About Us

We hope to live, work, and raise our family in China. In 2006 we finished up M.A.s in Intercultural Studies while teaching English in Taiwan. Then after draining our bank account studying Chinese for two years in Tianjin, we got jobs and made some babies. As of Fall 2012 we live in Qingdao, where Joel works as a preschool rockstar. And we’ve been blogging the whole thing.

Us -- Qingdao, February 2014

China Hope Live

This coping mechanism masquerading as a digital scrapbook gives you a window into our experiences as a Canadian/American couplefamily trying to live into and love — and some days just survive — China. It shows us discovering and slowly learning to understand Chinese people, culture and society on personal level.

If you tend to enjoy being angry, offended and online, you should read this next part (taken from a blog post):

Anecdotes are powerful; they make impressions. They don’t prove anything, but they can vividly illuminate or mislead depending on how they’re used. I’m not making this stuff up, and I’m not trying to give a particular impression of China or Chinese people. The stories on this blog are not a representative summary of Chinese thought and culture. But they are China as we encounter it. If they illuminate and help other outsiders better understand Chinese culture, great. I hope so. Regardless of how accurately this blog portrays the Chinese, what our stories truly represent is one North America family’s personal encounter with and growing understanding of Chinese culture. I hope our experiences, and our understanding of our experiences, accurately reflect Chinese culture, but we’re learning as we go here.

You can reach us on the blog or through e-mail:

  • jessica [at]
  • joel [at]

Us -- Qingdao, December 2012
Us -- Tianjin, September 2010