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Published: February 22nd 2019
Wow has that been a week already? Definitely went by pretty quickly over here! I'm very happy to say we did a few more touristy things this week which were great fun.
Let's start with Saturday - I was told we were going to UCLA, a university near Santa Monica, because it's “very beautiful”. I can confirm that it is indeed beautiful and looks like a brilliant uni. I even found out afterwards that a friend of mine will be starting there soon which is really cool. So my plan was to try and get us down to Santa Monica pier which is meant to be a really nice spot, but then Butter said we were going to Hollywood! Can't complain. It was great to finally see the iconic sign, even though they didn't want to hike too close, and walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame was good fun too. I have to say the only names I really recognised were Freddie Mercury and Jack Black! We weren't there for that long.
It was really interesting driving around that part of LA and finally getting to see some of the city. Pretty much everyone I talked to before
coming here, and even people I've talked to since being here, have said LA is nice but it's a bit “ghetto” or “grimy”. In fact a lot of people have said “oh get out of LA as soon as you can!” I wasn't entirely sure what they meant but going there has shed a little light. I think what struck me the most was the homeless people. Old tents pitched under bridges, by the sides of roads, even by roads that can see the Hollywood sign! Quite a few people walking around with what might well have been all they own with them. All this a stone's throw away from the Hollywood Boulevard! It was a nasty kind of irony seeing such poverty such a blatantly rich place.
On a more encouraging note, everyone came to Church this week! Felt a bit out of the blue having not been for a while, but I asked and they were up for it. We arrived in good time and persuaded the boys to go to the kids group which looked like a lot of fun. Tyler told me it was boring but then spent a while talking about the games they
played and reenacting a skit they found hilarious. The service was a bit more standard as opposed to the anointing service last time, and Bella tried to use her phone to translate some of it. I'm not sure how well that worked out. She did tell me she thinks the pastor's very handsome though! Praise the Lord that they did come and it was another positive experience. We went for a quick beach trip after Church - Newport Beach - before eating at a really nice Japanese place.
The boys are loving their pancakes and asked Bella if we could get some more pancake mix whilst we were all out shopping so I picked a packet. I cooked them for breakfast a few days ago - and made a lot because I thought everyone was eating. When I was almost finished I thought to actually taste one and they tasted really strange. Not inedible, but really strange. I took another look at the packet and it said “Paleo diet approved pancakes” - it was made with almond flour and a bunch of other interesting ingredients. No wonder. Didn't go well down with the boys at all, although the parents
ate a few having never had real pancakes before. I ended up eating rather too many not very tasty pancakes. Check the packet.
Being a full-time babysitter is becoming very old, and there have been a few days this week where Robbie especially has tested my patience a little too much. He's very bad at stopping when you ask him to and generally doing what he's meant to. One of these times this week I got a bit too frustrated and I think I scared him a bit because Bella asked whether he'd been especially naughty. That probably scares me more than him, because scary is something I don't want to be at all. Prayer for more love and patience please - and thanks that this full-time thing is over soon! Can't wait.
It was brilliant yesterday to take a day trip to Universal Studios! I thought maybe we'd go on Saturday but apparently not. It was a brilliant day out, and maybe more fun for me than the boys with some great Harry Potter-themed rides. They really enjoyed a Minion themed one (Minion in Chinese is literally “small yellow person”) and a Transformers ride too. Despite my
warnings, Butter led us all into a Walking Dead experience which probably terrified Bella most of all! Lots of zombies. An awesome day out!
Praise the Lord for another Church experience, for fun doing touristy things and that it's almost time to head back to Beijing. Need more patience and love as always and do pray for a safe flight back!
I hope some of you English people have enjoyed a good half term.
Bye for now.
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