Recent Posts

November 10, 2011

Monday Jo-Ann and Joe caught a bus for Xichong—half the hour-long ride was spent getting out of Nanchong, the rest brought us to the edge of this small, prosperous-looking town. Our trio of students here seems to be enjoying the experience in the smallest of our four service schools. Among other opportunities, one of the teachers/hosts arranged for the three to spend a day in a nearby rural township school—a good experience for all involved. Mondays lesson plans included “body parts” and telling time. Between morning and afternoon classes, our school contacts and the three sets of host parents (or…

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November 6, 2011

Our third site visit of the week was to Yilong.  Located northeast of Nanchong, the region’s terrain has higher hills and deeper valleys than elsewhere in Nanchong Prefecture.  As noted several weeks ago, the government has begun constructing a “new” Yilong at a lower elevation some distance south of the existing population center where the school is located.  Any population growth in “old” Yilong would create additional problems with water and other supply issues the town already faces.  Principal J. and Teacher Z. have been very gracious to all our students and have been pleased to be first-time hosts to…

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November 6, 2011

Upon leaving Nanbu on Monday evening, Jo-Ann and Joe went on to Langzhong, about a 30-minute ride to the north and checked into the same hotel we all had stayed at during our National Holiday excursion to this beautiful city. In Langzhong, our students are teaching in two teams at “Duowei” one of four campuses of the middle school here. (Goshen students also taught here in 2008.) They are working with the junior middle school students (grades 6-8). Several days before our arrival, we learned that there would be school-wide exams on the day of our visits, so we located…

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November 4, 2011

Nanbu site visit

A rainy week of site visits began on Monday in Nanbu. Teaching schedules for our students here are concentrated in the mornings, and by the time Jo-Ann and Joe arrived from Nanchong two of the five students had already completed their teaching days. Each of our students teaches alone, 12 different classes a week. Since all live with families of teachers, they are in close proximity to the school campus. With a student population of more than 10,000, the Nanbu middle school seems to be the largest of the four service sites. Located near the top of a large hill,…

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October 19, 2011

Langzhong

Five students are in Langzhong, returning to this beautiful city that all of us visited several weeks ago.  Students here still remember the SSTers who taught at the same school in 2008.

October 19, 2011

Nanbu

Located between Xichong and Langzhong, Nanbu is welcoming SSTers for the second time.  All five of our students here are living with teacher families, most near the foot of the stairs you see in one of the pictures here.  (The school is located at the top of the stairs.)

October 19, 2011

Xichong

Three students are here in Xichong, less than an hour’s drive north of Nanchong.  In 2008, SSTers also taught in Xichong but at a different school than where we are this year.

October 19, 2011

Yilong

Six students moved here on Saturday.  This is the first time we have had students at Yilong and school officials welcomed us warmly.  A long and winding road took us into increasingly hilly country northeast of Nanchong.  Enroute we passed through the new population center being created for Yilong County at a lower elevation.  We still had about 30 km to go before reaching the original population center where our school’s campus is located.

October 19, 2011

Off to service

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…

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October 17, 2011

Farewell party

Friday, Oct. 14.  Language exam is over.  We spent all- day at Sea Turtle Center getting ready to enter Chinese middle school (grades 7-12) classrooms to teach English.  Can we transform our careless “Whaddya wanna do” to more careful “What do you want to do”?  What kind of activities can we devise to keep our students focused on learning?  Interspersed with sessions of the language-teaching workshop were periods of planning and practice for the evening farewell party. At 4 p.m. we headed over to a nearby hotel to set up the room for the farewell party.  We lugged cookies, cake,…

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