On the weekend of Oct. 15 & 16, students traveled to their new service locations. All are now safely at the places that will be “home” until Nov. 20. The group is divided among four “middle schools” (grades 7-12) across the northern part of Nanchong prefecture. Here are a few pictures from our Nanchong departure. We will post separate blog entries to group pictures from each of the different schools. The setup is slightly different at each school, but all SSTers will be assisting with the English-language instruction in the schools. Many of the new host families are teachers at the schools, but several schools also recruited families of some of their own pupils. In addition to teaching English classes, the SSTers will continue to write essays about their observations of and interaction with Chinese culture. Phone contacts two days after arrival suggest that all students are adjusting well to new host families and the different rhythms of SST service. Jo-Ann and Joe remain in e-mail and occasional telephone contact with our students, but do not plan visits to the school sites until the beginning of November, halfway through the period of service.
Note: After posting the groups of arrival pictures from the four schools, we do not anticipate further blog updates until after Jo-Ann and Joe return from site visits. Look for updates again around November 5.