Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mid-Autumn Festival

Monday was Mid Autumn Festival. It seemed similar to our Labor Day in that everyone had the day off and families relaxed and went places together. It's based on the moon (we had a lovely full moon the night before!) and the tradition is to give "moon cakes" to friends.

That morning I skyped my parents, as Ryan worked from home to catch up on hours. The previous week he'd had to take off work for a doctor's appointment and a trip to a police station to register our address - where Hadassah had her picture taken with an officer by his request. ;)

Anyways, once I finished skyping, I suddenly got hit with a wave of homesickness. I really missed my parents. And I really missed my younger sister. I just wanted to be there, not here. I cried. Sometimes you don't realize how much you love people, how much you want to be there as they go through life, until you're across the world from them. But God was gracious to have my sister skype in unexpectedly soon after. And then that evening we went over to our neighbor's house for dinner, and it was a wonderful time.

They've truly become friends. When she first knocked on our door last week after being gone for a month, I almost hugged her. (It doesn't seem part of the culture here, or I would have!) It struck me that she had truly become a friend then, a familiar face that I'm excited to see.

His parents had come back with them to stay so her mom could took a break from caring for their son, and they made us an amazing treat: dumplings! They'd worked for 3 hours and made SO many... we ate as much as we could hold and there were still more left that they urged us to eat and we had to refuse. :)

Hadassah loved the attention from the grandma, though every 5 minutes or so she'd get afraid I'd leave her and come crawling over to me. ;) But the grandma always thought of something new to entice her back, including bouncing her on this blow-up horse tirelessly.

After dinner it was conversation and children playing - always in motion, those two! We have been blessed with some great conversations with them recently. It's great getting to know them on a deeper level! 

 Once we'd given the dumplings a little time to digest, it was time to share a big fancy moon cake! It was partly for the birthdays of the grandparents too, so we sang "Happy Birthday" in Chinese and enjoyed the treat. I'd brought over a cinnamon apple bread for them too.

They also asked why we chose Hadassah's name, and I was able to tell them the story of Hadassah (Esther) from the Bible with more detail. They listened attentively to how Hadassah was chosen out of all the women to be the queen of Persia, of the threat to her people the Jews, and how she prayed and then had faith and courage to go to the king and ask him to save her people. I think they like stories, so hopefully we can share more with them!

The littles are cute. They're still not old enough to play together that much, but they interact some and he will call 'Dassah by name. :) During dessert, they reached across to hold hands briefly. I think Hadassah started it, by dropping some of her food on his arm... but at least they're interacting! ;)

After time with them, the loneliness wasn't so great. It's hard being away from family and old friends, but it is a blessing to make new ones here.

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