Happy Winter Solstice!

Today was the shortest day of the year and here in Shijiazhuang the sun set at about 5 PM. It truly does feel like winter here although we still have not had any snow. The temperatures are staying at just below zero and there has been some brutal wind over the last few days. The skies have remained mostly clear and there hasn’t been any really heinous pollution lately.

To celebrate the solstice we followed the Chinese tradition and ate a selection of meat and vegetable dumplings. They were delicious. I have always had a kind of non-scientific hypothesis that all of the world cultures have some sort of bread wrapped food. Whether it be Polish Pierogies, Spanish Empanadas, Turkish and Eastern European Boreks, Chinese Dumplings, Asian Spring Rolls, Italian Raviolis, etc… I’ve made it a goal to discover what tasty creation every culture can make with some type of bread-like wrap and some sort of delicious filling, be it savory or sweet. Really, it is a life ambition. Just like my goal to learn how to say “cheese” in every Earth-language. We’ve got to have goals!

Tomorrow night the school is having a Christmas party for the students and instructors. I’ve been assigned to come up with some games to play… you know, like musical chairs. Not too thrilled about that. From the sound of it, no one else is too thrilled about playing games either. Not unless we spike the punch….

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