Building a Chinese house.

IMG_0442A simple foundation is laid. Like a zig-zag of concrete, or a honeycomb layout for the building to sit on(not the deep footers or foundations that we have in America). Once that’s done it’s a pole by pole affair to support the forms for the concrete. And it’s all concrete. No wood is used in the simple countryside dwelling.

Back from the Dead

Well, not quite. Living in out-of-the-way places(small cities within China) doesn’t lend itself to internet connectivity. I’ve had the Great Firewall to thank for not having access to my WordPress blog, or other social media. But thanks to a really good VPN, PandaPow, I am now back in the land of the living. Speaking of The Dead. I am a fan of The Walking Dead. Great show, great acting.

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A Strange Visitor With a Silver Bowl

A small monkey wearing a very small red hat appeared at our doorway. It proceeded to come into the house. Even more strangely it was carrying a small silver bowl, the monkey bowed three times and held out the bowl. Well I wasn’t going to give the monkey any money. But I did have plenty of rice handy. So I filled the small bowl with dry rice and the monkey bowed again and turned around and scampered out. I have got to get a picture of that monkey. Oh, the monkey’s master is a very old Chinese gentleman. I am told that’s exactly his job, to collect small amounts of rice, in return the village children get to see a monkey, a very cute monkey. And also a very polite little monkey.

Back to School 2012

It’s that time of year! Bright shining faces again light my classroom. The English is slightly rusty(no one speaks English in their hometowns), unless a handsome or attractive laowai happens by…haha. But it is very good to see them again. The old year is gone with all of it’s problems and woes. All mistakes are forgotten. The world is new, hope is reborn in the soul. I am blessed to live among these good people.

Not business as usual yet

Well, the Chinese new year(Jan 23), has come and gone. But I’m still waiting for most of the businesses to open again. This usually takes a week to a fortnight. And sometimes then they’re not in any hurry. However, living here lo these few years I’ve come to expect it. The Chinese have a lot to teach Westerners about relaxing, de-stressing. And getting together with friends and family. While the world turns frantically for the next Wii, iPod or other gimmick and gadget, folks here are catching up on eating and visiting neighbors. Not bad, not bad at all. Oh, yeah, the express post, that’ll take about two weeks at least 🙂

I thought I had everything in life…

Good News For Hubei Institute of Technology

Good news!!! We are now Hubei Institute of Technology(located in Huangshi, Hubei, China). The university has worked very hard to upgrade, building new facilities, recruiting the best teachers and of course recruiting the best students :). So here’s to our new status. May everyone benefit from having better classrooms, better football fields and a university that really cares about its students. And a big thanks to the manager of foreign teachers: Elsa. She is simply the best!!!

Best Time of the Year

Final exams are over! Whew! The agony and the ecstasy all in one. However, students view all of it as a worthy task, just to know that Spring Festival is around the corner. Everyone is happy. The mass migration back home has begun. It is the most amazing time of the year. This Lunar New Year is the Year of the Dragon, both here in China and in Japan. You will not see more shopping, more travel, more food than any other time. I have eaten meat(fish, beef, pork, chicken) and a few vegetables for every meal and snacks in between. Last year I stayed in Fujian province in a small mountain 张芬村  village( zhang fen cun) in  上杭县 county  ( shang hang xian ) about two hours by bus northwest of Longyan. It was a very memorable time. Mark’s mom is the best cook in the entire village. And I had the honor of being the first and only foreigner to visit the village in history. I wish all my friends in China and Japan a very happy Spring Festival. May you have the best health and be prosperous in the New Year. Forget all the past problems, do your best. Love your family. And thanks to my friend Zhang Yun Chuan, he has helped make my life in China one I will never forget. Good luck to all of my students!!!

Follow Your Dreams

I have been very lucky to come back to Huangshi College of Science and Technology, in Huangshi City, Hubei Province, China. I see my students who were just freshman when I left to teach at Wuhan University of Science and Technology City College. They are now more confident and brave. And getting ready to face life’s challenges. I talked to one and he said that he knows he must get a job but still would hope to have his own company someday. I agreed with him. He will be successful, he has that passion to be his best but he also wants to dream. So I told him to work for a company and hold to his dream. I told my English class today to hold to their dreams. Dreams help to fuel the passion for life within us. It gives us hope for a better and brighter tomorrow. Youth has that eternal flame that never goes out. Always striving for something beyond the status-quo. So I told them to continue to dream and hope. Dreams are the spice of life with which we face day to day living. We should balance life with work, dreams, passion and responsibility. My student will succeed in this. I am very proud of all of them. Keep dreaming. : )