Friday, May 21, 2010

We Gotta Get On With It.

We Got New Doors.

We got new doors:

Didn't have to use the booby trap I set up. We made it through two nights without any locked entry doors. The bad guy burglars never showed up again. The doors were both not in condition to be locked and therefore essentially open because they were broken so badly, but a big noisy (falling metal pots and pans) surprise (to awaken us and to scare the begeebers out of them) was into whomever would enter without permission.... Didn't happen though. Dana actually thought it was a great idea.

They installed two new doors on both our apartment and the Watkins' down stairs. We are now living in style. Out of something bad, come's something good

I just finished doing the dishes, so Dana says we should get a picture of our new doors. Sorry I have a wet front. But hey, the dishes are done.

We love our new doors. Got a cool new peep hote. We even got a door bell button on the outside which looks cool ---- doesn't work though.

The following pictures are of a young teacher from Zibo, more about her and our time with her after the pictures.

This is Sharah Meservy, our guest and an English Teacher in Zibo about 45 minutes away by fast train. She was our guest for two days. We had fun as you can tell especially on Budda Mountain and at Black Tiger Springs, where she hammed it up and climbed all over the artwork for the best shot. She is a BYU Theater graduate. Could you guess?
As always, Jay
Dana will write more here... "It is time to move on from our last interesting but unwanted adventure. This event is called a break in or a burglary, and is just one of a thousand and one adventures we have had here in China. Those other thousand have all been positive, even great and often amazing. On the up side, we did get the two solid, new doors out of it and though we lost two computers and a video camera, we lost nothing else and we were not injured. I was in the middle of doing videos for movies in each of my classes, using the PHASE songs and I thought that I would not have to do them now, but the students have risen to the occasion and are figuring other ways to video them. This is really special because I was not sure if they even wanted to do these video projects.
Let's go back a few days and talk about what great adventures we have had. Sharah Meservy came to visit us from Zibo. She is a young woman who I visit teach via email and phone. She has not had the chance to go to an actual Sacrament meeting in 10 months. Well, on Easter Sunday, Jay and I went to Zibo by train and held a sacrament and testimony meeting with her. She works every Sunday. We invited her to come and visit us here in Jinan so we could show her the beauty of this big city. So, she came this past week for three days.
It was really fun. First we showed her all the wonderful places, some we had not really seen and she helped me with my English classes. We were working on the music DVD, so after a short lesson introduction, we all went outside and Sharah taught each of the boys how to do the waltz. She danced and talked in English with each of them. She is a darling girl and they were all excited about it. I taught the girls and wished that Tanner was here to teach them. He would have been a Rock Star that day.
In the afternoon, we would take her to someplace that had American food (Pizza) and then tour around Jinan. She loved to pose for picture shots. I told her she should be a model because she made each picture so cute. I have decided I need to start doing it when Jay wants to take a picture of me, so be ready for some really interesting pictures.
The most fun time for me was going to the Big Golden Budda Mountain together. When we got there I was not happy because there was no golf carts on this day to take us up the mountain. So we started the long cimb. Since I have been in China I have always wanted to hitchhike, but it isn't a Chinese thing. (Remember, when Jay and I were dating in San Francisco, we did it a lot, and once Grant (my younger brother) and I hitch hiked from Provo, Utah to Portland, Oregon for my older brother Scott's wedding. I still have great memories of those hitchhiking experiences.)
Well, back to Budda Mountain. As we were climbing I was getting tired and I decide to try to hitch hike. Two cars just drove by and look at me (with my thumb out) like I was a strange foreigner. Then car number three stopped and offered the three of us a ride. There was not room for all of us, so the car behind gave Sharah a ride. (They worked for the government on their way to work.) Instead of going to the Big Budda, we ended up going farther up to the top of the mountain. It is this wonderful place where we had a picnic lunch and got some really great Jinan Smog pictures for Sharah. She forgot her camera and so we took pictures for her which gave us some great ones also. After that we went to one of my next favorite places in Jinan, Black Tiger Springs. That is another blog.
Now on a really positive not, as we were leaving our eating area a little girl ran after us and asked if the wallet she had in her hand was mine. I had left it on the table. Talk about a blessing, because the wallet had many important things in it and I wouldn't have discovered it was missing until after we had arrived home. I still feel really blessed about that.

As always, Dana

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life is Great and Definitely Interesting.

Perhaps before you read this, you should read Jay's blog below first. This is Dana adding my feelings.
I feel sad that someone would do this but I am not upset, I just feel bad that some mother has to feel sad about their child. I had to remind Jay that in Utah we have had 5 cars stolen and a few bikes, and that what we lost were just things. Perhaps because of this experiences I will learn to do movies on a PC. Jay hopes I will lock the door better, but this happened not because the doors were unlocked. Luckly our cleaning lady had done a really good job of locking both doors and so we had great prove that someone did break in.
Each of the Chinese people we worked with on this theft have been really great. The police were really nice and because our cleaning lady had just cleaned the apartment that morning they were able to get some good finger prints. She does a wonderful job dusting, which I consider a really horrible job and don't do. Everyone feels so sad and sorry that it happened to us. I of course kept making jokes and wanting to clean up the crime scene. I didn't until we came back from the police station, okay This is the first time in 20 years of the foriegn teachers teaching at this university that this has happened. I think it will be the last. I really am not worried, this is a wonderful save place and I feel lucky that nothing bad happened.
How grateful I am for my own father who taught me to look at the best in all situations. When we had a fire in our home, when I was a teenager, he came walking up the driveway and the first thing he said to my mother was, "I never like the ceiling anyway." So my Mac was starting to make strange sounds and I was worried that it wasn't going to make through the next 4 weeks. Also, they are going to get us a new door and we now get keys to the other door. We will be using that one, it is right across the hall, until we get our new door.
I am really sad about the camera. We had just shot some really good video during the day with my classes, and that was taken along with the camera. I still have a lot of old material. Actually when I was cleaning this morning I found the two other cameas that really are junk. Luckly our pastports and visas were at our Wybans office and so they were safe.
Now Jay will have to share his PC with me and that will probably be the hardest part about this whole experience. Not bad if you ask me. All in all, I look at this whole experience as another adventure to see how we will reack to a difficult situation. As always, Dana


They took our 2 Laptops and 3 Cameras.

Jay lost his 17" Dell laptop computer and Dana lost her 17"Macintosh Laptop computer. They had all of our teaching materials, ppts, video clips, movies, and projects and complete student information on them. Dana also lost her nice and expensive, HD Sony Movie Camera she has been using to make movies of her class activities these past two weeks, plus two little digital Kodak cameras.

So we are pretty disgusted with the whole thing... We are here to help them learn English and to become better people. We have felt very safe here, but it is hard to love them today. We will again in time. We never thought that anyone would do this to us, but here are the photos of what we came home to today in our apartment. We filed a police report and went to the police station to file a theft report, give our mugshots and fingerprints so that they could eliminate ours from the ones they collected in our apartment. Hopefully they will find the bad guys soon and get our equipment back. Or, it already may be in Siberia. I did day that when they find them, that I would like them in jail for a long time in Siberia.

The door was broken and pried open with a tool like a pry bar.

We hae gone to bed without locks on these two doors as they are busted pretty bad. So I have made a booby trap for anyone who tries to enter. They will be sorry this time...
Oh, don't stop by and come in without knocking -- okay?

These were bumbling idiots who did not take the video projector, Dana's external hard drive, our internet hub, power cords, 300 GB USB Drives etc... I think I actually came home while they were in the middle of their heist, and they must have had a lookout, so I feel pretty lucky that they ran with what they could carry fast, before I got to the door. They are luckier though as I would have given them some of my Canadian Hockey Cross Checking and High Sticking! I am a BIG and ANGRY man.
Today really sucks! I am still up and posting this at 1:00 am...way past my normal bedtime...but like my sister Julie in Washington state, I am kind of wired!
Love you all.
Jay & Sleeping Dana.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010



We took a 4 day trip to RiZhao by the sea. We went with Richard and Paula Watkins, our neighbors and fellow English teachers here in Jinan. We had a great time. We went by bus.........

Don't we all look happy?

Bought another new hat. Cost is aways about 3. dollars.

Send Chocolates, Diamonds or FLowers!

TAI CHI exercise/practice by Paula while her husband video taped her. Notice the little vendor lady who stepped up to kind of mock her...or maybe to just exercise also.

Dana always find the wedding dresses in the hotel.

Beauty..... What can I say. I told my class when I showed them these photos of our trip today, that this bride is really beautiful -- almost as beautiful as my wife. They all agreed.

A whole family at play at the Bamboo Forest.

Girl playing the Erhu, a one string Chinese violin.

Fun at the Bamboo Forest recreation area.

The famous RiZhao figurine by the marina.

I came upon someone's wheel barrow at the beach.

Dana always finds a wedding. The brides are always so beautiful and small..


A Sugar friend. She (Christine) and hersugar company, import raw sugar materials and processes them in China and ships sugar worldwide. What a sweet job.

Two Buddas...?
Richard always wants the best photo try this one.

Two Buddist Buddies.

This little video clip below from an old TV series has a whole new meaning to us here in China. We are not allowed to discuss our religion with anyone! This is a totally different kind of mission. Hope this post brings a little cheer. However, we can and do send flowers!