Thought for the Day: The more I handled things . . .

“The more I handled things

and learned their names and uses

the more joyous and confident

grew my sense of kinship with the rest of the  world”

– Helen Keller


Egret in Bali rice field. rr photo

Aloha, Renée



About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

4 responses to “Thought for the Day: The more I handled things . . .”

  1. Rosita says :

    Hey, that’s true ^^ and wha’ is Indonesia religion? I’ve been taught they’re mostly Hindu/Buddhist, is it true?
    Yuh Brazilian bud

    • reneeriley says :

      Hi Rosita: The Balinese are predominately Hindu; however, Indonesia has a huge population and many islands. Wikipedia reports, “based on data collected by the Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP), there are about 245 non-official religions in Indonesia.[7] Indonesian law requires that every Indonesian citizen hold an identity card that identifies that person with one of six religions, although citizens may be able to leave that section blank.[8] Indonesia does not recognize agnosticism or atheism, and blasphemy is illegal.[9] In the 2010 Indonesian census, 87.18% of Indonesians identified themselves as Muslim (with Sunnis more than 99%,[10] Shias 0.5%,[11] Ahmadis 0.2%[12]), 6.96% Protestant, 2.91% Catholic, 1.69% Hindu, 0.72% Buddhist, 0.05% Confucianism, 0.13% other, and 0.38% unstated or not asked.[1] I wonder about the 45 non-official religions!

  2. elaine woodall says :

    got your phone call….and thanks for the good wishes..gave Keegan’s teacher your blog address…she seems interested in having you come to the classroom.

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