We're Not in Kansas Anymore!
Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
66Trip End May 18, 2011
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We were picked up at the train station by an acquaintance of our friend David and taken by car to the Jiangxi Civil Affairs School, a secondary technical school with mostly 16-21 year-olds training for jobs in nursing and social work. The school has around 600 students from various parts of Jiangxi Province, and is situated on a rather small but beautiful campus. We had an introductory meeting with the school president and several of the school’s administrators and teachers who warmly and excitedly greeted and welcomed us with thanks for our gracious service. They then treated us to an absolutely fabulous lunch, after which we were given the card keys to our rooms.
On Sunday we were driven into downtown Nanchang to have meetings with officials from the Jiangxi Red Cross and various government offices (Science and Technology, Religion and Education) as well as volunteers from the Nightingale Society, retired nurses who work to improve nursing in the province.
Since most of the talk on both days of these meetings was in Chinese, we mostly smiled and nodded, but we did have a chance to introduce ourselves and thank both groups for allowing us to be here and for their gracious hospitality. Translators helped out, so that we could understand at least some of what was being said. And how did our kids do through all of this intro stuff? They were pretty patient considering the length and interest of all this meeting stuff for a 7 and 10 year-old, as they politely sat and read their books and drew in their sketch books. Good kids! ;-)
It’s been fun moving in to our new digs and walking around campus getting oriented, as the students have all been very friendly, calling out “Hello” across the courtyards and plazas and asking to speak English with us. John and the kids went out to play catch with their baseball yesterday, and Benjamin came back with a new buddy who they taught to throw and catch the ball. The students seem particularly taken with both Lisha and Benjamin, who they describe by saying that “Lisha is very lovely” and “Benjamin, very handsome and COOL!” Since we’re a bit of a novelty, we’re also constantly getting our pictures taken. We’re feeling a little like Rock Stars!! ;-)
So, that’s about it for now. We’re still getting settled in, but I’m sure we’ll have LOTS to tell in the coming days!! But as a quick note, we have had our challenges in getting connected to the Internet since arriving here (not that that should be a big deal, but when you’ve been so use to having easy access, going without it has led to symptoms of withdrawal), so our use of the Internet here will probably be sporadic (when and if we are able to have access to the school’s computer room). But in the meantime, we’ll keep making new friends, enjoying new adventures, and we’ll certainly keep collecting our stories and will post updates for y’all whenever we can. So until next time…………………Zaijian (“bye”)!!