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Published: August 30th 2012
End of the school year
The school year 2011-2012 went pretty fast. I started the year teaching Kindergarten which I absolutely love and is one of my favorite ages and grades to teach, but in December a new teacher teaching grade 1 decided to leave in the middle of the year and I step up and ask to move up and I got promoted to teach grade 1 from January to June. If I had a blast teaching Kindergarten, you can´t imagine how much I enjoyed, loved and the fun I had teaching grade 1, plus I taught with an amazing teacher and friend Agnes Franklin.
The last weeks of school in June went pretty fast and were super busy, between teaching, assessing, meetings and social gatherings I practically had no time off. It felt good though. Lots of families moved from China to the US or other countries or cities in China as well as most of my colleagues and friends. So there was some kind of bittersweet feeling the last few days of school.
The school had its end of the year party at a local Chinese bar in Jinshitan by the beach just a couple of blocks away from the school. We all went and had some Chinese BBQ, <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">chuar, beer, drinks and had tons of fun with people. A group of us decided to head into Kaifaqu and party a little more so I joined the party crew.
My birthday came on Monday second to last day of school and it was a small, sweet but very special celebration with Kyle and my good friends. Kyle woke me up at midnight to wish me a happy birthday and give me my gift, which was amazing, a new cushion seat for my bike, a light, a bottle holder and other cool bike gear. During the day I made <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">arepas with my kiddos and Agnes class came to celebrate with us eating <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">arepas and muffins. After school our faculty meeting got cancelled, lucky me birthday girl so I ran to Kyle´s apt. for my birthday bike ride. If you know me you know that my birthday is always big, but not this year, it was probably the first time I do not celebrate it with a gathering, dinner, party or something, it was just Kyle and me riding our bikes by the beach and eating dinner at home. And it felt so good!
The rest of the week was smooth Tuesday was the last day of school and lots of emotions, tears, and laughter’s and mixed feelings.
Beijing trip & Mongolian visa
Wednesday I went to Beijing with Annie and even though our trip got on a wrong start (Annie bought her ticket on the wrong date) it turned out to be a fun girl´s trip. I visited the Mongolian embassy to get my Mongolian visa for our summer trip , but after I had given all the documents they told me I was missing something, a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia that the guesthouse had to send to the embassy, So went back to the hostel made calls, sent emails and assured that it would be done by Monday. This made me have to miss the trip to Xian but I had to get the visa done. Annie arrived Thursday afternoon and from that day the fun began! We had long walks, ate good food, did some shopping, sightseeing, hike the Great Wall and had tons of fun. I arrived back to Dalian on Wednesday with my Mongolian visa stamped on my passport! I was ready for the summer (As a Venezuelan I do not need a visa to go to Russia I can go whenever I want, but not Kyle who had to go to Shenyang to get his Russian visa about 5 times on a third class fully booked train, he did get it but it was a little of a nightmare.
Packing, packing & more packing
Back in Dalian I was told that I had to move into Kaifaqu for the next school for my new teaching assignment, teaching English to preschoolers in an English school in Kaifaqu. I wanted to live in jinshitan near Kyle, but there is no public transportation in the evenings when I would return from work so the director told me it was better to move. So I had to pack my entire apartment in 4 days. And believe I have accumulated tons and tons of things, and even though I gave away lots of stuff to the maids I ended up having 3 suitcases full of clothes, 3 plastic containers with school supplies for teaching, 1 plastic container with electronics and others, 6 boxes with bathroom, living room, kitchen and other household items, plus 4 shelves, a chair and my water dispenser. I had a lot of work in 4 days!
Bike camping trip
The last weekend in Dalian was coming and Kyle and I wanted to camp along the Great Wall. We looked for a city called Qing Huang Dao but it was way to far for a weekend trip and Dangdong was way too short of the hike so we decided to take our bikes and ride along the Jinshitan shore. It was my first time biking with a backpack full of camping gear and supplies and we had to ride along the coast, which meant up and down hills. We finally reached a fishing village at the bottom of the hill, which on our return was the steepest and hardest hill of all. And so we parked our bikes hidden into the bushes and climbed up to the top of a hill and set camp there. We found an open and flat space for the tent and set it up with some difficulty but we managed to do it. Then we found a little space for our fire and kitchen and made fajitas, Kyle´s favorite and best dish, for dinner. We finished the evening roasting marshmallows and eating them by our little fire. The next morning we woke up to a shining and warm sun and had toast for breakfast with tea and packed our things and headed our way to our apartments. This time we went through a steep hill that comes downhill towards my school it was exciting to go downhill, but also a little too fast for me.
Geting ready for the BIG SUMMER TRIP
We then took a shower and went on the Kuai Gui to Decathlon to buy some last minute items for our summer trip.
The rest of the week was between packing and getting ready for the summer trip. The adventure trough Mongolia and Russia for 2012 was on!
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