You Still there?

So — I think we’ve discovered a new kind of busy. All great and fun and exciting,  just non-stop. And now we have only 4 days left in this beautiful country and are experiencing a mixed bag of emotions. We’re looking forward to seeing our friends and family and gorgeous sunny city, but also sad to leave the amazing friends and experiences we’ve had here. If only China and California were closer…

I’ll get to our processing of our departure later. First, we want to show you a bit of what life has looked like this month.

A few weeks ago, we got an invite to celebrate Huo Ba Jie (Torch Festival) in our friends hometown village on Yulong Snow Mountain (about an hour-ish away). In a nutshell, they all get together and have a massive feast and light torches at night. We spent a few days with her family, and they made each of us feel so welcome in their home. It was an unforgettable weekend. Here’s what it looked like:

We got to wake up to this each morning. Such perfection.

The second day we went hunting for mushrooms. E knew exactly what to look for. She’s what we call a pro. Before this hunt, I assumed all wild mushrooms would kill me. Especially the bright ones.

E taught us so much  – but that doesn’t mean I’ll be picking mushrooms and cooking them for you back home. I don’t trust my mushroom picking skills that much.

We crossed over the most amazing stream that flows from the top of Snow mountain. It tasted so fresh and pure. Here we are standing on a rock under the walking bridge. I could have listened to the water rush by all day.

How cute are all things miniature?! E told us we could eat these mini wild strawberries.

They were a bit tart, but so cute!

Watching the sun go down behind the mountain was amazing. Who could manage ignoring this?!

Every view was dreamy.

We all sat around the grill and ate lamb, pork and potato dipped in spice. I think we ate more than our usual amount of meat in one sitting — but it was the tastiest ever.

Finally, it was time to light the torches!! See that little one behind us?! Not long after this picture was taken a couple of E’s family members did their traditional dance around a pile of lit torches. (They love dancing!) It’s nothing more than just having fun and celebrating – which they do quite well. And then, they suggested the four white kids (us) dance too! So with four minds thinking of what to do, we whipped out our greatest idea ever — we did the Macarena.

No shame.

Our last morning, the ladies of the village dressed us up in their traditional dresses. We felt so honored!! The headdress was my favorite — so cushy and soft. They made us feel like family. This little guy had a blast seeing us in these clothes. I don’t think he’d ever seen a non-Yizu woman in them. He was the cutest.

We love E dearly and had SUCH a blast in her village. She is a sister we’ll miss so much. We’ve gotten to see her almost daily, so I imagine it’ll be weird to be without her! Love you, E!

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We had a couple days to recoup before we teamed up with a group that came to do a dental clinic. We focused on a village that most of the long-termers hadn’t been to yet. The clinic ran so smoothly, which helped to build great relationships with the leaders there. The long-termers were really pleased by the week and feel like follow-up in the future will be great. To be apart of it was more than a blessing.

Our amazing dentist is on the left. By the third and final day of the clinic he had trained our medical doctor to pull teeth as well — I’m amazed at their skills! They saw aver 170 patients in just three days. What a way to use their talents.

While waiting to see the dentist, the kids had their own training on how to brush their teeth and why its important. By the end, they each got their own toothbrush and toothpaste. The hope is to follow up with the village and see how they’re doing with brushing. Then by a third or fourth follow up, hopefully see that they are brushing on their own – that they’ve made brushing a daily habit.

We all had jobs for the week. Most of the time, I got to take pictures of the patients and put together their file. I LOVED my job. Getting to see everyone up close was so fun. I feel like I got to personally meet each of them.

Oz and I also got to spend lots of time with the kids. We taught them the hokey-pokey, sang songs, played games, etc. Oz was – of course – a natural and a pro with them. It was so fun to see him interact with them so well. Not to mention, the loved him. The next group of photos includes some of my favorites.

The week was great. It was such a great way to love the village in a practical way – to love each individual. We are so excited to see what Father is going to do in their lives.

Oz had his 25th birthday on the third day of the clinic. We celebrated with birthday cake Oreos. 🙂

Love you, babes.

The clinic would not have been as great without E being our translator. Her first language is Yi, then Mandarin, then English. Most of the older patients and children didn’t speak Mandarin, so she was with the dentist all day each day, being not just a translator, but a comfort for the patients. She was used in MIGHTY ways! Woo hoo, E!

There was so much beauty in the village. Oz captured so much of it.

Lunch is served!

They  l o v e  their potatoes. As do I.

A good-lookin’ group!

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After this week of the clinic, I’ve really felt like we live here. I have grown to love and adore the people. The Father has really given me my own unique love for this country. One that perhaps compliments the love my husband has for it. What an answer to pr@yer. I feel so blessed to have been here for these three months, investing in all that we’ve had opportunities to invest in. And thank you, Father, for the friendships we’ve gained. They will be forever. I can’t believe we’re wrapping up our week and going home so soon. However, we feel certain that for the next season of our lives we are to invest in California again. And because of that, we are excited for it and are looking forward to what the Father has in store. His plans are perfect. I’m just grateful that we’ve been able to develop a home here for the summer. It won’t be the last time we come. In whatever capacity that is, it will be on His timing, in His way, just as the last three months have been.

So, there is a recap of our past few weeks. We got back from hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge last night, so we’ll give an update on that either tonight or tomorrow. Also, don’t forget that Oz has more pictures on his Facebook and we’ve been updating on our instragram. Search for ‘iamzulu’ to see more immediate picture updates.

Now, we’re off to lunch and a bit of birthday shopping! Oz’s was last week and mine is today! (At least in China, I’m still 24 in America, but why not celebrate twice?!)

With love,

Bee

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2 thoughts on “You Still there?

  1. Tammy says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR DARLING BEE!!! LOOOOVE YOU!

  2. MommaBee says:

    Happy Birthday my sweet girl. I loved the recap and look forward to your next “season” here. We look forward to celebrating the life of both you and Oz when you return.

    See you very soon….

    MommmaBee

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