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Jenny and I have been back in the states for awhile now, and have been talking about where to go next. Wherever I/we end up, I will be blogging about it...
This blog takes place throughout all of 2009. We ended up teaching English to 1,000 Chinese students per week at the #1 and #2 Sr. High Schools in our small town in southern China, Jiangsu province. We have kept our travels, and memories, fresh by blogging about our adventures here in TravelBlog and we hope you have enjoyed living our adventure with us.
Feel free to write us and make comments and/or just say hello. We will ramp up another travel blog once we decided what country we are going to next...
Cheers from Tampa, Florida!
December 7th 2009
With some trial software I put together this panorama view from right outside of our fifth story apartment (that's 80 stairs up and 80 stairs down) here at the school campus. Not much of a view, but many days and nights have been spent just looking out over our school campus, listening to the dull roar of the students as they take their ten minute breaks, the rattling and pounding of the cafeteria right below us, along with the occasional barbecue on the balcony and more than a few glasses of wine, just taking it all in. One night while barbecuing some steaks a freak storm drove in and within a minute or two began pounding us with hail the size of nickels, we had to open the window for fear it would break the glass. ... read more
November 29th 2009
China! Since our huge National Day celebration last month, China has been in the news more then Tiger Woods getting a smack down from his wife for fooling around with a party girl, ala Elliot Spitzer. Everyday we are reading all about China impacting the world; From ethnic uprisings on the Pakistan border and in Tibet, to National Day pride on their 60th Anniversary of the PRC, to Asia propping up the dollar and leading the world out of the recession, to the execution of folks responsible for the tainted milk scandal last year, to the detention in black jails of folks w... read more
November 4th 2009
A few weeks ago for a class lesson on the importance of taking notes, I put together a Powerpoint presentation of the Seven Most Popular Theme Parks in the World. Needless to say, my students paid extra attention, especially when the "Disney-esque" theme park in Beijing was mentioned. Not only did I have some updated shots of Minnie and Mickey (they look JUST like Disney's Minnie and Micket...hmmmmm), I also had to explain the theme parks slogan: Disney is too far away, come here!...naturally a conversation about copyright and infringement followed but it's just standard business practice over here and the kids know it. And just today I read that the real Walt Disney has agreed to begin construction on their largest theme park yet - in Shanghai. The initial resort, with a mix of shopping ... read more
October 7th 2009
Chinese National Day Our students were giddy and down right rambunctious last week as our school, and the entire nation, prepared to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on October 1st. Our kids knew the facts (the PRC won the revolution and the losers limped over to Taiwan and started their own government there), knew the reason (Mao is very much a hero over here much to the chagrin of anyone who knows history and how many people he killed with his insanity), and also knew they were getting an unprecedented vacation from school - eight days off because this National Day coincided with another Chinese holiday, Autumn Festival. Jennifer and I also got eight days off from teaching so along with watching the huge parade on television in the morning, we ... read more
September 23rd 2009
Still Humming About Tibet Hey! everyday the power of the internet and blogs continues to amaze me. After my blogs on Tibet I received comments and messages from people all over the world expressing their gratitude (you are welcome, Becky), and their outrage (most were Chinese and not well-informed). Anyway, thank you everyone for your heartfelt messages and if I did not comment on your comment, rest assured it's not because I've been too busy, it's because my ethics, morality, and good old sense of right and wrong will not be compromised, and the Delete key is soooo close. :) So, Jenny and I got back from our seven-week summer vacation a few weeks back and we managed to unpack, enjoy one nice homecoming meal on our little patio barbecue grill and before we could say ... read more
August 9th 2009
Saying Goodbye to Tibet After a late night filled with fiery political discussions and warm beer, our week of exploring Lhasa and Mt. Everest was technically coming to a close. All but three of us are leaving in the morning so the evening was filled with hearing what others enjoyed or hated about our adventure, swapping emails, passionate ideas on why the European Union will never work, all while enjoying some of the best late-night views of Barkhor Square on the rooftop bar at Mak Ye Ame. Along with Jenny and I, the wildly successful travel writer from India whose name escapes me although her constant complaining will be ringing in my ears for months, is also staying in Lhasa a few more days. We all end up laughing about our first night at the Music ... read more
August 8th 2009
Mt. Everest Base Camp, Day 3 We ended up getting to our hotel late last night, about 10:30, after a decent meal in Shigatse, Tibet. Even though we didn't get to see Mt. Everest up close yesterday, on our way back to the closest town we did get to spend about forty minutes watching the top 1/3 of the mountain appear and then fade away, and then appear again as cloud formations slowly passed over the mountain range. She is a spectacular sight indeed. This morning Jenny and I are up early, but groggy and grumpy, as we both ended up sleeping in our clothes. It was that kind of hotel. We got out and on the bus after skipping a Chinese breakfast and after the night we had I grabbed the long seat in the ... read more
August 6th 2009
This morning we are up at 5am and leave at 6:15am. We seem to be making good time as the road is fairly smooth and the views keep us entertained. Yak, horses, sheep, goats, the locals - it's all post-card beautiful. Everybody is in a fairly chipper mood because we are excited about seeing Mt. Everest but honestly no one is looking forward to the rough riding we know is coming. We drive all morning, take a break at 10:15pm to stretch, find a rock, etc. The girls have it much rougher than us guys simply because there are few bathrooms, if any, on our road so they have to find whatever cover they can. We joke with them saying "But at least it's not freezing like it was at the Karola Glacier...", they are not ... read more
August 6th 2009
Mt. Everest Base Camp Adventure: Day One We get up early, finish packing and drop off our backpacks with the hotel front desk then walk into our little Cool Yak dining room to grab a bite eat. As our group slowly ambles in it’s clear we are excited about the upcoming journey. Seeing Lhasa has been an incredible experience but we are all in this group because we chose to pay for an 8-day tour that includes three full days driving and trekking up to the base camp of Mt. Everest. I’m not much of a mountain climber, but the thought of seeing Everest (Chomolungma in Tibetan) that close has me giddy. It’s an achievement in itself, never mind there is no physical danger involved: It is the highest peak in the world, in the highest ... read more
August 5th 2009
We wake up to our third day in this amazing city, Lhasa. We both got to sleep in from our night of singing and partying at Music Bar, and push ourselves to stumble over for breakfast at 9:30am! The whole group eventually lumbers in, groggy but happy, we laugh about last night’s fun and eat a Chinglish breakfast. There are fruit and snacks stands right outside our hotel so we pick some up, and water, lots of water our guide reminds us. Then all twenty-two of us hop on a bus and drive the fifteen minute drive to the most recognizable landmark in Lhasa, and all of Tibet; the Potala Palace. Take a look at all the pics from today's adventure on my new Flickr account, click here. Potala Palace The incredible Potala Palace is built ... read more