Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Looking back at the goodbyes...

I swept over a lot of really good times on my blog (guess I was too busy enjoying them, so no apologies there!)- there were some great memories made during my last days in Hong Kong. So before I dive into the routines of life at home on this blog (that needs a new name?!), tonight I feel like looking back on some of my favorite goodbye moments in HK...

-A group of awesome friends from school (maybe 20 or so) pulled an awesome surprise on the three SK girls leaving town. It was a blast...they blindfolded us, put lovely signs asking for goodbye hugs and escorted us around the city, even traveled across the harbor on the bus to a mystery dinner location. It was so much fun, and we definitely didn't see it coming!!
-On three different occasions I celebrated? leaving with my tennis friends! Such good memories- the first was a trip out for HOTPOT + watching Wimbledon, another was THAI + dessert buffet at my place, and the last was a huge SHANGHAINESE feast + tennis!! Food is a key element, you see! I will miss these special people- not just because they know all the best places to eat and always order seven hundred dishes, or because they are die-hard tennis fans- but mostly because they were so much fun, and I sensed such a genuine friendship with them.

-Even though our school year ended unexpectedly (and sadly), I loved the chances I had to visit some of my students and their families in their homes! What a treat! I had such a great class this year- we became quite close. I have a feeling I will miss them this year! Each visit was unique and fun. One friend/parent treated the three SK girls to dinner at the "revolving restaurant", which none of us had been to! She really went out of her way to be a blessing and encouragement to us as we left- and we'll all remember her kindness, I'm sure.

-I received an amazing gift from friends- one that surprised me and blessed my socks off!! Two of my best buds, Alison and Liz, worked their creative brilliance in creating a movie for me- SUCH a great keepsake of my years in HK. It's called "Hong Kong Will Miss You, Harmony"! It made me laugh a lot and cry a lot! I love it and I will treasure it for a long time.-On our last work day, we had our annual year-end farewell event. My dear friend and colleague, Marg, blessed with such kind and encouraging words (and prayers!). She is one in a million, this one! I miss you (and why didn't we get a picture on that last day?!)!

-On my last night in HK, I spent time with some of my good friends from Solomon's Porch (my home church). I'm already missing SP so much! I loved my community at SP, and it was neat to spend my last evening with that crew.

It seems...not recap the last month in this way. It was a sad time- but such a wonderful time because it was a constant, FUN celebration of friendships, really. Sometimes I felt (and still feel) like crying about the friends I've said goodbye to (for now). But more often, it's the joy-inspired kind of cry- because it's been so good, and I've been so blessed! I miss you, my friends- thinking of you tonight.

Here are a couple other pics from the last weeks- one of my lovely friend Mary, and one of my bball guys, Kenneth...and the other is our SP house church- "K-House!" I spent the year with this small group. As you can see in the picture, they knew me well by the end of our time...ha ha! The next one is my friend Jacqualine, and the last is my Sunday School class from SP!

Well, that gives some voice into the month of June, but I still haven't managed to write about Shyam and Joshua's time in Hong Kong, time in the Mae La refugee camp...or my great family reunion on the ranch...or my job news, which is developing! It might happen yet!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kids at the border...

Interesting story about desperate kids looking for refuge in Canada here.