Where to begin!? It’s only been a week since Brett and I arrived in China, but it seems like we’ve been here so much longer! We’ve already found an apartment, started furnishing it, met lots of new friends, found a running group to train for a 1/2 marathon with, walked lots of miles, eaten tons of fruit and noodles, learned basic Mandarine phrases, and discovered the chaotic joy of riding bikes through our new city streets. So much good has happened since we’ve been here and I’m looking forward to learning more about the Chinese culture and how the locals do life here in the coming weeks. Oh, and language learning starts in two weeks!
Unfortunately, like I briefly mentioned in my past post, sadness has been laced throughout all the newness, excitement and joy that we’ve experience since we arrived. Two mornings after we landed in the city, Brett and I woke up to a text saying that the father of my family’s good friends committed suicide. He was one of my parent’s best friends, especially my Dad’s, and we’ve been friends with their family ever since I can remember. It was so hard to hear the news, especially being so far away from close family and friends back home, and it’s been hard to find time to grieve amidst all the craziness of life here. Most days I find myself thinking about his family and what happened, but usually I’m around a bunch of people, trying to meander through different cultures, and I’ve just had to push the sadness aside. I’ve found some alone time to cry a couple of times, which is painful, but also good as it helps me process what happened. I still can’t believe that someone who has always been so strong, driven, and loyal could get to a place where he no longer wanted to live.
Last night I got to watch the memorial service over live streaming. Although extremely heartbreaking, it was good to watch it and to feel like I was there with all the people who loved him so dearly.
Sorry to share such sad news. That’s just the raw and real part of my life right now. Thankfully I have good friends here who I feel like I can grieve around. I’m also thankful for the excitement of starting a life in a new country to provide so much joy in between bouts of sadness. We’re starting to make real strides in furnishing our apartment and soon we’ll be able to fully move in, which is really exciting. It’s been so fun for me to get to furnish and decorate a completely empty apartment. I’ll definitely have to share some before and after pictures!
And as always, there is no good way for me to segue into this Simple Black Bean and Corn Salad from such a sad topic, but this salad was a staple in my diet right before Brett and I moved to China. I made it a few times at my in-laws house and we would eat an entire batch in one sitting. It’s that good. Made without oil and flavored with lime juice and cilantro, this Simple Black Bean and Corn Salad is light and refreshing. We ate it plain or on top of lettuce and the beans and corn added just the right amount of density that keeps us full for hours.
Summer is almost over, so make sure you can try out this Simple Black Bean and Corn Salad soon!
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ear of fresh corn, cut off the cob (~11 oz.)
- 2 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, minced
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh jalapeño, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 avocado, cubed
- In a bowl, stir all of the ingredients together except for the avocado.
- Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Right before serving add in the avocado.
Prep time does not include marinating time.