We've had a busy last few days. I've been here and there literally in Danyang on Tuesday then ended up going to school with Ben yesterday to meet with Director. We're working on finding some opportunities for me to help out with the school. Sorry we can't exactly expound on any details as there is nothing nailed down yet nor do we want to jeopardize anything.
Our little city is still digging out of the epic snow fall we got earlier this week. All over town I've seen construction bulldozer like machines (I don't know what they are exactly) scooping up huge piles of snow then loading up dump trucks to be taken out and away from the city. Seeing all the piles of snow really puts the amount of snow that fell into perspective. With narrow neighborhood streets there is no room for 2 feet of snow so it just has to be removed.
The sun has made an appearance for the past two days which has really helped melt the horribly icy sidewalks and and make getting around not so treacherous. I can't tell you how many times Ben and I have almost kissed the concrete out front of our building. The steps are some kind of stone but they are just slick as can be and even a little water makes them nerve wracking so ice is just a nightmare.
It's been incredibly cold at nights again too. It seems to come and go every other week, it warms up and then its back to the single and negative digits. With all this cold and snow we were aching for something warm, filling, and homey. There was only one sure fire thing to hit the spot... a huge pot of potato, bacon, and corn soup.
Potatoes...check, bacon...check, corn...check.... the only things I couldn't find for this were creamed corn and evaporated milk but there ended up being a workable solution for that. I just used regular milk and I found a corn cream soup mix in the store to help give it some more flavor and a creamier consistency and wow did it do the trick like a charm. As usual when I cook here I had my fingers crossed hoping especially since I'd made such large pot that it was good. It was outstanding according to my dear hubby, an absolute success! Score another one for me! It was thick and warm and comforting just like I longed for. And to top it off we of course picked up a nice crusty baguette to tear apart and dip into the deliciousness.... oooooohhhh yuuuuuum! It was just heavenly.
I know it all sounds ridiculous that we enjoyed a pot of soup this much but it just really hit the spot for us. A taste of something I used to make at home and I found away to make it work here. I think that pretty much sums up a lot of about what we're doing and learning here. It's not that we don't like things, food, or life here but we're still adjusting and sometimes its just that little stuff that reminds us we'll be ok and its ok to miss home and our silly little favorite things.
I finally feel like we're really settling in and its a nice. Ben's enjoying teaching and I'm finally finding my routine, the routine that nothing here is routine. It's just what we were searching for all along, daily adventures. The routine I have found is being comfortable in my own house and daily life; hand washing dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc. It seemed like it was going to take forever to adjust to the simple stuff but the dust is really starting to settle (I say that jokingly because no matter how much I clean there are always dust bunnies here). We haven't decided if its because we live off of a busy street although being winter out windows are always closed, or if its because of the laundry that we wash in the kitchen and dry in the dining room but there is always dust and linty stuff flying around.
Being at school yesterday while Ben was teaching was nice, it was fun to hear the kids roar with laughter as Ben was just being Ben. I can see in the cute little girls eyes they think he is so cute and they just giggle every time he walks by. They even told him in class a while ago that they thought he was handsome, more handsome in fact then the lead singer in one of their favorite bands "Oasis". Now that's a compliment as obsessed as they are with their boy bands here. It's just cute to hear Ben talk about the kids and how he genuinely enjoys teaching them. Granted they are a few that love to test him but that all part of the fun.
One last thought for the day... this morning we some how got talking and dreaming about New Zealand... again. Actually, its never left the back of our minds. Oh, what glorious place! Being here and doing this has only added too our desire and made the dream seem all the more attainable. If we can move this far around the world with hardly a thing to our name and not knowing a soul, New Zealand isn't that much farther! So who knows when or how but at some point we're going to NZ; if only just to visit but hopefully to live! We wanna be kiwis and maybe even have our own kiwi eventually ;) Enough of that I'm getting to far ahead of myself... thats for blogging about down the road.
Well, I'm off to grab a bit to eat then attack the bathroom with a bottle of bleach water before Ben comes home from work.