Published: May 7th 2008May 7th 2008
Color Display at the 2008 "Qintong Boating Festival" in Qinhu Wetland Park, Taizhou, Jiangsu
Once a year, Taizhou hosts the Qintong Boating Festival. It draws tens of thousands of locals and tourist to the park. A spectacular and colorful display of decorated boats, and thousands of participants in colorful, traditional costumes present an extravaganza to be remembered. I can't wait for next years presentation, though tickets are difficult to get. Our college made sure we had some of the best seats, thank you!
In Part 2, TAIZHOU - THE CITY OF THE PHOENIX, let me present you a "mosaic" of my "2008 Spring Activities" in- and around my home-city in China. These warmer months have been a long awaited in all parts of China, with the nation having survived the coldest winter in 50 years. My many special and wonderful activities surrounding Taizhou during the spring months have been varied and memorable. There has been no weekend, during which I was not offered- and participated in excitement, that brought me joy and exhilaration.
During the weekdays of my spring semester 2008, I continue to be surrounded by my loving students. These are so eager to advance their comprehension of the English language, in my smaller than expected classes, in anticipation of becoming successful English teachers in China within the next few years.
I continue to work with- and walk among a staff and administration at our small teachers college, who make me feel part of their special family every single day, and leave no doubt that I am appreciated.
Unfortunately for me and at my age, it continues to be extremely difficult to make headway in acquiring a greater knowledge, comprehension,
Dragon Boat passes the Grand-stand.
One of the wonderfully decorated Dragon Boats passes the grand-stand, reminding the visitors of the upcoming Beijing Olympics. You will see more pictures of the 2008 Qintong Boating Festival later in this photo-presentation.
and ability to speak and read the Chinese language.
Yet I am always able to manage my needs during my walks, shopping, and travels. There is always someone, who will notice my frustrations, and will quickly come to my aid. The Chinese people are super-friendly and eager to help foreigners, and will take all opportunities to practice the English they have been able to acquire in school.
The youngest children here have few inhibitions, and eagerly express greetings in English, since all of them study the language, beginning with grade one. The older students are also less shy than their parents before them. Most are quite willing to engage a Westerner with a surprisingly agile knowledge of English.
When I am waiting at the bus-station to go to Shanghai, or at the train-station to visit Beijing, or at the airport to fly to some other cities, I find few opportunities to practice my limited Chinese vocabulary. There is always someone eager to engage me to practice their English, "and as we all know", when we learn a language, limited use, leads to limited ability to remember the words and phrases of the target language.
A kiss at the entrance to Taishan Park in Taizhou.
Many of my weekends during the spring of 2008 were spent walking the many beautiful parks of Taizhou. One of the oldest and most visited parks is Taishan Park. I will guide you through this blooming green-space in some of the later photos.
will always be some eager and friendly Chinese to help me with any dilemma, and usually successfully.
And so my greatest regret in China is this most difficult written and spoken Chinese language, which has offered me my greatest challenge during these past 20 months.
As you will see in this Photo-journal entry in my TravelBlog #98, I continue to find daily excitement in- and around Taizhou, Jiangsu, which no language barrier could suppress, and I have agreed with my friend Arthur to extend my contract at Taizhou Teachers College for some additional years.
And so, the adventures during my stay at TTC will continue. This coming weekend, I will once again visit China's capitol, Beijing. The Olympic stadiums and site and park have now been opened to the public, and I want to take the opportunity to capture the completed project in my photos, and present them to you in the next few weeks.
I want to visit the site of the 29th Olympic games as an international "sports venue", and have no desire to involve myself in the rights and wrongs of the conflicting reports of "international politics". I will leave those commentaries to
It is spring 2008 in Taizhou Teachers College's garden campus.
Though we have quite a small campus, if not the smallest in Taizhou, our campus is one of the greenest and most colorful spaces in the city. In this photo-journey I will introduce you to some of the spring activities at Taizhou Teachers College.
those, who seems to pretend, that they know better.
On my return from Beijing this coming week, our college will also host, beginning May 13th, 2008, a large group of students and their chaperones from Schwaebisch Hall, in southern Germany. Schwaebisch Hall is a "sister city" of Taizhou, and Taizhou Teachers College and the city of Taizhou are eager to receive the visitors from Germany, and to offer them the hospitality, for which the Chinese people are so famous.
This year, the German language has been added to the Foreign Language Program of our college, taught by a very capable, young Chinese teacher, who studied German in Schwaebisch Hall.
Taizhou Teachers College has now become the premier foreign language college of Taizhou, teaching English, Japanese, Korean, and German. I have been asked to participate in the visiting German group's planned activities, and it will be wonderful to report back to you, on the adventures of these visiting students to our city and college, in one of my next TravelBlogs.
Because of its rapid growth and growing importance, and as the home-town of the PRC's President, Mr. Hu Jintao, it is no wonder, that the city of
Spectacular peach blossoms grace the campus of Taizhou Teachers College
2008 spring colors on our small garden campus cannot be described in words. Here also, a picture tells a thousand words.
Taizhou has also been chosen as one of the few cities in Jiangsu Province, which will host the Olympic Torch on May 23rd, 2008, on its way to Beijing. It will be an event I don't plan to miss, and it will provide another great entry in my journal for you to share.
This TravelBlog #98 is the continuation of one of my previous introductions to Taizhou. You will find Part 1 in TravelBlog #96. Since my activities during these past months have been so varied and extensive, the number of photos is quite large. From over a thousand photos, it was difficult to select these 145 pictures below. These will give you some continued insight into my environment at Taizhou Teachers College, and continue to inform you about the quickly developing city of Taizhou, in the prosperous province of Jiangsu, PRC.
It has taken some time to compile this kaleidoscope of photos and their commentary. I have tried to make them stories within a story, and hope that you will find time to take a look at them all, and enlarge them for greater detail, if possible. I always anticipate your comments, your questions, and look forward
Rape-seed plants in full bloom of gold.
Throughout the city and far beyond, the spring crop of the rape-seed plants are in full, golden bloom. Cooking oil will be produced from its seeds. In this photo-journey I will introduce you to this important crop of Taizhou, which paints the city and the country-side in its lush, golden colors.
to your thoughts and suggestions.
I greatly appreciate your time to write me a few words. These give me the impetus to continue this TravelBlog and adventures through China, and they bring me a little closer to you, for I miss you and think of you often. I wish you a wonderful Spring 2008, a happy Mothers Day, and a special Fathers Day.
To my former collegues and students at Coral Gables Sr. H.S. in Miami, Florida, I hope for a successful ending to your school year, and congratulations to the Seniors on your graduation. I miss all of you, look forward to your continued success, and to hearing from you.
There are more photos below