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Published: September 25th 2008
Our new baby
None the worse for wear except for a few scratches
Well, it has been an interesting few first weeks at the school. As I mentioned in the last entry, the school population is steadily increasing in size as we watch the new buildings taking shape in the lot next door. Supposedly, will be moving into the new sections before Christmas.
Ok, the big news first...we bought an electric scooter on Saturday and on Monday....Nancy proceeded to break her leg while riding it to the school. It was not a big accident; she just tried to go up over a small curb and didn't quite make it! The scooter went in one direction and she went in the other. She thought she had just twisted her ankle so went to work on Monday and Tuesday. By Tuesday night, the swelling had not gone down and it was still quite painful so we went to the hospital and got it x-rayed. Let's just say that three hours and one small cast later we went back home. She is not supposed to put any weight on it for the next four weeks. So she gets a cast and a set of crutches and I get the scooter for the next four weeks!! It
doesn't help that we are on the fourth floor (eight flights of stairs) of the apartment building.
Last Sunday night, we celebrated the Moon Festival or "Mid-Autumn Festival" on the school grounds. It is a very big deal in the country and most public schools had last Monday off as a holiday. Traditional poems were recited to the moon and many traditional songs were sang. Most of the students performed in one way or another. Also, moon cakes were passed around to everyone. These traditional cakes come in a variety of flavors, some of which I have decided I like and others I can't stand!! I have cut and pasted a small excerpt from another site which explains what the Moon Festival is all about.
"The Chinese Moon Festival is on the 15th of the 8th lunar month. It's also known as the Mid-autumn Festival. Chinese culture is deeply embedded in traditional festivals. Just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese.
The Moon Festival is full of legendary stories. Legend says that Chang Er flew to the moon, where she has lived ever
since. You might see her dancing on the moon during the Moon Festival. The Moon Festival is also an occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems. With the full moon, the legend, the family and the poems, you can't help thinking that this is really a perfect world. That is why the Chinese are so fond of the Moon Festival.
The Moon Festival is also a romantic one. A perfect night for the festival is if it is a quiet night without a silk of cloud and with a little mild breeze from the sea. Lovers spend such a romantic night together tasting the delicious moon cake with some wine while watching the full moon. Even for a couple who can't be together, they can still enjoy the night by watching the moon at the same time so it seems that they are together at that hour. A great number of poetry has been devoted to this romantic festival. ...
The moon cake is the food for the Moon Festival. The Chinese eat the moon cake at night with the full
Some of the students are incredible musicians. I was told the name of this traditional instrument but have since forgotten.
moon in the sky. "
Later in the week, we all had to go to the Public Security Bureau to get our paperwork done for resident visas. This is something that has to be done each year. We all had short interview, filled in some paperwork and handed over our visas for a few days so they could process everything by this week. We attempted to just send stuff in but they made us all show up in person so we just took a bus down and got it all done in one morning. It is definitely a country of papers and stamps. I think we signed at least 8 forms last night at the hospital...and everything has to be stamped at least twice!!
The weather here was incredibly hot earlier this week but has cooled down a bit today. A couple of days ago, it was 37 Celsius with a humidex of 52 Celsius, according to the weather forecast. For those not in the loop, that means that with the humidity, it felt like 52 Celsius! No matter how you cut it, that's bloody hot!
Next week is a week-long holiday across the country. Luckily, we
didn't plan any big trip because Nancy has a bunch of end-of-course stuff she had to do. Many people are traveling and just hoping that their passports get back in time from the PSB.
Anyway, will go for now. Hope all is well in the rest of the world.
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