Friday, August 28, 2009

My wart that I got shot finally came off! Remember the time you took me out to Dr. Halliday to get the one on my toe shot? I made you hold my hand. I was 13. . . Okay, fine, more like 18. I loved going to Tooele with you. I remember one time you took me out there because one of your stops on your route was a woman with a clothes shop and you wanted to support her. That was probably the one and only time you were happy to buy me clothes. I also remember when I was working with you a year and a half ago and you took me to American Burger, the best burger place in Tooele. Working with you was so much fun! Kinda. You taught me how to work long and hard without complaining, and it was just nice to spend the time with you too.

I practiced my piano today. I thought you'd be proud. I remember when you would open the door I had closed so that you could listen as you watched your golf. It always made me feel good knowing you wanted to hear me. I think I'm getting better. I can accompany better than I used to be able to. Hopefully I'll be able to play a few hymns for our little church meeting tomorrow.

I love you so much, Daddy. I miss you here. It's hard being away from you guys. Little Grace already looks so much bigger and Jesse's in college! My mind is practically blown. Love you.
It's official. I can live anywhere now. Almost. Maybe. Okay, so maybe I won't get ahead of myself. But I see the world with new eyes now. Not everywhere in the world is like Utah or the places we've been to on vacation. We are so lucky to live where we are. I almost feel like Bart in France with the five floor walk up and the extreme heat. Now that I know just how different a place can be from home, I think I'd be more okay with living in another place. I'm really enjoying it. Playing charades is a daily routine and can be quite fun! Sweating buckets is also a daily. I thought I perspired a lot in Cancun. Nope. My skin is almost at least moist if not drowning in sweat all the time. Which means I stink pretty much all the time! I used to be able to make an undershirt last at least two days in Utah. Not here. And, Dad, you'd be proud of me. Instead of showering when I feel dirty, well, I still do that, but it's everyday now because I really am dirty everyday!

Oh oh oh! Last night we were playing with the kids so that they'd be comfortable with us this morning when we were recording the TV commercial, and when they said what we were trying to get them to say, I would give them a high five like you would give us when we were little!!! I had totally forgotten about it until now! You, know? The way you would hold our little hand still in your much larger more calloused hand and give us several high fives really quickly? That one!!! I felt so big and grown up, oddly enough. I can't wait to have kids and have them get to know their Grandpa Christoffersen through the silly things you do that have rubbed off on me. And then when they see you they'll understand.

Back to China. Yesterday, we went into town to Trustmart. I don't know if I told you about it, but it's pretty much our favorite place!! It has saved our lives on several occasions. We found peanut butter, honey and bananas there and would make sandwiches. We bought almonds so we wouldn't have to have any of the funky meat here for protein. It's been interesting. They also have every flavor chip. Tomato flavor, chicken flavor, kiwi, lychee, mango. It's been fun seeing which one of the odd flavor choices they offer is the best.

We just barely got back from a noodle place. The people who were in charge of the commercial decided to take us out to eat as a thank you. It was one of the better places we've been, but still different. We had some pretty good noodles, spicy beef, orange beef, fish, corn, and this funny stringy, leafy, green vegetable we see everywhere. It could be really good if they prepared it a different way. Right now, it's okay.

On our way back to the school there was a naked man walking down the middle of the street. We saw his rear end. He was surprisingly calm. Like Jeffery Chaucer in A Knight's Tale.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

You'll never believe what we ate for dinner last night. . . . Pizza! And not China's version of pizza with banana chips and clam sauce. But American style with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and pepperoni! It was so yummy and so greasy! But SO glorious! It was Chinese lovers day so our head teacher, Jeshua, bought a bouquet of flowers so each of us got a flower. So I'm set. I have a flower and two slices of left over pizza.

We also got to play with the kids yesterday and I made a few things to teach with. I'm nervous to start teaching. I have to plan five lessons tonight. All I can think about is when I would help you teach your sunbeams when I would come home for the weekends. You were so good with the kids. You knew the things that it would take to keep their attention, like the time you made little footprints for them to follow. I hope I can be as good as you. So far I have a few ideas of things to make with them. For the first month I'll be teaching arts and crafts. I'm hoping that won't be too hard.

I miss you, Dad. I'm reading the Book of Mormon for the virtue value in hopes to have it finished by the time I get home. I'm trying to read them like you. Notice the things like 'barges again!' I'm keeping a journal so I'll let you know if I discover anything cool. I love you so much, Daddy! Give mom a big kiss.

This one is of me on Victoria's peak- the highest peak that overlooks Hong Kong. There are high rises everywhere!!! it's insane!

This one is of me and Lauren on the sleeper bus.

The last one is looking into our apartment on the fifth floor.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Daddy! I'm really here! I'm doing it. It's taken a few days of bad food, but I finally feel like I'm in China. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff that is served to us here at the school. One day we were given fish cut into bite sizes, but there were pieces that we could definitely see bones in. My stomach has been turned quite a few times. We've found ways of avoiding the food. For breakfast, we have a big bag of oatmeal and we put peaches and brown sugar in it. The food is going to be the hardest part for me. Last night we were talking about some of the restaurants back home that we love so much. I had to walk out on the conversation before I produced too much saliva to swallow.

The other day, my roommate and I wandered around campus. Yeah, it's pretty much as big as a University campus. They have a nice track and astroturf field. They have a pool as well, but for some reason it is empty. As we were walking around, we found out just how close the campus gets to the mountain we're next to. We're pretty much at the bench of the mountain, and it's so gorgeous! It's so green here! But what makes it so green is, of course, the humidity. The other day, our regional director, Mista Li, said we were going on "trava," which turned out to mean travel. We thought it was just going to be a morning thing. No, it was the whole day! It was hard! We didn't bring enough water and we had been sweating so bad. Once we got back we were so happy. A few of us had some nasty headaches from the dehydration. My body is not used to sweating that much.

I love you, Daddy. I miss you. Tell the family I love them, even Mom, even though we talk everyday on Skype.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DADDY! I'm in China! Okay. . . Not quite yet. I'm actually in the Taiwan airport, but pretty close. I pretty much skipped a day while in the air. I left on the 17th of August at 9:30 P.M. and it is now the 19th in Taiwan, approximately 5:30 A.M. My twelve hour plane ride from San Francisco ended up not being too bad. I ate like a queen for breakfast!!! I don't even eat like that at home. Scrambled eggs with a hashbrown and sausage link, fruit, a roll and classic OJ. Pretty sure that's the last 'American' breakfast I'll have for the following three months.

Dad, I'm so excited. My 'separation anxiety' from everyone has subsided. . . for now. I'm just ready to start my adventure!! I'm bound and determined to hold a panda bear. I opened my chinese teaching aid on my iPod and started practicing words. Yeah, it was pretty much a joke and a half! Cross your fingers I won't make a fool of myself.

I love you, Daddy. Tell mommy I love her and give Jesse, Bart, Paige, and Grace a big hug. I can't really see you giving Matt a hug, so a friendly pat on the back will do. Love love.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

leaving home

Hi daddy. I just got done packing for China! It still hasn't set in. Crazy! I was trying so hard to make 57 pounds into 50. Definitely didn't happen. I had to give up a few things, but mom says she might send them to me once I'm there. I have quite a few dresses and skirts packed that I didn't want to give up because they'll be really easy to squat in and I don't want it to be easy for people to just check me out either. As much as I'm scared and nervous, I think I'm more excited. I can't wait to meet the little kids I'm teaching. Dad. Do you think I'll be a good teacher? Do you think I'll be able to do all that I want to do? Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all that I know I have to fit in to four months. Can you help me? Thank you, daddy.

Oh! I had my friends over last night and it was so nice to see all of them and to know how many good friends I have. I know you were there too. Probably back in your room with the Golf channel on, but still. I still can't believe I'm old enough to go live in another country!! I still feel like your little girl. The one you had your arm wrapped around at graduation and the one you'd carry on your shoulders. Mom went all out. She got me a box of leis and hula skirt decorations. The whole shabang! I had Kneader's make me some mini fruit tarts, peach tarts and eclairs. Talk about yummy yummy in my tummy. Mom was bad. She had. . . three or so. She would cut them in half telling herself that she was only going to have the one half. She did that to one of each kind I think. I love her and need her. She makes me smile.

I love you, daddy. I'm so excited to do this and go on a grown up adventure! Maybe I'll finally feel like I'm two decades old. Hope you're having fun where you are. Talk to you later.

Your baby girl