Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Qing Dao

I mentioned our trip to Qing Dao but today I downloaded pictures and thought I would tell a little about the International Horticulture Expo that we went to.

First I have to mention another restaurant that we went to.  We are always looking for good western style food so our friends took us to a bar-b-que place.  When I saw the name I thought it was a beer joint but it is Karona with a K not a C and it was a very good place.  Hanson is eating the giant sized hamburger that he said was "delicious".  That is the word they say for all food they like.  I had a pulled pork sandwich which was also "delicious".  We are in hog heaven when we find these places.

Saturday we spent the day in the rain at the Horticulture Expo.  There were exhibits from many countries but the one I think was best was Thailand.  Their building was beautiful and really gave you the feel of their country.

We are always taking pictures of children.  They love to pose and are always so cute.

Wayne thought this was really interesting.  It is a solar powered water station.  The Chinese only drink hot water so this filtered the water and heated it.

The grounds were absolutely gorgeous.  The Expo was spread out on several hundred acres so there was a LOT of walking but it was pleasant because of your surroundings - even in the rain.

These two pictures were taken inside of a building where they had created a tropical paradise.  One area was just trees and walkways but then you moved into a rainforest from there.  Beautiful orchids, waterfalls and just green everywhere.
This was a topiary beside a small lake.  In the middle of the lake were some fountains where they did a giant water show every so often.  I loved the music they played and the water was syncronized perfectly.

Just one of the many, many areas.  The building themselves were quite far apart but they had landscaped everywhere in between.  The pictures below were taken in a childrens dreamland.  They had several different themes and all were really cute.

This was the ceiling in one of the buildings.  It was like you were walking under hundreds of jelly fish.  This led into an aquatic themed area where we were able to go in a tunnel with sea life swimming all around us.
Bet you can't guess which country this represented.

Our weekend was really fun and especially because we were with fellow BYU teachers.  They treated us royally while we visited their city.  We were able to meet for church on Sunday with them and it was such a treat to be with so many other members (even though the total there only equalled 34) and sit in a meeting where the speakers were actually with you (not speaking over Skype).  We left right after church and took the high speed train back to Jinan.

I will throw in just a few other pictures that show happenings in the last two weeks.

Graduation is not until the end of July but we see kids in their gowns almost daily.  They have been taking pictures of individuals and groups all over the campuses.  I say campuses because we see this when we go to the other campuses also.  I mentioned that the kids love to pose for pictures.  These girls were having their picture taken by a friend and I just pulled my camera out and stood next to the friend.  The girls (oops I see one boy) all just laughed and smiled big for me.
This is my downfall when we go to the concerts at the Arts school.  This bakery has the best raspberry, craisin bread.  We buy two small loaves and eat one on our way to the concerts.
These are the instruments I mentioned earlier that were played at one of the concerts.  The girl on the left is playing the Erhu, a one or two stringed instrument.  The other is playing something that is like a big Auto Harp.  I do not know the name of it.  The stand it is on is so pretty.

Most of the concerts we have been to have been filled with the aroma of fresh flowers.  At the end of the concert, kids will rush to the performers to present them with these bouquets. 
This was the diva from one of the singing concerts we went to.  I finally had to stop looking at her because she was so over the top dramatic.  Her singing was great but I just could not watch her.

This is the group of ladies at church. Kathy Gou, Zina Cox, Lulu Pilson, Nancy Pace, Pam Carter, Wendy Purnell and me peeking from the back.

Lulu had worn some bead work from her native South Africa and that was what started all the picture taking.  She always looks so cute when she comes but this was so ethnic we had to snap her.

After stuffing ourselves at our usual Sunday potluck, we had another potluck to attend for the Foreign Teachers.  All of the BYU teachers brought desserts and we only ate some jello and the desserts.  One of the other Foreign teachers had brought a cake from the bakery that was really special.

There were only a few pieces taken out of it and so she let me bring it home to serve to 7 Chinese students who are coming to dinner tonight.  I am serving them all American foods.  I will blog about that another time.

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