Friday, August 31, 2012

Hong Kong nail art

Remember the Snoopy-themed wedding dresses on display here in Hong Kong? We know Chinese people love their animated characters! However, would you actually go as far as to have a Care Bear, Toy Story, or SpongeBob manicure?

I think the Totoro nails are kinda cute, actually. Sarah, I'd get them if you did too!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Olympic fever in Hong Kong

Keegan's recent post showed a few displays in Hong Kong featuring the London Olympics theme. None of our television stations actually broadcasted the games, so I somehow managed to avoid watching any Olympic events at all. Here are a few more examples of how Hong Kong got into the Olympic spirit, even if I didn't.

Telford Plaza, Kowloon Bay

Tai Po Mega Mall

Grand Century Place, Mong Kok

APM, Kwun Tong

Times Square, Causeway Bay

Olympic stamps

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A poem for Lauren

You stand alone
Holding up the sky
Legs braced, arms outstretched
Limbs quaking
With the strain
And pain
While around you the stars silently fall
Fluttering gently down
To lie at your feet.

And if someone offered to stand beside you
To hold up the sky with you
(However briefly)
Would you dare to let go with one hand
To reach down
Pluck a star from the ground
And return it to the sky?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Our God is amazing (by Craig)

Over 26 years ago, a small team asked God how they could help the children of Hong Kong. The Lord replied with Psalm 78:6-7. "So the next generation would know God, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they will put their trust in God and will not forget his deeds but will keep his commands." Psalm 78:6-7

In August 2009 my family came to Hong Kong to join a small but growing ministry of a 180-student kindergarten, help them reach more people, and see Christian education ministries expand in Asia’s world city. Small World Christian Kindergarten (set up in 1986) had just started to take steps to accept an offer of becoming the Sponsoring Body of an existing small K-6 school on the other side of Hong Kong. In April 2010 the Norwegian International (English speaking) School formally joined the Small World family. In January 2011 the Sponsoring Body’s name changed to Generations Christian Education, the motto ‘Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow and Living for Eternity’ was adopted and a Development Office was established to help bring alive the dream of a Christian school actually opening on Hong Kong Island. At the same time God was opening doors that led us to a small number of old school sites across Hong Kong Island that were owned by well-established groups who might be interested in renting one to us. 

Space is so precious and expensive on the Island (and the rest of Hong Kong) that even the existing and established international schools with very healthy balance sheets (many with HK$1M+ debentures; that’s just to get one seat available in the school for your child!), let alone schools that haven’t even started yet, nearly all give up on trying to find permanent or even available lease space. Instead, they move off the Island and across the water to the Hong Kong mainland. Even if they could afford the HK$XXX million dollar price tag of a school building on the Island, there is just no space available, let alone Government permission or local community acceptance. 

How was God going to make a Christian School open on Hong Kong Island, one that was not priced to the moon like many other International Schools – let alone one that was close enough for Small World Christian Kindergarten graduates to ‘feed’ into it? In April 2011, representatives from the Chinese YMCA, established for well over 100 years, were presented with the concept of an international Christian school operating in a 50+ year old school building that was a part of their facilities. 

Well, after many meetings, financial modelling, staff recruiting, building renovations, more meetings, prayer, faith, and first hand experience of Hong Kong Government Agency bureaucracy (that led to very late 11th hour moments!) Wednesday, August 22, 2012, was the day Island Christian Academy first opened its doors.

Terri Appel (Director of Business Development), Craig Harvey (Business Manager), Sonia Lee (Board Chair) and husband Jong, Gail Maidment (Principal, Executive Director and one of the first team members)

Without any advertising or borrowing of money from any external lenders or even parents, students across five classes (Years 1-3) started in a beautifully refreshed building. Another new chapter in God’s amazing story of Christian Education has officially begun. What a privilege to have personally witnessed this amazing journey and seen many loyal, faithful, and God-honouring servants contribute tirelessly and to help make this happen! With now over 500 students enrolled across our schools, I hope that many more children like Toby (below) can walk through the doors of a Generations member school and experience Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow and Living for Eternity. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Photo update from Tirzah

Here I am calling Manou to ask her if she is really coming to visit my school in September.

I am in R2 this year. I am so happy because Mrs Davis is my teacher again.

Mummy bought me a special babyccino drink one day at a restaurant.

This photo is evidence that my Mum and Dad really spoil me. I have three of the exact same dolls. They are called Alinta Number Two, Alinta Number Three, and Alinta Number Four. I can tell them all apart, but I love them equally. You may recall that Alinta Number One (formerly known as simply "Alinta") accidentally got left on a train bound for China. Well, my Manou found a new Alinta in Perth and my Aunty Lauren bought a new Alinta for me in New Zealand.

These photos were taken at my playgroup friend Rachel's birthday party.

At Rachel's party there was a pinata...

a short movie...

and face painting.

I love Stella, the Turner's dog.

I know it's still cold in Australia, but here in Hong Kong it's perfect weather for swimming.

Look at me riding my new bike!

I drew this picture of a chook and her five eggs.

Do you think these chips are real?

One day at Park N Shop we met "Coco" who scared me a little bit until he gave me some free cereal.

And here I am enjoying the massage chair at my Mum's school.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Have you ever seen...?

...a dog with shoes?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Photo update from Keegan

I love summer time!

This is one giant shoe!

And this is one GIANT ping pong paddle!

In the holidays I went to the health clinic for a check-up.

I liked playing with this new construction toy that lit up when I joined pieces together.

Nana and Grandpa sent me birthday money, and I spent some of it on this soccer outfit.

Do you like my watermelon helmet, Manou?

This photo was in Park N Shop before the Euro 2012 Soccer Cup at which Spain won. I was cheering for England.

I am pointing to Sydney.

Aaaargh! Captain Keegan here!

We are all proud to be Australian.

This was taken the night we said good-bye to our ICS friends Joseph and Kayla Wong.

Joseph and Kayla and their parents moved to China to work at Jacob Tree.

Look! Same shoes!

I like seeing all the London Olympic displays in the shopping centres.

I am in third grade now. This is my teacher Mrs Loo who has taught at ICS for eleven years. My good friends are Cayden and Gavin. I know from Jemilla that this year I will learn about Ancient Rome and times tables.