Saturday, August 28, 2010


Here are David and Donna Eyres with their nine year old daughter, Joelle. Donna is a good friend of mine from Perth, and our daughters are also best buddies and pen pals.

We were so thrilled when they planned a trip to Hong Kong this month. Donna and Joelle flew over and had one week here before David joined them after attending a conference in the States. They brought many special treats from Australia, including cheese, of course! I was disappointed that I had to work instead of being free to show them around, but Donna surprised us all by bravely venturing out into the unknown, quickly figuring out our public transport system, and exploring most of the popular tourist attractions offered in Hong Kong. Joelle also adapted quickly to the heat and humidity, learned to stand on the right while on an escalator, scan her Octopus card, tolerate the locals wanting to touch her hair or take a photo with her, and generally go with the flow regarding the day's agenda. We were very impressed!

Here the children discuss what the Chinese symbols mean.

Donna, Jemilla, Joelle and Keegan pose outside our estate.

Joelle was totally unconcerned where her mother was as she walked with Jemilla up the main street of Tai Po.

We introduced Joelle to the neighbourhood cat in the chemist shop.

Then we visited the Tai Po meat market.

Joelle took this great photo outside a local butcher's stall.

Lunch after church

A display in a shopping centre

An excursion to the History Museum with Tirzah

Fairwood Restaurant

Mong Kok Goldfish Market

Baking star fairy wand cookies together

MX restaurant (I love the heart prints on the wall)

Shopping at Mong Kok

David and Donna at the Peak

Craig's work colleagues took the Eyres to a local Chinese restaurant with no English on the menu.

How was the goose?

At the Forest Hill pool

Playing Candyland

Playing Pictionary

What a special thing it was for Jemilla to have a friend visit her in Hong Kong. And I will treasure the short time I could spend with Donna. Thank you for blessing us and encouraging us with your visit, Eyres!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Have you ever seen...? (twelve)

...watermelon in the shape of a cube?

Keegan spotted this one at the Tai Po fruit market.

Apparently it is quite easy to grow the fruit in boxes and let them naturally assume the cubed shape of the container. This makes the watermelon easier to stack and store but much more expensive to buy.

Wordless Wednesday (fifteen)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tirzah at two-and-a-half

This is one of my favourite current photos of Tirzah, taken by my friend Ellen.

Tirzah loves to dress up.

Tirzah sings the baa-baas from Isaiah 53:6.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New school

Last week Jemilla and Keegan started at International Christian School in Grade Three and Grade One respectively. We leave our apartment in Tai Po together at 7:00 and catch a mini light bus and a train in order to arrive at Shek Mun by 7:45.

From Jemilla: My teacher is Ms Kitaoka. She is from Japan, and when she was a girl she went to ICS too. She is very nice. I like it when she gives us free play time called "daydreaming time". I'm going to audition for the school choir tomorrow. My new school is big, and I love it. I have three friends in my class called Hazel Crystal and Kristie. We play with the skipping rope during recess. I do my homework on the internet. I don't have to put sunscreen on because we play in the gym or undercover area, not outside in the sun. We have ID cards that we have to scan everyday. Sometimes Mum lets us travel home by ourselves.

From Keegan: My new school is big. My teacher is called Mr Tan, and he is as tall as the ceiling. Sometimes he is strict. One day the PE teacher gave me a cricket bat and ball to play with. How did he even know I like cricket? I like being at the same school as my Mum. We are actually on the same floor, and sometimes I look out my classroom door and I can see her. My new friend is called Lucas. The only fun thing we do in class is go to the library and get a book to read. I wish I could order a hot lunch from the ICS cafeteria, but Mum makes me bring sandwiches every day. One day I had an egg tart in my lunch box. I like wearing the same school uniform as Jemilla.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


This is Celine, our new domestic helper.

Much to my shame, we have officially joined the ranks of those with "hired help". As there is no child care available in Hong Kong, in order for both Craig and I to work full-time we have hired Celine to mind Tirzah, cook, and clean for us. Sounds like a nice luxury to have someone at your beck and call to do those chores for you, doesn't it? The catch is that that a domestic helper must live in your residence, and that is a huge adjustment for us. We are thankful that Celine is not a stranger; we know her from church, so that has made the situation a bit easier.

Domestic helpers make up 3% of the Hong Kong population and most are from the Philippines or Indonesia. They often have college degrees but are willing to work as maids and nannies for the higher salary they receive in Hong Kong compared to what they would make at home. I have heard appalling stories of how some domestic helpers are treated by their employers, the long hours they were forced to work, and their uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

It still amazes me if we are out and about on Sundays to observe the large number of Filipino maids gathered in public walkways and train stations in Central enjoying their once-a-week working day off. You can see them sitting on picnic mats or cardboard, while they socialise, eat Filipino food, play cards, sing, or sell various items.

The children have been very accepting of the new member of our household. This is Celine with Keegan and Jemilla the night we picked her up from Hong Kong airport.

And here they are buying fruit from the market.

Please join us in praying for the following points:
  • Praise that we found a Christian helper who genuinely loves children.
  • Prayer for Celine as she misses her family and has to adjust to new!
  • Prayer for us to find the right balance between delegating jobs and not becoming lazy ourselves.
  • That my attitude towards Celine's presence in our house will change from being merely "tolerant" to a warm and welcoming and loving attitude.