Tuesday, August 29, 2017

School Starting

School at YCIS has officially begun and the girls had a wonderful week. They both enjoy that they get more recess time and play time than in the states. Nina is excited about violin class and can't wait to actually start playing. She has learned some of the basics to Chinese character writing and we're impressed with her work already. The girls are thrilled to have a playdate this weekend with a classmate since they could never do that in Saint Paul with their classmates living in White Bear.

Ben is exhausted from taking on 5 preps which include many ages he's never taught before. Friday was a bit better and he's excited to find a groove. The classes are not too big and most the students seem eager to work. He's pleased with the school lunch :)

During the weekend, we got out a bit and loved our trip to the Jing'an temple. The history and character of the temple was truly awesome. A longer post on temples will be upcoming. We also got some rollerblading in at Century Park (we still haven't seen the whole park).

Monday, August 21, 2017

Shanghai is big

The Naks are explorers and we have walked well over 50 miles, taken taxis for another 50 and trains for another 50, yet we have hardly scratched the surface of this gigantic metropolis. It's amazing to see how new and old can often come together and, while we appreciate the history of the old, we are also grateful for the English subtexts of the new.  

Shanghai Library 

The girls have been pretty awesome and find fun stuff to do on most trips. In particular, the girls seem pleased whenever we find a mall (which are plentiful) and every one is massive, looks pretty, and smells great (fun fact). We enjoyed exploring part of the French Concession and the Shanghai library recently and were kindly welcomed into a church referred to us by Ben's cousin Lara. As school starts our exploring may be taken a notch down, but we're determined to keep expanding our horizons.

Monday, August 14, 2017

We're Here

The Naks have arrived in Shanghai and we're beginning to figure out life here. It's been a hot week since we got here and we're glad that our apartment has four A/Cs. The girls are doing extremely well: sleeping, eating, playing, fighting, and walking with the same regularity that they did back home. 

Ben's work has been extremely welcoming as they have helped us to meet others, get to know the city, and set us up with day-to-day living items. They even hosted a few dinners and a boat cruise on the HuangPu River. The girls loved touring their school and can't wait for it to start on the 22nd.


It seems like each day brings about a new milestone in our journey, so here are some of the bigger ones:

Aug 5: Arrive and reach our apartment

Aug 6: Wander the neighborhood (in 100 degree heat), find the local supermarket and buy a lot of cereal, peanut butter, and mac 'n cheese
Aug: 7: Sleep past 2am for the first time, learn how to use the metro (it's cheap, clean, and in English!)
Aug 8: Learn how to take a taxi (they cost about $3!) and go to Ikea
Aug 9: Get phones! Oh my gosh, life is so much easier with a phone. You can wander, find supermarkets, order taxis with ease when you have a phone!
Aug 10: Finally be able to understand 75% of what our Scottish friend is talking about. While on the subject, the Brits often complain about London, the Aussies have the weirdest phrases, I still can't stop giggling when the Canucks say "eh" and the Irish are just fun people
Aug 11: Discover how to order groceries to be delivered to our doorstep - life just got even easier! No more carrying backpacks full of German milk in the heat. (Note to self: master ordering dinner in the same manner)
Aug 12: Fully explore our "New Como" (Century Park) which is actually way bigger than Como
Aug 13: Teach Nina to embrace celebrity status as every Chinese parent wants their child to pose for a picture with her (Apparently the blonde child is akin to unicorn status)
Aug 14: Get scooter - We are moving now! Watch out, Shanghai!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Off we go

Well our bags are packed and loaded, we're through security, and we're headed toward a new chapter in our lives.  We're excited for things to be happening after planning for so long.  We're sad to leave such amazing family behind and wish we could beam you over for visits.  We hope to have access to this blog soon in order to give you updates once we make it to Shanghai.  

We said goodbye to many of our favorite things and people.  The girls had a wonderful time at their sleepover with Annie when they took senior pictures. ;)  Ben and Kara got a trip to Chicago to finalize visas and managed to meet up with June for a lovely visit.  We are lucky to have gotten to meet up with Lara, Shane, and their family and received a ton of awesome advice on how to live in Shanghai.  They have been (and continue to be) inspirational, generous, and helpful.