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. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


In the gospel of Mark, Jesus asks a very important question to the disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples give varying answers and than Jesus asks them, “”But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say that I am?”” (Mark 8.29).

This is a very serious question, and it’s a question that is required to be answered not just from believers of Jesus, but from all people. I’ve spent the greater part of the yesterday reading different ‘holy books’, including the Torah, the Qu’ran, the Book of Mormon, etc. trying by best to cast aside my understanding of Jesus and see what religions say about Jesus (I intentionally did not say other religions, because I think loving Jesus is not a religion, it’s a relationship). Although I read many, many verses and chapters of these books in context- I won’t quote them for the sake of missing something based on my belief of the text. However, I am aware that my own beliefs will challenge my understanding of these religions and therefore, I know that my understanding of these religions will be a biased interpretation, despite my best efforts to very seriously consider these other world-views. I know I don’t have all the answers, and the answers I do have are not all right, but I’ll articulate as best as possible about what I do understand.

And I feel as though I could write for days on this subject and still not fully articulate everything- so here's to trying to keep it short

I believe that Jesus is not set apart from other prophets. I believe that Jesus is Christ himself- part of the Trinity. But for the lack of better words I believe that Jesus is set apart for several reasons; resurrection, ‘real-ness’, relationship, and promise of eternal life.

First and critical to all other points, Jesus was resurrected. This bloodshed and resurrection is not seen in any other religion of their prophet and/or deity. Jesus not only came, lived, and died, but he arose from the dead! There are MANY numerous Old Testament references/ Torah references that allude to the ‘coming’ of Christ to Earth to be the bloodshed for humanity.

Jesus was real. Other religions prophets’ do not claim to be Lord. Jesus not only claims to be part of the Trinity but points to us toward God at the same time. Remember when God revealed himself to Moses simply as “I am”? Well Jesus refers to himself as “I am” several times. A few examples: “I am the gate... I am the good shepherd” (John 10.9 &11) “I am the true vine” (John 15.1) And probably the most ‘famous’ verse, “I am the way the truth and the life.” (John 14.6).

Next, Jesus is the avenue for us to have a relationship with God. Jesus gives us the free gift of grace. In other religions, grace is not an afforded gift and the avenue to get to Christ is through earning favor, usually by works. Jesus made it possible for faith alone to bring the salvation and promise of God to ALL people.

Finally, through Jesus there is the promise of eternal life. Jesus desires a deep intimate relationship with him and died for the sake of our sin, so that we can experience this relationship with Jesus and God. The choice of believing in Christ holds the promise of eternal life with God and Jesus in heaven. 

So what does this mean for me in China?? I don't think I can unpack the magnitude of this question Jesus asks in a simple blog post or in a 3 month journey. But I do know that God has comforted my heart in new ways. And I know this journey has challenged me to take a more intentional step to look into who I think Jesus is, who others think he is, and most importantly who he really is. It's struck a deep chord of gratitude for the gift of grace that Jesus offers. And I think it's given me a simple, but powerful answer for now....

I say Jesus is....

My savior who has given me the free gift of grace and relationship with him.

And that's a lot to be thankful for. Who do you say Jesus is?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


thank goodness that the staple food is rice. on sunday i started feeling nauseous. that was followed by a full night of up-chuck and lots of other icky sick things i'm sure you don't want to hear about. monday i didn't eat much and i still felt pretty ill. after being encouraged by our nursing facilitators and refusing the need to go to the ER, i slept a lot and ate very little. all that to say i'm glad there has been rice to serve as the little nourishment for my little sick self.
so needless to say- the last two days in my new rotation have not been the greatest because of my struggle to focus on what's going on rather than my stomach noises and complaints. i'm rotating into day surgery now. as i previously mentioned this is the unit i work in as a patient care associate (pca) at home. but it's different here. primarily because this is one of the first day surgery units in all of china- and the first in this province. so there is a lot of developmental administrative work to be done to develop the unit. ironically, despite the fact that i am merely a student- i feel equipped to
help to some extent. during my orientation- i was aware of everything happening despite the language barrier. miraculously i felt as though i could understand what they were saying- even though i really couldn't.
i'm still going to be doing a lot of research and asking for some help because i know that i am not equipped to assist on my own :)
and i wanted to share some pictures they took of us during my rotation in the heart center.
in the cath lab

lesly and i

learning about stents

such amazing teachers!

in the ICU

surgical ICU

one of the funniest doctors explaining the mechanisms of the machine

dr. "antony" explain pacemaker evaluation

"any questions?"

ecg monitoring

peripartum cardiomyopathy

our twin doctor pals :)
that's all for now. 
prayer requests:
-HEALTH!! no more vomiting, i really don't want to have to go to the doctor :(
-productivity. i'm already on a roll today. here's to keeping it up. 

any prayer requests from you?

Sunday, March 18, 2012


boy oh boy. we've had quite the fun last few days.
on thursday we had chinese class and after ellen had invited us to KTV. once again, i struggled through chinese class and left when we were dismissed to cry in the bathroom. ahhh. this class is really challenging me. anyway, our teacher ended up coming into the bathroom when i was in there. and God grace was shown through her sweet words of encouragement. afterward, we headed to meet up with ellen. we had no idea what KTV meant but of course we were up for an adventure... a karaoke adventure

 and richie. that kid has some real talent. and evidently we make a nice pair singing :)
richie & i

and our chinese hosts!
it was SO much fun. it was an incredible time filled with laughter, singing, and dancing. and just what i needed to unwind after a rough class. 
friday we again had chinese class. i actually learned a lot that day, especially about culture. first, we count on our hands differently, naturally we learned the chinese way. next, some words in chinese sound oddly inappropriate in english. for example "mai haur". depending on the tone it means buy or sell flower. and we couldn't help but giggle- which lead for an interesting explanation. also, we had story time and learned ancient popular chinese stories about the moon and the sun. the moon story is about a lady who ate to much during the early autumn festival and ended up flying to the moon where she lives with a rabbit. it's just one of those silly little kid stories. i really enjoyed chinese class this day, probably because we spent time learning little extra things and i finally did okay on our little pop quiz :)
saturday, aka st. patricks day, we went to lingyin temple. this is one of the 10 biggest Buddhist temples in all of china and the world. it also has the biggest buddha statue of all of china. although i felt a little uncomfortable at certain points, it was a beautiful area. i forgot to wear green, but we got to eat some green tea hard boiled eggs that were so tasty! i'm totally trying that! here's a few pictures. it was hard to really capture the beauty of this place, so most of them are of our group. 

the group

this is a bed for a monk

three sweet girls :)

all the girls

j and me :)

at the entrance

buddha's hand brings good luck. i did not touch his hand...

a pagoda is actually a burial place

buddha's in the wall

the hillside

us in the rocks
and then as we were approaching the end, jordan and i had quite the encounter. it's normal for people to stare at us, talk about us, follow us, etc., but we had a group of girls that followed us and then asked to take pictures with us. lots of pictures. evidently we are some kind of celebrities. we are constantly told we are incredibly beautiful and we say thank you and laugh about how strange it is- since we think we are pretty "average" looking. anyway the same type of thing happened again today. we were just walking grabbing some lunch and we had some girls ask to talk to us and take pictures with us. anyway, richie took some shots of the first encounter:
i am clearly in shock looking to jordan for an explanation 

just your everyday celebrities 
so i will now be signing autographs :)
the last few days we have done some devotionals that have really challenged us to examine how we can deepen our love for others and how to take advantage of every opportunity to love. its been very humbling. we have some new wall art to remind us as we leave the apartment

classy, we know. but a reminder never-the- less

prayer requests (and send me yours too!)
-i'm starting my rotation in day surgery tomorrow, so just for an overwhelming ability to humbly love and serve this department
-gratitude for the joyful last few days
-the future: jobs. that i would worry less and that i would understand the God is always sovereign and faithful, even if its not how i imagine it. and maybe for a miracle dream job too?!? :)