Visitors

This last month has been cah-ra-zy.

First we went to America. Amy got married, my grandfather had a stroke, we squeezed one-plus year of family time into a scant two weeks, we saw friends and didn’t get to see even more friends, and had–you know–a few other responsibilities I won’t talk about here. We got back to Asia and three days later both of us hit the road again, boarding planes to different ends of the country. By the time we were both back home (and I had battled off a cold), we had one full day of rest before heading out again. (Whew, this chronicle is getting monotonous–for this blog, not just for our life.)

But. This time we got to go to a nearby city and meet our dear friends, the Baxters. (And see pandas!)

Blaise and Leslie had been in Asia for about two weeks before they got to us, enlightening local physicians in some of Asia’s biggest cities on this

stroke-reversal procedure Blaise created. It’s even more impressive than it sounds–one starstruck Asian doctor was so overwhelmed to meet him that he got his autograph! Anyway. The Baxters have long been good friends with Michael’s parents  but we were thankful to get to know them on a more personal level ourselves in 2009 when Blaise and Michael did the Ironman together. Life is funny–we are good friends with the Baxters as well as their daughter Jenny and her husband, Ben.

Obviously, we had a couple of priorities. One, feed the Baxters good and authentic food. Two, let them see the pandas. We achieved success on both accounts!

About to encounter the world’s cutest animal. I don’t think they realized how exciting this truly was at this point.

Do you see them? There, in the distance, chomping down on bamboo?

We stared at this little guy (and his three friends) for at least half an hour. Not boring at all fact: pandas eat about 40 pounds of bamboo per day!

Then we headed back home and made sure the Baxters got some legit food. OK, this restaurant was sort of a fail. I promised Leslie it was clean because it is run by Muslims and their religious practices ensure sanitation… but I’m not sure she was convinced. But everyone agreed it tasted good!

Making friends. Leslie is apparently (secretly?) good at ping pong and this was obviously the place to test her skills.

She did well (notice her Candian maple leaf representing on her jacket!) but I’m afraid this little girl was a difficult match.

On the up side, Leslie fared much more successfully than Michael and Blaise who are drenched in sweat after being whipped up and down the badminton court by two petite Asian girls in mini skirts and high heel boots. True story.

Bottom line: we were so thankful to get to spend a few days with the Baxters and were greatly encouraged by them. So glad we were able to share our home and our lives for a few days!

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