Published: February 26th 2012February 22nd 2012
Fun in the Sun
The next picture is the reason that we really needed this winter holiday.
Hi all – The last few months here have been very busy; seems like a long time since I have written to anyone, so hope this will catch us up. This is a real marathon blog with so many pictures!
Rick is enjoying his role as vice principal and surprisingly has really enjoyed being on the boys campus. It was a real concern for him about how he would leave the girls that he enjoyed so much. But aside from the cold building and smelly bathrooms, he finds the job interesting and the boys really great. Working with the Les, the principal, Ryan and Brad has been a good admin team. We now have almost 3000 students so there are always issues to deal with.
My job as Director for the Language Elective program has been a new challenge for me. Having spent all of my years as a classroom teacher, making timetables, schedules, dealing with and hiring staff, professional development and such are things requiring a huge learning curve. Many days I would have gladly booked a flight home! A lot of days Rick has to tell me to stop talking about work because he is tired of
Generally in the boys campus, the temperature inside is as cold as, or colder than the temperature outside. All the doors are open all day and windows, which are single pane with now weather stripping, are often open too to let the 'fresh air' in.
So this is pretty typical of how teachers dress on the job. Jackie is a Communications Skills teacher who is giving a speaking test to one of the international students from Russia.
hearing about it! Reality check for me, but he has been an incredible support and I couldn’t have done it without him. Semester two has started out smoothly though, so I am keeping my fingers crossed!
Geoff has moved from teaching Science at the junior high campus to teaching 4 blocks of Science 10 on the girl’s campus – he is in heaven and finally understands why we encouraged him to come and work here. He has a great bunch of guys that he hangs out with and now can do all of the sports that happen after school with the staff. They have another hockey tournament next weekend, so he is thrilled.
Chris has been attending BCIT in Vancouver to get his journeyman’s papers in Carpentry. We are so proud of him as he is getting the top marks in his class and doing so well. He stays in Vancouver with favourite uncle Dennis during the week, then heads back to Whistler for the weekend, which makes for a busy life for him. Year one and two this winter, year three and four next winter. We are looking forward to having him help us design some renos
Jinshitan's pond hockey tournament doesn't hold a candle to the Peace River tournament, but the teams have fun. There were about 7 teams from here and the surrounding area and they had a beautiful Sunday and 'Berry's and Sticks' ended up the champions.
for our Qualicum house (when we get there!).
One fun thing that we have started to do is to play Majiang (Majong). We have been intrigued by this game since going on the Yangtze River trip with Peter and Dianne. Since there were so few of us passengers, the crew had fun teaching the four of us to play. Unfortunately we don't have the fancy table where the tiles flip up in rows (kind of like the pins at a bowling alley) but I finally got a set of tiles last spring. I took them to mandarin club a few times, but Majiang has a very negative gambling image in China and the boys were definitely concerned about playing in school, so that didn't go far. This winter though, one of my staff and their parents have been coming over to play. They are teaching us a lot, so be prepared when you come to visit to get introduced to Majiang.
Our current project, hard to believe, is planning our next holidays! Linda and Larry Tutt, our good friends from Peace River who now live in St. Albert, are coming to a wedding in the Philippines in April,
It is really hard to cook a turkey in a toaster oven - even half or quarter of a turkey. So instead we ordered turkey in. We went with Eddies, from KaiFaqu, with a bit of trepidation because last year we went to his restaurant for Christmas dinner and a few people were not feeling so well the next day. Everything was fine though, despite the meal arriving in small take out containers. A meal for 13 involving 7 or 8 different foods is a lot of take out containers! Afterwards we got out guitars and sang a few Christmas carols.
so are including us in their travels. As well, my brother Bob and his family are coming at the end of June and we will travel for a couple of weeks with them. Too bad we don’t get frequent flyer miles with Air Asia.
Really – we do work!!!
We keep hoping to make it to Peace River as part of our summer holiday; Rick is so anxious to get together with his band and boy would we like to go golfing at the Mighty Peace again. As it is, our plans so far are unsure, with spending part of July here travelling, but will definitely be in Calgary again for part of the summer.
Not a whole lot new and different in our daily life– the first two years seemed so exciting, but now life just carries on. We just happen to be in China, not Canada! But the home stretch feels like it is here. Many of you are asking or wondering what we are doing for next year----- it is a hard decision: money or family, China or Canada; work or retirement. Hmmmm you will have to wait to find out the answer!
Rick and his Lovelies
Once again, Rick was invited to perform at the New Year's Gala. This involves 2 performances - one for the school, after which some eliminations take place. Then the 'finalists' perform at the system wide 'Gala'. The three music teachers at the school are always a hit- they asked Rick to accompany them as they sang a song.
Included are a lot of pictures from our winter holiday – I just couldn’t decide which ones to leave out, so put a bunch in, so don’t feel like you have to check them all out! You have to scroll down to see them all.
That is all for now, looking forward to hearing what others are up to!
There are more photos below