23 July 2010

China Bound

We're getting ready to depart for a year of teaching in China. Stay tuned for the next chapter -- we leave Aug. 3 and expect it will be a few weeks before we get an Internet connection in our new home.
A week of orientation with Church World Service in New York gave us invaluable training for teaching English as a foreign language, a better understanding of the ecumenical support in bringing this mission about, and some tai chi lessons as well.
These are the people we'll really miss, especially our two granddaughters. But in the scheme of things, what's a year? We keep in mind a Confucian saying, "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
The Baotou Teachers College has about 10,000 students. Our job is to teach English to students who are studying to be teachers, help faculty with their English language skills, and like every job we've ever had, "perform other duties as required."
>Baotou (Mongolian for "place where deer live", pop 1.5 million) is a port and industrial city in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It's on the Yellow River on the far side of the Great Wall. Beijing is about an hour by plane or 12 hours by train. So this will be our new home.

05 July 2010

Wrap: two months, 10,000 miles

On July 3 we returned to Houston after two months and 10,000 miles on the road. We spent our last day of visiting with friends in California, people we'd gone to college with in the 1960's. Then 3 days of dedicated driving got us home -- we were READY for that. John and Roza are adopting two girls who made pancakes for our breakfast in Sunnyvale.
We drove around the Bay for dinner -- Daniel and Harry were in Physics together at U of A in the 1960's.
Texas has the best highway rest stops, especially since some other states have reacted to the economic downturn by closing theirs. We did some long drives, so we really appreciated the chance to stretch our legs, Fritz included.
Home again! Britta brought 9-month-old Annette to see us the morning after we arrived, what a big girl from the little one we kissed farewell at the outset.
I did a final update to the map of our travels, see http://persjohn.net/DTJbl/trip2010.png. May 3 to July 3, two months and 10,000 miles through memorable places and visits with family and friends.