Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Pandemonium (Happy New Years!)

Last night I experienced New Year's Eve- Aizawl style. Firecrackers of all designs have been going off for the last few days- a POP! here or a ZAP! there or a whizzing sound finalized with a SMACK! has become an expected piece of the soundtrack here. Last night was the mother of all firework parties. Everyone was sending rockets, firecrackers, full out fireworks into the sky. Our house was being attacked on all sides. I ran into the house numerous times because I feared a speeding, fiery orange projectile was going to smack me on the side of the head. We were rained down on by a party above us, and soon attacked from below by our neighbours!! As he watched a rocket jet into the sky, he turns to me in this sneering voice and says, "Lovely, very lovely" (with an evil giggle). Meanwhile, his 4 year old is lighting a match and setting off a firecracker. The granny is trying to get her sparkler going...

It was truly a community celebration. You could hear laughter, singing, and at the break of midnight, hearty HA-LE-LU-JAH's!!
Andrew was squealing with delight. If this was not his finest moment, it came a couple hours earlier when we had our own firework show. For 4 CDN bucks, I bought about 45 minutes worth of fun- rockets, spinners and sparklers. What excitement!
When we tried to go to bed at 1AM, they were starting up a program on the loudspeaker just down the hill from us- singing, preaching, on and on and on. Gongshow!
Anyway, it was a memorable New Year's Eve. Enjoy your celebration wherever you are- bring on 2007!

Saturday, December 30, 2006


I'm not attempting Flickr while using this turtlish internet connection. Here are a few recent pictures for you!

Andrew and our Christmas present from the neighbours! Dad butchered it and Mom and Becky plucked it. A few hours later we enjoyed it for a birthday supper meal! Tasty and fresh.

The Morning Veranda View.

Poinsettias growing just down the road.

Old friends Para and Mawia. They came for Dad's birthday. They are simply wonderful people, and funny!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Live from India

An update from Hong Kong Harm is overdue, now situated in Aizawl, India, Mizoram.
I have been here for four days now. I traveled safely to Kolkata and was hollered at by some foreign guy in the airport. The foreign guy turned out to be my Dad, who successfully surprised me by meeting me in Kolkata. We spent the night in Kolkata and I took in a quick blast of Kolkata craziness (smells, sounds, generally an overload to the senses, however, always intriguing, intense, and in short bouts- enjoyable). All things India were brought from memory to reality again- drooling cows, staring men, garbage galore, rickshaws and Ambassador yellow taxis with all kinds of flashy gods adorning the dash. This is Kolkata!
A one hour flight to Aizawl and a 90 minute taxi ride later, I found myself on Mom and Dad’s doorstep, smack in the middle of the magnificence of Mizoram. Magnificent for one, because it holds the treasure of family, and magnificent for two because of its wonderful scenery. Waking up after the first night reassured me of the wonders of this place. Looking out the window, I gazed upon a stretch of cotton ball clouds sitting in the valley. Mizoram itself is a gift.
Christmas Day was very nice. I am amazed at how my Mom can manage to essentially make everything here that she does at home. A Christmas dinner with all the fixings, including homemade buns and pumpkin pie. Awesome!
Unfortunately I’ve been slowed down by some kind of bug since Christmas night. I’m not sure what it is but I wish that it would tire of me and move along. I am happy to feel hunger at the moment as I haven’t felt that way for a couple days. It’s not a terrible flu or anything, but I know something is not quite as it should be. Anyway, today I did go to town and enjoyed taking in the life of Aizawl. It is fascinating to observe, watching all the busyness and the milling of people around town. Culture is wonderful. I wandered in and out of the many little shops that line the road, ventured down to the market and sat outside a shop to read a book.
Around the house, I’ve spent time with Autumn and her buddies (pics coming soon), as they have been enjoying new skateboards. Andrew is a pyromaniac and spends most of his time blowing things up. Oh, that sounds a bit dramatic. Basically he thoroughly enjoys firecrackers, sparklers and these little spitballs that blast when they touch ground. Nic will enjoy this freedom and share Andrew’s passion for this pastime, I’m sure. I have enjoyed many a hug from both A and A. They are great!
Tonight we are having a birthday supper for Becky (who helps my parents) and my Dad. Tomorrow is his big day! We will have a tea and enjoy the company of many of his friends from around Aizawl. Some of you will smile at the thought of seeing Para and Mawia. I’m excited to see them again tomorrow.
We will go back to Kolkata on Tuesday, stay a night and then fly to Kathmandu, Nepal on Wednesday. I fly back to HK, via Bangkok for a night, on Saturday. The holidays are flying by!
Anyway, this is a lengthy report and I’ll say goodbye for now. Love from India!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's Go Time!

Well, I've been in China for almost five months now, and I've been teaching for four months in Hong Kong. It's time for a break! Ahhh, it's nice to take a rest from the go-go-go taste of life and trade it in for something fresh, fun, and family- filled! India fits that description, so here I go!
The bags are packed, the house is clean, my head is going to pop due to a bad headcold, and I'm very ready for bed. Tomorrow I fly to Kolkata via a stopover in Bangkok. I will stay the night in Kolkata (always interesting!) and take the one hour flight to beautiful Aizawl on Christmas Eve.
So, the next time I stop by the blog, I'll be in Mom and Dad's house in Aizawl, hanging out in the hills with Autumn and Andrew. How's that for a Christmas gift?!
Til India...


Oh yes, today I was the big winner at our staff party!!! Not only that, I looked....well, you can decide on your own what you think about that. People were amazed that what they saw was actually my real hair! For such a stylish display, my disco-grooving friend and I were given a consolation prize of...Dove soap. Maybe that's implying something. Hmmm. And then the most umm, interesting, and practical? gift I think I have ever received. Eight lucky teachers, myself being the last of them, had their names drawn to receive a complete physical examination from the insurance company. How did they know?! I was definitely asking Santa for a physical! Ha! Maybe that's implying something, too. Hmmm.

The Hong Kong Ballers

Here's a pic of my guy's basketball team. They are a great group to coach. We had a pizza party this week to celebrate the prophesy of the end of our losing streak. :) It was fun. Later we played a mini 3 on 3 tournament. Basketball is golden!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Smooth As Ever- Christmas Style

Sarah McLachlan's new festive release is wonderful. Check out Wintersong for a smooth and soothing brand of old and new Christmas favorites. You can listen to samples by following the Amazon link above. Her voice just makes me go "ahhhhhhh" good.

Me the Babysitter

Last night, I babysat my little buddy Hunter. Poor kid. You can see it all over his face- you're leaving me with HER?!
Actually, it worked out quite well. He slept for almost two hours, and when he woke up and got over the fact that he was stuck with the freaky babysitter, he was lovely and cheerful. In fact, we went downstairs to the Jingle Jungle playroom, which has a mini-Ruckers that Hunter very much enjoyed. He beat me at the Tennis arcade game. I'll get him next time!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cold Weather Warning

I heard this on the news last night:
"The Hong Kong Observatory has put out its first cold weather warning, as the mercury dropped to 15 degrees for the first time this winter."
Brrrrr! Time to bring out the winter parka!

Monday, December 11, 2006

This makes me smile!

I've been loving this picture ever since Steve posted it on his site, along with other AWESOME pics taken by Bec. I couldn't resist adding a caption! Hope it makes you smile, too! I miss you, Aiden!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"A Speedo and a Moustache- A Great Combination"

These are the kind of ridiculous statements that come from Jeremy Olson. Even more outrageous is the fact that he wholeheartedly believes this statement to be true. And that's a pink speedo we're talking about, folks. Well maybe Jeremy is right, maybe I'm the only one who isn't a fan of the speedo...
"It is true, Harm. Just wait and see. Tomorrow".
They are looking forward to the attention from the European ladies in Macau on Saturday.
However, the other day they bought me a french press coffee maker, and Jonathan is presently baking monster cookies for my I'm keeping them around for awhile yet.
This week has been good. Great, in fact. It will be odd to have an empty flat again in a few days. Lonely odd, I'm sure! They've been exploring Hong Kong on their own during the days and then in the evenings we've enjoyed various cultural cuisines. Monday we went for Thai, Tuesday was Turkish, Wednesday was Egyptian and today was Indian and Mexican. A kaleidoscope of flavors! I must say that Egyptian food is emerging as one of my favorite taste sensations.
In other news, my basketball gang played and did not win the other day. It was frustrating. However, they are a great group of guys and they have some good, but raw, athletic talent. They are a lot of fun and they have a lot of potential. I'm very much enjoying my time with them.
Tomorrow we are having a MONSTER SMARTIE PARTIE in my classroom. That's why Jon is making some high quality cookies. They are going to stop by for a visit. The kids are looking forward to it!
I think tomorrow night will call for good food and a good foot massage- a Friday night tradition.
So long from the 32nd floor!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Good Times.

Things are looking different in my flat these days. At present there are two young lads lazing around in my flat. It is wonderfully surreal to have Jeremy and Jonathan here in Hong Kong.
The last two days have been great. We've had amazing weather- blue skies and twenty degree weather. We've taken good advantage of it, as yesterday we went to The Peak (likely my favorite place in HK). We timed it well and saw both the day and night view of the city, and enjoyed supper in a restaurant at the top. Today we went on a day trip to a fishing village. It was a bit of an unknown venture, but it turned out to be a sweet day. We went on a short hike, swam in a beautiful cove-like space of the ocean, found a neat spot to jump off cliffs (okay, they jumped, I was a chicken), and then had a scrumptious meal of very fresh seafood in the fishing village. To top it all off, we went to a dessert shop for mouthwatering mango delights. Soo good.
Tomorrow will be church, more eating, and I think we'll head to Stanley Market- a famous shopping hotspot on the southern part of the Island. Oh, right, and then I'll take the Roger freaks to the tennis courts to wrap up the evening. These guys are PASSIONATE about Roger. Wow.
It really is a joy-giving thing to have such good friends here. I am a happy camper, that's for certain. We'll post some pics one of these days. Good night from HK!