|Latest Journal Entry: CLICK HERE|
Wow, I can't believe it's been since last July that I've updated my web site and added to our adventures in China! But, as they say, time flies the older you get....but this is ridiculous :-)
Anyway, since last July what has Bruce and Yanti been doing? Well Yanti took a 3 week Mandarin Chinese course and can now speak Chinese! She's really amazing. She can chat with local folks, help get us around town, bargain, and more! Of course she speaks 5 Indonesian island languages, as well as English, and now Chinese! She's also started to learn to play the guitar. I bought her a nice one for her birthday and she's been plucking away on it. She gets better each and every day and now has calluses on her fingers. I have only been working and tutoring several students. That's about it for me since last July except for.......
We applied for Yanti's Visa in April 2004 and were hoping and praying that she'd get it before Dec. 2004 when we'd have to leave for Calif to be with my folks for their 60th Wedding Anniversary. Well, it did not come in time. We were both extremely disappointed and angry, but as Yanti says "what can you do?" So I left for Calif and flew non-stop to LA on Dec 16th. I had a wonderful 2 weeks with my relatives. My folks had arranged for suites for us all on a 5 day cruise on Royal Caribbean's "Monarch Of The Seas". It was so great to be able to relax; spend lots of time with my brother and sisters and their kids; plus catch up with my Mom & Dad. So, I relaxed, ate, visited, and ate! We arrived back in LA on Christmas Eve and I had a wonderful 'Family' Christmas with my brother and his great family. I felt really pampered by his lovely and very sweet wife Teresa. On the 26th, I rented a car and drove up to San Francisco to visit my friends up there. The wonderful Chris & Ben were visiting his family on the east coast so I got to house-sit his great house in the Oakland Hills. My best friend Suzie put together a great dinner party at Skip & Kathy's house in Marin one night so I got to see all my Marin friends. Plus some breakfasts and dinners with other friends and capped it all off with a great New Year's Eve party at Jim Pire and Kelly's great place in Oakland. On Jan 1st, I drove back to So. Calif and flew back to Shanghai on Jan 3rd.
To everyone that made my trip SO enjoyable, I want to say THANK YOU!
Yanti flew from Shanghai to Surabaya on Dec. 14th. She was a little nervous about the flight though. You must remember that she had only flown 3 times in her whole life and all three were with me. But, it went very well. She met folks waiting for the flight and was able to be relaxed and helped along the way. She was able to spend time with her folks, brothers and nieces in Pasuruan, Java and even go to the neighboring island of Bali to see friends there. She flew back to cold Shanghai on Jan. 15th. I really missed her while we were apart and was glad she had a great visit and nice flights.
As I mentioned we had originally applied for Yanti's US Immigrant Visa in April, 2004. After the paperwork, forms, and certificates are ok'd here in Shanghai, they are sent to Beijing to the American Embassy there for approval. We waited 4 months and received that approval in July. The approval letter asked for some more information, tax returns, etc and said that her interview would be scheduled and that we would be contacted 30 days before. We waited; we waited; we prayed; we waited; others prayed; we waited; etc As I mentioned we really wanted it to happen before Dec. 15th so she could come to Calif. But NO! We finally received her notice in early March 2005!
I've written up a separate account of her interview and our train trip to southern China HERE. It tells of her interview; our train trip; our visit to Hong Kong, and more.
Since my contract at Wall Street English is for only one year and ends at the same time as our 1 year lease on the apartment, we've known that we had to make decisions for what to do after the end of June, 2005. I had origianlly promised Yanti that we would only be in CHina for 1 year and it will have been 1 and a half by the end of June. She really misses her family and her country. I, of course, miss Bali and my friends there. I've applied at several schools in Bali and in Java for teaching positions and with my experience in China I received several good offers. None in Bali, but several in Java near Yanti's family. I've also been in contact with a wonderful guy I met in Bali in 2002. He is Dr. Louis Leonardi. He and I worked together to enhance his website DrLeonardi.com, check it out and read all about him and the wonderful work he is doing. Anyway, he has just completed a 5 year labor of love. It is a book entitled Pre Surgical Care. It deals with the preparation one can and should go thru to ensure a very successful surgical procedure along with fast and complete healing. He asked me to help him with editing and one thing let to another and now he and I are partners! He'll be contacting doctors about the book; while I'll be putting together the web site (PreSurgicalCare.com - temporarily here: PreSurgicalCare.com). So Yanti & I will be saying good-bye to China in early July and returning to Bali!
But, I will need a Indonesian Business Visa before we go back, so Yanti & I will finally get to Beijing in late May/early June. We'll only be there for 3 full days but that should gives the time to see all the great sites there. SO, my next update with be with that story and those pictures :-)