Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catch Any Big Ones?

At the Summer Palace in Beijing, this man decided to do a little fishing.  Turns out he had a magnet on the end of his line, he was fishing for money people had thrown into the lotus pond!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Up, Up, Up.

Apartment tower balconies in my neighborhood, Tao Yuan Cun.  The Chinese have a tendency to repeat buildings.  They will have a single building type for an entire cluster of apartments, and differentiate them by painting big numbers on the side.  This guy was number 8 of 46.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just Another Monday...

Every Monday morning, all the students and teachers gather for the weekly flag raising ceremony.  Pictured here are about half of the students at my school and all of the students I teach in 4th-6th grade.  They line up in order, from 6th grade to 1st, and listen to a speech by the headmaster of the school Mr. Cheng.  I assume these speeches are very boring (as I was told I didn't need to go to them) and that all the other teachers and students dread them.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Yunnan Zombie

After hiking out to the Tiger Leaping Rock, climbing onto said rock, hiking back in the rain, getting lost in the Yunnan underbrush for over an hour, and falling down multiple times, this is what you look like.  Not a pretty site.  Dinner was especially tasy on this night.

Monday, October 11, 2010


The view from right outside my room at Tao Yuan Primary School.  The school class wing in the foreground, residential towers of the neighborhood in the back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


The Tiger Leaping Gorge, western Yunnan Province.  The mighty Yangtze River begins on the Tibetan Plateau, and flows all the way to the lowlands and Shanghai on the eastern coast of China.  It is hard to believe the river carved these giant cliffs!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chinese Trains Have Some Little Perks...

This is Fei Fei, a really sweet little girl riding with her family and us on the train from Guangzhou to Kunming.  She LOVED us.  She would watch us play cards, but unfortunately would count the cards in your hand in Chinese!  She also loved taking pictures with our cameras.  Her parents probably thought we were great - free babysitting by the Americans on a 26 hour train ride!

Friday, October 8, 2010


  Well, I just returned from Yunnan Province, where I had some of the best (hiking and beautiful cities) and worst (transportation) experiences of my life!  Two days later I'm still tired as a dog... it was quite a week!  I have decided to start something new, and try to upload one new picture onto the blog every day or two.  It is tough for me to find time to write these longer posts, but I hate to have nothing new for long stretches of time!

This might as well be the Yunnan Foreigners Club!  My group, plus our new found friends at the Stone the Crows bar in Lijiang. 

From left to right: Marie (with the owners pup), Carrie, myself, Barry (from North Ireland), Wayne (from South Africa), Sonya (from Scotland), Jess, Cliff, Ben, and Greg.

Barry, Wayne, and Sonya are all English teachers also, with Wayne just now finishing his contract.  We ran into them 5 times in 2 different cities!  It was always great to see them, like we were coming home to familiar faces, and we shared many a beer with them.