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Purposeful Wandering 2.0 http://blog.chinadaily.com.cn/?1371769 [Favorite] [Copy] [Share] [RSS] Read about my experiences and observations as an exchange student studying at Qingdao University! Full blog at --->www.kayyemmbee.com . ...

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Easter as a student expat

Popularity 8Viewed 2875 times 2014-4-21 21:17 |System category:Life| Easter

While not my first major American holiday spent overseas (last Fourth of July I was in Istanbul), this was the first family-oriented, Christian celebration I did not spend with my family. Despite that fact (or maybe because of) it will remain one of my most memorable.


The day started at 4:00 a.m. I’m not insane, I can explain! The international church I’ve been attending was offering a sunrise service on the beach, and we were not about to miss that. So I woke up before the sun, put on one of only two dresses I brought with me, and proceeded to try and find a way to this beach. Buses were just beginning to run. Cabs were sparse.  The usually bustling city was pretty vacant. We ended up taking the bus and trekking several blocks. But oh, was it worth it.


Just caught the sunrise. Apparently this beach typically avoids the crowds. New favorite place :)
Just caught the sunrise. Apparently this beach typically avoids the crowds. New favorite place :)


Here, we met Melanie from Florida and Brian from Ireland/Tennessee. New friends!! We all ate breakfast together. Of course, McDonald’s (and street food) was the only thing open. Some things never change.


After hanging out for a couple hours, we headed to the regular service. A large group from Africa (I believe Ghana, but I could be mistaken) were in town, and sang during the offering. It was beautiful, and reminded me a lot of last summer. They joy in their worship always hits me right in the feels.


Singing a song called "Be My Way"


Since it was Easter, several of my friends had invited some of their classmates. So a bunch of us went to eat lunch at a Korean place. Our group included girls from Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, London, and the U.S. I finally got to try Korean BBQ!! They fry the meat right in front of you, and it was SO nice to have simple meat not covered in sauces or oils. So many small sharing dishes and dipping sauces and FLAVORS. The egg cooking in the hollow around the edge was a nice touch too.


Sizzle sizzle YUM.Sizzle sizzle YUM.


After a few of us grabbed tea and smoothies. I crashed for a short and well-needed nap. And THEN we had the gathering of all Easter gatherings. A friend's mom had sent him a GIANT box of Easter goodies. We’re talking candy, dye, bags, window stickers, fake grass – the works. So he asked us all over to help him do away with it. Our Thai friend also made us several Thai dishes, Hunter made cinnamon rolls, we dyed eggs, and I ate approximately my weight in chocolate. This group included people from: Missouri, Michigan(?), Thailand, Korea, and Germany. Our friend Ping Pang broke out a guitar. We played Go Fish. A mix of English and Chinese was being used, with Korean, German, and Thai sprinkled throughout.


IMG_1785IMG_1787IMG_1788IMG_1790IMG_1791


I also got to Skype with my family later that evening. Even though my brother and I are both technically ‘adults’ this is the first year we haven’t done an intense Easter egg hunt/competition (that he admittedly always wins but oh well).


I may not have been able to be with my family. But for this year, there’s really no other way I would have wanted to spend the day.


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


Passing

Eggs

Flowers

Shake hands

Ray
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Comment Comment (12 comments)

Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-4-22 08:41
Kelsey, it sounds like a great memory on a great day.
Reply Report objchina 2014-4-22 09:14
nice memory
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-4-22 09:41
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report thomas.wood 2014-4-22 11:01
This sounds like a wonderful celebration of Easter and a great way to meet new people.  For Easter I ate hot cross buns with my British and Irish colleagues.  I'm not sure if they are popular in the United States, but they're very traditional for us.  You eat them toasted with butter.  My friend had managed to buy some on a recent trip to Hong Kong from Marks and Spencer's (a British retail chain) and it brought us some good memories of home.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-4-22 12:42
thomas.wood: This sounds like a wonderful celebration of Easter and a great way to meet new people.  For Easter I ate hot cross buns with my British and Irish coll ...
Yummy! I miss hot crossed buns!
Reply Report kayembee 2014-4-22 13:15
thomas.wood: This sounds like a wonderful celebration of Easter and a great way to meet new people.  For Easter I ate hot cross buns with my British and Irish coll ...
I'm not familiar with hot cross buns (except in an old children's song), but it sounds really tasty!
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-4-22 14:55
I forgot that it was Easter, well, to be honest, I never knew so I couldn't forget. I felt a little un-American for forgetting :/  Your blog post brought back great memories though of painting easter eggs!
Reply Report 财神 2014-4-22 16:01
wow! lovely composition.  
Reply Report Fred.Hui 2014-4-26 15:50
Easter,i didn't know it before reading your's memo.Although,you couldn't with your family together ,but i think you are happily.
Reply Report Samantha1st 2014-4-27 14:57
Yummy foods ~·
Reply Report thomas.wood 2014-4-28 09:50
kayembee: I'm not familiar with hot cross buns (except in an old children's song), but it sounds really tasty!
"One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!" - an early version of "buy one, get one free" I guess.  Try and get some for Easter next year.
Reply Report kayembee 2014-5-8 15:12
Fred.Hui: Easter,i didn't know it before reading your's memo.Although,you couldn't with your family together ,but i think you are happily.
It was a very happy time, thank you.

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