an inspirational family website

2018 Blog

Every few weeks I write an update, for those who like to stay in touch!

Every few weeks I try to write an update, for those who like to stay in touch!

Our 2018 Blog ⇔ (Clicking on photos reveals the entire caption and often makes pictures bigger)

Jan-Dec (click here for Jan-Dec 2017)

Vivian contributed a post on July 13 in which she gives thanks for the little blessings in life.

Aug 15, 2018

When I was a teacher, I looked forward to the summer. Sometimes we got to visit the US; normally I didn’t have a lot of classes to teach, and thus summers were more relaxed for the whole family. Life is certainly different as the director of a charity. Not only do we have HOT Hong Kong to deal with, but this job doesn’t have natural “seasons” to rest, so if you are not careful it is easy to overwork all the time. At the beginning of the summer, I managed to balance work with the rest of life, but July and Aug have been challenging. We’ve dealt with (among other things) unexpected family situations in the US, orientation for new workers, staff reviews, changes at the office, key projects to plan, and a new computer (faster speed, but making old software obsolete, which means investing hours to get used to replacements!). Another big factor was the decision for Vivian to return to the US again, helping to care for her mother for a while. So, I carry on in HK without the strong “right arm” of my wife! And while I’ve not been able to keep my “goal” of weekly work on my websites, I did update the “Cancer Survivor Report” about our friend Gabe, Vivian added uplifting thoughts (see caption under her photo), and I added an EFL Movie Study Guide for Finding Nemo.

I’ll give you a glimpse into the rest of our month through the following photos and captions, for those who enjoy reading about our lives.

Jul 12, 2018

While I don’t have photos to show for it, I’ve been busy with work (I worked 85 hours last week, mainly helping two new families bring their expertise to China) and also busy tweaking my websites–trying to keep the “goal” I wrote about in June. I’ve added photos to the slider on the home page, and recategorized my “writings”. I added a bit to my “hospital adventures” page. You’ll find an article on How to Pray (plus a worksheet), as well as a Beijing photo page and poem called Reminiscence. On EFLsuccess.com, you’ll find an updated Movie Guide for Steel Magnolias.

Jun 13, 2018

The stitches are now gone, and my experiences at the out-patient clinic continued to impress me. I had a nurse change the dressing twice, and then remove the stitches. Each time, three “student nurses” were present to watch and learn — and since I love being around students, I actually enjoyed having them there. Some spoke to me in Mandarin, others in English. God bless them as they enter this noble profession!

Today and last Wednesday I’ve actually “accomplished” something on my websites. I’d read recently that people in the service industry (like Vivian and me, since moving to HK) know in our heads that we are making a difference, but we have little to show for the hours we spend on a computer or preparing for meetings. Thus, the author said, we need to find “other things” to do that have more tangible results. I guess that’s why my brother loves fixing-up houses. Well, I’m trying to update or move a page from my old website to this one (or EFLsuccess.com) each week. Last week, I moved and updated my movie guide for “Jungle Book“; this week I updated my “Half-the-world” page and added the article spawned by that visit to the Soviet Union, published in a US magazine in 1990. If you are interested, take a look!

May 29, 2018

I was very happy with how everything went this morning at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, as they removed a carcinoma from my face “with wide margin.” I arrived as scheduled at 9am, obviously before the throngs begin to come (see May 22 photo of the same room). Actually, that’s on the same floor, but it is a different ward. The first window I waited at was the wrong window. (The hospital signs could be clearer, and there was no one around to “ask” who spoke English or Mandarin — the people I tried just pointed and grunted.) Once I found the right ward, there were normal allergy/etc questions, blood-pressure test, talk to the operating doctor, etc. I wasn’t surprised this time when they told me to take off “everything” (my wedding ring gave me no little difficulty, as it hasn’t left my finger since my 2014 neck surgery in HK). Unlike western outpatient clinics, which (in my limited experience) do such face-surgery procedures in their office, with you wearing your normal clothes, today was “full surgery” in the “theatre”. While I waited with a handful of others, all wearing (ONLY) the hospital’s flannel pajamas, I was grateful that I was allowed to listen to a book on my phone. I was also grateful for the blanket they provided (in HK, you rarely need a jacket outside, but need one inside about half the year because of very cold AC). Around 10:45 they called and briskly walked me to the “operating theatre”. From here, things are a blur–in part because I wasn’t wearing glasses! I guess there were six or eight in the room (including the young doctor), all acting very professional. I asked if people spoke English and offered to use Mandarin instead; Dr Ivan said they all spoke English, and said their English was better than their Mandarin. Next came numbing shots, a heated blanket, lots of dabbing to sterilize, covering my left eye with some sort of special tape (to prevent infection), drops in my right eye (which I couldn’t open to help the nurse), and some sort of covering for my entire face–which then was “opened” so the affected area alone was exposed. I suppose the surgery itself took about 15 minutes. The only (slight) discomfort was an itch in my left ear, which of course I had to ignore. I silently sang hymns and recited Bible verses, trying to stay as calm as possible. (Next time, I need to prepare by practicing hymns with a cadence similar to my heartbeat–for I could hear the monitor beeping throughout.) When it was over, they asked me to relax for half an hour in the original waiting room; then I could put my clothes back on, and after another blood-pressure test went to find the cashier. It cost a total of 195HKD ($25US), only slightly more expensive than the visit at which this appointment was set up. Yes, there are private clinics, which charge “American” prices (I remember that the deposit for a similar procedure at Evangel Hospital in 2014 was 15,000HKD), but as a full-time employee and resident in HK, I’m entitled to use the public medical system, so I did. The stitches are supposed to be removed at a local outpatient clinic on June 5 (for about 20HKD). I’m sure that working in a busy hospital like this, with so many patients in a place like HK, is not easy. But I was very impressed by the whole affair — and I’m grateful for the efficient, professional, kind way I was treated.


May 22, 2018

On April 23, Vivian flew to the US for a month, mainly because her mother had taken ill. But our daughter lives in the same city so Vivian also got to spend time with the family. She even drove Beth and her family north one weekend, where they could rendezvous with our son and his fiancee. Meanwhile in HK, a spot on my face was evaluated and determined to be skin cancer. The main surgery will be May 29, after Vivian returns to HK (she is flying as I type). Since I’ve been putting in too many long days, I took Mon-Wed off this week; I’m catching up on my blog in an environment very different than our downtown apartment!

Apr 22, 2018

After Dali, we made work-related trips to Chengdu and Wuhan, before returning to Hong Kong.

Here is a friend’s translation of the “tiger story”:

“Choke tiger to save father” ~ Yang Yi was a man living in the Jin Dynasty. One day when he was 14, he was harvesting rice in the field with his father. But suddenly a fierce tiger came. It threw his father to the ground and tried to drag him away (you can tell what the tiger was thinking about). Without any weapons, the boy forgot to consider his own safety and started to choke the tiger with all his strength to save his father. The tiger eventually gave up and ran away. (The traditional virtue being promoted is filial piety.)

–My Chinese translator’s comment: Now we can see many public displays like this. They are all about traditional Chinese culture and morality (that are advocated by modern values). They are efforts to cope with the current degeneration of morality, and they have all been produced after President Xi came into office. Before that, many things related to “Chinese tradition” were simply regarded as old or out-of-fashion, which is terribly wrong.

–Michael’s comment: I’m glad to see this effort to laud Chinese traditional culture and values. Any culture that refuses to learn from it’s past is doomed to repeat its mistakes, while a healthy mix of “old and new” can help the culture move forward.

Apr 20, 2018

I need to backtrack to start the trip in Kunming. Next we headed to Dali, and I made a solo trip to Xi’an and back. The agenda for the next few days was “rest” (with a little work).

Apr 13, 2018

After visiting five cities in two weeks, we fly back to Hong Kong in the morning. Here are a few photos of my quick overnight trip to Xi’an. I’ll add more pictures after we are back in HK (where the Internet is far more reliable!).


Mar 31, 2018

Tomorrow is Resurrection Day, so “Happy Easter!”

As March turns into April, we are enjoying Kunming, where we lived from 2005-2010. We came for meetings (here and in various cities), but we are always thrilled when we get to see old friends. Tomorrow we fly to Dali. We return to HK in mid-April.

Feb 28, 2018

We returned to Hong Kong from Thailand just minutes before February ran out. Our work-related conference went very well, and though it is exhausting it is always a highlight of our year. I’ll try to bring you up to date with some photos.

I’ll close with three more photos, without captions. But you can read my thoughts about these shells in a new article called “Some Thoughts from the Beach.”

Jan 29, 2018

Once again I’ve put off adding my first comments of the month until the last few days. So, how has 2018 started? I’m too busy to blog, but that goes without saying. Though I don’t like to say much about my HK job on my website, “work” has had it’s ups and downs; the best news is that we finally welcomed two new Directors to our Board, after searching for a year. We are grateful for this needed addition. Both men are old friends, so you can see one (a decade ago) on the photo-page I added during this month: the DaQin post shows photos of a Chinese pagoda and historical stone tablet that have been around for 1400 years. (The post’s content was mostly copied from my old website, but I’m grateful for every “bit” of www.krigline.com that moves to this WordPress replacement site.) Below, you’ll also see that our daughter sent cute photos of the grandchildren. Here in HK it has been cool and it has rained some, both inside and out (picture below). We are ten working days from our trip to Thailand to lead a work-related conference and orientation (hence the lack of time, right?). And finally, Chinese New Year will take place while we are abroad. In other words, in spite of my long hours, there hasn’t been much to blog about; nonetheless, I’ll post a few photos anyway to let you know we are still here, and we’re grateful for all who try to keep up with us online.

(click here for Jan-Dec 2017 blog)


©2018 Michael Krigline. For contact info, visit About Us. To make a contribution, see our Website Standards and Use Policy page (under “About Us”). Pre-2015 blogs can still be found on our old archive pages.

About Krigline.com

All content ©2018 Michael Krigline unless otherwise noted. This is the personal website of Michael & Vivian Krigline: building social bridges in SE Asia since 1999. We also run Krigline.com, www.krigline.com.cn, and EFLsuccess.com. {If you are looking for our son, Andrew Krigline, Click Here.} Most of our resources are available for use in a class, church, etc., if used according to our Website Standards and Use Policy, which also talks about cookies; by visiting, you agree to these policies. Thanks for stopping by!

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