It has been far too long since my last post, and I apologize to all my readers! But, if it’s any consolation…the reason I haven’t been writing is a happy one! I have been far too busy enjoying life to have the time to sit down and write about it! But I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, so I better get to it!!
We left Guiyang on August 3rd and I finished my class at 8pm on August 2nd. I knew it was going to be hard; I’d grown quite attached to my monkeys…but I didn’t realize just HOW hard. It took everything for me not to cry and in the end, it was the apology and the hug from my boss, Huang, that did me in. She thanked me for all my hard work and told me that she had been very wrong about me when she thought I was a bad teacher. That meant more than I can really explain.
My final day at Interlingua was the hardest, because I taught most of my favorite classes on Sundays. My Reading and Writing class was particularly difficult because I loved teaching them so much. The mood in the class was blue, and I ended up bringing in Sylvester…the school’s kitten…to cheer them up. It worked for a little bit, but eventually the bell rang and we had to say goodbye.
The most surprising thing for me was the parents…I expected to feel sad about saying goodbye to my students. They are who I was closest to. But Some of the parents are the ones that made me truly well up.
After saying goodbye to my wonderful K2 class, Dave and I head down to Trip Smith’s for a few final beers with the staff from the school. Before we knew it, it was 2pm the next day and we were boarding our plane to Hong Kong. From there….we were on our way home…
Our Trip Home to Canada
Goodness it was good to be home! We only had 3 weeks, but WOW did we make the most of it!! We were able to meet up with everyone who put in an effort to meet up with us and got to spend lots of great time with our wonderful families and friends. The only downside to our trip home was the food poisoning I had for the last 5 days of our trip. Other than that, we had a magnificent time and can’t wait to return again next year!!! (For a longer stay!!)
It would be impossible to choose just 1 highlight from our trip back home, but if I absolutely had to choose, it might be the day we spent in St. Malo park with our families and a few friends. Even though we were late for our surprise party, it was such a blast and when I think back to our time in Canada, that’s always the memory that sticks out. I grew up in St. Malo and it was so wonderful being back there, at the provincial park, walking the same stone paths that I walked with my dog, Trace, as a teenager. I love my country and when I think of Canada, this is what I think of. This is home to me.
The rest of the scenery we saw in Canada was fantastic as well. I missed the big skies and the open fields that make Manitoba the beautiful province that it is.
Our trip home was finished far too soon and before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye again. Next year we plan to be home for closer to 6 weeks (twice as long) so perhaps we’ll be able to find time for a camping trip at Rushing River. I’m so grateful that so many people took the time to spend their time with us while we were home and I really can’t wait to for July of next year when we can do it all again 🙂
The Trip to our New Home
We arrived in Suzhou on August 27th after a long trip back to China. We got to know the LeQiao area of Suzhou, which is actually a lot like the nicer parts of Guiyang. We quickly found the essentials…a BBQ place, a noodle place and a milk tea place.
We spent our first day in Suzhou apartment hunting. Eight apartments and three real estate agents later, we found our new home. We are SO thrilled with it!!! The building is gorgeous and secure and the area is quiet and very modern. Just outside our apartment building is a EuroMart, which sells everything from blue cheese to port wine to taco seasoning (all things we’d never seen in China before!).
I should also note that both our landlords and our real estate agent are amazing. It was Jean (the agent) that suggested the air conditioner in the upstairs den and the landlady had 2 women come in and clean the place til it was spotless before we moved in. And we moved in the day after we saw the place, so she did that with very little notice.
The whole process of moving out here has been so easy. Last year, we arrived to find a run down apartment with mold and bug issues and when I asked for some help getting it set up I was called negative and told that I shouldn’t complain so much. This year, I’ve been welcomed to Suzhou with a clean apartment, kind coworkers and wonderful students.
But I’ll have more on that in my next post! And I promise it won’t take me 2 months to write it next time!!!