Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Las Vegas and the Anasazi Valley

This past weekend I spoke at Time Out for Women in Las Vegas. We had a great time there. Our kids had there with their amazing Uncle Jeffrey! He took them to Red Rock Canyon, swimming in the pool, Wendys, and Winchells!

It's a pretty special uncle who will take five nieces and nephews for 8 hours so his wife (my sister) can spend the day with her sister-in-law at TOFW.

On the way to Vegas we stopped by the Anasazi Valley, which is where we did some humanitarian service last year. We wanted to see Jake and Betty again and hoped that they would remember us. We were not disappointed!

They warmly welcomed us and we were able to talk about the past few months of our lives. We got to see their new baby pigs and walk around the valley a bit. We also were able to see their beautiful tile floor and bathroom that we helped work on.

Jake performed a special ceremony for Levi and gave him an Eagle Feather. This was something he had promised to do when we were there in December and I was impressed that Jake remembered, and Levi was very happy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

China Part 3, Food

I love to eat and really enjoyed many great meals in China. Here are some pictures and descriptions:

They have fun flavors of potato chips in China. These "Hot & Sour Fish Soup" flavored chips were delicious!

 Some faculty members at Sichuan University treated us to a banquet during our first week there. It was something like a 25 course meal ... incredible! Two of the dishes we had are pictured below. The white circular things were amazingly delicious. Some kind of gelatinous rice flour sugar treat that was incredible.

  I thought that the dish on the left was fried peanuts and took a healthy helping. As I ate them though I found that they had a strange crunch that was was not too pleasant. Later I found out that I was eating fried chicken knuckles.


One of my favorite foods in China is an egg-bread that was so delicious!

At the place where I would ride my bike to get egg bread I would also buy fortune cookie like treats.

 Probably my favorite treat in China was a cold lemonade or lichee drink with black pearls. I would get one at least once a week and would have gotten one daily had I found a place that was closer to my hotel.

I was very honored with Cielo invited me to her home (above) for dinner and to meet her parents. We had a fabulous meal together and I was so grateful for the warm company and friendship they provided.


 Chen was concerned that I was only eating cheap Chinese food and wanted to treat me to a fancy restaurant. He and his family took me to an amazing restaurant one morning and provided me with an incredible amount of delicious food. It was an honor to be with them.

It was also an honor when Penny gave me a tour of her campus and I was able to share a wonderful dinner with her and her boyfriend. I was always treated with such respect and kindness!


 On the last day of classes Lani and I went out to eat with Leah, Yue, and Tongxin. We loved our time together.


Lani is pictured here at one of the two restaurants where I regularly ate. One of them was a dumpling place where a woman hand made thousands of dumplings per day. This one is the other. I loved how they would bring a big bucket of rice to serve with every meal.

While I loved the food in China, I can honestly say that I loved the people even more. You can see great food in the pictures above, but also great and incredible people. Every time I look at these pictures I remember the special moments and times we shared together.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

China Trip, Part 2

There is so much that I want to say about my trip to China, and in a way that has prevented me from writing, because it all seems so overwhelming! But thanks to an email from a Psychology student (wondering why I posted a picture of the literature class, and not the psychology class (thanks Yue Qi!), I'm going to post today and hopefully make some other posts in the future.

First of all, here is a picture of my awesome psychology class:

Looking at this picture now, I still know all of their names; I love these students and I think about the lessons that they taught me. One of my favorite experiences in class is when we played the Prisoner's Dilemma. We were able to have fun playing the game, but also had a really good conversation about it applied in real life today. One student wrote a paper comparing the Prisoner's Dilemma with the intense traffic in the city of Chengdu. She drew some amazing parallels! We had many wonderful discussion in class, like the time we attempted to use "Operant Conditioning" to get Max to move around the classroom, or when we talked about the Asch Experiment and how it relates to us today.

Outside of class we had some great experiences. I had my first karaoke experience with members of the psychology class. Even though it was a fun outside-of-class outing, I did take the opportunity to ask some psychology questions pertaining to the song "Keep Bleeding Love" (does that describe a healthy relationship?) Here's an action photo:

I also got to have fun with students from my literature class. We went to a "hot pot," which is a traditional type of restuarant, and especially famous in the Sichuan Province. There were some questionable foods (pig intestine - actually not that bad, cow brain - I didn't try it, etc.) but overall the food was great and the company was incredible.

What I loved most about this trip was getting to know my students and learning from them. As I've been writing this post and going through pictures, I can honestly say that I really, really miss them.