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.