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Kiley Ariail
Oregonian currently based in Qingdao, Northern China
I am an Oregonian by birth, Portlander at heart, and an expatriate in China by circumstance.
Interests: I live in Qingdao, northern China, with my husband and my daughter Vivi. I started this blog almost 5 years ago when Vivi was a newborn and we all moved overseas. What started out as a three-year adventure in Korea has turned into 5 years in Asia. I {am} a designer of bags, maker of things, eater of food, mother of Vivi, rider of bike, snapper of shots. I {heart} leather, Chinese dumplings, cameras, PDX, yarn, living in Asia, dogs, books, temples. I {survive on} community, coffee, creativity, connection. I {long for} cupcakes, good beer, courteous drivers, empowered pedestrians, my garden.
Recent Activity
Think of this post as a "Dear John" letter in which I am writing to tell you that I'm gone and not writing anymore. I don't expect (most of) you to notice that I haven't been posting in quite a while, but I am posting now to tell you that I will not be posting anymore. For what that's worth. I started this blog seven years ago with a few photos of an empty apartment in Korea, some shots of weeks-old Vivian, and an intention to keep family and friends back home in touch with my daughter's life overseas. During... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2013 at Gogovivi
Do you remember when I went to Kenya last year as photographer for A Voice is Heard? It was, in many ways, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Photographically, it was an experience of a lifetime. Personally, it re-connected me with an old friend in a deep and meaningful way. And as far as purpose goes, it helped me realize a lifelong dream: to be personally and deeply involved in doing some good in the world. I saw that good firsthand last year when the pump handle was attached to the well we drilled in Namelok village,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2013 at Gogovivi
We are home for the holidays and it has been the best Christmas season...ever. It beats Christmas in Korea with our electromatronic artificial Christmas tree and the dog that almost died, it beats exotic Vietnam in the pouring rain, beats Christmas on sweltering Hainan Island in the fog. There is simply something to being at home for Christmas that brings me peace and comfort. From us at home in Garden Home to you, our friends in Oregon, China, and around the world, the merriest of holiday seasons. Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2012 at Gogovivi
We have a Christmas tree this year. Its nothing special, really, just a slightly thin fir tree cut from Floyd's tree farm a block from home. We picked out our tree in the rain, chopped it, and walked it home, dragging it in the dead leaves behind us. But I lied. This tree is something special - it is the tree I have been dreaming of for years. Back when living overseas was a novelty, I embraced the most artificial of trees. As the years passed, and the novelty of holidays spent in tropical locations wore thin, I created the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2012 at Gogovivi
...while I brag a little. If you remember my last post, I was pretty proud (though trying to be subtle about it) of Vivian's painting of a dog with its little front paw stuck out in what can only be a 1st grade mastery of perspective. She completed that project in her Chinese art class (which she attends weekly after her hour of language lessons). In China, and in this class, art is taught by the time-honored method of copying. Emulating? No, its straight-up copying, where the more your version mirrors the original, the more highly regarded it is. I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2012 at Gogovivi
Vivian's first grade report arrived yesterday. In academics, she is doing absolutely great. In social development, improvement is needed...but then she's only 7 and living in a new country and at a new school, so I expect the transition to take a while. Her teacher reports: She is a great writer when she is motivated. "When motivated" is the kicker. She is good at any kind of drawing. I agree - see her recent painting, below She needs to improve on showing proper reverence during liturgy and prayer. This one kinda cracks me up. That she is showing any reverence... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2012 at Gogovivi
Very wonderful news, I look forward to seeing what comes next for you!
1 reply
My girl still believes in Santa. I sneaked up on her writing a letter to him this weekend. Her expectations are modest. Either that, or she just couldn't be bothered to write very much. All she asked for is an I-Pegboard for her Perler fusion beads. I don't know what it is, either. Something that combines craft and creativity with I-Pad technology. It's a 10 dollar item. I think Santa can oblige her, this time. Now I am off to the Post Office to send her letter on its way to the North Pole. Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2012 at Gogovivi
We're not a big Black Friday family; we tend toward small gifts and a last-second scramble. So when Thanksgiving was done, and Friday loomed long, rainy, and quiet, we opted to avoid the malls and get outside to Oregon's favorite tourist attraction, Multnomah Falls. Bruce and I had not been there in years (maybe even not together, ever) and I thought it would be a fun time for Vivian, rain or not. Sure enough, once we braced ourselves for the rain, we had a great time. We only did a short hike, because trails in the Columbia Gorge tend to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2012 at Gogovivi
We finished Birthday Week successfully; Vivian and I both celebrated our birthdays last week. Vivian had a grandparent's sleepover party, and I had a nice dinner out with friends. One more year under the bridge, now Thanksgiving, too, is past, and its on to Christmas. My blue-eyed family L-Pep, or "Little Pepper" Seven candles My birthday gift, handmade by Vivian Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2012 at Gogovivi
I miss those days in China when we were completely immune to TV advertising. We didn't have TV service, so everything we watched was commercial-free and nothing entered our home that wasn't invited. LOVED THAT about our overseas life, but its behind us now. Vivian is completely tuned in to TV commercials now. I know this because this week, when we were buying dog food, she suggested I buy Iams brand because, according to her, it has "more meat." I told her that the commercials are doing their job because she remembers the message while making buying decisions. We have... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2012 at Gogovivi
I didn't forget the anniversary of Miles' coming and going this year, but for the first time ever, I skipped blogging on that day. I still don't know why: obviously I haven't been blogging much lately, but honestly I did intend to keep up the tradition with my annual reflections on life and death and children and loss. I did have things to say; I did have a story to tell, I just didn't have the spark. It felt too big this year, bigger than me and bigger than my voice. When really, it wasn't a big deal at all.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2012 at Gogovivi
We're in week 4 of the new school year, and Vivian is happily settled in her first grade class, which is where she will stay, despite the fact she already completed first grade in the British system school she attended in Qingdao.* The great news about her school is that she gets to wear a uniform! And all three of us love it! White shirts and socks with either navy blue or red plaid bottoms, with black Converse sneakers. She loves it, I love it, and the Converse give the look a little tough-girl edge. Because you know, she's a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2012 at Gogovivi
You might have noticed that Gogovivi has been a little quiet since we returned to the U.S. Like my family, this blog is in a period of transition. I have been thinking a lot about its future; in some ways I think it may have come to the end of its natural life with our return home. After all, I started Gogovivi as a way to keep friends and family in touch with Vivian and the rest of us when we were overseas. Now that we are home, I am not sure of its purpose. I have also been developing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2012 at Gogovivi
ha! I only wish! Having moved internationally three times in the past six years, each time using a moving company to pack and manage the logistics, I can confirm that "all the hassle" is not removed, not by a long shot. If only.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2012 on I should be packing at Gogovivi
Dentina Flosserman, also known as "The Tooth Fairy", visited Vivian last night on the occasion of the loss of Vivian's first tooth, and made the following observations: Location of tooth: lower right central incisor. Method of extraction: via apple Amount of compensation: $1 payable in a single dollar coin Condition: Needs flossing Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2012 at Gogovivi
In the space of two entire weeks, Vivian's fashion sense has skewed from loving black cowboy hats ( read about her week at Cowgirl Camp here) to desperately wanting hair color. Being the permissive mother that I am (!) I indulged this whim in what I think is a fairly harmless way... My girl has purple locks. She loves them and feels very cool. I used this semi-permanent hair color and loved how easily and well it worked. One step, no mixing, I painted the colorant on and waited 30 minutes and voila! Violet locks! I told her not to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2012 at Gogovivi
I know I am supposed to be over the honeymoon phase right now and transitioning right into reverse culture shock. At least that's what the re-patriation literature tells me. I should be starting to feel like our latest American "vacation" is over and the novelty of being "home" should have worn off. I should be remembering our 6 1/2 years overseas with rose-colored glasses as a time when everything was perfect and realizing that in America, nothing can compare to what I left behind. But I'm not. Instead, five weeks after returning home and after three weeks of living in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2012 at Gogovivi
For obvious reasons, Independence Day does not exist in China. We have not celebrated the 4th even once since Vivian has been born, unless we managed to blow up a noisy Chinese firecracker or eat a burger in honor of the Red White and Blue. This year, our first year home and at the beginning of Vivian's Becoming American, we also had the obligation to show our visiting Aussie friends what July 4th is all about. It was the greatest July 4th. Ever. We started with the Molalla parade, where Vivian learned how to scramble for the candy thrown from... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2012 at Gogovivi
Finally we can call it ours. Today we officially took posession of our little house. Vivian, Pepper, and I did a little house-lovin' before undertaking a good scrub of the studio garage in preparation for our first house guests. Our Aussie-China friends the Tapleys, who were our closest neighbors in Qingdao, arrive tonight. Poor souls don't know what they are in for, considering they will be camping in the studio but there's not a stick of furniture in the house. Hello! Come in! The entry might need a little pruning...or not. Farmhouse kitchen Heaven is a fairy forest in your... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2012 at Gogovivi
Yep, looking forward to sharing the color Fairy Books, my Trixie Beldens, as well as my old Breyer horses if those are still around!
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2012 on Becoming American Day 1: Library at Gogovivi
Thanks, Allison.
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2012 on Becoming American Day 1: Library at Gogovivi
My secret dream job is librarian...
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2012 on Becoming American Day 1: Library at Gogovivi
I took Vivian to the library yesterday, and you should have seen the look on her face when the librarian told her..."you can take home as many books as you want..." All the books I want? For free? What kind of magical world is this place called Oregon? You have to understand, this is Vivian's first time at a public library. We have never lived in close proximity to a proper bookstore, let alone a library, so borrowing books without having to pay is a completely new concept. I may have stumbled upon one of the unexpected delights of repatriation:... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2012 at Gogovivi