Trip to Guilin and Yangshuo(桂林和阳朔)

On China National Day, our family joined a few friends on a trip to Guilin. It was one of the most beautiful places we have visited so far in China. The mountains all around were very dramatic limestone formations. The cave we visited took 2 hours to meander through, where we started at the bottom and gradually found ourselves high above the rock and formations we had just seen. I hope these pictures help to give some idea of what it was like.

 

Double Q

Alemayehu Paul (博文)

Growing up in China from the age of 6 months, Alemayehu became interested in football at the age of seven, playing around outside with his parents. Since then a fire was lit, and for him football has grow into a life passion. He has become quite a formidable player in his own right, representing his primary schools both in Hangzhou and Shanghai, and playing with the regional teams in both cities at higher levels.

DOUBLE KILL ||  The Double Q Club

Fluent in both English and Chinese, you may have come to know Alemayehu through the character he plays, called Double Q, where he introduces Chinese language and culture with funny bilingual skits, often with himself.

His dream is to one day play football professionally. I hope you will check in with us periodically to watch us along this fascinating journey.

To learn more about our lives in China, click on Life Stories in the main menu.

 

Without further adieu, here is the premiere of the Double Q Series, Double Kill. We also have more videos posted on Youku.com and Youtube.com.


 

HERE are some more videos posted on Youku.com.
 
For those who can access it here are some pictures through the years.

Alemayehu Paul Annual Spelling Bee Competition

2013 Spelling Bee ChampionSince the year 2010, the Paul family has sponsored the “Alemayehu Paul Annual Spelling Bee Competition” at ShengDa Unniversity in Zhengzhou, China. The fourth annual contest was held in November 28th, 2013. Over 150 students took part in the preliminary judging, with 60 students chosen for the second round. Students prepared word lists relevant to their studies with lists of words chosen from TEM4 & 8 examination vocabulary. We are very happy to sponsor this yearly event, and hope that it will encourage ShengDa students to always work hard! We would like to thank the staff and directors at ShengDa without whom this event would not be possible. We would especially like to thank Mr. Frank Zhang张保培 (Zhang Bao-Pei) for his tireless efforts, to stage this event every year.

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 1.28.36 PMCONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS!
Pictured above is our first prize winner 杨培培 (Angel).

PRIZES
1st place 1000RMB and a trophy
2nd place 700RMB and a trophy
3rd place 500RMB and a trophy
Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 1.54.33 PM

Not a Baby Anymore!

ippWhere does time fly to? Living in Hangzhou and raising our son just the two of us has its challenges, not the least of which is the family bonds we long for, and try to foster with Skype calls and Facebook messages, a far cry from a grandmother’s hug and an auntie’s scolding. For our son, his family, although quite large if you count all the relatives in Barbados, the US and Guyana, is reduced to visits every other year from Lester’s mom (we love you Janette Paul), and a blurry computer screen image of my family.

It’s really just us witnessing him transform. So Skype, Facebook, Google Plus and this website are so much more for us that just highly technical forms of communication. They help to build a crucial bridge of support for our family ties. I grew up in a huge family, with my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins on both sides filling my life. For Alemayehu, Lester and I are basically his whole world. He has already lived in 4 apartments and traveled to about 9 counties so we think stability and ritual are important; and family. We hope everything his is able to experience makes up for the fact that an extended family is just an abstract concept to him.

To all my friends and family reading this, I know I have not been the best at keeping in touch, but I love you all. This blog post is for you, just as much as it is for Alemayehu, to show how proud we are of all he has achieved last year. He started piano classes (will add a video clip of his first recital soon) as well as Tiquando classes. He is in his last year of kindergarten, as Chinese students don’t start primary school until 6 or 7 years old. We spent a much more upbeat Christmas holiday last year, and had a really restful Chinese New Year. There are also some more pictures of his 5th year birthday party, and his closest friends. He recently started to write to his friend Natasha who lives in the Ukraine and spent last year in China. Hope you enjoy the pictures and this quick recap!

 

 

Recent Trips in China

Capped Off with Yellow Mountain

Since returning from our holiday trip during the Spring Festival, Lester Alemayehu and I have visited a few more interesting spots in China. We thought you might like to take a look!

Heng Dian

The first stop was Heng Dian a small town 4 hours out of Hangzhou. This town is famous for it’s movie sets as it is the largest of its kind in Asia. You can visit famous sites like the Forbidden City or Hong Kong streets all in one day! We chose the local temple and garden grounds for this weekend’s haunt.

Hangzhou Wetlands Park

The city of Hangzhou and our new home has an amazing botanical garden as well as a great wetlands park and some amazing tea tree hilltops, all quite large and spread out in comparison to the small size of the city. We went with some friends to visit the wetlands on a sunny spring day. Their son Danny was born the day after Alemayehu.

Hong Cun – Hong Village

The next location was the our most picturesque stop in China to date. WWe took a school trip with Lester’s workmates to Hong Village and Yellow Mountain about 5 hours drive away. I really enjoyed this particular trip, and despite the incredible crowds, I still think it was totally worth it!

Yellow Mountain

Last but not least, the amazing Yellow Mountain. Our timing was perfect. The weather was gorgeous, and the clouds delicately wrapped mountain peaks, making for excellent pictures.

 

3 Countries, 2 Beaches and 5 Cities

IMG_2627Lester, Alemayehu and I went on an exciting tour of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia over the Chinese New Year Holiday. The best document of the trip is on Facebook, click on the albums.

We have been traveling around Asia for 5 years now, and this last trip was our most ambitious yet. From Hangzhou, China to Malaysia. First Kuala Lumpur, then Pangkor Island and Melaka, We could use one word to describe Malaysia… SWEEEEEET! We then took a bus to Singapore, and Lester had quite a harrowing experience at the border. Alemayehu and I with our American passports were allowed in without question, but no-one had heard of Guyana, and after learning where it was, they apparently could not figure out why he would want to travel all the way to Singapore. We were shocked and disappointed at this treatment, especially as it was Lester’s second time in the country. He represented Guyana at an international Commonwealth Youth Parliament event. After 3 nights in Singapore at the home of my friend and teacher Cai Qing, we finally moved onto Indonesia. It had been a lifelong dream of mine to visit Indonesia and learn more about batik. In Yogyakarta, I spent a day creating my own batik design with some professional batik artists. We then flew to Bali and spent a few thrilling days on the beach there. Alemayehu learned to swim in the pool of the hostel! He had been on the brink of swimming by himself after swimming in the pool of our last apartment and on our last trip to the Philippines. We finally coaxed him into taking the plunge! Our last stop was Jakarta where we did some shopping for gifts.

It was an amazing trip, and we learned a lot about Asia, this sort post really does not do it justice at ALL. If anyone would like more details, let me know.