Sunday, June 15, 2008

A fresh start

We will be leaving tomorrow morning for a new adventure in China. As we explained in our "travel with a Purpose" statement, our goal is to teach English in various parts of the world for short periods of time, and then travel in that area while we are there.

On this trip, we will be in the Beijing area for about six weeks. The first 2 1/2 weeks will be training, and then our team of about 35 will spend 3 1/2 weeks in a total immersion program with about 200-300 students. Most of these students will be English teachers from around China and we will teach classes, but also actually live in the dorms with them and be together 24/7. For the classes, we will work in teams of two with about 20 students and help them to hone their English skills. Many Chinese people have studied English in school and have a lot of "book knowledge" but have little experience speaking the language -- especially with native speakers. Our goal is to help them to gain confidence with practice, practice, practice, using fun learning techniques with someone who knows how to speak English as a first language.

We will be returning to the US when these classes are finished at the end of July, since we have already visited China...and so we can be home for our first grandchild, due on August 25th!

Our schedule as we know it so far:

Monday, drive to Irvine to visit with our kids who are living in that area.

Tuesday evening we will get to the airport in PLENTY of time to catch a 1:30 AM flight on Wednesday, non-stop to Beijing.

Each in our team arranged their own transportation, so our flight will have two others from our group and we will be arriving at 5:20AM Thursday. We will be picked up at the airport and transported to the Chaing Ping campus of the University of Peking, our home away from home for the next six weeks.

I will be keeping a journal as before, and posting as the internet is available, but may not be able to do much until we return.