Archive for September, 2006

History Made: China Meets Catan & My First Chinese Joke

[A brief note: To those not familiar with Settlers of Catan, it is a game that Sara & I have played for a number of years. Although we love the game, we have loved even more the many, many friends that we have gathered around the table to play with.]

Historic Occurrence #1

We taught our first Chinese citizen to play Catan! Our friend Eliza joined us this week and she did quite well (an extremely close 2nd). Now only 1.3 billion (minus 1) to go!

Historic Occurrence #2

During said game, I made my first joke in Chinese (that was actually funny). In the middle of the game, I asked Eliza to begin teaching us how to say the different parts of the game in Chinese. We learned that sheep = “yang” (our ultimate goal is to play an entire game in Chinese!). Another friend of ours (Holly, also a newbie) was getting boatloads of sheep. At one point Eliza asked ME for sheep and I replied, pointing at Holly, “why don’t you ask ‘yang nu ren'”, which means literally “sheep woman”.

Okay, so it was funnier at the time. Let’s still count it as historic.




Weekend Note: This weekend marks the beginning of what is called “National Holiday”. This cleverly named holiday is like America’s July 4th. On October 1st, 1949 the Peoples Republic of China was born. We Americans may or may not take a day off for July 4th, the Chinese have a full week to celebrate (we have so much to learn from these people!). So the entire foreign staff here is heading on a retreat from Saturday through Tuesday. We will likely not have Internet access, so pardon our delay in responding to emails and Skype.


Hannah & Mia Chime In…

By popular demand, “Alive” by the Kennedy sisters (NOT the P.O.D. version…)

You might want to turn up your volume. Watch out Bono!

Click here for video.


Super Bloggers, Jr.

So in response to the newest and youngest bloggers on, our dear and consistently hilarious friend Jerry created this visual homage to Zach and Noah.

To fully understand this, a brief bit of history. Jerry, his lovely wife LaWanda and their beautiful daughter Rachel are also new residents of China working for our same company. Our families bonded a few months back in Colorado. It was there that we both began blogging. Since then, they have been, let’s say, uber-observant of our propensity to update our site. In fact Jerry even created a online dedication to yours truly (click here for link). Hence the recent picture of my boys.

I could not resist turning this exchange into yet another entry….

— Dan

Zach and Noah b and r.JPG


Lions and Tigers and Bears


We discovered the Zoo this past week. The Zoo has a wonderful display of bears … panda, black, brown and Tibetan. Despite what I think were signs advising against feeding the bears, it was obvious the bears were expecting food from our little group. They were incredibly interactive, and followed us as we walked around the perimeter alternately standing and sitting. We found the Tibetan bears especially engaging and beautiful. What a privilege to see them!


The rest of the animals were in enclosures more reminiscent of US Zoos in the 1950s, before natural habitats for Zoo animals became the norm.

The Zoo is nicely landscaped, including a large display of larger than life foam/rubber dinosaurs set against the backdrop of our modern city. The paradox makes an interesting photograph.


We also brought our stroller — and were reminded again how much we miss ADA guidelines. One more important lesson learned!

Finally, a picture of a delicious, almost-but-not-quite-what-you-expected fruit we enjoyed at the Zoo. We think it may be a hybrid orange & lime. It looks and feels just like an orange on the inside, but looks just like a round, plump lime on the outside. The taste is also more sour than an orange. So many interesting discoveries in our host country!


Big Day: Zach Lost His First Tooth (includes video!)

During fellowship this past Sunday morning, Zachary wiggled free his first tooth. A giant sigh of relief could be heard across the land.

Click here for a short video clip of his take on the events…



Bookstore Treasure

We are always on the lookout for wonderful places to explore while the Kennedy men are in their more formal learning environments during the day. So on Monday, we followed a tip to a local bookstore downtown. Right there, in the middle of our city, on the 7th floor of a Chinese bookstore, was a magical place of sun, sand and surf. For a mere 20 kuai for each girl, we enjoyed several hours of fun sliding, jumping, digging and making friends. We are so thankful for this fantastic indoor playground!


Our friends Annie & Samuel, Hannah on the trampoline, Mia & Hannah swing


TGIF in the PRC

Date night!

With special kid-watching help from our neighbors, Sara and I got to go on a real date! Come along with us…

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We started at T.G.I.F. You would have thought you were in Anytown, U.S.A. Just thankful to see real ketchup…


We were so proud of the US culture being imported…

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We then took a stroll through a local neighborhood. First two are a market-like place, the third is an Internet cafe.


The highlight of the night was spending time at our coffee shop where every Friday night they host ‘English Corner’. 40-50 local college students come to practice their English. We felt like celebrities — all we had to do was hang out and talk. They were an impressive and motivated group of people. Several new friends were made…

— Dan


DK Conference

Last weekend, I was honored to attend a CEO conference in the southern part of China. I was the only Caucasian in the entire conference (and probably the hotel). Although the conference was conducted in Mandarin (of which I know approximately 24 words), I learned an enormous amount. This is an excerpt directly from my journal:

“So I really understand very little about this CEO conference. It’s all in Chinese. I don’t speak nor understand Chinese. [Re-reading Blue Like Jazz, which is why I am talking like this.]

My mom loved Helen Keller. She had a big picture of her in their bedroom. I have always heard that people who are blind develop their other senses well beyond the rest of us.

That’s how I felt this weekend. I didn’t understand the words but I heard the tone, emotion. I saw in their faces joy, pain, remorse and peace.

My favorite time was wrshp each day. I am a good clapper. It taught me that G is a big g. And that we have much to learn from the Chinese.”

I can share more in a more intimate setting… Picture time:

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On Saturday night, a local friend and I got to meet up with ‘Aunt Rachel’ (the amazing friend who lived with us for the past several months and is now a teacher in Wuxi!).

— Dan

1 comment

You say Olympics, we say Scipmylo

Scipmylo is Field Day at the kid’s school. It was awesome. A few pictures:

DSC00729.JPGThe whole school participates

DSC00718.JPG Big crazy ball throwing finale
DSC00686.JPGThe Brothers

DSC00692.JPGDSC00695.JPG DSC00707.JPGThe Sisters
DSC00699.JPGDSC00702.JPG Zach a) competing in the classic Hang The Clothes competition, and b) doing a jig.
DSC00725.JPG Some things don’t change – Noah marches to the beat of different drummer.

DSC00688.JPG This was just funny. Read the T-shirt…

— Dan


In China

[Note from Dad: Zachary did this all by himself. I just helped a little with the video. Please listen for his use of ‘three bullet points’.  I have never been so proud. The movie he referes to can be seen by clicking here or copying this link into your browser  From Zach:]


In china it is alot different then the U.S.A .And alot the same in different ways.

The movies show you how.


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