so THAT'S a good sign! I think...
Not TOO much to report from here. I started volunteering at the Community Center last Tuesday. I answered the phone and registered a few ladies for classes. The director was very sweet and bought me lunch. I only had 4 boiled leek dumplings. I didn't want to look like a little pig. She kept saying, "that's not very much!" I am weird, what can I say. Anyway, she is such a cool woman. She's American (I am not sure where she is from, I need to ask her). She told me she was so happy that I am helping them out. She said, if she were in my shoes (recovering from the brain surgery and relocating to Asia all in one breath) she'd be home sucking her thumb! I told her, well, despite outward appearances, I am still shell shocked, but it gets a bit easier day by day. As long as I get out the door, I am fine. Sometimes I just want to stay in bed under the covers. It's dangerous being able to sleep now...I am making up for lost sleep, that's all. (That's what I keep telling myself).
I received the best present this week from one of Rachel's bloggers (she's not on BLOGGER though, sadly). Many of you may know who she is - her screen name on Rachel's is: IBeME. She had a (mint green) prayer shawl knitted for me at an Abbey in Pennsylvania. I just love it. I pray with it every day (the woman who knitted it prayed for me while making it, which is very cool). This woman is related to someone with the same last name as me (DeSimone- not a very common name!). I like to snuggle with it- it is very comforting. It came with a few beautiful prayers also - one by the writer/monk Thomas Merton. I know I sound like a broken record, but I truly believe that my tumour was a blessing in disguise. It was a VERY LARGE nudge from God to teach me that we are ALL CONNECTED. There are no strangers among us - we are all part of one family - it IS an illusion that we are separate from eachother, and from God (ok I haven't gotten THAT far on my spiritual path, but I believe it). SO....VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO TRISH! xxxx
While volunteering at the Center last week, one of the ladies who works there convinced me to go on a tour up Yangmingshan Mountain to a palatial government building called Chung Shan Hall. I am sounding like a broken record again, but I WISH I HAD A FREAKING CAMERA. Oh my goodness it was so beautiful and the location was STUNNING!! I promise to go back and take pictures. It was built in 1965 in just 13 months (during the Chinese Cultural Revolution) by Chiang Kai - Shek and was only recently opened to the public. It is the only structure in the world to be built on a sulphuric volcanic crater (and the architect was a woman - who was only 40 years old when she designed it). It was really fascinating - she had to come up with a special metal foundation that would not corrode. I asked the docent WHY it had to be built THERE and she said...for feng shui reasons...then when I pressed for more information she said, "you'll see!" So later...when we went to the front balcony - she showed us mountains on either side that looked like the arms of an emperor's chair - with one mountain in back forming the back of the chair. So the bottom line was, whatever Chiang Kai-shek wished for, he would receive! It was where the (now defunct) National Assembly would meet (we got to sit in the front row chairs!) and where the President would entertain dignitaries. The art work was especially beautiful - porcelain paintings - I've never seen them before. The watercolors were gorgeous too - one of the artists taught Jackie Onassis.
On Friday we went to the American School to watch an awesome production of the musical, "Once Upon a Mattress." It was really well done - performed by the high school students. Anjoli can't wait to act - she is especially interested in musicals. She sat in the second row with one of her classmates.
That's all for now folks!
Hope everyone is well.
Lots of love,