Despite being located in a major ecological danger zone, I want to wish you a Happy Earth Day! Fortunately for me, I can access most of the American “green blogs” from over here. Some of the blogs I really like are on the Mother Nature Network (MNN) site: No, I’m not getting paid to write this, so you don’t have to ask…but if you are interested in reading about things like saving money by greening your home, the 10 most toxic places to live, organic fast-food restaurants and easy explanations regarding complex environmental phenomenon, I would highly recommend it! Today MNN greatly enhanced my knowledge of one of my very favorite hobbies, using coupons and finding great deals, by way of the Coupon Sherpa! This site gives you practically any printable or internet coupon for major chains, and had some really awesome Earth Day promos and tips for making money in a bad economy on their blog site: *Not a sermon, just a thought. (-Name that pastor of McLean Bible Church for a Chinese trinket!)

Yesterday night David and I hosted our first dinner party in China, and it was a success! On the menu was vegetarian chili (canned goods thanks to Jenny Lou’s in Beijing) and rice, fruit salad, mushrooms in oyster sauce, fried potatoes and Chinese puff pastries for dessert. I made everything except the pastries, and it all turned out really well. David cleaned the house and decorated with our ever-growing variety of plants, and we fed 4 additional guests: Ada and Milly who work at the school, Ada’s husband Liu, and the other David teacher. We pumped some American jams through the computer speakers David bought for a few dollars, and continued our ambassador-ship of South Africa by showing our slideshow again. We also showed Christmas photos of David’s family to our guests, and they couldn’t believe how big the families were…and how much everyone looked alike, haha. Overall it was a really fun night, and next time we hope to serve pizza! It makes me feel more at home to be able to host events like this, and I hope we can invite more friends and students over in the future.

The comments didn’t load on the last set of photos, so I wanted to mention that the picture of 3 men includes Eddie and his Chinese business partner. The photo of David and David on the street is the “food street” that we eat at nearly every day, and the little pup is DoDo (little bean) who lives with his chef family on the food street and is one of the smallest full-grown dogs I have ever seen. The girl and boy on TV is my student who hosted a show, and the darker photo is inside the Tangshan “Toy Club.”

I managed to get a really bad stomach ache today for the first time since being here, after eating a great-tasting dish from the food street. The other David felt pretty bad after eating it too, so hopefully it was just a bad batch of food. Anyway, I probably won’t check in again until after Hong Kong, but I look forward to telling more tales!

Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart. -Confucius