Maria Holland

Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

I Am Confident and Unafraid

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Most of the shock wore off last night, I think.  Today it is easy for me to imagine myself in this place called “Xiamen, China”.  I came home and immediately began my Xiamen research.  A quick Google of “xiamen blog” yielded some interesting results, as did “xiamen expat”.  Just hearing about it from actual people made me feel better.  Here’s a list of things I discovered and am excited about:

  • January averages around 11C (52F)
  • July and August can get up to around 88F (31C).
  • nearby Gulangyu is known as Piano Island
  • Da Xia is ranked 13 in the nation
  • There are two Catholic churches, with a Sunday Mass in English
  • Tesco!

My main concerns remain the likely dominance of seafood and the alleged unintelligibility of the dialect.

Most of the responses to the mass email I sent out yesterday expressed surprise that this idyllic tropical island wasn’t my first choice.  I was so excited about Chengdu, for reasons that most of my family for instance doesn’t understand.  But, since last night I have become confident about this as part of God’s plan for me.  I trust that He will not ask me to go through anything that I can’t handle, and I further believe that His plans for me will benefit me in some way.

After all, Tulsa wasn’t my first choice either . . .

Surprising News From China …

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2009 at 5:07 am

When I got home from class today, there was an email waiting for me from Liqing Wei, the Chinese consul.  I officially have the scholarship and I’ve been accepted . . . at Xiamen University.  It was my 3rd choice school.  Since I sent in the application, I had considered the possibility of not going, but not the possibility of going, but not to Sichuan University.  Anyway, my first reaction was to try and remember everything I’d heard about Xiamen: 1) it’s beautiful, 2) it’s a tropical island.  That’s about it.  A little looking online revealed that it is not one of the Three (or Seven) Furnaces as I had feared, and apparently it is relatively well-off because they have a lot of foreign investment.  It’s also right across the strait from Taiwan – interesting.  The school has about 18,000 people and the city has 2.5 million.  My biggest fear is that they’ll eat a lot of seafood.

It was crazy to even think about.  I still can’t figure out what has changed and what is still the same.

~ Maria