Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Day in Hong Kong

We have this whole week off from school for a Chinese Holiday so we took Jonny and Nicole to Hong Kong. Rachel stayed home with Vika since she couldn't walk around very well. We took a ferry across the bay to the Central District in Hong Kong. This was one of the highlights of the day for the kids.
On our way we passed this suspension bridge that is under construction. It's amazing how these things are built. They start on each side and built out over the water until they meet. This was probably about 300 feet above the water.
This is the ferry terminal in Hong Kong. These boats are just lined up letting people off and on. Once we were let off the boat we had to go through customs to get into Hong Kong. This terminal was huge.
Here we are on land again. It was a hazy day so you can't see the skyline behind us very well.
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They have this area in Hong Kong called So Ho (South Hollywood). It's up a huge hill so they built escalators to get you up it. They go on and on. The bad thing about it is that they take you up but then you have to walk down.

This is a view looking down on the street from the walkway.
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Happy campers!!!!! We found Mexican food in Hong Kong. We ate like we hadn't eaten in weeks. It was sooooooo good!!!!!

This will be a popular place for us. El Taco Loco. Doesn't quite compare to El Pollo Loco but it'll do.
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Halloween items in Hong Kong. They had this open street market with all kinds of Halloween items. They don't celebrate it here so this must be for all the foreigners.

This is a street worker hard at work. They have people all over the place cleaning the streets.

I thought this street was interesting. They had restaurants all along the street but if you look up you can see how people hang out their laundry.
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This was one of the tallest buildings we have ever seen.

A cool thing about Hong Kong are the double-decker buses. We didn't ride one this time but that is something we definitely want to do.
Hong Kong skyline from the top of the hill.

They have these above ground pedestrian walkways all through Hong Kong going from building to building. You hardly even need to touch the street. We walked all through the Central District of Hong Kong. If it wasn't for things written in Chinese, you'd think you were just in a big city any where in the world.
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Window Washers in Shekou


On our way to the Ferry to Hong Kong we saw these window washers. They were just repelling down the building washing the windows. Only ropes were securing them. Crazy? I think so.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Soccer

Nicole has been playing on a soccer team here in Shekou. They have had practices the past few Saturdays and finally played a few games today. She loves playing but I'm not sure how serious she really is. It's all for fun though.

As you can see from this picture, it's more for fun.

This is a local boy we met and have befriended. He is one of the security guards in our villa. Gavin first met him playing basketball at the outside court down the street. He has been helping us learn Chinese and we've been helping him with his English. He actually speaks English really well. A few weeks ago he asked us if we could help him come up with an American name. His Chinese name is Yao Fan Yang but he thinks it's too hard for Americans to remember so after several suggestions he chose the name Tony. He's a really good kid and wants to go to America to go to school. He's eighteen but because he graduated from a Chinese school he has to go to school here for a few more years to get the equivalent of an American High School Diploma. We actually have a friend who is the International Recruiter for UVU in Orem so we have been in contact with him to see how we can help Tony. I don't know if he will ever really get to go because they have to have $19,000 in an account before they can get a student visa to come to the US. They need to show that they have the money to pay for a year in the US before they will allow them to come. That is a huge amount of money for people here. I wish we could do more to help him.

After the soccer game this morning Rachel, Nicole, and I went to have a girls outing. We went to have our nails and toes done. This is my favorite thing to do here. Rachel just had a manicure since her ankle is messed up. Nicole and I both had manicures and pedicures. They have these books with all kinds of designs they will paint on for you. Some of them are really detailed. These are the ones we chose this time. We had three manicures and two pedicures done for only 180 RMB's that's about $26.00. I couldn't even get one simple pedicure for that much in the states. I decided that if I have to live with frizzy dumpy hair and being sweaty all the time, then at least I could look down at my toes and know they look good. They are my happy toes.

This is what Rachel had done on her thumbs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Love Technology!!!!!

I am really getting into all this technology stuff. I learned something new that I would like to share with you all. It may or may not benefit you but I really think this is cool.

We have been asked several times to send more pictures to family and I've learned a new way that you ALL can have access to our pictures. Picasa is just the coolest thing. They have what's called Web Albums and I can upload any or all our pictures to our web album and anybody with a computer can have access to them. You can just view them or you can even print your own pictures from it if you want. There have been many times when we have been with other people who either want us to share the pictures we have taken or we wanted the pictures they have taken. For example on our trip this summer we were at the Lake with Keith and Steph's family and our camera wasn't working right but they had theirs. We wanted to share pictures but how do you do this when we are half way around the world? Well, you can just upload them to a web album then we all could have access to them. No more copies on discs or email attachments which you usually can only send a few at a time. Also it allows others to choose what pictures they want.

So, here's how it works. Log onto http://picasaweb.google.com/rundells6 and it will take you to our albums. Or you can just click on the slide show of "If I were in Utah..." on the top right column of our blog and it will take you to the site. Then click on the My photos tab on the upper left corner. Or click on Rundell Web Album link under Our Links in the right column. I've been working on uploading the pictures from this past summer to now. Click on any album and enjoy. If you have picasa it is really easy to upload your own. Just hold your pictures in picasa and then click on the web album. It will then walk you through the process to upload. It is really easy.

I love technology. It has made it so easy for me to organize our pictures and journal our life. I would never organize my pictures at home in an album but I will on the computer. Then it is available for everyone else to enjoy not just me. My next thing is to learn how to do online scrapbooking. I know it exists but haven't figured it all out yet.

Maybe I have too much time on my hands here but I really love technology.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our Week of Stuff

We had another Typhoon hit this week. This time it came during the night a few days ago. That was a very sleepless night. The wind was howling and I kept hearing sheets of metal tearing off the sheds behind us. We have large windows in our bedroom that overlook the subway construction and a bike path. I had this fear all night that something was going to come flying through our window. I actually heard something rather large hit the side of our house during the night. When I woke up in the morning this is what I saw behind our house. The roof had blown off the sheds and was in the bike path. The rest of the day was very rainy. Not just little showers, they were down pours. I have never seen it rain so much. Unfortunately, they didn't cancel school this time.
Rachel woke up this morning and twisted her ankle as she was walking down our stairs before school. It is a pretty bad sprain. We hope it's not broken. It doesn't look like it but she definately will be out of commission for awhile. She stayed home from school and was pampered by our AYI. All her years of competing in gymnastics without injuries and she gets hurt walking down the stairs in her own home. Fortunately we found some crutches for her to use.
We got a Xbox 360 when we were in Hong Kong last week. Of course Gavin wanted the driving games and got the steering wheel along with it. He has been practicing his driving since this will be the closest he will get to it until next summer. Jonny got NFL Madden and an NBA game. We all gather around and watch him play because it actually feels like we are watching the real thing. That'll have to do since we don't get any real games here.
I just had to put this picture of our cute Vika in. She loves to pose for the camera. She was playing with her Cinderella cell phone pretending she was talking to her. When she saw me with the camera she came right over and started her posing. She is such a girlie girl.
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I Ride a Bike to School!

This is my sweet ride. I traded our Honda Accord in the states for a bike. I actually ride a bike to school. That is something I have never done in my life. I'm 42 years old and have to ride a bike to school, church, shopping, everywhere. It has become my major form of transportation. Actually it isn't that bad. I do get some strange looks. The people aren't used to seeing a blonde fat American riding a bike here. The other day we were riding home from church. Gavin had Vika and Nicole on his electric bike. Jonny, Rachel, and I were following close behind on our bikes. We got the strangest looks because we were all dressed up for church in dresses and suits with ties. Quite the spectacle here.

China is doing wonders for my self esteem. Look at my bozo hair. I've given up on it here and just let it do what it wants. Not a great look for me.
This is Jonny's ride. It is a fold up bike. They are very popular here. He loves whipping around on it. Gavin rode it home from the store when we bought it and he looked like he was riding a circus bike.
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hong Kong Temple

Gavin and I went to the Hong Kong Temple yesterday. It was quite the adventure. Not as easy as it was when we lived in Utah only 10 minutes away and could just jump in our car. We were blessed many times throughout the day.

It was our branch temple day so we went with a few other couples to show us how to get there. We left our house at 6:45 a.m. and had a driver take us to the Shenzhen border. Even though Hong Kong is now under China we still have to go through customs each time. The whole border process isn't that hard but it really helped having someone there the first time so we new exactly where and what to do. We had to buy our bus tickets on the Shenzhen side before we went through the checks. Somewhere between the borders I had left my bus ticket on a counter. We had to fill out papers and I left it on the counter. Fortunately, the person taking the tickets went back in to find it for me or else it would've taken me forever to go back through myself and I would have missed the bus. She came back a few minutes before the bus left with my ticket in hand. (blessing #1).

The bus ride was about 40 minutes to Kowloon then we had to walk a few blocks from the bus terminal to the temple. We got there about 8:30 so it's about an hour and 45 minute trip. The temple is small. Even inside it seemed small, probably because it was built for small chinese people. The halls, bathrooms, changing stalls, all seemed really small but it was really beautiful. The session we were in was in English. They said that sometimes when we go we'll have to wear headphones because it will be in Cantonese at times. It was really cool being there. Here we are half way around the world and the spirit in the temple is still the same. It was neat to see a room full of Asian people going to do their work. It doesn't matter your race, language, color, the people are all the same and they are there for the same reasons.

After the session we went down to the front desk to get our camera that we had checked in and Gavin couldn't find his claim ticket. He emptied all his pockets out and finally found it stuck in the pages of his passport.

We all went out to lunch at an Italian Restaurant in the mall by the temple with a group from the branch. It was so good. Maybe it's just that we hadn't had good food for a few weeks but we felt like we were in heaven. The bread alone made the trip. They even served us Diet Coke in a glass with lots of ice. We went to pay when we were done and Gavin couldn't find our Hong Kong money. He had some American dollars, RMB's, but all our Hong Kong dollars were missing. It was about 1300 Hong Kong dollars (about $180.00) We knew he had it at the temple because I saw him take it out of his pocket when he was looking for the camera ticket. We searched and searched through all our pockets and things but it was gone. Mary, our Relief Society President, happened to have the temples number on her phone so she called and they had found it on the counter. (blessing #2)

After lunch we spent sometime in the mall and bought a few things. It was really nice to just be in a clean mall that had normal things in it. We have malls here and really nice ones but I don't recognize any of the store names here. We are hooked on Hong Kong and will go at least once a month if not more.

Rachel Volleyball Practice

Rachel is playing on the QSI volleyball team this year. This was a practice game against SIS, the other International school across the street, on Thursday. We won this game. Yesterday the team played in a tournament in Hong Kong. The team left Friday afternoon and stayed over night. They got third place in the tournament. Rachel had never played volleyball before this year. She was always so involved in Gymnastics or Cheer competitions. This has been a great experience for her. The team will be practicing for their next tournament in a few weeks in Shanghai. She's hoping she will make the traveling team. She made the Hong Kong team, so hopefully she'll make it.
Rachel with her friends from our branch, Noel and Corrine. They both play on the SIS volleyball team so during the game they are competitors and rivals, but after the game it's all fun again.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Peace One Day

Living abroad has opened my eyes to the world. Our school is celebrating International Peace One Day this Friday and I've been trying to prepare a lesson for it. Until we moved here I didn't even know this day existed because we don't celebrate it in the US. September 21 is designated by the UN as International Peace Day. It is a day for all violence to stop so we can have one day of peace. As I was doing my research on this day, I came across a trailer of a film "The Day After Peace" by Jeremy Gilley the creator of Peace One Day. Click on the following link to see the trailer. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1716442343/bctid1555738223

Here are some videos on you-tube that explain more about Peace One Day.



I also found this poem written by Lao-Tse, a 6th Century BCE Chinese philosopher.

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

Please join the rest of the world in celebrating Peace One Day on September 21. The world is in so much need of peace but it needs to start with each one of us in our hearts, at home, with our neighbors, in our cities, in the nations, in the world. For more information about Peace One Day go to http://www.peaceoneday.org/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I have a place in the sidebar where you can add yourself as a follower of our blog. If you are one of these and have your own blog, could you add yourself to our followers? Maybe it's egotistical, but it would be interesting to know. All you have to do is scroll down and click on the follow this blog button. It's that simple.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Check Out My Hogg!!!

These bikes are everywhere in China. They are electric bikes. I looked for weeks and then talked to a few guys in Old Shekou who sell these bikes and I finally got one. $315. We usually take a bus or a taxi, but I found several instances when I knew where I wanted to go, but I couldn't tell the cab driver what the address was, so my only option was to walk. For example, Coree and I wanted to buy Jonny a Wii for his birthday and some friends of ours told us about this electronics store about 10 miles from here. We couldn't tell the cab driver how to turn right or left so we just took a bus as close as we could and then walked the rest of the way. There are a lot of cases like that here so we decided to get one of these electric bikes. These bikes are incredibly handy because you almost never have to stop. They're not fast, but you get wherever you are going extremely fast because you never stop. You go between cars, on sidewalks, up driveways. Traffic is a little chaotic here, so you have to keep you guard up. People will just walk out into the street without looking. I'm shocked that more people don't get hit by cars because people will literally step off the sidewalk and they won't even look to on coming traffic. I know some of you are thinking I'm exaggerating, but I'm going to take some pictures to prove it.

The guy who was trying to sell me the bike told me that one of the selling points is that you can fit 4 people on it. He and his wife showed me how to fit 4 people on it. You put your littlest in front like Vika. Then your second child goes behind you and then your wife sits in the back. I thought that was absurd. I was thinking, yea maybe 4 Chinese people could fit on this, but not us. Anyway, we actually tried putting 4 people on it the other day just to test it out.
This is virtually identical to the moped I had in high school. Same color, but it's electric. Laugh if you want to, but it's still fun. When I was 14 I carried my surfboard on the back and now I carry my wife and 4 kids on the back.
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International Brunch

Here are a few foods we didn't try. I hope I'm not insulting the person who made this, but I had to take a picture. Look closely. Do you recognize the chicken head and numerous chicken feet? I promised myself I would try new things, but this bordered on "Fear Factor". This was brought in by a Chinese person, but I didn't see any Chinese people eating it so I didn't feel too bad passing this up.
I like shrimp, but the eyes made me feel like they were looking at me. I'm sure this is good, but again I didn't see anyone else eating this.
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