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!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winding Up or Down?

Jamie and I have been in the daily life grind since our return from Bangkok and winter holiday at the beginning of January. We have been working on the middle school Model United Nations conference that our school is hosting. We are responsible for the conference. That was thrown onto our laps last year. So far, there about 5 schools and 11 teams participating in the conference. We consider this a success since there were zero schools last year.

We are trying to learn more information about Saudi Arabia and our new school. We are still very excited about the opportunity and are pretty much counting the days. That is not to say that things here have wound down. A friend of mine just told me that it was only February. With that said, we still have quite a bit to do.

#1 - Teaching the remaining of the year. Some teachers would probably just let their teaching slide the last few months remaining on a contract where they knew they were leaving. Both Jamie and I have too much pride and consideration for that. So, we are planning our lessons just as we did last year and hope our students benefit from our maintained if not increased devotion

#2 - Vietnam for the Tet Holiday - We'll be meeting Jamie's parents at the Hong Kong airport and flying to Ho Chi Minh City for a few days, then Danang, then Hoi An, the Hue. Interestingly, we aren't exactly sure how we'll be getting from Hue back to HCMC. It is about a: 1 hour flight (sold out), a 24 hour train ride (might be sold out), or a "sleeper car" (which we have no idea what it is but apparently might be taking). Nonetheless, we are excited about going back to Vietnam. The people are nice, the food is delicious, and we'll be able to see some sites of the Vietnam War.

#3 - Packing and planning for Saudi Arabia - while it doesn't have our full attention yet, we'll have to start going through our belongings here and planning for our trip to the U.S. this summer and subsequent move to The Kingdom. Planning for Griffey will be a full time job also, but it seems pretty straightforward. As of now, we plan on leaving either the 19th or 20th of June. We aren't sure yet when we'll need to be in Saudi. We have decided to NOT ship anything. We are paying for extra baggage fee on the plane and still hoping to pack as light as possible. Apparently, you can purchase anything you need in Saudi or Bahrain, so we'll do that instead of hauling our stuff 1000s of miles.

#4 - Getting Fit - Jamie and I have started this 5K training program through Personal Running Trainer, an mp3 download training music and program. It is an 8 week training that will get your running a 5K in a safe way. As of today, we are finishing week 3, which involves us running a cycle of 6 minute runs and 1 minute walks 5 times. It hasn't been too bad, but we've both been sick a couple of weeks which has slowed us somewhat. However, we have only missed 1 running day each, so that is not too bad for us. I have also continued to play basketball once per week and have taken up tennis again. Jamie gets our her yoga video some.

#5 - Gearing up for our Spring Break Trip - I think we have decided to go see Shanghai and do the Yangtze River Cruise for our last trip living in China. China visas are expensive, so we figure we'd save some money by staying in the country. More on this later, but something to keep in mind.

#6 - Finishing our Dissertations - I have put this so far down the list it is not even funny. I think we are both over this. The time it takes to complete this is insane. We just hope to finish sometime before we retire. I don't even have the heart to type what all is going on with this subject. I think I'll post again on it when we actually receive word from the school that we'll graduate. By that time, I'm sure that laptops will be obsolete and I'll be able to teleport tell everyone one of you in person.

#7 - Reflecting on China - I have been doing this for some time. People ask what it is like to live here, and I hope through this blog, I have provided people with some sort of glimpse. Unfortunately, it is difficult to write in just a few paragraphs. It is different too for each individual, couple, or family. China isn't the easiest place to live, but certainly isn't the hardest. In many ways, it is much easier than living in the U.S. Jamie and I love walking to just about anywhere or hopping on a bus. However, you sacrifice some comforts of home. If it wasn't for this new job and financial opportunity, we would gladly stay here in Shekou.

#8 - Preparing for MUN conference - As previously stated, Jamie and I are responsible for this. It is not until April, but still something to stay on top of.

That is a decent list. I'm sure I have forgotten something. It just seems like every day is both the same, yet different. The routine is the same, but little things you have do creep in and don't go away.

I'll try and continue to keep posting. I just checked into making a blog book, and it will cost around $75 US to make a 440 page book. Pretty neat. Might considering doing it when we close this chapter of our lives.

Be sure to check back next week when we go to Vietnam. I'll upload all the pictures we'll be taking and posting about what we do each day.

1 comment:

woody said...

Great news, enjoyable read, love ya

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