Friday, September 17, 2010

How to Insulate Your Building for Winter in 6 Easy Steps

Winters here are freakishly cold. For example last winter I started wearing long johns in November and didn't quit until well into March. So when someone decided that it would be a god idea to add some extra insulation to the buildings in my apartment complex I was pretty excited, now if I can just figure out how to get my windows to line up and close properly I should be quite toasty this winter.

Here's a look at the whole process

Step 1. Have truck loads of blue styrofoam delivered

Step 2. Use cement to "glue" the styrofoam to the building

Step 3. Drill the "glued" styrofoam to the building

Step 4. Cover styrofoam with a layer of cement

Step 5. Cover whole building with two layers of plaster

Step 6. Paint building with the brightest colors you can find (it was pretty cloudy the day i took this picture so it doesn't really do the colors justice, think bright tropical island blue and salmon)

Note about construction process: Even though you may live on the fourth floor don't be alarmed if you one day hear someone pounding on your kitchen window. It's probably just the workers wanting to ask if they can climb through your window and use your bathroom.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pizza Party

About once a month my team, and several other foreigners here in the city, go hang out with some pretty awesome kids at a Tib. orphanage. Usually we take them across the street to eat lunch at a noodle restaurant, and then take them back to the orphanage, or if the weather is nice to a park, and play games or just hang out and love on them for a while. Last month we decided it would be fun to let them experience something new so we brought pizza. There area about 30 kids at the orphanage and it was the first time that any of them had had pizza. 

After pizza we got out art supplies and let the younger kids draw and color

This is Fred the Monk, he was happy that day

For the older kids we paired them up and they had to draw a portrait of their partners without looking down at their papers.

Some of the results 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sometimes I Love this Language

There are still plenty of moments when this language drives me crazy, trying to remember "does the verb come before or after the time word, does the object come before or after the verb, and then where do you put the simple directional complement?" Then there are also times when just seems so simple. I have found that sometimes it helps me remember a word if I learn the individual meanings of the characters that make up the word. Like the examples below, see if you can guess what they mean.






1. To carry your heart: to worry
2. To set free; release your heart: to be at ease
3. Bed head cabinet: night stand
4. Noisy clock: alarm clock
and my favorite
5. Zebra line: crosswalk

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yushu Earthquake

On April 14th a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Yushu. The earthquake killed and injured thousands and left virtually the entire town homeless. Yushu is located in the same province that I live in but is about 500 miles south of us and behind some pretty tall mountain ranges so we did not feel any of the physical effects of the Earthquake. Being one of the closest large cities a lot of the relief efforts were staged out of our city. Starting the day the earthquake hit doctors and nurses, local and foreign, started heading down with medicine and other supplies. The medical camps were allowed to stay for the first ten days after the earthquake, because many of the medical personnel were believers they were really able to be the hands and feet of Dad to the people there during their time of need. The relief efforts have now moved into the reconstruction stage. Around 85% of the towns buildings collapsed and many of those that are still standing were damaged beyond the point of repair so they are now in the process of figuring out how and where to rebuild the town.
People gathered for a day of mourning for the earthquake victims

The Expat community coming together to put together care packages for victims who were transfered to hospitals in our city

When the injured arrived they had nothing with them and the hospitals don't provide any of the daily necessities during a hospital stay, so we put together bags with soap, wash rags, fruit, bread, and a few other things.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Every winter our school has a six week winter break, partly because they can't afford to heat the school throughout the long winter months, and partly because of Ch!nese New Year. We have been told by people who have lived in our area for many years that you should try and get out of the country at least once a year, just to get away from the stresses of living here and help regain perspective. So taking all that into consideration Amanda, a teammate, and I decided to go somewhere warm for a few weeks. Between the two of us we had contacts on three different islands in Indonesia so off we went. Just getting to the first island was an adventure that took three days and involved trains, planes, taxis, and a ferry!


Waiting for the ferry that would take us to Lombok. It was several hours before we knew if it was even going to run that day, it was rainy season so the ocean was a little rough, but it eventually came and we made it to our destination!

Trying coconut milk

A beach where we spent a night and went snorkeling

This guy was our companion one night as we were walking along the beach, he was pretty friendly and quite helpful when he stopped us from stepping on a sea serpent.

They may not look like much but these were the first sandwiches we had had in over six months, so we were pretty excited!

In Lombok there's a place called Monkey Forest, it's just a spot on the side of the road where a lot of monkeys hang out and you can feed them. They're definitely not shy and will just come up and take the food right out of your hand, and as long as you stay away from the babies they're pretty friendly.

Thanks again Carder's for a great time in Lombok!!


One of the things Java is famous for, besides coffee of course, is its ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples. This is the Buddhist temple that was built in the 8th century, later abandoned and then rediscovered around 1815 and restored.

Hindu temple 

At a coffee plantation

Hiking through some rice paddies

Dyed chickens, why you ask, because they think it is pretty and people will buy them and keep them as pets.


The city we visited in Kalimantan sits on the river so for a lot of the people that is where life still happens. They live in houses built on stilts over the river, they bathe and wash clothes in the river, and a lot of them still get their livelihood from the river.

Standing on the equator!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Cooking up some Thanksgiving goodness!
Asen & I making the green bean casserole
Emmaus helping with the deviled eggs
Amanda mashing potatoes!
The yummy spread. We had all the traditional foods, turkey, sweet potato casserole, dressing, and pumpkin pie for dessert!