Still British (for now)!

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Since our last post, we been a little busier seeing more of the city and experiencing further glimpses of the Chinese culture. We are also getting more used to the heat and humidity which sometimes feels like we are permanently stood behind a car exhaust blowing out hot air. Thank God for air conditioning!

It’s starting to dawn on us how much of a change in lifestyle this is going to be, especially as we get to see the work we will be doing and the places that we will be doing it in!

Last week, we went to one of St Stephen’s church services which gave us even more of an insight into the culture of the organisation: all about serving the poor and needy, but involving both Cantonese and English speaking volunteers equally. We also began our training over the last few days and heard some inspiring stories of lives that have been transformed through the work of St Stephen’s. It was nice to begin to meet people that we will be spending the next couple of years working with.

We have felt really welcomed here in Hong Kong so far, but by far and away the most glad to see us have been the many thousands of mosquitos that greet us every time we walk outside. It feels like we are being eaten alive, but thankfully (sort of) they are more interested in us than in Micah or Asher! Our preparation for hot weather did not take this into account and so we have been on a hunt for reasonably priced, longer but light clothes to try and keep them at bay.

The poverty gap here has become really apparent to us as the prices of everyday items are really expensive in comparison to the UK. It is easy to see how people who don’t work in the city, with lower salaries, can struggle to pay for the essential thing that they need. A few days ago we went to a local supermarket just buy a couple of things for dinner and found these (thats equivalent to around £90 for a couple of mangoes and £50 for a melon!):

We recently walked into a shop which was selling English chocolate and quickly realised that chocolate is not one of the things that we will be having whilst we’re here. A bag of mini Twirls cost HKD$58 which is roughly about £5.20. You can see why one of the highlights of last week was receiving a chocolate bar each from England from some very generous friends!

One thing that is keeping us in touch with the UK is the rain. Although it is very hot here, we have also had a lot of heavy rain which is to be expected because we arrived at the start of the rainy (typhoon) season. We sympathise with all of you that are experiencing this too! Today we decided, based on the sunny weather forecast, that we’d walk around The Peak (the highest view point on HK island). Little did we realise that the weather forecast had changed and we were caught in the middle of some heavy rain. We must be British- still talking about the weather!  However, we did get to see a spectacular view of Hong Kong.

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Prayer point- We are yet to receive our working visas and HK ID cards, which will make it easier to do many things including booking appointments for Micah’s hearing and eyesight difficulties.

More to come soon…

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We’re Here!

20160530_175943We’re here! After months of preparation and waiting, we have arrived in Hong Kong. The 12 hour flight passed by without incident and we were greeted at the airport by both Joel’s parents and a stifling wall of heat and humidity before heading back to their apartment. It was good to finally put our bags down and relax. We are currently trying to acclimatise and shake off the jet-lag, but Micah and Asher seem to be doing a better job than we are!

Once we have settled in, the next few weeks will involve training with St Stephen’s, introducing ourselves to more of the Chinese culture and trying to sharpen up our limited Cantonese language skills, before we join St Stephen’s society fully at the beginning of July.

We look forward to sharing more of our journey here in Hong Kong on this blog soon…