our way home
are in the process of packing for our journey home.
I had hoped to get more journals out to all of you,
but there are so many friends to say goodbye to here
in China, and so many gifts to pack in our suitcases.
I don't know how we'll get everything home. It has been
an awesome year!
will be travelling by train to Shenzhen and then crossing
the border into Hong Kong. From there we will fly to
Singapore, stay overnight and then in the morning fly
to San Francisco and from there home to Calgary. All
in all, we will be travelling for at least three days
we get home, we'll put ourselves into voluntary quarantine
for 10 days due to SARS. Even though we are quite safe
from the disease here in Shandong, we will be travelling
through Hong Kong and Singapore, where there have been
more reported cases. We would much rather be safe than
sorry. As a result, we won't be able to see any of you
at the airport when we arrive in Calgary.
let you know when we arrive back home and hopefully
get you all caught up on the happenings here, which
continue and never cease to be amazing! So far I have
taken in excess of 3,000 pictures, and more will be
taken on the journey home, I'm sure. I hope to share
them all with you, but it all takes time, which is moving
very quickly at this point.
have a request:
Could you please refrain from sending any emails that
are not vitally important for me to read until I get
home. Personal messages are always appreciated of course,
but in the interest of keeping my inbox relatively clean
until I get a chance to access it again, please don't
send us any email that can wait till later, such as
jokes, chain letters, or anything with attachments like
pictures. Even though I have the extra storage in my
hotmail account, it tends to fill up rather quickly.
after the 10 day isolation, we plan to have an open
house. The date is not confirmed yet, but we are thinking
ealry July, maybe even Canada Day. Please don't plan
any parties for us, as we would much rather spend the
one day showing all our friends and relatives the treasures
we have acquired in the far east. We will have a lot
of work to do at home before heading back to China in
the fall, so we appreciate your cooperation in this
I said before, it has been an awesome year! I don't
know how to explain the feelings we have for these people,
but I assure you, they are very deep. It will be very
difficult to say goodbye, especially to my little angels.
I hope you will all join us in wishing that they can
come to visit us in Canada some day, so maybe some of
you can meet them.
both look forward to seeing all of you soon, and of
course will phone our loved ones upon arriving at home.
I'll also email all of you as soon as we can to let
you know of our safe arrival.
for all your support the past year,
Loek and Dick
know I replied to you about this just before we left
China, but I thought I would update you. The school
paid us the airfare bonus of Y8,000 each as well as
our June salaries. They also bought the electronic piano
from us as there seemed to be no way to ship it to Hainan
safely. Then, at the train station in Liaocheng, we
got another surprise. Mr Zhang paid for our train tickets,
something we didn't expect, so that was a very nice
know the school has financial difficulties, so we really
do appreciate that they have paid us all of these items.
I almost wish we didn't have to take the money, but
unfortunately, things are quite expensive here in Canada.
Not only that, but the Canadian dollar is stronger now
against the US dollar, which is good for Canada, but
not for people like us who are exchanging currencies,
because we get less in Canadian money.
had an amazing year in Huimin, and we will retain friendships
with the people there for many years to come. The school
is honourable and has lived up to its contract even
though times were difficult for them. We are very impressed
with the way they handled things and with the way they
again, Owen, and see you in Hainan,
Loek and Dick