Life by Grace

JOIN ME IN MY JOURNEY PERMEATED BY THE GRACE OF GOD. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." I Corinthians 15:10

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I'm back

I safely landed in Chicago on Wednesday morning at about 9:20am. I had to spend the night in the airport in NYC Tuesday night because our flight out of Beijing was late. We almost all missed our flights to our final destinations. I am still not home in SC yet, but I will be flying home on Thursday, August 10th. I'm spending a week with my two best friends in WI right now. I get to see my "niece and nephew" too. They are adorable. I will post pictures of them soon. I have so many cute ones. I got the cutest picture of Zoey and I in the kitchen with her on my shoulders this afternoon.

Anyway, I know you all want to hear about China. Well, it was amazing. It was totally different than last year. Last year I was in the city of Chengdu teaching at an established English program at Sichuan University. While we did have Northland students teaching there this summer, I was not one of them. We had 150 teachers come over with Team China this summer, and we came from 5 different colleges in America. We were divided up into about 8 different areas this summer. There was a group at an orphanage and then different teaching facilities. I was part of the 18 people that were picked to go to a town named Xide. It is a 10 hr train ride south west of Chengdu. We took the train ride over night both ways, so that made the trip not seem so long. It was quite the adventure though. I have never been on a train ride like that before, and our time in Xide was absolutely amazing. I will tell you more about it in future entries. But here is a brief summary of what happened on our trip.

When we got to Chengdu on July 6th, we had 3 days of in-service with all 5 colleges. On the third day, we divided up into the groups that we would be with for the summer. My team was the only one who didn't leave for our teaching destination right away. We moved to a different hotel in the west side of Chengdu for 4 days of training and brainstorming. Xide is a town of about 30,000 people. A large majority of the people are of a Chinese minority group called the Yi. It is one of the largest minority groups in China. There are about 7.1 million Yi people in China. We have a connection in Xide with a former student from Team China teaching two years ago in Chengdu. He headed up having a team come and teach English in his town. He is an English teacher in Xide and wanted so much to open up an opportunity for the people in his town who don't have much opportunity to learn English to be able to be part of an English summer camp. We originally were expecting to have about 80 to 100 students. We ended our enrollment into the program with 250 students and some turned away because we couldn't take any more. There are so many more stories that I could tell. Some of them I will have to tell you over email or in person. I can't wait to tell you all the good news. If any of you have tried calling my cell phone since I arrived in the states last Wednesday, you probably were wondering why you couldn't get ahold of me. Well, I took my phone to China and somehow lost it at a hotel in Chengdu. I thought I had stuck it in my suitcase before I left for Xide, but I still haven't found it anywhere in my things. I am hoping to get a new phone on Friday when I get home and hopefully I can get the same number. I will try to let you know my new number soon. I would love to get an email from you and please do ask about China. There is so much to tell. We are hoping for many more opportunities to go back and teach in the future. I have missed you all and hope to talk to you soon.


  • At August 09, 2006 9:22 AM, Anonymous Richard D Blaha said…

    I am very excited and looking forward to hearing more this weekend. I've missed you and looking forward to all your stories and pictures (oh yes, the hundreds of pictures and video). See you sometime Thursday night.



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