Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Blog

Hi guys, this is Jacqueline, Gracie's sister..

Grace had to switch her blog from blogspot to wordpress, due to China and Google not getting along so well recently. Her new-NEW blog can be found at

Check it out soon - she posted new pictures yesterday of the studio she works at in Jingdezhen!

Monday, September 13, 2010

We made it!

Well guys, we made it to Shanghai last week! The time difference is weird. We left San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon at 1:20 pm pacific time, flew for about 11 hours and 45 minutes and arrived in Shanghai at 5:25 pm on Wednesday. We are exactly 12 hours ahead of everyone on the east coast. I just got to Jingdezhen on Monday morning at 4:30 am. We took a sleeper train from Shanghai which left around 12:30 in the afternoon. It was great! Except for the fact that I slept from about 2:30 to maybe 11:30 on the train and was up the rest of the night and didn't get to bed until 9:30 last night. Then I got up again at 4:30 and went to an antique market with my roommate, teacher, our visiting guest artist and our awesome studio manager/guide.

A view from the old business district in Shanghai.
I feel like I have so much to tell you all, but we don't have a good internet connection yet. We should tomorrow though so I'll try to upload pictures and videos and tell stories then!
I miss home. It's not a terrible homesickness but it is a little nagging feeling all the same. I love our studio (it even has a western toilet! We were pretty happy about that.). My roommate is awesome. Everyone here on the trip is so nice and our teachers and the rest of the people here in Jingdezhen have been incredible too. But it's true...there's no place like home. And in 12 weeks (starting tomorrow...yes I am counting down...ha ha) I will be so glad to see you all again and be back home.
But I think I will certainly enjoy my time here. Right now I'm very jet-lagged and feel like I am experiencing information overload. It's not that hot here but it's extremely humid. It seems like almost as soon as I go out of our room (we have AC here but not in the studio) and walk around campus or go downtown or to the studio I sweat like crazy (sorry...was that too much info?). It's probably good though. I think maybe I'm ridding myself of toxins through all that perspiration! My only problem is trying to stay hydrated since water is not so readily available here.
I should stop here. My battery is really low and I can't charge it here in the dorms. None of my plugs fit the outlets here. Luckily for me though one of the guys has an adapter that fits my stuff so I can keep using them!
Well, my battery is really about to die so I better go. It's almost 8:30 so I can go to bed soon. I'm trying not to go to bed too early because if I do I'll be up way too early. Jet lag is a strange and fascinating thing. I hear it's worse going home.
Anyway, I'll stop here. I miss you all! Love you guys!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Away we go...

It's about 10 minutes to 2 am. I'm just waiting to leave for school so we can all ride out to the airport together. I said goodbye to everyone. Oh how I hate goodbyes! They're hard! They make me so sad!

I think I have everything I need. Most importantly I have my passport, visa and ticket...and a three month supply of Burt's Bees chapstick. I like to be prepared for anything. ;)

I guess I'm kind of nervous. I'm excited too. Quite honestly I am feeling a whole lot of things now. Tiredness is one of them. I think tonight is going to be an all-nighter...hopefully I'll sleep on the plane.

You know, last year at this time I never would have thought I'd be getting ready to head to China for 13 weeks. Last year at this time I had no idea I would be studying ceramics at all. I feel like this past year has been a whirlwind. A wonderful, exciting, exhausting whirlwind. I wouldn't change a thing about it. I am trusting that this semester (which has already been a wonderful, exciting and exhausting whirlwind and we're only 2 weeks in) will be the beginning of another great adventure. But really, guys...I'm going to miss you all terribly! I already miss you all! And I just want you to know that I'm so grateful for the encouraging comments, notes, last minute visits and promises to pray for me. I'll be praying for you all too!

Well. It's 2 am now. I should shut this down and get ready to leave. I'll talk to you all again from China!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Then something Tookish...

So just to clarify my choice of URL for this blog (not that anyone was asking for clarification about my URL) it comes from one of my favorite books of all time "The Hobbit." The hobbit is very much a homebody but is invited to go on an adventure. He is very hesitant but... "Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking stick."

I know it sounds so silly, but I really identify with the hobbit right now. I love the life I have...the people, the places, the interactions...I cannot deny that I am immensely blessed right where I am. In a lot of ways I'm quite the homebody too. But sometimes...I want more. I want to go to the places I read and hear about and see them for myself. I want to go on an adventure and experience things firsthand.

Well, friends, my adventure begins this Tuesday at 3 am when we all take off for the airport together. The only thing that makes me sad is that I can't bring all the people I love with me. At the same time I know I'm not even remotely close to being addition to the other really awesome students and staff who will be on the trip with us, my best friend will be with me too ( Matthew 28:20b And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age). And thanks to Skype and email and blogs I can keep in touch with all those I love back home. So hopefully the next time I post will be from somewhere is China. Till then I will be packing, cleaning and spending every minute possible with the people I love and will miss so much!

Talk to you all soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

My bags are packed!

I'm  trying to figure out if I can stow my younger sister and niece in my suitcase so I can take them to China with  me. I don't think they will both fit...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

About this blog...

Hi! This blog is to chronicle my upcoming trip to China to study ceramics! I really have no clue what to expect except (ha...I like how those two words were placed next to each other...) that I will be doing ceramics and eating awesome Chinese food. I also understand that we will be seeing some incredibly beautiful sights, historic places and have the privilege of working with talented artists and professors, meeting new friends and enjoying a new culture! A lot of the people I know who went on this trip in past years tell me they get homesick for China and that they had a harder time adjusting to the US upon their return than they did upon arriving in China. So I'm excited about this opportunity! Feel free to follow along with me!