|From Jamie's Philippines Pics|
We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.
We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.
Thanks for checking us out!
- Mark Twain
- Maya Angelou
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
As I think this morning about what we have left to do, it becomes a bit overwhelming. We are having a final last meal tonight with family, and we'll try and get some sleep, although I'm not sure that will happen. We'll leave at 10:00 am. As of posting this, it'll be 25 hours! Amazing. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers.
Monday, July 28, 2008
By the way, if you haven't seen the new Batman movie, we highly recommend it. It is quite long, so be prepared. I hope to play one final round of golf tomorrow morning. We'll see if I have time.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The evening going away party included some family but also some friends that graciously attended. A huge thanks again to Gary and Kathy, Charles and Jewel, and Mark and Kathy for setting up, taking down, cooking, catering, and just being wonderful. All of the goodbyes are beginning to set in now, but we are trying to hold strong.
Funny story. Jamie and I purchased 2 webcams so our parents could use them with Skype. We walked out of Staples and called Jamie's mom who was so excited because she had just purchased one about an hour before. We made a U-turn in the parking lot and returned it withing about 2 minutes. Today we find out my dad has already purchased one too. Good news, both of their cameras are better than the ones be bought them.
Jamie and I will be spending our last few days spending time with close family. My goal is to play a couple of rounds of golf. We have some last minute packing to do and we need to go ahead and ship some of our boxes.
We found out that we will in fact have a van picking us up at the airport in Hong Kong. This is a huge relief as we would have had to carry all of our luggage onto the ferry. Of course, we'd manage, but this will be so much easier.
I did not take any pictures of the parties, but I know that some did. I will get those pictures and upload them onto an album. You'll find it at the bottom soon. Thanks for those reading this.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Our schedule for the remaining 12 days is quite hectic. We have a cousins birthday party, visit to Tennessee, meeting with a financial adviser, 4 days in South Georgia, a going away party, and finally the last 3 days in the United States of America.
Some good news is that we have purchased some lakefront property in Tennessee on Watts Bar Lake. Sweet deal and we are hoping to use it as an investment. Check it out by searching Grand Vista Bay on Google. As I'm writing this, Google stock is down 49 points. Pretty amazing. We'll see if it bounces back.
Truck is still for sale. I'm asking $10,000 but accepting all offers. You can find pictures in previous posts.
All for now. Hoping to have another Chinese lesson for you soon. Time running out...
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This just scratches the surface of China's geography. Obviously, you can take entire upper level courses at a university on China's geography. In the next few days, I'll try and post about China's political geography, which other than the names, is not as complicated as you would think.
21 days to go. We've learned that our foreign visas have been processed and should be in hand by the end of the week. Truck still for sale so in anyone knows anyone who needs a great truck, let us know.
Friday, July 4, 2008
The current Chinese constitution was written in 1959 but the final revision has been pretty much the same since 1982 which includes several amendments concerning human rights and private property. The Chinese government is a one party system, Communist. China can also be characterized by an oligarchy, which by definition is a government run by a few people. Nonetheless, there is still a structure to their government with several bureaucracies. The state consists of the National People's Congress, a President, State Council, Central Military Commission, Supreme People's Court, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. Without boring you to death as I'm sure I've already accomplished, I feel as though my post won't be complete until I provide you with a brief explanation of all of these sections of their government:
1) The National People's Congress (NPC) - the highest structure of the state's power. The Standing Committee of the NPC serves for 5 years and has the powers and rights of legislation, decision, supervision, election, and removal.
2) President - like the POTUS, is the Head of State as a representative both in and out of the country. Unlike the POTUS however, the President of China is actually under the NPC and take orders and direction from them. Hu Jintao is the current President of China.
3) State Council - the State Council is the supreme executive and administrative sector of the Chinese government. The Council consists of a Premier, vice-premiers, State councillors, ministers in charge of ministries and commissions, the auditor-general and the secretary-general. The Premier is appointed by the President and approved by the NPC. The other positions of the State Council are appointed by the Premier and approved by the NPC or the President. Each position on the State Council serves for 5 years. Quoting from the Chinese governments' website, "The State Council is responsible for carrying out the principles and policies of the Communist Party of China as well as the regulations and laws adopted by the NPC, and dealing with such affairs as China's internal politics, diplomacy, national defense, finance, economy, culture and education."
4) Central Military Commission - the highest military sector in charge of commanding the armed forces for China. The members in this commission is nominated by the NPC.
5) Supreme People's Court - highest trial court in the country. It also supervises over trial practices and the local courts at various levels. The members of the People's Court are appointed and supervised by the NPC.
6) Supreme People's Procuratorate - the legal supervision of the state in charge of the prosecutions of of crimes.
This is just a sketch of the government. Basically, they do have 3 branches of government and run extensively under a vast bureaucracy. The main difference between the Chinese government and the U.S. government is the political party system and the where the actual power of the government actual lies. The oligarchy of the NPC consisting of wholly of members of the Communist Party make all decisions.
Hopefully this wasn't too painful and will help you have some more understanding of the Chinese government. Lesson # 3 will focus on China's geography.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Jamie and I are not quite sure how dense the population will be in Shekou or if we can even compare it to anything in the U.S. We'll soon find out and of course I will let you know.
I don't want to overwhelm you on your first lesson, so I'll let this be our first session. Go out and education someone as to the statistics. Since I am working on my PhD, it pains me not to cite everything. I try to use government statistics on all of these numbers. Most will be just regular encyclopedia stats. Let me know if you want a source, and I can dig it up.
My truck is officially for sale now, so if anything knows anyone who wants a new truck, let me know. Those of you who have seen my truck know that it is in excellent shape.
Here is a picture. Dandy truck isn't it?