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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Mar 1, 2012

3 Years and 30 days

It is March 1st. The anniversary date of our arrival to the SAR of Hong Kong.
 3 years ago, we left Grand Rapids Michigan to begin our southeast Asian adventure.
 Originally we were told we would be here for 11 months.  I went through a tour book and started to make a list of all that I wanted to see and do in Hong Kong and we quickly began going through the list.
 Once our contract was extended to two more years we did allow a few more lazy Saturdays at home in Tai Po.

In 3 years we have been blessed to visit 8 countries (Nathan- 10)
We have traveled to Macau, Harbin, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Guilin

Nathan has hiked all 10 stages of the Wilson Trail

StageRouteLength (km)Time (hr)Difficulty
1Stanley → Wong Nai Chung Gap4.82.03/3 stars..
2Wong Nai Chung Gap → Yau Tong6.62.52/3 stars..
3Yau Tong → Tseng Lan Shue9.34.02/3 stars..
4Tseng Lan Shue → Sha Tin Au8.03.03/3 stars..
5Sha Tin Au → Tai Po Road7.42.51/3 star..
6Tai Po Road → Shing Mun Reservoir5.32.52/3 stars..
7Shing Mun Reservoir → Yuen Tun Ha10.24.01/3 star..
8Yuen Tun Ha → Kowloon Hang Shan9.04.03/3 stars..
9Kowloon Hang Shan → Pat Sin Leng10.64.53/3 stars..
10Pat Sin Leng → Nam Chung6.82.02/3 stars..[edit]

His favorites include:
Pat Sin Leung
Lai Chi Wo
Ma On Shan
Lion Rock

I will be doing more posts about what we will miss and highlights.

The kids have had so many first while here- first plane ride, lost teeth,  riding a bike on 2 wheels and tie shoes.

30 days is how much time we have in Hong Kong. We will be moving back to Michigan by April 1st 2012.   It was our desire to stay at least through the summer, but the decision was not ours in the end.  I know God has led us here and believe He will continue to guide our path.

I don't know if I am ready to leave. I am not sure if I am ready to say good-bye to sunny days in January,  cheap and safe public transportation, mountain views that inspire and move me on a daily basis, bartering for a better deal, buying fruit and vegetables at a fraction of the cost at an outdoor market.
The sights, smells and places that I now find familiar and call home, will be missed.

My eyes fill with tears and my heart aches at the thought of leaving the people.

The strangers that I see every morning, outside doing their exercises or Tai chi, Sometimes with swords and fans. The older men carrying around their birds, inside the cages. The impromptu karaoke singers and dancers.  The mountain bikes with external speakers, blaring canto pop or opera. The market vendors who make sure to give me the correct change, even when I am unsure how much something cost.  The estate guard who is always smiling and gives the kids Lai see. The lady who sweeps the sidewalks all day and yet is quick with a smile and  jo san jo san.

It is of course the people whose faces and names I know well, that I will miss the most.
 I have always joked that all my friends have to stay in Hong Kong, as long as I am here.  One of the first questions you ask someone when you meet them is, How long will you be here?
Saying good-bye to friends you have known for a short while, but feels like forever, is common here, but that doesn't make it any easier.



1 comment:

Elaine and Quentin: said...

Heartfelt and beautifully expressed .. I can see how much the children have grown and I love that early days video of the kids packing to come to HK! You may need to change the name of the blog as you won't be in China anymore but I hope you continue to update it so that we can enjoy keeping in touch and catching up with each other's adventures. We never know where the road and the Lord takes us - but I pray you will travel with his love and blessings (along with the many friendships made, old and new - like ours!)