago. They're some of our closest friends in Shanghai and when moving to another place, community like this is so important. It was a two night, three day getaway at a beautiful resort-like place about an hour outside of Shanghai at a place named Oriental Land. No, that's not a joke. Despite the unfortunate name, it was a really great time of getting away from the city, growing closer with our friends and growing closer to G0d.

Click here to see a full album of pictures from the Retreat: Retreat 2010

Stay tuned for the next update which will come much quicker than this one did. I'm just itching to post about our October holiday trip to the Philippines.