Missing our family and friends
We all have faced challenges and hardships because of COVID, some more serious than others. While Jeanee and I have persevered here in China, we have not been able to see our two boys and family for over two years. We speak by WeChat and live vicariously through their messages and photos.
Some people ask if we are bitter because of decisions we have made that physically divide our family. If we were pursuing our lives apart solely for financial reasons, we may feel frustrated and depressed. However, because Jeanee and I continue to believe that we are making a small difference in our efforts to bridge an increasingly large cultural divide between our nations, we still are proudly dedicated to our mission.
China has embraced us like family, and we are daily spending time with hundreds of people who remind us that they believe we are making a difference.
Yes, we deeply miss our family, but the warmth of our neighbors and friends has made our global lives rewarding.
Another Rural Education Project in the Works
Our new site in the Shibaoshan National Park is nestled in the mountains alongside two ethnic villages, one Bai and one Yi. The Bai are indigenous to the Dali region and have a total population of nearly 2 million. The Yi are found throughout Southwest China and number over 9 million.
In the Bai village, we will be restoring and repurposing the old city hall (first photo below). It will now serve as an education center for students. We will have accommodations for 25 students and 5 teachers, classrooms, exhibition space, dining room, and a student-run coffee and tea shop open to the villagers.
In the Yi village, which is situated at 9,000 feet above sea level, we will be restoring an old courtyard home and farm (second photo below), turning the site into an agriculture experiential learning center. Jeanee has always wanted a farm, and she will now be able to raise her own animals and grow her own crops. Jeanee looks forward to working with the villagers and friends to turn it into a beautiful and vibrant place for young and old alike.
We will be working on the project from August through early autumn and hope to receive our first group of guests/students by the middle of October.
A peek into our lives in Stone Dragon Village
We are regularly hosting social media companies at our various sites. Recently, we had the honor of spending a few days with one of the leading foreign social media celebrities in China, Raz Gal-Or. Raz operates the Foreigner Research Institute, also known as Y-Platform, a social media group that documents the lives of foreigners in China.
Raz and I spent time in our new home- the Shilongcun Village of Shibaoshan National Park. As you can see from the video, the villagers have embraced us like family, and we are daily humbled by their hospitality and support.
Please spend nine minutes with us in our mountain top home.
Hope that you enjoy a slice of our lives in rural Yunnan.
我们定期在喜林苑的不同门店接待各种媒体和采访。最近，我们有幸与中国著名的外国社交媒体名人之一——高佑思(Raz GalOr)在沙溪石龙村共度了几天时光。 高佑思是“歪果仁研究协会”的创始人，一个记录外国人在中国生活的社交媒体平台。