Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Is The End

I may have lied about posting about camp.  That didn't happen.  I didn't take my camera out once.  Evan did though, so I have a few from him.

I got stripped of all power during the week so I got to hang back and relax most of the time.  I needed it.  My body is feeling the tiredness that I've suppressed for the last 6 months.  I'm feeling better, but still very exhausted.

Ally had puppies! They are adorable and Evan and I wanted to bring one of them home SO badly!
I said my goodbyes yesterday and this morning and they were not fun.  Locke made me cry like a baby.  I said bye to Jenny in the dark while her dad was waiting in the car so it was quick and didn't feel real.  I cried saying bye to Hope this morning.  I didn't get to say goodbye to Amanda.  That made things easier, but then I got to talk to her on the phone and that wasn't fun.  Neither was reading their posts on my latest facebook status either.  I miss those girls already.  They were like 2 more sisters for me this past year and it will be very, very, very strange not seeing them every weekend.  Spencer too.  My one year with a little brother has ended.

I'm feeling good about going home.  The last week has given me a decent amount of rest that I needed to get my head to where it needs to be.  I'm anxious for home, but in a healthy way.  Evan and I have our meals for the next 2 days planned out, along with our schedules for those days too.  We are one flight away from the good ole' USA.

On our layover in Hong Kong we decided to venture outside of the airport!  We got temporary visas and train tickets and hopped into town for a while.  I've always wanted to see Hong Kong and, even though we didn't stay for very long or do much, it was still a very cool experience- another one that I was very thankful to do with Evan.

We ate these disgustingly good fries covered with sour cream (real sour cream), bacon bits, chili, and cheese and got some drinks to go with it.  Oh man.  I am still smiling about those.  We took plenty of pictures of the harbor and attempted to get a few of us too.

Now it's sit around and wait time for the next 3 hours.  Plane time will come soon and hopefully sleep time with that.  Then it will be America for quite some time.  Good food, good people, good life.  I'm ready and anxious to see how this new chapter of life plays out.

Expect one more post once I get semi adjusted to America and then it's time to close things up for me.  Thank you everyone for your comments and likes and encouragement throughout this year.  Every comment has been read multiple times and has been deeply felt.  I have been incredibly blessed by this whole journey and am so glad I didn't get in my own way when it came to making the decision over a year ago.

-Zhong Guo Hailey

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Catching Up

Sorry for the 2 week delay.  It's been a chaotic few weeks with only a bit of internet here and there and I've just been tired.  VERY TIRED.

English camp started yesterday.  I'll post a bit about that in a later post.

The last week or so has been all over the place.  We tried to bring the team into town so they could escape the farm and get to see the town for a while.  We had some friends invite all of us over for dinner so we made our way into LC and went to the park, went to my apartment for a bit, walked down to the lake, and then had dinner with a family who lives in town.  It was a really fun day.  (Also, this was my first time going on LC Splash Mountain. I'd wanted to all year so I ended up going twice!!!!)

I know this one is blurry, but it's great.

Classic Evan & Hailey

Back to market day for a minute.  We bought some hairy tofu. It was hairy because it was covered in mold.  So the night after our day of adventure, Evan grilled some of that tofu up and we invited the couple who lives across the yard from us over and we all tasted the tofu.  The dogs ended up devouring it because... well... it was gross.  Evan covered it with enough spicy-ness to mask the nastiness a bit, but not enough to make it enjoyable.
The face of anticipation.
"It smells gross but can't be too bad..."

A perfect summary of how the 3 of us felt about it.

Again, not the best picture, but too good not to add to the bunch.
We finished our water line burying project that week.  In less than 2 weeks we dug a trench to fit hundreds of (maybe a few thousand) feet of water line and then buried it all.  It was quite a task but it ended up filling a whole entire pond and at least 2 massive cement boxes with water.  There was a shortage of water out here but now that problem is more than solved.  Once we had the water line sitting where it needed to be, there was water overflowing.

After that, we headed to a city about 3 hours away from here to help out a family who was/is about 2 weeks behind on their labor due to illness in the family.  The family makes their living growing trees that are used for their pulp.  We pruned back the trees to help them grow and then Evan went to town with a weed-whacker and we got a decent amount done that first day.  Our second day out there we were rained out.  It was the hardest downpour I have ever seen and to be on the side of a hill when it happened wasn't exactly a dream come true.  We ended up back at the farm a day earlier than expected but that was fine.

Benny & June were dinner the next night!  Evan and Madi chopped their heads off, we de-feathered them, Evan covered them in spices and then grilled them up.  We made potato chips, had some grilled zucchini and had several people wander in to see and try what was happening in our building.  I'd say it was a success.

My precious chicken choppers.

We had one more night as a team and then the campers and the new team of Americans arrived and it's been camp time for the last 30 hours or so.  I'll get some pictures and squeeze in one more post before Evan and I head off to the airport in less than 8 days!!!!!!!!

The sound of the word 'home' has never sounded so sweet.  It has been a long, tiring, mentally draining, emotionally exhausting, physically demanding month and I (we) are ready for some comfort; some In-N-Out, Chick-fil-a, swimming pools, comfy beds, carpeted floors, American driving laws, cheese, avocados, no mud, family, friends, faster internet, clean water, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew & Adalberto's (those are for Evan), Target, dance studio, summer nights.  In case you didn't get that, we are excited to be home.

One more week.