27 January 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Happy Year of the Water Dragon!

The last week has been full of Chinese New Year activities. This year is a Dragon year so there are dragon decorations all over the place. I have learned a lot about Chinese customs for the new year as well.

One of my friends told me that on Chinese New Year's Eve it is traditional to clean your entire house top to bottom so that no "bad luck" follows you into the new year. Well, my place needed a good scrubbing anyway so I spent time over the weekend sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, and re-arranging my apartment. Since my place isn't that big it didn't really take me that long.

Sunday evening I went to the Taize service at St. John's. I love Taize, the YAMs back home have been doing a couple services a year and I always looked forward to it. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that several of the chants in the service were ones that we had used. Father Nigel gave a great little homily too (the reading was the wedding at Cana, and Jesus turning water into wine.. much food for thought!), and I left feeling centered and positive.

Me & Kyle in Tai Po
Monday evening I went over to a friend's house to have dinner and say goodbye to another friend of ours who is returning to the States. It was sad to say goodbye but we enjoyed a few hours together before loading her up on the bus and chasing after it to wave at her.

The Wishing Tree
The next day we all went up to Lam Tsuen to The Wishing Tree to visit some friends who live nearby and to throw wishes at the tree. You can't actually throw your wishes onto the wishing tree anymore due to an accident that occurred a few years ago (a branch fell and hit two people...) but they have fake ones set up nearby. Mine stuck on the first throw! Yippee!!

Hong Kong's Famous CNY Fireworks
In the evening we headed back to Tsim Sha Tsui to the home of Rev. Catherine and her husband to watch the fireworks from their apartment. Hong Kong's Chinese New Year Fireworks are famous world-wide, and after a good 30 minute show I understand why. It was good to hang out with some of the Cathedral clergy and other folks from St. John's.

My Fellow Hikers

Rev. David invited me to go on a hike with some other folks on Wednesday, so even though it was kinda cold and rainy I suited up in as many layers as I could manage and headed down to the pier. There were five of us all together and they were much better suited for a cold rainy hike than me--mainly, waterproof jackets... We rode the ferry to Lantau Island and took a bus to Pui O where we then got out and walked along one of several trails. After about an hour or so of a soggy hike we stopped for lunch near an abandoned prison. Rev. David's wife had brought along some delicious hot soup which she shared (although the rain kept spattering the soup!). Since my feet were getting soaked and she was also getting cold and wet, we decided to head back and wait for the others in Mui Wo. We warmed up in a cozy little place with hot toddies and when the others met up we took the ferry back to Central.

mmm soup! it was so good

Cloudy Lantau
On the trail

cold and wet on lantau

It may not have been the greatest idea to hike in cold rainy weather but it was fun and I had good company. But, sadly, now I am dealing with a resurgence of tonsillitis and have spent the last couple of days at home snuggled in blankets. I saw the doctor yesterday and she prescribed some medicines for me (thankfully I got this one early so it wasn't as bad as when I had it last fall). Hopefully I will be back on my feet tomorrow. Your prayers are appreciated!!

Next week: preparations for the next Give Care day on Sunday and a visit from Peter Ng! Looking forward to both events :D

Grace and Peace,

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