Thursday, January 31, 2008

Severe Weather in China, Coldest in 50 Years!

Read the following link for Severe Winter Weather Info

Guangzhou is the Province in China that we live in. It has been unseasonable cold here. The northern areas of the country are being hit the hardest with freezing rain and snow. We had to buy a heater for our apartment as it has no heat! We are staying warm, although Bev has no heat in her classroom and a large wall of windows. It is 2:00 pm and the outside temp is 46 degrees F. Many of you are thinking that would be a heat wave but here it is as cold as -10 would be there. People are trying to travel to their homes for the Chinese New Year which is Feb. 7th. Up to 2 million people are stranded due to a breakdown in the transportation systems. Trains, Planes and Buses have been halted due to the weather conditions.
Our school is doing a humanitarian effort by spending $1000 US to buy and distribute blankets, food, and warm clothing. They are purchasing the items today and will be distributing them to some of the 150,000 that are stranded in the Guangzhou train station. Pics will follow when I get them.



Picture (Metafile)

American Citizen Services

Warden Message: Severe Winter Weather

U.S. citizens are advised that severe winter weather has affected Eastern, Central, and some areas of Southwest China. Snow and ice storms have caused widespread road and rail closures and many flights have been cancelled or delayed. Travelers are experiencing long delays and transportation of food and other supplies has been temporarily stopped. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor news and weather reports before traveling to or in China. Even areas of China outside of those receiving heavy snow are affected because of transportation disruptions during this busiest travel season of the year leading up to the celebration of the Lunar New Year next week.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Bike for Tim!

My New Bike parked in our extra bedroom

The bike shop that I bought my bike from

I have been borrowing a bike and riding with a good friend of mine. We take off right after school and can get in a pretty good ride for about and hour to an hour and a half. It gets me out and allows one to see more of the area and life around Shekou. Even with the pollution issues I think the exercise is good. We do lots of walking but that doesn't get your heart rate up like riding a bike.

As you can imagine, especially if you know me, purchasing a bike was not a "go to the closest bike shop" or second hand bike shop, (lots of those around) and just get a bike. No, I had to drag this out to more than a three week process. (Rob and Sev are not surprised to hear this) That included discovering new bike shops, (not as easy as the yellow pages) taking trips to bike shops, many test drives. lots of discussions about frames etc. In the end I found a bike I really liked at a pretty fair price at a new bike shop that sells to the upscale bike enthusiast. Of course the frame size I wanted had to be ordered and then there is the discussion of the price and options etc. This was much more complex and took longer than my usual car purchase with the language complication thrown in just for fun and of course I involved a few friends to get the final purchase made.

I think I am going to like this bike. Now if I can keep it from being stolen for a while! Some of our staff have lost up to 4 bikes in a two year time frame!