Monday, April 07, 2008

Spring has come to Japan

Just a few random shots from Beijing.

Here is Janienne bargaining for her fruit and vegetables at the market about 100 metres from their modern apartment block

The food is very cheap but may not be clean. Janienne puts all of her fruit and vegetables through the ozonator before eating them.

Beijing is a city of contrasts. There are extremely modern and posh department stores and very dirty, smelly streets not far away from them. There is plenty of evidence that the Chinese are trying to do things better for the Olympic showdown. Because there is not a shortage of workers - there are people doing jobs all over the place to clean things up - like street sweepers, bus monitors to make you queue up instead of pushing, police at intersections to try and control the traffic. Flowers and trees are appearing out of nowhere - that is from some outer province. Beijing will certainly look good for the Olympics as long as you can see it through the smog which they say is only mist.

I was thrilled to see this sign outside the one Cathholic cathedral in Beijing and the message is in English. We saw many evidences of God using people to bring a knowledge of Jesus to the people of China.

We are so fortunate to be able to experience four separate seasons in Japan. As you know at home it is either warm or hot and that's about it! The day that we left for Beijing was also the day our homestay kids set off for U.S.A.

The cherry blossoms are in full bloom this week just as we arrived home from a 2 week stay in Beijing. I don't have any pictures yet as it rained heavily all day today. Maybe some we saw in Beijing will have to do for now.

The new school year starts tomorrow, 8th April, an unusual time to begin but that's the way it is here. We are eagerly looking forward to meeting new students and continuing on with our current ones. Our schedule will be condensed into three days of the week - Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday leaving Thursday for informal contact with our students or doing special things like cookery or 'pot luck' at our house.
That's all for now folks!

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