Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why All The Bags?

When my dad made the suggestion that we take public transportation out to JFK Airport, I had a good laugh. I mean, my dad's premise was a sound one...

You're going to China for a few months during the summer. How many bulky things can you be packing?

Well, here's the missing piece. Over the years, we have established many ongoing friendships with folks in China. In the beginning, it was when we were coming back to the US that we brought along a lot of clothes and other souvenirs. Now, though, our crew here is well-stocked in all things Chinese. In fact, here is what my mom said the other day (reiterating a point she has been making for weeks)...

Don't bring me back anything from China. I love my purse and blanket. But, please, don't bring me anything this time.

(I can't make any promises, as Desi is prone to going rogue in the shopping markets!)

So now we carry goods the other ways. American clothes to Chinese kids and teenagers. A make-it-yourself model of the Empire State Building (a gift to a friend's son who loves skyscrapers). Assorted other dolls, toys, and trinkets. Winter coats (yes, winter coats!). Even some clothes and other goodies for an American friend who is shortly returning to China and lacks available luggage space and weight.

So, no, Dad, we will not just be jumping on mass transit with just a couple of rolly suitcases!

~Steve

PS: We take off in a few hours. We'll be seein' ya on the other side!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just In Time...

...For us to board a Russian aircraft and fly around the world, this news comes out of Russia of a plane crash that has killed 44 people (there were eight survivors). Our first thought is to pray for the lives lost and survivors. More personally, this news is a bit nerve wracking in some corners of the Balla family.

~Steve

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blow, Big Man, Blow!

The sound of the wind is a little bit sweeter today...

~Steve