By now, for most of you, this is old news. But we are moving to Hong Kong! We are sad to be leaving our family and friends, but we’re excited for the adventures that await us!
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Why Hong Kong?
That’s where we really feel like God wants us. Why? We’re not really sure. But we’re pretty sure we will be adopting a little girl (a little older than Magdalena), either from Hong Kong or mainland China, while we are there.
Have you been to Hong Kong before?
Josh went in March, after we had already decided to move to Hong Kong. But that was the first and only time thus far anyone from our family has been.
Do you speak Cantonese/Chinese?
Nope. We’ve started learning together as a family, but we don’t know much. English and Cantonese are both official languages there, and it’s pretty easy to get around without any Cantonese there.
When do you move?
On May 23rd, we will stay at a hotel in Draper. I don’t want to be rushing around trying to get everything cleaned and ready for us to leave when we’re supposed to be on our way out the door to the airport.
On May 25th, we fly to Southern California to visit Josh’s parents and his brother, Walter, and his wife, April.
On May 30th, we fly to Hawaii to visit Corey, Bridgette, and Jensen (my brother and his family).
On June 5th, we leave Hawaii for Hong Kong. We have a short layover in Seoul, Korea. We arrive in Hong Kong late on June 6th.
Where in Hong Kong will you live?
The first night we will stay in a hotel near the airport. From June 7th to July 7th, we will be living in a furnished, 1-bedroom apartment in Discovery Bay (on Lantau Island). During that time, we hope to be able to find a 3-bedroom village house to live in in Mui Wo (also on Lantau Island).
How long will you live there?
We think 2 to 4 years. But it could range anywhere from 1 year to many years. We’re flexible and will take it a year at a time.
What are you doing with all of your stuff?
We are storing or giving away most of our belongings. We are only taking what we can fit in our suitcases.
What will you do about school?
Magdalena will attend a local kindergarten. It will be full immersion Cantonese. There are several other native English-speaking children who attend there. The principal speaks excellent English, and most of the teachers probably speak English too. I will homeschool James the first year. We’ll take it a year at a time–in the future we may continue with Cantonese local schools, or homeschool. (When we return to the U.S., we plan to homeschool again. The reason for sending Magdalena and eventually James to Cantonese school is strictly for the language and cultural learning.)
How often will you visit the U.S.?
We hope to be able to visit every summer.
Do they have congregations of your church there?
Yes. There are two English-speaking LDS/Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) branches (congregations) in Hong Kong, in addition to several Chinese and Filipino branches. We will be attending the Discovery Bay English-speaking branch. The Church is quite restricted in mainland China, but Hong Kong’s government is different than the government of mainland China. There is an LDS Temple and missionaries in Hong Kong as well.
Do you know anyone in Hong Kong?
When we decided to move there, we didn’t know anybody who was living there. But through a friend in our neighborhood who used to live in Hong Kong, through connections through church, and through a few facebook groups, we have met a lot of English speakers in Hong Kong. They have been so helpful in helping us figure out where to live, what schools are good, and what life in Hong Kong is like. We are so grateful for the amazing people we will live near over there who we already call “friends.”
What is the weather like in Hong Kong?
The average high for the hottest time of the year (July and August) is 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low during those months is 74 degrees. During the coldest time of the year (January and February) the average high is 75 degrees and the average low is 47 degrees. It is very humid and rains a lot during certain months of the year. More info here.
Will you have a car?
Probably not. Mui Wo has a ferry that goes to Central (what the main city/downtown area of Hong Kong is called) and to Discovery Bay where we will attend church. It is also connected to the MTR (subway) by bus. We’ll also be doing a lot of walking.
Can we visit you?
Please!!! We would love to have visitors. We will probably live in a very small home, but we plan to have a sofa bed, and the kids’ beds will also be available when visitors come.
Hong Kong’s land mass is only 426 square miles–it includes part of mainland China an several islands. 7 million people live there, making it the most densely populated area in the world. Mui Wo where we plan to live is more rural and a lot quieter than Central. Here is more general information about Hong Kong.
We plan to update this blog regularly with our adventures. If you’d like to receive an email every time we post on our blog, click on “subscribe to posts” in the links in the upper lefthand corner. Now, I better get back to packing!