Fredstock     Wild Park      Shanghai                                                                                                        The Blob,  Vol. 3, Issue 9, September 2008
Thursday August 28th, 2008
Fredstock
So we were off to Puerto Galera this past week-end to celebrate a birthday toga style! The island transportation is on trikes (right) and a group of us started a motorcycle gang called 'One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish'. I was Two Fish. :)
I went kayaking everyday to private deserted beaches which was a lot of fun. On the last day I broke the record by kayaking to beach #7 (the previous record was beach #3). Normally I was tired by the time I reached beach #1 but this one day I had energy which I realized later was
because the wind and the waves were with me. As a result, the ride back was quite difficult fighting the wind and the waves which were just capping. I really just wanted to turn off to one of the other beaches which would have felt so good, but then I would have missed the boat home. It made me think about our spiritual and emotional lives. Often it feels good and easy to pull over or give up and it's so easy to do in western culture. What force is there to push us to persevere? In the physical with my kayak, I had to get back to go home. In the emotional and spiritual realms, the goals are not as clear. It's difficult to discern the difference as to whether we're missing the boat or being smart.

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Sunday September 14th, 2008
Wild Park
So we had our first Saturday service with the grade nine students at an animal sanctuary. What happens is that people try and smuggle animals into the country illegally. When they get caught, the animals end up at this park. A lot of them are quite beautiful but the cages are very small and ugly and many aren't too happy about being there. What can be done?
I also went to my first fashion show the other night which was a little disappointing. The style seems to be about revealing more. Why? Someone

needs to take the lead and show the world what good fashion really looks like instead of following this revealing game.
My cab driver couldn't give me change for $10 this morning so I had to go into church and ask a stranger for money to pay my $1.50 cab fare. I've never lived in such a cheap country before so it surprises me to hear from other people that things are expensive here. It's also interesting to hear the veterans' stories. Overall they're quite positive, but some are negative. I'll have my own someday but it seems impossible to me now. What changes to make us complain about things and places and even people we once loved?
I'm coming Shanghai! Maybe Australia too??? :)

Thursday September 25th, 2008
Shanghai
I finally made it to China! Yay!!! I attended a teacher's IT conference which was pretty cool. I was quite surprised at the 'control' over the city. I expected a fair amount of chaos but I ended up feeling like I was in a western city. Most traffic obeyed the lights and I didn't encounter any great masses of people. I totally loved how so many people of ALL ages bicycled around the city in dresses, mini-skirts, suits etc. . . They also have a LOT of electric scooters and bicycles which is great for the environment but slightly dangerous
because you can't hear them coming. I heard somewhere that England made them put noisemakers on the electric bikes because of the danger. How funny! :P
Those are some of our IT teachers on the left. We took the high speed train to the airport - it maxed out at 432km/h - things were just whizzing by . . .
IT is really cool and fun. We had a gaming competition yesterday as part of the spirit day and it was cool seeing all of the students have fun. I hope we never lose our humanity in this transition. Nothing compares to a real game of marbles.