Tibet in Black and White

Elle and went to Tibet last week for one of the most memorable trips we have taken this year. There is so much to talk about and share what we did during this eight day adventure (food, broken down buses, tents, etc.) Hopefully we will write a post more in detail about what we did but for now I will leave you with some of the Black and White photos I took during the trip. Hope you enjoy!

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Dhammapanda Comes Full Circle

In six days Elle and I will head to TIbet for an eight day adventure starting in Lhasa going to the base camp of Mt. Everest and back to Lhasa. We have had so many incredible trips during our eight months in China but this one we are especially excited about. 

The title of our blog came from our Inter-religious Dialogue course we took together senior year. The course looked at Christianity, Islam and Buddhism and how the different religions were connected. For class we read the Dhammapada, a Buddhist scripture. I think it was me, or it could have been Elle I am not exactly sure but one of us wrote DhammaPANDA on our paper and that name stuck. So here were are heading to Tibet (I am sure Dr. Sheveland would be so proud!)

Hope all is well on the homefront. Elle and I booked our tickets back home today…landing in Denver on June 3rd! So here I will leave you with a passage I recently stumbled across from the Dali Lama: 

 The Paradox of Our Age 

We have bigger houses but smaller families; 
more conveniences, but less time; 
We have more degrees, but less sense; 
more knowledge, but less judgement; 
more experts, but more problems; 
more medicines, but less healthiness; 
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, 
but have trouble crossing the street to meet 
the new neighbor. 
We’ve built more computers to hold more 
information to produce more copies than ever, 
but have less communications; 
We have become long on quantity, 
but short on quality. 
These times are times of fast foods; 
but slow digestion; 
Tall man but short character; 
Steep profits but shallow relationships. 
It is time when there is much in the window, 
but nothing in the room. 

-H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama

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Commercials from Business English

Last class I assigned my Business English students a project to present in class this week. We brainstormed issues that all the students have on campus. No hot water, no electricity, too many tests, and long lines in the cafeteria were some of the problems the students came up with, among some others. They had to come up with a product to fill the need of their peers and film a commercial showcasing that product. These were hilarious, I even had teachers come in from down the hall to see what all the ruckus was about. Here are a few of them I took from the students for your viewing pleasure.

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Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai

My mom and sister came over during Amanda’s spring break to explore some of what the PRC has to offer. Quite a different climate than when my dad came in January, China is currently in bloom! All of the fruit trees blossoming make for a nice backdrop while touring China. We met them up in Beijing to site see and shop! How can you go to Beijing and not go shopping?!? The first morning in Beijing Auntie Wan and I took them to the Forbidden City, then on a rickshaw tour through the old streets of Beijing. This was pretty fascinating, we even got to see where Mao lived. Crazy. I was more interested in the bird cages hanging from the trees (but we all know that is because I am a bird woman.)  After that we met up with Elle for some shopping at the Pearl Market!

Day 2 consisted of the Great Wall and more shopping… duh! The Wall was such a treat having clear skies and warm weather. The trip was made even more special because my mom brought Nanny’s (my Grandma) ashes all the way to China to spread on the Wall. Love you and miss you Nanny, now you have been to China 🙂

After Beijing, we headed down to Xian to see the Terracota Warriors. This was pretty incredible seeing all of the soliders warriors being uncovered. Supposedly there are some 6,000 warriors, each with a different facial expression. These were all made for the burial of one emperor. But the real highlight of Xian was after dinner we wandered through a square near the hotel. At night in China, there are usually a group of older women (sometimes men) who gather together to dance. Amanda and my mom were lucky enough to be chosen by two lovely, short, bushy eyebrow Chinese men to dance in the circle!

The last stop on the tour was Shanghai for a one day quick run through of my favorite city in China. We ventured down Nanjing Lu to the Peace Hotel for drinks, went to the Yu Yuan Gardens, and walked through the French Concession and Taikang Lanes.

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The Dragon Warrior

Here is a short video of the Pandas feeding in Chengdu. I was going to put some music to it but I want you all to listen to the funny noises they make. It reminds me of (for those of you who know Angus) his odd growling noise haha. Enjoy!


My Mom and Amanda come on Monday with Auntie Wan for a week tour of China. I am so excited to go up to Beijing and meet them!

Hope all is well back on the homefront.

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“Teacher Lee, you are such a good cook!”

This week in my Oral English classes I have been teaching my students about American food. At the beginning of the semester I asked my students what they wanted to learn from me and American food topped the list of most of the students, so I figured I could teach them a little more about what America has to offer… other than KFC, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut! Elle had some boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese so I traded her some Chocolate Almond Butter in order to whip up some tasty home cooking for my little kittens.

After a brief overview of everything from bagels to baked potatoes, I gave them a presentation on “How to make Macaroni and Cheese” and then gave each student a little bit to try. Knowing that Chinese typically do not like cheese, I was interested in what they would think of this all-American dish. Some of the reactions I received from my kids were um entertaining.

“Teacher, I have an organ in my body with a tight line. I think that thing has much oil. I cannot eat it.”

“This is hen hao chi (very good food)”

“Teacher you made this all by yourself? I think that is very special.”

This was the best one…

“Miss Lee. I think that Chinese food has much salt. This has no salt in it. I think it needs salt.” (In my head I am thinking, “No salt in Kraft Mac and Cheese…hehehe”)

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Pandas in the Morning Time, Pandas in the Hot Sun Shine

Bear Cats. Meow.

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Chengdu… Home of the Pandas and all things SPICY

This weekend Elle and I ventured over to the Sichuan province to the west of us to the city of Chengdu. Chengdu is the fifth most populated city in China with 13 million people. Chengdu is located in the Southwest of China close to the Tibet border and is most famous for the pandas and spicy food. Chengdu was also the first city to began to issue the world’s first paper money way back when… crazy!

The sichuan pepper (what makes all their food so spicy, numbing, and eye burning) is put in a lot of the different food found there. We took a cooking class at our hostel to learn how to cook some Sichuan food… Ours ended up tasting not even half as good as the cook’s because we didn’t want to put MSG in ours. We made Mapo Dofu (spicy tofu), Yueshang xiezi (spicy eggplant), and twice cooked pork.