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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

May 14, 2012

Cherish not Cling

We left Hong Kong over a month ago.
I will be starting a new blog about this next chapter in our lives.  I will update when I begin it. 

A wise friend shared with me the difference of cherishing and clinging.
The idea is that we should cherish the blessings, opportunities, friendships and good experiences we have in our lives, but we are not to cling to those things.  We are to cling to those closest to us, like our spouses, and children. As a Christian, I ultimately cling to God, the most constant relationship I have is the one I have with Jesus.
I can allow myself to be sad, but If I find myself trying to hold onto all the feelings, emotions and live in a perpetual state of lamenting the losses, then something is wrong.
We can cherish our time and our friendships, but it is to my husband and kids that I will cling. Those are the people that my ties should be the strongest, and relationships that need to hold up, regardless of our address.

So I will choose to cherish our life in Tai Po, the countries we got to visit, the delicious food we got to eat, the experience of a different culture, and a different way of life.

I will cherish the friendships, the richness of a life lived in an international community.

Our time in HK will hold some of the best memories and best times of our lives.

Our thanks, gratitude and love to all the people we have met along the journey.
In the hopes our paths will cross again one day.

The Harveys: for Christmas, Disney on Ice, birthday parties, op-shop- shopping, coffee, explaining all things Aussie to us ( and some African :-)
 Ping, Joseph and Joanna:we will remember playgroup and Christmas cookie making, and always an open door.
Kate, Daniel and Christopher:  Bible study, play groups, sharing life, showing us where to eat Korean in HK and in Korea.
Esther and Aaron: our first friends at Parc Versailles
Greenie and Jamie Lin: for making sure we had more friends at PV
Hoopers: Telling us about ECC, the quick bus from University to Ma on Shan and let us staying at their house in Brisbane
Noelia: for making me laugh and practicing my Spanish
Munleys: Almarie's brillance and bravery, Jacks humor, Mia's laugh and Hannah's insight
Abe: compassion and helpfulness
Whitfords: hiking, exploring, coffee, scrapbooking!, sharing,
ECC: Susie and the terrific Christmas programs, allowing us to teach those cute and super smart 5 year olds. Elaine and Alexis, Sarah and Andrew, Sherry, The Loks, Kiki.
NIS: The staff and the rest of our friends there, for making the school such a great place to attend and so hard to leave.
Denise: Being my first local friend, always willing to hang out, introducing me to Shabu shabu and yunnan noodle.
Krohns: Starting us out right and not leaving us to ourselves.
Annis': following God's call so we could be neighbors in a different country
For anyone else who showed me how to do something, shared a coffee and a laugh.

A photo from our last night in HK.

I thought this snap-shot of our last good-bye with the Harvey family was fitting.
They are exiting the platform at Tai Po Market Station.

The Sweeneys

May 4, 2012

Beginning of the end, saying good-bye

How do you say goodbye? If are like me you try to avoid ever having to say it.

 Those few weeks before our departure I found myself saying, "I'm sure I will see you again before I leave, so this isn't good-bye" As the time became shorter and shorter I realized I had to stop saying that and face the reality that there might not be another chance.

 This was the kids last official day of school at The Norwegian International School.
Mr. Eduardo the PE teacher.  
The friendly and caring staff, sent the kids off with momentos and class parties. 

Song Laoshi's gift to the kids was a traditional hat, it came from Beijing where her grandparents live.

My friend Abe Chung who has two kids in NIS,  coordinated a farewell dinner for our family at the Hong Lok Yuen country club.
Abe (in the white blouse) and Lillian (far lef)t are Hong Kong moms that are very active  at the school, without their involvement I am not sure how well it would function.
 They are also generous and lovely women.  This photo was taken  in 2011 at Almarie's birthday celebration. The three of us who are foreigners in the picture (Almarie in the striped and Tanya in the dress) had to leave Hong Kong reluctantly, it is no coincidence we also had the privilege to be friends with Abe and Lillian.
"Western friendly" Chinese dinner.  

I was touched by everyone who took the time to attend and I am thankful for the  opportunity to have been  part of the NIS community.