Hello everyone! I’m happy to report that temperatures have come down! It now feels like Qinghai at the hight of summer! Do you know what that means? It’s November and I still haven’t gotten out any of my warmer clothes. While the locals shiver in their jackets, I frolic down the streets of the nearby city wearing short-pants and t-shirts, taking photos.
This past month I have been really happy. Mostly because the weather is good enough that I can get outside and start exploring the world around me. And explore I have! It’s been wonderful to get up early, go out with my camera and discover Guangdong. So far I’ve made friends with a family, watched a dragon boat race, and taken gazillions of photos of old houses and well kept ancestral temples. I’ve also joined a photography club that travels around this city’s villages and takes photos. They’re curious and happy to have a foreign member of their club.
So as luck would have it, I was able to go to a dragon boat race this year. Usually they are held in June during Duanwu Holiday. This town has theirs in October though, which is probably smarter, as the weather is much nicer.
I went there with my new friends who live in the town, a family with three daughters. I’ve been meeting with them to play badminton and to enjoy their delicious cooking. We all speak standard Mandarin together (poorly), which none of us is a native speaker. At least mine is good enough to go out into the world and make friends who don’t also speak English.
Now that the weather is comfortable, I’ve been trying to get out of the house as much as possible. Not only to see the world but to make a separate life for myself unrelated to my work. Being at work, or nearby during off hours is a good way to get roped into working, if you’re not careful. I’ve discovered. That’s one of the dangers of working and living with your friends.
Things will be changing again in the next couple of months. K and KL will be joining me down here, probably in January, so I am preparing for that. I want to help him find a good job, find us a nice place to live, and secure a kindergarten spot for Autumn. Our family will be together again! And in another very far away and different place. Hopefully this will be the last leg of our nomadic journey, and we can work hard and save up quickly so that we can really settle down.
I’m optimistic about Guangdong. I wonder why I never gave it a chance before. It’s full of hidden treasures. It’s just the heat that has to be dealt with. Well, so far winter is fantastic!
Another very positive thing is my job. I’m really starting to enjoy it. I even look forward to teaching certain classes! I think this is a major breakthrough when it comes to happiness and job satisfaction. I may come to enjoy teaching after all!
Unrelated, I’ve joined Instagram (properly). I’m having such an amazing time browsing through inspirational photos and following skilled and creative photographers. If you’d like to follow me my handle is shema_lep_tibetan_blankets . I post photos from all over China and Tibet. I also post photos related to our blanket business (which is chugging along!) and you can visit our website at shema-lep.com !
One concern we have when K moves here is who is going to do the legwork for the blanket business. We are still trying to figure that out. In any case, I don’t want to take a break from it. We’re going to try to keep it going. Our customers are all pleased with their blankets, and are happy that we are able to keep some plateau handicrafts alive.
So I was right, 2017, albeit toward the end, has been a time for improvements.