Deb’s and Finnie’s Life in Weihai – Entry 23f

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's new house 1 Yvonne's new house 2

Yvonne in front of her living room                  View from living room

Yvonne's new house 8 Yvonne's new house 11

Yvonne’s master bath sink                  View from kitchen window

Yvonne's new house 6 Yvonne's new house 10

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!

 sm Making Dumplings at Zoe's 2 sm Making Dumplings at Zoe's 3

           Celery filling                                      Pork and onion filling      

sm Making Dumplings at Zoe's 4 sm Making dumplings at Zoe's 5

Pork and Onion filling with added vegetables               Jiaozi dough                

sm Making dumplings at Zoe's 6 sm Making dumplings at Zoe's 8

Preparing dough wrappers                      Finished filled jiaozi’s             

sm Making dumplings at Zoe's 9 sm Making dumplings at Zoe's10

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.

Thanks, Deb!

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.

sm Farewell dinner at Big Fish sm Isaac and Deb at Farewell Dinner

     Big Fish dinner companions           Isaac and Deb with Isaac’s Graduation Gift

sm Isaac and his new bike

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.

VP Chen 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.

sm Wang's new house  2 sm Wang's new house 7

Wang’s living room media console                 Wang’s dining room         

sm Wang's new house 8 sm Wang's new house 10

Yvonne’s bedroom at her parent’s house            Wang’s bedroom               

sm Wang's new house 12 sm Wang's new house 15

Wang’s living room                                     Ms. Wang in kitchen  

sm Wang's new house 14 sm Wang's new house 16

                       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.

sm Ms. Yi, Deb and Kuo June sm COB Gifts to Deb in June

     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!

sm Wenjing Farewell sm WuNiu framed and hanging on wall in our house in Texas sm

Farewell message from Isaac, Lulu, and Yvonne!

sm Finnie&Deb We love you! sm have a safe trip

“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."

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This entry was posted in Life in Weihai Diary -- June 2 to July 1, 2010. Bookmark the permalink.

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