Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Well, I have now been in Beijing for 10 days and feel more in a daze than when I first got here! Before I came I hadn’t really thought about how challenging it would be to move to a foreign country and start a new job and make all new friends all at once. But even through the challenges, I am enjoying most everything. I’ll start with day one…

I arrived in Beijing last Sunday and was picked up at the airport by Tom Hawkins, the director of ISB. He drove Yvonne and I (another new teacher) to Capital Paradise - our new home. After filling out some paperwork and touring our new apartments, we went for dinner and settled in for the night. I had been advised to stay awake past 10 pm to cut down on the jet lag but no can do. I was in bed by 8:30 and awake by 4 the next morning. But waking early isn’t such a bad thing here as we are 12 hours ahead of the states and this makes a nice time to call home. And I’m lovin those phone calls!

Monday we caught the bus to school and work began. The school is amazing and the week was full of meetings, some classroom time, and more meetings. This is an extremely nice facility and will be even used by Olympic teams for practice in 2008. They told us that one of our main goals is to teach social responsibility to the students as most of them have never even stayed in a hotel that isn’t five star. They told us that their responsibility to us as teachers is to help us grow professionally and that if we don’t – they haven’t done their job. It is nice to have so much support.

Wednesday we had medical check-ups mandated by the government and Thursday we had a workshop on what we should expect to go through emotionally and psychologically after moving to a new country.

Among the work we have had many outings and social events to fill our time. On Monday we went shopping at IKEA to buy the necessities and after only 7 hours of sleep in the past 54 hours – I was in a complete daze. It was a three story building full of local Chinese just hanging out in the air condition on the comfortable furniture. It is somewhat difficult to buy things and ask for help when you can’t communicate verbally at all – incentive to take Chinese!

On Tuesday night, we took a cruise on Hou Hai Lake. On the way back to the dock, you light a red candle in a white paper boat and drop it in the lake behind you. You get to make a wish and it is quite beautiful. Afterwards, we went to the night market (otherwise known as snack street) where you can buy scorpions, snakes, grasshoppers, small frogs, seahorses, centipedes and numerous other things that creep, crawl and slither. These are all on a stick and they are more than happy to fry them for you. None for me thank you – being in China is adventure enough! After that we drove through Tiananmen Square and well – I can’t explain what you think and feel when you see that for the first time.

On Wednesday we had a break (thank goodness) and on Thursday, Chinese culture night. We had dinner in a greenhouse where I did get brave and tried some jelly fish. For the first and last time! J We learned some basic words and had a good time. On Friday, a neighboring international school invited us to a nearby wine bar for drinks and snacks and I met two girls I really liked – one from Beijing and one from Mongolia. They have promised to show me around and take me shopping and I will definitely take them up on that. Saturday I unpacked and rested the entire day until dinner that night.

Sunday I went to church with another girl, Bebe and the director and his family. It is one of three legal churches in Beijing. The people were all friendly – mostly teachers and government workers. The church is in Sanlitun which is called “bar street” and afterwards we went to lunch at a place called Public Space. It took us over an hour to get home (should’ve take 20 minutes) but at least we are learning our way around.

All in all, things are well. I am exhausted and somewhat overwhelmed with work at the moment, but already really glad that I am here. This is going to prove to be a great experience. I will try to update this on Sundays or Mondays – keep emailing. I’m enjoying hearing from you!


Blogger jcastroguinea said...

I am excited about visiting you there! I think IKEA is from Norway, are they in China too? I was not expecting that! Un beso, girl! Castrol

3:54 AM  
Blogger Kristin Morris said...

Lillian! Is this the best place to e-mail you? Girl I get excited just reading your e-mail. I need more info. Can't wait to come see you. Probably need to nail down a date pretty soon. Miss you. Love to get on the phone with you. What is a good time to try and call you.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Bryan Merrick said...

You must be so sexy to the short China men. "Hai, Fuji san, have you seen that tall blonde lotus flower from the United States. She makes me want to unravel my sushi roll and baste it with soy sauce." Those silly China men. Anyway, gotta go, freshmens are coming and I have to go think of an hour and half of stuff to tell them. Go Eagles!

4:29 AM  

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