Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Early morning enjoyment!

Well, its about 6 am here and I am up and ready for the day, sort of. I thought I would stop by and drop off a little ramble that I had while on my flight from Ghoungzhou to Wuhan. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I am really happy I have made this change in my life, I just hope I can help my students enjoy English lessons as much as I am enjoying China, only time will tell. Here is the rant.

       "Just thought I would jot down some thoughts while I am flying over the pacific. I would have to say the language barrier is much easier to get past than I thought, though this could perhaps be attributed to the international flight being well suited to two major languages. Only time will tell if my confidence holds out beyond Ghoungzhou and Wuhan.

     I am very happy to write down while I can remember, that I made two new friends today while I awaited the arrival of Mark to the airport. Jenni is a young lass that is heading to the northern provinces to study for a semester and has a VERY lovesick Japanese boyfriend back home waiting for her. Meanwhile, very little is known to me about Hilary, she is a very beautiful young woman and seems she is heading to tour around the same area as Jenni so while we were talking the two hooked up to meet and help each other out. Mark is drugged out of his mind from a lack of sleep and I am slow to follow, perhaps it is about time for me to rest my eyes for a few."

 All in all, it has been such a wonderful start to my year, "Jackie Chan" Nathan and my personal trainer surprised us by giving us food treats and then only telling us what we were eating AFTER we finished, the biggest surprise was the Camel cheese, its very sweet. It is wonderful here, once you get past the pollution and massive city smell and I honestly hope at least 1 person decides to come and visit me so that they can get a taste of the big wide world we live in, even better is that Wuhan is real China, not dolled up Shanghai or Beijing. More to write later, I want to get my day started! Zaijian!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day!

I have to say, I am so very exited about tomorrow but there is a somber atmosphere about it. Some of my dearest friends are taking it pretty hard... I can honestly say that I have never felt like I have made THAT big of an impact on their lives but it honors and humbles me so much to see them mourn my departure. I sit here at a nice cool 11:00 at night, really not believing that I will be on a plane tomorrow and even bigger... in China on Wednesday. Happily though, friends have been sent ahead to prepare the way and I shall meet with them soon enough to enjoy the company of a new host.
I will be totally frank for a moment, sorry if you don't know him. *poor attempt at a pun* I feel like I have been stuck in a deep rut for quite a few years now, it seems that perhaps my dear friend Jesse was correct. He spoke to me when he returned from his trip over... he said "Jay, you must drive to tear of the shackles of this place, it will consume you if you do not. We cannot stay here for too long for I already feel sense of loss and lost nature returning to me here." Now they are moving far to the south, it will just be so wild to see what is done with this trip... though I would have to say I am somewhat flustered that friends are already gambling on "Will he bring home a Chinese girlfriend..." and "Will he come back? Doubtful since he is actually going to be respected as a hard worker there!" I can honestly say that, though its nice to hope that someday soon I will find a wonderful woman who will love me for me, I am letting life drive on in the direction it needs to go. I have tried to control life too much before and it ended up in deeper heartache than I would EVER like to remember. I am going for my students, for my co-workers, and to go and continue to heal myself. A journey of a thousand steps must always begin with the first. Perhaps I will finally find a place to rest my head and be at peace again. Who knows?

So, I will return to create my next entry when I am safely and peacefully over in China. I promise you it will be not just an adventure for me, but one for everyone who comes with me through this Blog. I will not try to get too deep but there may be points where you just have to flat up skim sections.

It was Erwin McManus who enlightened me to a little gem such as this. "He created us not so that we could count the day's of our lives, but so that our lives could count." I hope I am taking hold of all of this gifted time that pours down upon me. To have been so close to death's door and come back, I know so truly that I am not on my own time. What is "our time" exactly? I mean here we are, the wind blows through the trees and yet we deafen ourselves to peace by covering our ears with the loud noise of a busy life and demands upon ourselves that can never be accomplished. Sadly I am getting tired and still fidgety due to knowing the amount of stress that awaits me when the sun rises again. May love always flow down upon you my brothers and sisters, know that I hold you deep in my heart and that I carry you to far off lands.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Testing out a different camera and new applications for photos.

Well, I finally changed my camera, mostly because I could not lug the ol' D5000 around but since I traded it to a young up and coming professional photography student it was all worth it to see her face light up about the camera. Here is a fun little bit of play I have had with my first test picture, nothing fancy, just did a clean up then as swipe to black and white and did some color selection. I also did a Vignette to cut down on the corners to make it look nicer.
 We will see where it leads but I am totally exited about this transaction :-)

Preparing the path.

It was G.K. Chesterton who was quoted for saying "fairytales do not teach children that dragons exist, children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales teach children that dragons can be slain."

This quote has been echoing through my mind all this week. From my insane taxi drivers in Chicago, to overcoming sickness to get my shots, to being able to miraculously fit everything I need in my suitcases. Needless to say, my fairytale is happening here and now. This weekend I must face the inevitable sorrow filled goodbye to many family and friends that will come to see me off as I pass into legend in our little hometown area.

My mind races, I know that we, as people, tend to believe that the grass is always greener on the farther side of the path. With such an attitude, we always set ourselves up for disappointment, but I cannot help but wonder what awaits me. I have such a good group of new friends, dare I say brothers and sisters awaiting my arrival. Only wednesday will tell as I leave on Monday. I will hopefully continue this along as time rolls on, until then though, goodnight.