The Beginning of the End

Lately, everyday here has been so bittersweet. The first thought that comes into my mind every morning is the number of days we have left, and the after that I feel extremely emotional. I am anxious to come home and see our family and friends, who we miss so much.

But I am also extremely sad to leave this chapter that has been our life the last 3 months and all of the amazing people who have filled it. I could write an entire post about the impacts that spending everyday with 30 strangers, and 80 adorable kids has had on my life, but I will save it for a later post.Last weekend, Derek and I joined our friends; Tanner, Jessica, and Trevor to a shopping day in Shanghai. We woke up extremely early and caught the early train. We all had a list of the last souvenirs and Christmas gifts that we needed to buy. And after a couple of hours, all five of us had our arms full with new things.

In the last 3 months, we’ve been to Shanghai four times. Knowing that this time was our last made it a little different. We have finally got used to how the bargain markets work, what subway station to go to, where to find lunch. And now that we are finally comfortable in this once unfamiliar city, we are leaving it. Next time we visit Shanghai, we will be boarding our plane and heading home.We came back Saturday night and all grabbed dinner at one of our favorite little restaurants by the school. We are enjoying all of the Chinese food and time spent with these friends of our’s as much as we can. On Sunday, Derek and I decided to go exploring once again. The weather was amazing! With a high of 65, we knew we didn’t want to waste the day sitting inside our dorm. We took a taxi to a place called Wuxi, which is about a hour from our city. There is a sight seeing place there that we have been trying to make it to since we came to China. And it did not disappoint!There was a giant Buddha there that stands at 289 feet, along with other beautiful statues, and a Chinese theater show that we enjoyed. We also experienced completely vegetarian, tofu noodles for our first time.Along with all of the man made beauty, the park was filed with natural beauty as well. The leaves were all bright yellow and red and the sky was bright blue. It was the perfect fall day. And the perfect little break that Derek and I needed to have together after spending the previous day being extremely busy shopping with our friends.

In the last couple weeks, the rest of our time has been filled with Derek trying to get over a head cold, (that I gave to him..whoops) going out to dinner with friends, having game night as a group, giving way too much love to our students, and celebrating the littlest moments together.

Just like time makes the leaves change in the fall, time makes things change as well. Change brings new beginnings. It brings growth, adventure, and memories. And with all of that, change also brings endings…and if you’re really really lucky it brings the happiest of endings. Here’s to the last 21 days in this beautiful chapter of life we’re living in!

“Watch the beauty of your life tree, old leaves falling and allowing new ones to sprout !”
-Joy Lima

Onto the next adventure, Wren



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