Tragedy Strikes Beijing International School Community: Donate to Help American Teacher on Life Support

beijingkids has learned that international school teacher, Jonathan Sokoloff, is in a critical conditional at the international department of a local hospital. Sokoloff was involved in an accident in the early hours of Saturday morning while riding his scooter home. An American expat from Florida, he has been living in Beijing for almost two years.

Every Item Counts: Roundabout Seeks Donations for Nepal Earthquake Survivors

Nearly 2,500 have died in the Nepal earthquake that happened on Saturday according to CNTV's English site. It has been 80 years since the country faced an earthquake on the 7.9 magnitude scale, which has seen most buildings collapse and residents frightened to go back home due to fears of after shocks and structurally unstable buildings. In the capital Kathmandu, people are living and sleeping in open areas such as parks, the pavements, and fields despite the cold temperatures.

Roundabout's Mary Kate Brown is currently in touch with Nepalese officials at the embassy in Beijing to find out how donations such as blankets, winter clothes, and others can be taken to the people affected.  To help, Roundabout is now accepting donations and the current drop off point at the Roundabout offices. (click on link to get address and contact information). At this time,the organization is still trying to find out more and will communicate that information once they receive it. 

Where to Find the Best Cheesecake

One of my favorite restaurants for excellent steak closed last year, I was quite upset, but hopeful that another restaurant would fill that void. It hasn’t yet. Now another of my favorites has closed its doors for good, Le Baker café in Shunyi. Not only did they serve some of the best croissants and bagels in Beijing, their cakes were excellent too. The Taiwanese pastry chef had learnt his fine skills in France, and he consistently baked authentic éclairs and beautiful tarts. The dessert that I will miss most is Le Baker’s perfect cheesecake. It was light, fluffy, with a hint of vanilla, a subtle taste of lemon, and a proper biscuit base. Not a sponge layer to hold it up, not a soft and limp biscuit bottom, but a proper crumbly cheesecake base. The chef’s secret was in the type of cheese he used which made it so light. I’m hopeful that I will find an alternative to fill this cheesecake void. Here are a few suggestions I’ve received from other cheesecake lovers.

Birthday Bash: On a Roll - Turn out a perfect uramaki with the Westin Beijing Chaoyang

Sushi looks simple enough, but making it is an act of fine balance. In Japan, sushi masters study for years to learn the exact method for spreading rice on the nori (seaweed), which when done correctly should take only six movements. The idea is to spread a tennis ball-sized amount of sushi on the nori and press down on it without squishing it; when looking at a roll, you should be able to see individual grains, not a solid block of rice.

Art for Kids: David Hockney - The Arrival of Spring

Pace Gallery Beijing is exhibiting works by British artist David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring runs until June 6. Featuring iPad drawings and video by one of the most important and celebrated living artists in the world. Read to find out more about Hockney and to try out a related art project provided by Marianne Daquet of Atelier with your kids.

Doggy of the Week: Still Up for Adoption Hacker

There are hundreds of animals hoping to find loving homes in Beijing. If you are considering adopting a pet, Doggy/Moggy of the Week will feature animals from volunteer shelters, animal rescue groups, foster care providers, and pet owners needing to rehome animals. This week's dog is from ICVS' Adoptable Pets

The pups were first featured on the Doggy of the Week blog last week. Here is a short recap of their information:

Name: Hi! my name is Hacker.

I was an abandoned dog found in May 2014 by my foster mom, Jerri. I had previously been injured by scalding water but am now completely healed. I have a missing patch of hair on my back but I am still beautiful, inside and out. My foster mommy is hoping to find a great new family that will love me and adopt me.

I am very sweet and happy. I will keep wagging my tail for as long as you keep petting me. I am gentle with people and other dogs.

Ideal home:
I am fine with an individual owner, a couple or a family with older children (e.g., 6 years and older).

A Few More Ming Tombs

Several weeks ago we had a Sunday afternoon with decent air quality and pleasant spring weather, but not a lot of time, so we continued our exploration of some of the Ming Tombs outside of Changping town. The previous week we had visited the tombs called Yongling, Deling, and Jingling. None of these tombs were open to the public, so we just walked along the outside of each.

'Planet Walker' John Francis Takes to the Forbidden City and The Hutong on Sunday

John Francis has literally walked thousands of miles, but the 69-year-old environmentalist -- in Beijing this weekend for an event with The Hutong Sunday -- insists that he has more ground to cover.

Despite having traversed South America and the entire U.S. during previous environmentally-themed treks, Francis was still enthralled by a seemingly simple little stroll through a Hangzhou orchard last year, which motivated him to make China his next destination.

Escape the City: Bike Through UNESCO's Fujian Tulou

Biking, tea and world cultural hertiage are what is on offer from The Hutong's Fujian Tea Tulou Getaway set for May 8-10. Spread across Southern Fujian, are 300 tulou that were built by the Hakka clan between the 12th-20th century as a method of protection. To get the most out of the area, biking is one of the best possible way, making pit stops at various tea fields, and more. 

Safe and Sound: CPR and first aid courses in Beijing

For Bettina Janz – our cover mom this month – and her then 4-year-old son Timon, the morning of January 17 started out much like any other.
Though Timon hadn’t been feeling well that morning, his energy levels were still high as he bounced around the apartment. However, right after Janz laid him down for a nap, he started to have a seizure.

Janz dialed International SOS’ 24-hour assistance center. The latter called a city ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Janz was able to administer first aid measures due to her training as an International SOS doctor.
After her experience, Janz taught basic first aid and CPR to her ayi. She stresses the importance of learning CPR and first aid for any adult caregiver, whether they are parents, extended family members, ayis, or drivers. She also recommends building a support network, no matter how large, and establishing communication with at least two or three neighbors in case of emergency.

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