Typhoon Mangkhut

I can officially say I have survived my first typhoon! What exactly is a typhoon, you may ask? It’s a hurricane. The only difference is that for some reason when it’s on the Pacific, it gets a new name.

Anyway, we got notice that a typhoon would be coming our way over the weekend. Saturday was perfectly sunny, not a drop of rain, but that day, we already knew school would be cancelled for Monday. Of course, even though we’re only a few weeks in, we’re already worn down by long days with boisterous kids, so we welcomed the day off, even though it was for bad weather.


Now, I’ve never been through hurricanes, but I feel like this wasn’t so bad. It seemed like we didn’t really get the worst of it. We were on the edge of the storm, so there was lots of rain and strong winds, but we were perfectly safe inside. We briefly lost water (which I realized before I turned on the faucet, after I’d already put soap in my hand) but it came back pretty fast. We spent a nice lazy day inside watching The Sound of Music, then we ventured one building over (through the parking garage) to have dinner and drink wine with friends. I made some sautéed mushrooms, which even Thomas, who isn’t a big fan of mushrooms, didn’t hate.

It seems like most of the damage was to trees (we saw several fallen trees outside our apartment and on the way to school today). We live right by the train station, and at one point I glanced out our bathroom window and noticed that parts of the roof had blown off. Today, despite the damage, it’s business as usual all around town.


I also took a pretty big risk and made myself some homemade poke (which is like sushi, but instead of rolls, everything is just dumped in a bowl) but it turned out fine and I didn’t give myself food poisoning! That said, I still have some leftovers, so there’s still a chance it’ll happen.

Anyway, we’re safe, and the city of Shenzhen seems to do a bang-up job of handling inclement weather, so all is well!



It’s going

Them: “How’s it going?”

Me: “It’s going.”

I’m going to set a goal for myself to blog every weekend, because I haven’t done a great job of keeping people updated.

We’re a few weeks into school, and let me tell you, it’s been a challenge. I’m teaching second grade, and we have a lot of energy and a lot of feelings and a lot of loud voices. We’re trying to establish some solid rules and routines, and well, it’s a work in progress. I’ll write a more detailed report about school later.

This week started off with Teacher’s Day, a day in which students show their appreciation for their teachers with gifts. Now, my love language is not and has never been gifts, but one of my kids brought me a box of Ferrero Rocher, and I’m pretty excited about it.


By the time I took this photo, my once-lush flowers were starting to wilt (I didn’t have a vase, oops) but you get the idea.

Last weekend, Thomas and I also stopped by a supermarket that is straight out of our dreams. They didn’t have everything we wanted, but they had a lot of stuff that we can’t get at our little grocery store by the metro stop, and we were very excited. The last place we went before checking out was to this magical area.


We bought one bottle of wine, which we haven’t opened yet. Maybe this weekend we’ll do that. I’m pretty sure we bought a corkscrew at Ikea so we should be all set.

The truly tragic thing that happened when we were at the store was the loss of my metro card. It was particularly sad because it probably had more than 20 bucks on it. It must have fallen out of my pocket while we were shopping. We tried to find it, but it was long gone. It was an adorable Hello Kitty design, which I replaced with a Starry Night one. Thomas is entrusted with holding my new one, because his pockets aren’t worthless and he carries a wallet.

Anyway, I’ll catch you up more later, but I feel like I’m running on fumes. Wish me luck.

Week 1

We’ve been in China for a little over a week now, and it’s been a rollercoaster! We arrived in Shenzhen about 12 hours before school started, and it was brutal. We spent Thursday and Friday making brief appearances at school and doing a lot of “official” things: getting health and background checks, getting phones set up, buying some house stuff, etc. For those two days, we were home around 4 p.m, and we fell asleep between 4:30 and 6, then woke up around 10 p.m, and then maybe got a couple more hours of sleep before we had to be up for the day. On Saturday, we had dinner plans with a few people from work, which forced us to stay awake until after the sun went down. We ate family-style Chinese food and stayed out past 10 p.m, which felt like a Herculean task, but it definitely helped our bodies get a little more on track.

Starting Monday, we jumped into work. I’m teaching second grade, which will definitely take some getting used to! The kids already speak English so well, and I’m excited to see how they improve this year.

We haven’t had a chance to do much exploring yet, but our school is nice and our apartment is great. I’ll try to post more as it unfolds, but for now we’re just settling in.

Here’s a quick photo that I took on the night we arrived. The view from our living room window. More to come!

IMG_4489 2