Monday, May 21, 2012


well in case you hadn't figured out or known.

i'm back in america.

and it's more bitter than sweet.
so while i process through the things of life, i can say that China has had a profound impact on my life.

and God has allowed to to see a beautiful part of the thing called life.

farewell for now, but not forever.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


after a fantastic chinese birthday celebration last night, we left this morning!
i have so much to catch you up on. in the mean time, we've arrived safely in Beijing for our 5 day adventure before returning home. i lost a piece of luggage, but i'm hoping it will arrive.
please pray for:
-our safety in beijing
-our transition back home
-my heart. it is hurting
-all my wonderful friends in Hangzhou. i miss them dearly already.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


again. i'm a slacker. please forgive me :)
so last thursday we had a disaster medicine lecture. basically how to function in an emergency state. super fascinating, but i am still left wondering how they would handle such a dense population in an emergency. i already feel like there are SO many people, i can only imagine what would happen- chaos would surely ensue.
we didn't have chinese class on thursday because our teacher went to cambodia for vacation. it was tomb sweeping day on wednesday, which is a national holiday, so there was technically 'spring break' at school. on friday we decided to have a longer class. i was not so thrilled about the prospect of this, but class ended up being great!
friday was jordan and i's presentation day. it went well for the most part. i speak too fast when i get nervous, which certainly doesn't help to people whose second language is english. but they said i did better this time with my pac, and the content was also helpful. or so they say. 
thumbs up


my wonderful, cheerful mentor "sandy"

saturday we ventured out to a local lake to go fishing! fishing is old school here. it was super fun, and none of us caught anything. then we ate lunch with the nursing director of the whole hospital and her family. 

oh george!

the crew!

director "jean" her real name is jin

double bubble contests!
then we walked around the lake, to this place roughly translated to 8 diagrams field. basically its a crop circle in a yin-yang style. there were tons of models. and such good picture ops. 

we had a wonderful day. how could the days keep getting better. thank you Jesus for Easter Sunday! With help from two wonderful packages; one from zach's mama and the other from my step mom, aunt, and gramma, i was able to morph into the easter bunny for my pals. i hid eggs and wrote notes and shared candy. so although my church back home had a massive egg drop from a helicopter. we had a mini version in china. here's some easter egg pictures:
all my cards- the packages were too heavy to hold. THANK YOU!!!!

the easter bunny


the hunt was fierce

and they used their bunny hopping skills also!
we had a blast with this. so thank you to all who contributed to making easter happen! we had to go to church early to help set up. richie and i didn't have to go as early, so we went and got coffee, sent some text messages, and read the gospel of John. in public (well sort of, it was just the two of us talking). also an incredible ministry opportunity happened in our church. the government allowed us to open our service to chinese citizens for the day. this was HUGE! and so we worshiped together in many languages celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. 
i have been helping with the children's ministry with one other member. it is so great, but so tiring. anyway the kids performed 3 songs during the service and then we went downstairs. and i watched 8 kids. way fun. way overwhelming at moments. but so wonderful. i have a picture on my phone- but i can't download it :(
eye center

one of the 4 ortho floors
and on monday we visited the ophthalmology department and orthopedic units. we are learning so much. blessed beyond measure to be lectured and then see such a large variety of cases. 
yesterday, we went to the hematology department and were presented with a leukemia case study. i also learned that the very first patient i took care of here (from the cardiac unit) passed away during this presentation. 
we met a nursing student that had rotated through this unit and had been to our presentations. she was so eager to meet us, that she came in on her day off! her name is "jessica" and she is my new pal. she came over to our apartment that afternoon and she even got to meet zach via skype. she is a gem and a half and i told her i would be glad to host her if she ever came to the USA. she was thrilled. 
in the afternoon we went to the local community hospital. i learned SO much here and i wish we had more time to spend at this type of hospital to really understand the chinese medical system. community health care is fairly new in China, but from what i can understand they have already accomplished a lot. they presented some great ideas to integrate community into health education and learning. i hope i can take some of these ideas home. 
today is a "free" day- we have a BBQ this evening. i've already gone for a run, cleaned up, found a place to live until graduation (YIPPEE), and done a little homework. i still have more to finish, so i better get that done!
anyway, i have so much to be grateful for and i love you and miss you all!


Thursday, April 5, 2012


wow. i've REALLY slacked off on the blog- in my defense we have been very busy with school. and that's why i watched TV all day today, no shame.
so catch up.
we had a lecture on outpatient medicine and got a sweet book for children by the original author- aimed at educating children about medication. it's in chinese so naturally i will read it to my future children. haha.

on thursday and friday of last week we had chinese class. we were determined to get mexican food we had heard about after class.
on thursday it was sunny and beautiful outside, and we searched (in the wrong direction) for the restaurant and ended up just having a nice walk. it's been sunny for a few days so the trees are starting to bloom and it is so beautiful!
so on friday, we were craving chips and salsa even more than before. we were determined to find this acclaimed place. and naturally it would rain. we walked for at least 45 minutes in pouring rain. serious craving. needless to say, we finally found it and i have never been more thankful for mexican food. and spanish speaking. the sweet sound of rolling "r's" and familiarity! ahh, i am in love with spanish.
excited but soaking.... can't you tell!

honestly, i'm not sure what we ended up doing on saturday. that's pretty terrible that I don't remember. probably worked on some homework. i know richie got a haircut. he loves it. he spent at least 10 minutes straight in the bathroom mirror. 

sunday was april fools. we skipped church. to go on a dream get-away, i was pretty sure it was an april fools joke the whole time. one of the nurse managers and her husband treated us and several other important nurses to a day at this incredible lake/ park, lunch at an elaborate mansion, and a wonderful day. we had to drive about 30-45 minutes to get to this place, not knowing exactly what the day held in store. well let me show you... the pictures don't do justice!
we're on a boat!



ellen & "ethan"

small bridge

ethan & his dinner creation

sign in the bathroom... haha!

the crew for the day

real life

our wonderful hosts

sabrina. a gem. so intelligent and so kind!

the table set up. two rooms just for us. 
i still can't get over the generosity of these people. it blows me away. 
on monday & tuesday we had clinical and richie & lesly presented their case studies on their units. 
yesterday & today i've honestly done a lot of relaxing. i needed it. but i also did a lot of processing. i can say some things that God has graced me with so far....
-a deep overwhelming sense of trust. and for me this is something that i need, something i have been praying a long time for. i still have a lot to grow, but i am so thankful that my heart is turned toward God constantly during the times i struggle here. it has been comforting beyond belief. 
-compassion & conviction. to dream bigger to worry less. it's so freeing. again, not all the way there but we are all works in progress. 
-love & healing. i have talked to my little sister at least 2-3 times a week since i have been here. that little stinker has been so encouraging and real. i just love her. and i am so thankful for her communication with me, i know she has no clue how much it means. 
-and lots more that i am still processing. 

jordan is going to bed, so i am going to wrap up with prayer requests
-presentation tomorrow. 
-that i can return an ounce of the amazing love that these nurses have showered us with. 
-gratitude for my professor, who has been SO encouraging, caring, and challenged me to push the boundaries of what i think i can do. 
- soaking up the last few weeks of what this adventure has to offer. 

thank you all for your love, prayers, & encouragement. i am SO excited to see you all soon. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


two random stories i forgot to share. ironically, they contrast greatly.

two disclaimers. i disabled comments intentionally. and i have my own soap box on diversity. i know i am white. i didn't choose to be white. my friends that were born ethnically different didn't choose their ethnicity in utero. please don't tell me i don't understand diversity and oppression, because I am white. three of my best friends in high school were asian, puerto rican, and african american. but that's not how i see them. they are my friends. anatomically similar human beings with feelings. i get that history has treated people differently based on race, but to me you are a person that deserves respect just as much as the next person. i am not going to treat you extra special if your ethnicity is different than mine but i won't treat you any less special either. you are a child of God with a uniqueness that is all your own. and you were created to be you.

on the bus on the way to school on thursday i had a young business man start speaking to me in english. but he quickly asked me if i lived in the "ghetto" like Compton or Harlem. And I said, "No, but I have been through there once or twice." He responded "You don't live there because you aren't black and aren't a gang member".... "Um.. no. Not all people that live in those places are African American or gang members." He then proceeded to ask me what kind of music I listen to, and questioned if I smoked "weed". "No, I've never smoked pot". "Really?! Don't all American college students smoke weed." "No, I know some that do, and many that have tried it. but i don't smoke weed." He informed me his idea of America came from the music he listened to. During this conversation, I was caught between wanting to laugh and wanting to cry. I was so deeply saddened that his idea of America was about "homies" "the ghetto" and "weed". Yes, that is certainly a part of America, but America is more than what stereotypes his 'rap' songs make it out to be, at least i think so. i am so sad that the stereotypes i have grown up around are like a terrible epidemic infection, not only tainting our images of one another as Americans, but how we see each other globally.

honestly, i really don't notice ethnicity when i encounter people. i mean, i can identify ethnicity, but i think there is a beauty of growing up in a country (and going to school in LA) where there is ethnic diversity is very different than a place like china. i get that per capita the US is predominately caucasian,  but there is a lot more in the mix compared to somewhere like china. this is a high density country. and most people here are chinese. they look different, but ethnicity is a whole other ball game.

people STARE at me here. they mumble "meiguo" (American) to everyone around them when we walk by. they trip trying to walk and watch us. they come up to us just to say "hello" and then run away. jordan and i even had someone follow us today. it doesn't really bother me. in fact, i find it semi- humorous and strange that they think i am so 'interesting'. i'm just an average girl in American standards. rarely do i get a second look at home. in the last two weeks jordan and i have become some type of celebrities here. literally, no one has taken pictures of us up until the last 2 weeks. i see other americans, and lesly and richie are american, and they don't take their pictures. but for some reason we have been deemed "beautiful twin princesses" by several people we have encountered. as of late people have whipped out (not discretely) their phones and cameras and take pictures of us. or they are bold enough to ask to take a picture with us.  here a few separate occurrences.
i regularly crack up that they want MY picture. really i am not that special. 

this was unreal, like seriously at least 7 cameras. 

we ended up having to be literally dragged away by our coordinators because they would stop taking pictures. next thing they will be asking for is autographs. me and my average- not celebrity self. don't think i will ever understand their comments that i am "really beautiful".
i'm thinking about how to handle this in light of Christ. i have a few ideas of my own, but i'm still praying and processing. e-mail if you'd like to help me understand how Jesus would respond.


please forgive me for my poor communication the last week. we have been busy busy busy. between trying to feel better from being sick, to a lot of homework, to packed days, i have been exhausted. here are some highlights, pictures, and commentary from the last week.
thursday & friday- chinese class. as much as i have complained and been discouraged by this class, i was surprised by how much i know. and i am really thankful that our teacher has been patient with us. just a little sample of what i can read & mostly write. ahhh, this is unreal.

你 好。我 叫 罗 达 茜。 我 是 美国人。 我 学 在 APU 大学
我 是 留学生 。 我 会 成为 一 名 护士。 我  生日 是 五月 一号. 我 介绍 一下让 朋友, jordan, lesly, & richie.  他们 是 也 留学生. 我们 是很 忙.
it says- "hi, my name is luo da qian, i am american. i study at APU. I am a foreign student. I will become a nurse. My birthday is may 1st. Le me introduce you to my friends, jordan lesly, & richie. They are students also. we are very busy." (this is what i wrote on the bus the other day).

also, on thursday morning, i declared that i needed to workout now that it wasn't raining everyday and i have subsequently worked out 3 times since. GO ME! here's some pictures from the day i went with lesly and richie.
the bridge next to the "gym"

to the right are our apartments

hamster wheel

quad workout- or teeter totter 

lesly & i looking buff
so i've gone running twice by myself since this with plenty of stares. a few days later i saw three young, Asian people running near our apartment and i made the comment to l+j+r "see!! running is normal" not expecting them to turn around and speak in english "yes! running IS normal". and then we made friends with some UCLA medical students that live right downstairs from us. they had just arrived.

on saturday we ventured around west lake all day with amy (coordinator), yi fan/ "ethan" (her son), sandy (the charge nurse i have been working with in day surgery), and hua di (her daughter). I had the privilege of giving her daughter an english name... i gave her some options and she liked "hannah" the best. So i've named my first child. haha.
amy & ethan

sandy & hannah

pretty tulips!
As, you can see below. It was kind of  extremely crowded. But I feel like I am used to the crowding to some degree now. Elevators jam packed, buses packed like sardines, patients in the hallway... so is life in China.

it's a really pretty waterfall

4 pals

our new friends who spoke english with us :)

who says you are too old for popsicles 

this is where we are living. yes, in the city part. 

captain ethan!

a dragon boat. it was SO legit
so my new friend hannah is quite the smart little ham. she even let me quiz her on her addition and subtraction in chinese AND english. one smart little 7 year old. later in the car, she showed jordan and i her favorite chinese songs. and her dad, who is a doctor, even sang along. most precious moment!

beautiful west lake island. 
sunday we went to church. i have started volunteering with the children's ministry. kids never cease to amaze me with their adorable questions. 
"miss darcy, if we don't go to heaven do we go to jail?" 
"no, not jail. you go where the devil lives" the other teacher -"its called hell"
"do you stay there forever?"
"that's worse than jail!" 
yes, yes, it is far worse than jail. oh. so many great moments. in many many moons i hope i get to have sweet conversations like this with my future far-off children. 

i've had two more days in day surgery. and i have been surprisingly frustrated. in fact, i ended up needing to excuse myself to use the restroom to cry for a good five minutes. i understand every thing that is happening, but i have no idea how to understand chinese. i know enough chinese to know when people are talking about me, but not know what they are saying. and for a combination of other reasons, i let satan steal my joy and allow me to believe that they were saying mean things about me. why would i believe this lie?!? i have no clue. but God was gracious in that bathroom stall- giving me the courage, confidence, grace, and joy that only he can give. 

one reason i was already running high on emotions was because of a situation i am still sorting out in my head. an abortion. a legal abortion. i understand that God is not an everyday of most of these peoples lives, so their view on abortion will surely reflect such. i'm learning more about society too. it's somewhat complicated, but basically you can have one child. you can only have your child if you are married- seriously, the child has to be 'registered'. and you cannot get married until you are 23/24 (female) or 25 (male). or so we were informed. birth control education and beliefs are somewhat strange here. they tell people not to use birth control because it absolutely WILL  result in a serious side effect such as stroke. and sex education does not happen in the education system. so basically, i have this pregnant 22 year old female that is faced with the reality of not being able to get married, even if that's what she wanted, who can't even have this baby. it's like her only choice is to have an abortion. it's a social form of birth control, that we are told is very common. it's all complicated and confusing to me. needless to say, i found myself being responsible for this patient. and in spite of my high emotions and racing minds. God allowed me to be a continual avenue of prayer. i prayed for this girl non-stop, surely it was God praying because my attention span would not have allowed that. i have no idea how she was feeling or what was going thru her mind, but i can tell you her eyes told me some. i knew she was grateful for my smile, while she was rushed thru the system. and if the joy of my smile is the gift i gave her, i am grateful. 

also, we were encouraged today to try to publish some of our 'research' findings for one of our papers. WAIT, WHAT!?? let me tell you professor. i am a student. my writing is not researchpaperjournalpublishing ready. but if you insist. this is going to be interesting. and i am given the charge to try to apply for a fullbright grant to continue this style of work post graduation. all i can say is i have very little no clue what my next few years of life hold. and i am terrified. 

hope this little catch up tells you how to pray for me. thank you for your prayers. seriously.