Sunday, January 10, 2010

the journey

Dana and I will finish this school year at John Taylor Williams and prepare ourselves to begin work in the People's Republic of China. We will be teaching English at Huawen College in Qingdao, China. Dr. Clerico has a relationship with our contacts at the college and has been there himself. He speaks highly of the school, people, and city. We are communicating with one of the leaders of the school on the specifics of our duties and responsibilities. What I know at this point is, we can teach English at the college and might have opportunities to teach younger learners as well.
Qingdao seems to have a wonderful mix of old and new China. It is one of the major, "open," port cities in China that is allowed to host international festivals. It is located on the Shandong Peninsula bordered by vast coastline on one side and mountains on the other.
Qingdao welcomed settlers 6,000 years ago and is the birthplace of Taoism. Through the years it has seen emperors and dynasties come and go, leaving their marks after disputes, celebrations of voyages, and construction of temples.
This city of 7 million hosted the 2008 Olympic Game sailing events in Fushan Bay. These waters are also home to some of China's top ocean research centers. Besides its research centers, Qingdao is a key textile, light, and chemical production center for China ranking it 11th in overall economic strength.
Huawen Mandarin College is an affiliate of Qingdao University. It is a language school with the intent to prepare and place students in colleges and universities in the United States. The U.S. Prep and Placement Program's three main components are: to emphasize conversation, listening comprehension, reading, introduction to academic language and American culture, to assist students in the college research and application process, and to help students apply for a Visa.
Huawen College is one of 10 colleges/universities in Qingdao. The city is made up of 450 high schools, 100 secondary technical schools and 1,100 primary schools.
Dana and I are very excited about this opportunity to travel, teach, and bear witness to the students of China.
We ask for your thoughts and prayers through this experience. God has placed a spirit in both of us to be a part of education. He has coupled that spirit with the heart for other cultures. He designed us both with the mind and soul needed to adapt to, appreciate, and enjoy living outside our personal sphere of influence and perceived level of comfort. We will start our journey together with steps of faith. The same faith that has bestowed us with the knowledge that God has provided our perfect provision with whom to walk. We thank you for what you have been to us in the past and look forward to seeing what you will become to us in the future.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day ("over")...

Welcome 2010! What a year so far - day begins at Thomas Street Tavern and ends with the family in Charles Town, SC.

The day begins like the opening line to a joke...What do you get when Dana and Brad, two strangers, two Russian, twenty-something females, one ex-Christian acoustic guitar Kiwi, and a bartender that will let you "play" for free? Good night...laughs, smiles, and a kiss from Dana ot 12!

The day continued with a nice caravan with the Browns. The boys in one car and the girls/dog in the other, each car equipped with walkie talkies (thank you wedding shower). After a course in 'walkie talkie protocol' with Uncle B-rad the boys were ready to hit the road and put it all into action ("over"). The boys loved the walkie talkie, too bad the girls didn't show the same zeal ("over"). Mike and I successfully bored all three boys enough with our conversation that each was asleep shortly after the pit stop. By the way, which one is closer Morocco to Iran or Morocco to Brazil? The answer may surprise you. At least it did Thomas Street Tavern last night. Guess what I found out tonight...Brooke and I lived in the same apartment complex when we each first moved to Charlotte. We were neighbors in the Willow Ridge. Just like, Mike and Dana lived in the same place when they first moved to Charlotte! Again, use the walkie talkie girls that's why we have them! The trip was a success, no fits, no fights, and no frowns!

Bring on the appointments and shower!