Friday, September 18


Hi friends,

I am so sorry that this weblo has been inactive for so long.
I haven't been able to use this weblo, for technical reasons, and regret it greatly.
Please use email to keep in touch with me.

You are always in my heart, and I pray God may lift your spirit through all the challenges you may face, so yours may be a life of joy and felicity.


Monday, April 6


A central theme in my life for a long time has been embracing paradoxes, specifically that of time. Everything you've ever experienced was all preparing you for this moment, what you do in this moment will affect the rest of your life, while all there is is here and now. The play I've written for my theater students at the French School of Shanghai, while based on the ideas and stories they created themselves, tells a story of how one embraces the paradox of time.

And now Aeryn's awake.

Sunday, March 22

Aeryn Turns 6 Months Old!

From Family Favorites

Well, Aeryn's growth and happiness are the most important, but I'll also mention that Lillian's mom has moved in with us, as of last month, and her cousin and her mom have moved into an apartment in the same complex, and we've been having large dinners all together - not to mention picnics (photos not yet uploaded).

I've recently joined a local theater group, called Grass Stage, which has been great, not to mention that my weekly middle school after-school theater activity is progressing, as we recently finished our script.

We've started values workshop in our neighborhood, originally developed by my sis Charlotte. It's for mothers and their babies together. We're making new friends and learning lots!

Saturday, December 20

Life with Aeryn

Oh, my friends! If only I could share it all with you - the joy, the wonder, the laughter, the contemplations...
May these picture go their meager way to approach a representation of a life with Aeryn.

That said, going through my life in Martinique and in the US has been fascinating: my parents shipped all of my stuff here to Shanghai when they moved here in the summer, and I've been very slowly going through it. How shall I incorporate all of the learning of my life into cohesive action both





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Friday, November 21

The family is reunited now, the five of us having moved into a 3-bedroom apartment. At the same time that Lillian and Aeryn came back home and the move, I changed jobs, now a classroom teacher in kindergarten for a bilingual class. I'm teaching half the week in English, partner teaching in French.

With my family here, the order of the universe is restored.

Tuesday, October 14

Still Struggling

I'm having a horrible time away from my wife and baby. Actually, every day is a beautiful gift, and many things are going great, with progress on almost every front, including with Aeryn and Lillian, as we navigate the new sea we have attained together. It's just so torturous to rise to face the day without laying my eyes on the most precious gifts I have.
I pray for strength and peace, which God alone in Her grace and bounty can provide. She truly can turn night into day, and a gnat like myself into an eagle. Through Her assistance, I can continue to be a support and resource to Aeryn and Lillian, as we continue to talk every day, encouraging each other and planning our promising future. I also continue to sing prayers to Aeryn every day on Lillian's speaker-phone.

Thanks again to the friends who have sent emails (I'm way backed up again), SMS messages, phone calls and gifts. They are always appreciated.

These pictures are from when Aeryn's first few days (the last was taken a day or two before). I broke down in tears today when writing in an email, "Aeryn is coming up on her first month in this world", thinking at how I haven't been physically with her for most of it. Our souls are forever connected, though, and she fills my heart with joy, even from afar. We will be reunited on November 2 or 3, and I will cling to her with all my energies, praying to be made channel for God's infinite and all-encompassing love.
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Sunday, September 21

I'm back in Shanghai bis

I'm back in Shanghai, alone :(But my heart is filled with the joy and excitement of Aeryn's birth. Her coming to this world, nine months in the making, is the greatest and most significant event of my life, and I'm trying my best to fully appreciate it and step up to the responsibility that is now mine of becoming a better and better husband and dad.

The stats:Aeryn Leigh / 李思齐Born at 20:04September 17, 2008,or the 18th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar,or the 10th day of 'Izzat (Might), 165 of the Badi calendarweighing 3kg and measuring 50cm
Our growing family sends all our loves to our family and friends, who have been so supportive.
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Monday, September 1

I'm Back in Shanghai!

Sorry, friends, for the long delay since my last post...

Today is my birthday!

My parents and I have been in Shanghai for a little over a week now, and we're settling in pretty well. My mom starts class today. She's teaching the English portion of a bilingual French-English kindergarten class. I have another two weeks before English classes start, and this year I'm only teaching grade 1, instead of K-5.

The most important, of course, is Aeryn! Lillian's doctor said the baby is basically ready, and labor could start any day!

More later.

Thanks again to all our friends who have sent the encouraging messages, and don't hesitate to call either (ask for my number in your next email to me).

Tuesday, July 22


Here are some Google products I use and that I would strongly recommend!

* Google Search: obviously

* Gmail: I have tested more than 40 different free web-based email services, and while I found that was better than all the rest, Gmail far surpasses even the latter!

* Picasa: an excellent picture editor I used to keep the visual records of my life organized. User-friendly, posts albums to the internet, etc.

* Google Reader: my trick to keeping up with all my friends' weblos! I can read all their new entries just as I would read an email, plus I can take it offline!

* Google Earth: The best way to explore the Earth. The number of features recently added to Shanghai is great - go visit my current home!

* Google Talk: my favorite instant messaging service

* Google Documents: I've used this at work to coordinate student lists with the English teachers team. You can put text documents, spreadsheets, etc. online, and people you invite can edit it.

* Google Calendar: There a Chinese holidays calendar, my work calendar, my activities calendar, my theatre group's calendar, all of which can be turned on or off for ease of reference and quick browsing.

* Google Sketch-Up: a 3D modeling software I'm using to design the interior of the condo we recently bought. I've put up all the walls, doors, balcony, and have started to put in some furniture.

* Google Sets: works like a search engine - you put in a few words and it creates a longer list. I used once, for instance, when trying to buy healthy, good quality shoes. I knew the names of a few good brands, plugged them in, and Google Sets expanded the list so I could look up others on the web. I used it once for teaching English. My theme was the ranch, so I put some ranch-related words, and it gave me a bunch more!

* Hello: only used it a couple of times, but really fun - you can use it to have a dialog exchange of photos with a friend.

Yay! Google updater is cool too, and I used Google Desktop for a while, but it slowed down my computer too much. When we get a new one in a couple years I might use it again.

Tuesday, July 15

My Family & Friends

I'm so moved right now because of the immense loved I have received from my family and friends in Korla. Here, by marrying Lillian, I have been included in a circle of love and unity that I could never have imagined. I was expressing that to my parents-in-law today, and through my perspective, they gained new insight into the beauty of their friendships here.

My mother-in-law July, has three younger sisters.
* One of them who comes over every day is always bringing things for us, like a humidifying/cooling unit, her juicer, almonds, etc.
* Another treated us to the best lamb kabob! (some of you may not yet know that I've been less strict about my vegetarianism: I eat fish and sometimes lamb, mostly because it's a local specialty, and criminal to pass up on, not to mention it's free-roaming!)
* The other aunt who lives here (the second eldest lives in Shanghai) opened her home and her fridge to us anytime we want to use the internet (I've mostly been coming to this internet cafe with a privet room for 3RMB/min)
* Our cousin on my father-in-law's side offered to pick up my folks from the airport as soon as he learned of their coming (most of the family has no car)
* The midwife and caretaker for our baby, and head of the maternity dpt at the hospital is a friend of the family, and is following Lillian's progress closely (we're not really supposed to know if the baby's a boy or a girl, actually...)
* Her husband is teaching me the basics of Chinese medicine - I'm visiting him for a few hours at his doctor's office three times a week
* Another common friend just offered to give me a wooden human bust with holes at the acupoints for me to practice acupuncture's!
* The head of the boxing company my parents-in-law work with (they kind of freelance as Xinjiang fruit distributors around China) took us out to lunch

and we've only been here for two weeks!

Our baby is a girl! 我们的宝贝是一个女的!

We just found out today, so I thought I'd let you know!
我们今天才知道, 就想告诉你们!

I didn't realize how much find out would bring me joy!

We're focusing on Lillian and the growing life within.

Sunday, July 6


It's been great getting opportunities for leadership:

- Coordinator for the primary school English teacher team
- At the forefront of theatrical activities for the German and French Schools of Shanghai and their collaboration
- Meeting with the Director of the French school to further the progress of the school, its internal workings and relationships with partner schools
- And I might be offering a teacher training at a local school here in Korla this summer!

Below are some pictures from a theatre workshop I lead during the Rencontres Theatrales d'Asie:

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Friday, July 4


Starting our seventh month of pregnancy. Everything is all about the baby - for now, and forever!

We've been in Korla, Xinjiang for a few days,

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and I'll be here until the end of August. Lillian will stay until the delivery some time around the end of September, at which point I will be back here to be with the family again. In the meantime, I will have started my second year teaching English at the French School of Shanghai, which has been absolutely fabulous so far. My mom will also start teaching there this Fall, so my parents will both move in with me/us.

My spiritual brother Robbie's getting married in September.

so I'm really excited about that too.

Sunday, May 11

Happy Mother's Day

Fun stuff:

And this is from NewBeat, where I used to teach - Shout out to Jackie, Christina and Jessy (one of my old students!):

Wednesday, May 7

Eminem, Britney Spears, Integrity and Dignity

So I just want to say I love Eminem and Britney Spears (among others) for their strength and courage in facing the masses of self-righteous backbiters and slanderers. (I just heard "Piece of Me" - thanks cousin for putting the track on your MySpace profile!) I don't know who came up with the idea that disagreement with someone's music is best expressed through slander... Have you noticed it boosts their popularity? I would totally sit with either or both of them for a drink of white tea... I need a refill on this cup.


Not the first time I post about mommies...

So Lillian is almost half-way through her pregnancy, and it's so exciting and so amazing. The intensity of having life born of love growing in this beautiful sanctuary of the womb is shockingly delightful! Prayers appreciated.

My own mommy just went through knee replacement surgery. It was successful. It's been a most intense year for her. Lots of challenges, more downs than ups... I really hope she gets the job she's applying for at my school so we can hang out and so she can be around for her grandbaby. Prayers appreciated.

Lillian's mom, Zhu Li Li, has been living with us for almost two months, taking care of us by keeping us company, cooking and looking after our affairs in the traditional Chinese family way. I love having her around, and her cooking is fantastic!

Stephanie Dornbrook has been a motherly figure in my life since my 1997 move to the US, and her recent passing has brought us closer. I always try to live so that my appreciation of this world trumps the saying "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone", but it's a work in progress. I've spent more time with her from a world apart than I had recently when we were both in this one. She's always been so good to me...

Lillian and I have really loved seeing babies in our friends lives - particularly pictures! Thanks a million to Liza for all the weblo posts and pics. Shout out to Jerome and Demie who are expecting, Liesel who's in her last months, Mara and Liam, Joleen recent mother, and many others... So many beautiful mothers! And wishing for Javad and Li An's July marriage to be quickly followed by baby production so our kids can visit each other in their gorgeous home towns of Lijiang and Guilin!!!


PS: Listening to Stereophonics. A band I like is Song of Water


Lillian, her mother and I spent ten days of relentless efforts to find a beautiful home for our family - and we found one!

Friday, April 18

Trip to Tonglu

I traveled with a class to Tonglu. Click link for more pictures