Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lookout Spot, DJ has wheels now.

I forgot to tell you about DJ's new toy. She has got a new motorcycle. It makes sounds. She can push a button and make it go forward and backwards. She can have it make sounds, and lights. She really prefers to just push it along, and not have it moving yet. She likes the sounds though.

Apartment, shoes, church and more things.

We have finally taken some pictures of our apartment to post on here since we as of yet, do not have internet at home. We also still have no micrwave at home yet. We did finally get a water cooler at home, because we took the one out of the classroom and then got water ourselves. We got Susan some sneakers to replace her old ones. We have started attending a International church that TJ and Jennie go to also. They have a 9:30 and a 11:30 service. DJ likes her class, and Susan likes her youth group. I think we are starting to get into a routine now. We have found some places that will deliver food, when we don't want to cook, and some grocery stores close by. Susan is finishing up her 11th grade so that she can be ready to start 12 when she goes back next year.

This is the front door that we come in. 

 Susan's new shoes.
 This is the sign for the group that DJ goes to for her church service.

This was the early service we went to, it is usually a much bigger group, but even this one filled up quickly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Things are getting done

Looking outside the window here at the school, all I see is grey sky! Rain? No, just normal day for Beijing. Things are getting pretty settled down now. We have our Visa's done and final. How did that happen? Grace found a lady that could get the paperwork done, even though our last school didn't send everything they needed. It only cost us 6,000 RMB, of which this school paid none. We have our classes getting into order, and have found out which ones need more help. My teaching is slowly getting better. My teaching is getting better. The classes I have are from two students up to 6 students for now. We think that by the time we come back from the break they will have next week, then Carl will get moved to the public school full time, and I will have classes from 2-16 kids then. We have also learned that our approximate date for summer will be about July 13-August 26. Hot parts in Arkansas I know :( . We will have to shop for more shoes for everyone, a printer, one last computer, and also a ayi for DJ. We have found a potty chair for DJ, although she hasn't used it much. We had talked about getting her a stroller, and then I had found a rolling bag that is very good size and sturdy for putting groceries in and wheeling home, and it even has a side that a seat folds out to use in a subway, if she wanted. We have been using that as groceries/stroller. 

This is one of the international classes.

This is her new stroller, looks like she is having fun right?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Moving with a dog from America to China. How?

I thought that you might want to know how it worked that we got our dog to China....

When we knew that we were going to move from America to China, we had to start about 6 months before that time, to find out what to do about Spot. He is a brindle colored Boston Terrier breed. He is a very loving, now four year old dog. It didn’t really take any major doing to get him ready. Paperwork from a certain vet, that has authority to do certain papers, a trip to Little Rock to get papers signed, and then flying out of Dallas airport, instead of Little Rock. The trip to Little Rock, was for the official paper saying he was healthy. The Dallas part, was because the airline we used, that is where the headquarters was, and he had to go through that way, There are only certain airports that you can fly out of when taking animals internationally. It all depends on what airline you are using, as to which city you must go out of then. We used American Airlines. He was taken care of very well. When we all got to Beijing, then we were just going to stay for about 7 days, and then take him with us on to Jiamusi. Well, that was our plan anyways. It ended up where it was a good thing we stayed close, because Carl had to spend one day doing paperwork and paying money to get Spot into quarantine. When he had gotten to China, they took him off the plane and put him in a cold warehouse. If it had not been for someone calling Carl, and telling him then Spot would not be here now. After the 30 days in quarantine, then he was put on another plane and that is when I went with a assistant from Ivy, and got him back to our home. Think that was hard? Now, when we went to move Spot from Jiamusi to Beijing, then we were going to just do it ourselves. We had a book saying that he had all his shots etc., and all we needed was him on the plane. I checked the airline and saw that they could take him on certain flights, but then when we got to the airport to find out how to do things, and where to go the week before leaving, then the airport said with him and his cage, he had to be less than 15kg, and he was 20kg. There was a man there, that moves dogs, and he offered to help. We paid him, and gave him Spot, his cage, and some food. He is supposed to be here today. It was actually easier to move him here in China, than to China. If you are wanting to know about moving with small dogs in China, it is very easy. Big dogs, you need help. We love our dog, so it had to be done.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The adventure continues.

This new “adventure”, as Jennie Johnson calls it started on February 19th .

On the 19th, Carl finished working at IVY, got his letter and money. They also done a inspection, and we had to pay allot of fines for things that had not worked since we had been there. We had just made things work, and not complained about everything.
On the 20th, We had a guy that we had found at the airport, with Chinese help, that came and got Spot to get him to Beijing for us, costing 900 Yuan. We had to have two taxi’s, to get all our things to the airport. We flew to Beijing. When we got to the airport, we met our helper Grace(her English is okay, and she tries). We learned that our apartment was not ready yet, and we were going to be going to a hotel, near the school, for a few days. We went out that night and walked around some, and found a Mcdonald’s.
On the 21st, We went to see the school, Beijing Experimental Foreign Language School. We gave Grace the Visa’s. We also had a chance to meet Mrs. Dee, the vice principal(she speaks no English). Later, we all walked some and found a pizza buffet place and ate lunch, and then Susan went home, and we took DJ downstairs to a place she could play. It was 30 Yuan for her to play for a hour, but she loved it. Her favorite toy there was the car that she can sit in and push around.
On the 22nd, We heard about the apartment that we are supposed to be in, on the 24th floor. We found out that we would each be teaching a class on Friday.
On the 23rd, Today we met TJ downstairs at our hotel and went for lunch at Burger King in a mall close to their home, Joy City. We went and got phone cards, so that we would have Beijing numbers. We got our teacher books that we can use if we wanted to. Spot was also delivered to the school today. He will stay there until we are in our apartment. He had a big cage, soft bed, and 2 food bowls. Then when he got here, he was in a small wire cage. The man said that when he got to the airport, that the crate was too big and Spot weighed too much, so he had to keep the cage. We also got to go see our new apartment. It was near where TJ lives. It was very filthy, and unsafe for DJ.
On the 24th, Today we both taught our classes. I had the first one with about 26 kids in it. It was awful. They would not hardly talk or anything. Carl’s class was great though.
On the 25th, We went out and walked around. We moved out of the hotel and into our new apartment, on the 5th floor. This apartment has nothing in it.
On the 26th, Today we went to church with TJ and Jennie. We all went to Peter’s, to eat lunch cause they had root beer etc. Susan went to TJ’s house and watched DJ, and their 2 kids. TJ and Carl went to Carrefour and went shopping for household supplies. I went with Jennie to go find me some clothes better for teaching.
On the 27th, We were teaching again, and then went shopping for food at a local store.
On the 28th, We were having to go to a immigration office, because our Visa’s expired on the 25th. I went shopping with Susan at a local mall.
On the 29th, We had to go the police station. We went to the immigration office again for a hearing, and penalties. Tomorrow starts a new month, and it will be better, (that was a nice thought).
On March 1st, I got up this morning and had cereal, with real milk. I had arranged to meet Jennie at the mall close to her, and then go shopping with her for the afternoon. Getting to that point from our school, meant me having to take some subways and a bus. I did that with no problems. When I started back though, I got on the right bus just going the wrong direction. It turned into a very long bus ride, and finally having to get a Taxi and go home. We found out that Burger King has a number you can call and they will deliver it to you. Mcdonald’s also has one.
On the 2nd, Carl had to go back to the immigration office with Grace, to get some things finished for the kids. After everything, we found out that we would just get a warning, and then if this ever happens again, then we would be told to leave China, and never come back. After Carl had his classes today, then he went and ordered a washer/dryer to be delivered tomorrow. We also found out that this next week, the first few days would be normal. Wednesday, then Carl will probably have classes in the public school, and I will stay here at this school. DJ and Susan are both sick now with fevers.
On the 3rd, DJ got up today and her fever was gone. We got our washer/dryer combo delivered. Later we are going to meet some other people from Canada, that are coming to the school to look around.
On the 4th, We had an interesting time meeting a guy named Jim Karygiannis from Canada. He works in the house of common, as a member of the Parliament in Ontario, Canada. This school is trying to arrange a deal with Canada for this summer where kids can go there for 2 months and learn culture and English.
There are allot of things that this school doesn’t know exactly how to do, so it is very hard to figure out. I think we are the first teachers with families here though. They are trying their best to help us. For the most part, I have had about 6 classes, and Carl has had about 13 classes. There is one class that has all the kids in it. Other than that, there have been five kids that I keep seeing(Aggie,Lina,Dante,Emem,and Jack). Some of the classes cost extra, to learn about culture in America. This school is mainly for kids that had failed the Gow-Cow(not sure about spelling) test. That test is the one that they take and score good on, to be able to go to a university in China. So, now that they failed that, then they have to go take the TEOFL to go overseas and go to a university. They didn’t want to study enough to pass the test in Chinese, so we will have our hands full teaching them in English.
This time up until now, has been interesting. Can’t wait to see what the next month holds. Included with the pictures from these things, is a picture of a traffic jam that Jennie and I were in, she thought it was picture worthy, so it must have been a bad one for Beijing.

This is a picture at the airport.

This is the cage that Spot came in.

This is our classroom.

Dj was trying to figure out why that boy was in her car.

DJ was having fun with Nate and Noah.

This was the hotel we had stayed at.

This was Jim from Canda that we met. 
This is Joy City mall, near TJ and Jennie's.

This is our bags for leaving Jiamusi.

This is our office.

DJ again at playland.

This is the program that Jim was here for.

This is our school in the background.

This is a traffice jam that Jennie thought was picture worthy.

Is change a good thing?

Change can be a good thing, and sometimes it can’t be. Carl and I had gotten jobs, and accepted them for a high school in Quzhou,China. That was ok, it would be in a warmer climate, few hours, not all that far from Shanghai. It took us awhile to get all of the plans done right on how to get to Quzhou. When Carl finally found out that he wasn’t going to be able to leave until after his classes on the 19th, then we could plan some better. We finally figured out that where we were going, when we could leave, and when the Visa would expire, there was only one option--fly. We got our tickets booked online, which took some doing also. During this time, the last school,IVY, had turned off our Internet at our house. I had to get a Chinese friend to help me find a place to go and fix the plane tickets to make sure we had everything right. Then after we had it all planned, we were just killing time waiting. During this time, we were also getting rid of things to people who could use them. DJ was also able to have a last play date with her friend Mike. They both had fun doing things. It was at that point that the school started telling us that we might have to stop at their school in Beijing, so that they could do our Visa’s. Then it was maybe you might want to work there, and then finally it was you aren’t going to Quzhou, you will go to Beijing. Since we are going to be working in Beijing instead, they say they are going to give us more money. When things finally changed to us going to Beijing finally, then I had to change all the tickets etc. During this time, I was also working on getting things done with Spot, to make sure that he would come with us safely. There was allot of work that went into getting everything done in time, and correctly. I am very glad that I wasn’t working then, things might not have gotten done so fast.

Now, we have changed plans and know what is going on now. What will the next adventure be?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Brief update for now.

I know that there has been a long time since the last blog. There has been a lot of things going on here. We have gotten moved saely to Beijing now. I will update this blog in the next few days, to bring everything up to date with pictures and all.