momma-jamma in China!!

My mom is here! The girls call her 'jamma' which fits so well. She is so energetic and full of adventure! We are so glad she made the long trip to be with us for 2+ full weeks! Here are some highlights of our jam-packed, fun-filled visit:

Jamma with E&A at NanMen GongYuan 南门公园 (the People's Park)
Here she is making friends with our favorite fruit-stand lady & being her friendly self!
E&A atop Hong Shan mountain 红山with Jamma-banana! (Red Mountain)
Visiting an ancient city with 1000 Buddhist Caves outside of Turpan - mom made another friend with a Uyghur musician. He was so sweet!!
Reading lots of stories on the couch....
And one final picture that just shows how she has impacted us all:
We love you SO much mom and we had such a blast with you!! Thank you with all our hearts for taking the time to join our clan in the wild west of China. Thank you for loving our girls with all your heart, and being so easy-going with all the cultural differences out here! We know how shocking it can be! You were incredible!! We miss you so much already!



Blogland is a strange and beautiful place. I actually really miss it. I feel like I have typed 17 million beautifully crafted posts in my brain over the past 4 months. And its amazing that time has flown by so quickly without a tangible post on this 'community journal' of mine. I am humbled that others want to read my heartfelt thoughts, and I love that I can share more about the people and land that we call home.

I have been visiting the States for the past 5 days, and its a taste of heaven to me. Seeing people who have shaped me, poured their lives into me and challenged me to live beyond myself - has been so therapeutic. I have cried lots of tears: joyful ones, healing ones. Thank you for listening, lifting, and asking deep questions. Being here for my sister-friends' wedding was perfect in every way. I am so grateful for this trip - and for Justin gifting it to me. I haven't been away from them ever....so this was a restful haven, and a wonderful time of reflection for me. Yet I miss them like crazy!!

I am leaving in about 24 hours, and I haven't even updated this blog like I had planned (in my brain). Its kinda on the bottom of my list, since the face-to-face connections rank above an impersonal online journal. Maybe someday I will have full access to the lovely internet once again, and I will catch you up on the happenings of our foreign lives. Also, know that we will stay safe. We are taken care of in such intricate ways. Our bodies and hearts are held by a Strength that none can fathom. We will do our best to communicate in creative ways as I go back, so stay tuned. The adventure is not over - and you know how we LOVE adventure! As I depart, I will paste something I wrote about the riots in our city, so you are aware of our situation. We love you dearly, and I return with hope & peace, feeling loved and encouraged. Thank you with all my heart. ~ Alia (my Uyghur name)

07-05 Riots in Urumqi

This afternoon, major riots broke out across our city. We never imagined anything like this could ever happen here. Many people have been killed, wounded and now arrested. This is the scariest thing we have ever gone thru in our short lives, and yet – because of secure nature of this country, we are not going to share much about these events on our blog. We do not want to share opinions or details of events without being able to share the entire story. Please take time to scour other news sites to get a better picture of the history of tensions out here. You can find more about these events on other news sites. Thanks for thinking of us!

The most recent news I could find: CNN Sept 8th, 2009, and China Daily.