Sunday, May 09, 2004

[via China] We are all doing well

Hi Mom,

Happy Mothers Day....
We are doing well. I'm having a bit of trouble with the internet and the computer.... plus with the digital camera, but things are fine otherwise.

Upon our arrival Erik had a bunch of nose-bleeds. They have ended.

Yesterday I had a bit of an explosion in my digestive system --- but that was just messy in the bathroom.

If that is the worst of it -- we are doing well.

Catherine is now teaching her third class. Yesterday the size of the class rose from 13 to 21.

Of interest, since 2000, they have had a 7-day holiday starting May 1. Then on the 8th and 9th -- sat and sun -- they get right back to work. So, there wasn't a typical weekend. Sat and Sun were work days.

Beijing was nice.

Bikes are everywhere - no helmets.

Our boys are a bit of a eye opener for the locals. We get a lot of stares -- but not too much. Lots of people don't understand English.

This is a huge city. First day the sky was milky -- no clouds, nothing but a white blur above. Hardly able to see the shine of the sun behind the cover. Then the second day the real smog came and has been with us since. Hardly able to see the buildings 3 or 4 blocks away. There is a smell in the air of car fumes, gas/deisel.

Our apartment is nice. It is on the 5th floor of a complex with 5 larger (24 stories) buildings. Guards at the gate, small playground, more exclusive than most other places I'm sure.

We are taking a lot of urban hikes.

More homework for the boys. Today in the afternoon we'll drop by the American Consolate office just for good measure. Then tomorrow we hope to start our looking for violins. Saw some in Beijing's department store for $50 with case and bow.

Love to all.

Mark, Erik, Grant and Catherine

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