Weihai June 24 -30.
Yvonne’s house: Yvonne invited us to see her new house. She worked all this academic year having the house decorated and buying new furniture. Yvonne’s house is a four bedroom, 2 ½ bath beautifully arranged condominium. The kitchen and living room windows overlook the beach that is about 3 blocks away. Her house is on the fifth floor of a living complex that is about 1 mile from the university and fairly close to the beach. I really fell in love with Yvonne’s house because it was light, airy, spacious, and well appointed. The master bathroom has towel warmers, a beautiful basin in the floor that serves as a mop bucket; the master closet is lined in cedar; and the kitchen is functional and with a great view!
Yvonne in front of her living room View from living room
Yvonne’s master bath sink View from kitchen window
Yvonne standing in a bedroom Deb inspecting Yvonne’s kitchen
Making jiaozi’s: Zoe and her son, visiting his family during a break in his Swedish University, invited me over to her house at the end of June to learn how to make jaiozi’s. Jaiozi’s are Chinese dumplings, which are bite-sized balls of meat and/or vegetable mixture surrounded by flour and water dough, and then boiled. Jaiozi’s are traditional Chinese comfort food – especially for people living in the northern part of china. The first step is to chop the meat – either beef, pork, or fish – into very, very small pieces and then marinate the meat in soy sauce. Finely chopped vegetables are added to the meat mixture and that mixture is allowed to soak for a few more minutes while the flour and water dough is mixed and turned into 50-60 2-inch round, thin circles. To make a jaiozi, a thin, round dough circle is held in in one palm, while using the other hand to ladle into the middle of the dough circle a tablespoon of the meat and vegetable mixture. The dough is pulled over the meat mixture and the traditional half circle is made with skilled fingers – not mine!!! The jaiozi’s are held on a large round wooden tray waiting to be carefully put in a pot of boiling water. The jaoizi’s are boiled for 15-20 minutes and served immediately. This lesson was like the one in Honduras in how to make tortillas from scratch. My tortillas became frisbee’s just like my jiaozi’s became misshaped little hockey pucks!
Celery filling Pork and onion filling
Pork and Onion filling with added vegetables Jiaozi dough
Preparing dough wrappers Finished filled jiaozi’s
Putting jiiozi’s in boiling water Prepared jiozi and cold duck lunch
Zoe and her son had invited Zoe’s niece and nephew to join us and we had a great lunch of jioazi’s, fungus, and cold duck! It was a wonderful meal and I am so thankful to have had this great lesson. After I recover from surgery, I plan to try my hand at making these delicious meat and vegetable morsels.
Finnie: Isaac also graduated on June 23, and we wanted to take him to dinner as well, but he was busy with the student group from James Madison University, so we arranged to go to dinner at the "Big Fish" restaurant on Friday evening for Isaac and everyone available in the International Office. We had a great dinner, of course, and enjoyed visiting while dining. After dinner, Yvonne, Lulu, and Isaac went home with us for a few games of cards, including Skip-bo. It occurred to us that we would be away from Weihai for 7 or 8 months, and obviously, I wouldn’t need my bike during that time, but we also realized that Isaac could use a bike, so we decided to give it to him as a graduation gift (and in appreciation for all the help he had given us during the spring semester), so we arranged for him to come and take the bike on Monday evening before we were to depart on Tuesday. Deb loaned her e-bike to Lulu and the International Office staff while we are away, too.
Big Fish dinner companions Isaac and Deb with Isaac’s Graduation Gift
Isaac’s Graduation Present – Finnie’s bike
On June 24, I had a meeting with Vice President Chen (VP for Academic Affairs) to discuss the information generally found in American university catalogs. After our discussion he invited Deb and me to lunch at a great restaurant down at the beach ( a new restaurant for us). He also gave us a big bottle (actually a beautiful crock) of Chinese white wine as a farewell gift.
Vice President Chen giving Finnie a thank you gift of Moutai
June 27 – Dinner with Yvonne’s parents. Yvonne’s mom, whom I had met during the university games day last month, invited us to visit for Sunday dinner at their brand new house. So, on June 27, we went for the visit. What a beautiful home! The home is on the ninth floor of a new residential complex, with views of the ocean. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Wang. Everything was absolutely delicious — causing us to wonder even more about how Yvonne and her parents are able to stay so trim! They were very kind and we enjoyed the visit very much! We went home with gifts, of course, including some delicious dumplings.
Wang’s living room media console Wang’s dining room
Yvonne’s bedroom at her parent’s house Wang’s bedroom
Wang’s living room Ms. Wang in kitchen
At lunch Deb and Finnie in Wang’s living room
June 29: Dr. Luo and the College of Business Party Secretary and Graduate Advisor came to visit me in our apartment. Dr. Luo has been very helpful and supportive to Deb as she taught her classes this past year. She was very happy to see Dr. Luo and Ms. Yi, the Student Advisor. They visited with us for an hour or so and then presented Deb with some beautiful gifts. Deb is thankful for everything that Dr. Luo did to help her as she taught this past year! Here are some photos of this special visit.
Ms. Yi, Deb, and Dr. Luo Gifts to Deb from Dr. Luo and Ms. Yi
Wenjing came by the office to say good bye and to bring a gift cross-stitched for us by her aunt and uncle! We hope to see Wenjing here in Texas in the fall since she is going to work on a Masters of Accounting Science at Northern Illinois University!
Farewell message from Isaac, Lulu, and Yvonne!
“We heart you” “Have Safe Travels”
On Wednesday, June 30, we departed Weihai for Beijing, where we stayed overnight and then from Beijing to the U.S. on July 1. After an uneventful trip, we arrived at our Texas Home in the afternoon of July 1, but due to separate scheduling, Deb and I traveled from San Francisco to DFW on different flights and so I arrived a few hours before Deb. Once in Texas, we immediately became involved in preparation for Kathy’s wedding. These activities will be described in our next entries — "Life in America."