China Summer 2015 (I)

Last summer, I went on a month long trip to China. I never actually got around to posting about my adventures there, so I decided since I still have the pictures on my computer, why not now?

I’ll probably split into several posts as I have so many images and so many experiences that I want to share. The first part of my trip was spent in Shangtou, located in Guangdong, China, where my dad grew up. Its a rather undeveloped city located in the South near the ocean. The people there still hold onto seemingly conservative or old-fashioned views to outsiders, but are fiercely family oriented and so welcoming to visitors.

The most important purpose of our trip was visiting relatives and family members that we had not seen in at least three years.

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This picture is taken at a relative’s house whose sons owned the apartment building. These are my grandparents on my dad’s side.

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We are picking lychee from lychee trees with my father’s side of the family. One of my grandmother’s good friends owns the place.

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My grandfather’s brother, so my great uncle, owns a farm that grows these special type of beans. If you see the little circular items, those are the beans! they have to be taken out of these large fuzzy pods individually before they can be sold.

Another really important aspect of visiting China is of course the food! Because Shangtou is near the ocean, we ate a ton of seafood. Also, as per custom in China, our relatives took turns taking us out to eat. We ate out almost every day!  One of my favorite places to go is a bamboo restaurant in a bamboo forest. They incorporate bamboo in almost every dish, bamboo from their forest, and everything else there is also locally sourced!

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This is the place behind the bamboo restaurant I was talking about! Another one of its perks is going from inside the bamboo forest to the outside beautiful lake and its surroundings.

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Lots of seafood – one of my favorites is squid!

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Crazy dimsum!

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Lychee is everywhere in the South!

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some random exotic frui

And I can never forget the sights and views! Because of the humidity, you see very stereotypical plants common to tropical places, lotus buds and lily pads, palm trees, beautiful lakes, sandy beaches. Everything is just so so so beautiful.

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more behind-the-bamboo restaurant pictures

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backyard palm trees ❤

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black and white

Summer List To Do // Musings

I have a bit of time this summer after freshmen year. I’m taking two physics classes at the University of Delaware, but they both end before one every day, so I thought I would put the time to use focusing and honing in on certain skill sets and discovering more hobbies. I’ve decided to list them below for other people if they are interested and also to keep track myself when I go back and look at this at the end of the summer 🙂

  1. Knitting… crocheting?
    1. I figured it would be really cool to learn how to make my own scarves and hats. I mean, most grandmothers know how to knit and how did they learn? They must have started somewhere!
  2. Matlab
    1. Next semester, I am taking a full course on Matlab, which is a computer program for engineers that is really efficient for solving problems and data analysis. Unfortunately, I suck at computer programming, so I definitely need a head start when it comes to it. Always best to be prepared 🙂
  3. Adobe Creative Suite
    1. I have been dabbling quite a bit in design and photography this year – slowly dipping my toes into the graphic design world and into the world of creative possibilities. I’m really excited because I already have all the programs through a computer exchange program at my old school, so I really have everything I need to practice and explore. It’s also incredibly useful at college too for designing and advertising.
  4. Hand Lettering / Calligraphy
    1. People such as Jennet Liaw and Chasing Linen really inspire me to take something that I do feel I have a natural talent in (neat handwriting lol) and turn it into something that gives back. I started making congratulation cards for the seniors through hand lettering, and I feel like it’s something that with practice, I can begin to genuinely share with other people – maybe cards, later wedding invitations? Who knows!
  5. Photography
    1. I know how to use a camera, but I don’t consider myself a professional at all. I have been trying to learn how to change aperture, ISO, shutter speed all manually. I think I have been doing okay so far, but it’s a lot of practice makes perfect until I can get the perfect numbers etched into my mind so that it’s automatic. I have been shooting a lot recently, so look forward to seeing some more photos on the blog!
  6. Blogging
    1. Talking about the blog, I have been thinking a lot about what I want this blog to be. I started it a couple years ago and it has grown significantly from what I expected it to be – a personal space to post, like a journal. But it’s become so much more than that and the last couple of weeks, I have felt the pressure to gain more followers and fit more people’s interests by really just unleashing, I wouldn’t say bad quality, but really haphazard and not really thought out blog posts. All these things that I am learning above (with the exception of perhaps knitting and Matlab) will help me to really produce the best content possible for this space. I’ll probably go into this more in a separate post, but basically I want greater quality and greater cohesiveness in this blog and to really take it in a specific direction with a specific impact. I am not going to delete any posts because I think they all served their purpose, but just expect some changes – positive ones… this summer will be a great one 🙂

a little update on life!

– i’ve been working crazy hard on college apps and summer work and other shtuff

– been a little sad about having to say a lot of farewells this year for when all the college people leave and go back to school

– also dreading the start of school and the start of seeing everybody again

– why can’t summer last forever?

– why can’t i focus on Jesus more? 

– massive pressure from everyone 

 

 

 

 

all’s well that ends well?

I had a hunker dunker big tough year. My relationship with God has been feeling like a spiral continuously downwards. I’ve struggled a lot with my grades and being accepted and general expectations of those around me and particularly my parents. I want to do well, I really do. But as I think about my AP scores and my SAT subject test score that I will find out soon enough, I crumble a little from fear and from sadness and stress. 

But is everything going to be okay? I have a lot to be thankful for. The miraculous 6 point boost to my failure of a chem grade. The generous actions of my teachers. The forever love of an amazing God who will never abandon me. Is all well that ends well? 

Summer is the start of something new. Of the lovely smell of honeysuckle and the promises of new friendship and cherished memories. Summer I will do better. All will be well 🙂 

Perhaps a goal to blog more? I hope so 😛 Dreadfully sorry :/