Monday, October 19, 2009

From Beijing

Deng Deng's Family in Nanning

Old Man at Summer Palace

In the Forbidden City

For our fall break, we took a trip to Beijing and later to a very small village town (3 million) called Nanning. Nanning is not a tourist town in any way but we had been invited to attend a traditional Chinese country wedding. A former AYI (domestic helper 23 yr old) of ours was getting married in her hometown. We got tickets for our trips and made all necessary reservations. The week before we left the wedding date was changed and no longer fit into our plans. Why change the date? They told us it turned out that it was a bad day to get married. The mother-n-law gets to choose the date. We are not sure that was the real reason as many people were getting married on the original date, if fact there were at least three different weddings that evening in our hotel.

We were able to see places that few foreigners have ever been. This was evident by the number of stares that we got. Also the number of pics taken of us by the few that had a camera. Many Chinese believe it is good luck to have a picture taken with a foreigner or to touch a foreigner.

So the pics here are of the two families that we visited and of the area around Nanning, which is close to the Vietnam border, only maybe 60 miles but we were told about a 8 hour trip!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

19 Floors Up

The neighbors are having a new AC unit installed.

Taken from my 19th floor deck the window to the left is our kitchen.

I hope the guy in the window holds tight!

That is a long way down.

We were having breakfast Sunday morning when we heard noise outside the kitchen window. We looked out to see this guy hanging on and disconnecting the AC unit outside the building. Yes we are on the 19th floor and no there is no net, place to stand, or anything but the wall and the unit bolted to the wall. He later carried it off through the window!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dragon Boat Festival

We had school today. But few businesses were open. This is a national holiday so most businesses close. No I saw no Dragon Boats or races. Parent did come to school to have special lunches with their children. My Blog and all blogs are currently being blocked by the gov. I am able to post this via a proxy but I can not post pictures or do much else. Hopefully will be able to add to the blog soon.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lao Children

We took a three hour boat ride to get to this Lao H-mong village
Few foreigners have been to it
These first 4 pics are all from that all day journey

BTW we took books and school supplies to the village teacher
but only spent about 30 min. due to the heat and humidity

This girl was so sad

Hmong girl from a hill village up the Mekong river
She was beautiful

Another girl same village

And a young boy

This is at a school we visited by van outside Luang Prabang, Laos


School break time

Protection from the sun

These girls were in a talent show which is why the were
dressed up in the traditional Lao clothing and hair styles

We saw this hair adornment quite often on
women that were dressed up

Grandma was watching this little one while she sat in her small corner store
The orange boxes in the back are Beerlao plastic bins

I was infatuated with the Lao children. Their smiles, demeanor and innocence captured my heart. This has not happened often and I will treasure the memory of those faces I saw and a few that I was able to photograph. I had some shyness but generally if I asked to take a pic they said yes or their parents encouraged them. Let me know if you also see something special with these children.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dinner with David Greenburg

Tim Bev and David Greenburg go out to Dinner

David talking to the Secondary students

Autographs were popular

We had Goose as part of out dinner

We had a great time taking David out to Dinner

Bev was a co-team leader for Book Week this past week at our School. As such she had many tasks. (Book Week is a big deal). With every teacher making a display and many daily activities. One activity was to host a visiting author. David Greenburg is from the Portland area. He is a well renowned children's poet and has most recently written a novel about Civil Rights. His father was Jack Greenburg noted defense attorney for NAACP and Martin Luther King. Besides being very entertaining he was absolutely delightful to talk with and kept ourselves and our students mesmerized. We had the privilege to take Mr. Greenburg out to Dinner. Here are some pictures of David and a candid interview that Bev conducted with him.

This week is Earth Week. The week before Book Week it was spring Spirit Week, The week before that was Strawberry Tea, big talent show etc. The school has many activities, so many that they sometimes overlap and compete for students, everyone's time, and talent. Students and parents get much more than just a full educational experience.

Here is an Interview that Bev conducted while having Dinner with David.


Mr. David Greenberg visited QSI during Book Week as our guest author. Interviewed by Bev Wnterfeld here are his answers to a few questions about being an author.

BW: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

DG: I am here by myself, and have a 19-year-old son who is going to school in Scotland.

My dog and girlfriend are at home in Portland, Oregon.

BW: How many books have you authored, and what’s your favorite thing to write about?

DG: I ‘ve authored 16 books, there are more coming that are not yet published. I love kids so I have written mostly kids books, but my heart is with poetry.

BW: What brought you to QSI in Shekou?

DG :I received an email from Mr. Brantley, and started corresponding with him. Now, I’m here and going to other QSI schools. It just started by my answering an email.

BW: What inspired you to become an author?

DG: My mother was a teacher, and my father used to read poetry to me as a kid.

BW: Are any of your books translated into other languages?

DG: Yes, some of my books are in other languages, Korean being one of them.

BW: What trends are you seeing with children’s books, and literacy?

DG: With the economy book sales are down in the U. S., but it’s interesting because I offer a summer workshop on “Authoring Children’s Books” and the demand is more than ever. You can find information, to register on my website. It’s very popular with kids.

BW: Having visited a bookstore in China, what did you notice?

DG: In the children’s reading section, there are ample amounts, and the culture is hungry for literacy. People are spending money on books, desiring to read.

BW: What other things do you like to do?

DG: I like to spend time on outdoor sports, travel, eat and one of my favorite places to visit is a bookstore. I also love my dog.

BW: Can you give kids some advice about writing?

DG: Writing is hard work, requiring practice and it’s good to write about observations of normal things. I’m always making notes because writing is my passion.

BW: Tell us about the novel you authored?

DG: My novel A Tugging String challenged me, took a long time to write, but it’s good to challenge yourself.

BW: Do you make a lot of money being an author?

DG: No! Not necessarily, because you must pay the costs of the publisher and illustrator. I have to sell lots of books to make very much money.

BW: Was it hard to get started as an author?

DG: I wrote a book, and got 111 rejections, before the 112th publishing company offered to publish my book at the age of 28. It is hard work to be a writer; sometimes it takes month or years to finish a book.

BW: Would you like to return again to China?

DG: I like it very much, and would love to spend more time here on my next trip.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fenghua Computer Lab

The Deck off my Computer Lab, far right of pic above (Staff only on this one)

Computer Lab at Fenghua our New QSI Secondary School. This is where I spend a good part of my time. Computers are a major part of the QSI school.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Great Air Conditioning

Click on the pic to get the "whole" story

Having a broken AC unit in Southern China is not fun. My classroom unit has not worked for the past three days and it has been warm with the typical high humidity. Thinking about how warm the day could prove to be as I was walking to work this morning and following this young guy, I was  thinking how nice it must be to open and cool.

Both the way this child is being carried, (everyone has a built-in baby carrier) and the split pants are very typical in China for boys and girls up to about this age or so. It proves to be very convenient as you can squat any time and take care of business. Yes you must watch where you step. Little puddles on the sidewalk are not spilled tea!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

From on Top of 21st Floor

We live in Shekou

QSI Fenghua Secondary School and track

No ladders, no kidding!

Tim is facing the school, you can see his apartment in the background

Next door, Some secondary teachers live in this building

The view from there.

My friend Howard's Sat. morning community kids soccer program

These were taken on Sat. (day before Easter) from a apartment building near the new QSI Fenghua Secondary School in Shekou. This gives a little of the idea of what this part of Shenzhen is like. It is the very small (village) part of Shenzhen, but still has more than a million residents. I don't know what the exact area is but I doubt it is much more than a few square miles. These are just a few shots to give you a feel for the density of the buildings. I takes me about 20 min. to walk from the school you see here to my apartment shown in the pic of me. About 5 min. by bike, which could be stolen, so I usually only ride on the weekend when I can take the bike into the building, or between 10-20 min. by bus depending on how long you wait and time of day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Arm and Hatchet

Click to see a close up view
This is a friend of ours Howard from Washington D C

China version of a popular American product. We see this kind of thing all the time. It always brings a smile to our face.

Dropping in at Starbucks

I was sitting at Starbucks having a coffee and look up to see this guy dropping down sitting on his board. He had been washing the windows and dropped down to the ground. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Strawberry Tea

Cake and Ice Cream

Baskets to bid on

Anxiously awaiting, we're next....

Lets get those steps right

Ready to Serve

One half of the gym for one of the two shows

All for a good cause

A QSI traditional yearly Spring event is what is called the "Strawberry Tea." Although it sounds innocuous enough it is actually a very large fund raising event for Liu Tan our schools adopted Chinese village and service project. Strawberry Tea has little to do with Tea, and Strawberries are only used in a slightly decorative way. It does involve tickets, some cake and ice cream and a large talent show that allows students and some staff to show what the've got. This year there were two different shows this past Saturday. Many students participated and many parents and friends enjoyed the afternoon. Here are some pictures from the event. Oh, a big hats off to Abbe DeWitt for a fantastic job organizing over 50 volunteers, running a large committee and pulling this event off.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ping Ping

While we were in Yangshuo we had a full time guide to help us make the most of our time. Ping Ping was awesome. We did so many things in just 2 and 1/2 days, it was amazing. Ping Ping got us the best seats the best and most direct route into venues. We saw more things that interested us than we could have imagined. If you ever to to Yangshuo you need Ping Ping she was sweet and arranged all our transporation needs as well as our hotel. We had a driver even when we arrived at the airport at almost midnight. If your interested here is her e-mail.