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Good Bye Freezing Gansu Hello Green N Lush Fujian

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you all Remember in my last entry when I wrote the words; 'Who knows what will happen between now and then' regarding moving to Xian. Well, things did change! I now write to you from the coastal province of Fujian. The school I was to go to couldn't wait until I finished my time in Baiyin and requested another teacher to begin that week. I spent a great last week in Baiyin watching the students have a great time during the schools English Week. Friday was a very sad day especially for my Grade 6's and me. They are my favorite class so far in China. It's hard to leave a class in which everyone single student tried so hard every lesson. I've never found this until now and after speaking to several other foreign teachers it is a very rare gift. Yesterday I was up at 4:30am to finish packing and making sure the apartment was clean. At six we began the journey to the Lanzhou airport which took nearly two hours. It was a freezing drive as the van door on my side wouldn't shut right and it was about -10 or so outside. While lining up to check my bags in I was so worried about how much my teaching case was going to cost due to how much it weighed. In the end the girl allowed it to pass on through without comment. I said my sad good byes to the teachers whom had left their warm beds to come and say a freezing yet sad good bye to me. They waited whilst my day pack was searched for a small pocket knife I had completely forgotten about. The flight took four and a half hours and I arrived at Fuzhou airport around midday. Ohhh Mannn, how beautiful did the ocean look as my plane flew over it. I couldn't help but smile at the little Chinese fishing boats as we flew above them. After I left the plane the first thing I did was take off my bloody thermals. It was about 18 degrees outside and I was still in thermals! I was met by two guys from the school at Fuzhou airport. I had been told in passing that I maybe going to Zhangzhou which is just across from the beautiful city of Xiamen. This both excited me and left me wondering if I'd actually like to live on the coast instead of amongst the lush green rice fields I have missed so much over the past three months. The matter was solved pretty quickly when I asked them where we were heading. They seemed a bit surprised that I didn't know. I told them that I actually didn't want to know until NOW. I got my Lonely Planet out and we found it way up in the North West corner of Fujian Province. Several hours south of the beautiful Wuyi Shan (Shan meaning mountain) is a little city on the side of the Min Jiang River (the provinces main river) called Shaowu (say Sharwoo). On the map it looked, well after being up since 4:30am, it looked kind of far. I was told we would be driving for around five hours. Um, Yippee, I guess! The drive ended up being six and a half hours but due to the beautiful scenery it honestly felt like around three. After being away from 'colours' for several months my face was glued to the window. It was just beautiful. During the last few hours we passed so many little fruit shacks that were so loaded with all kinds of oranges and mandarins. I was so happy, inside it felt like I had come home. So, I now live an old little city called Shaowu. I love it here so much already. It's like a real big Tianyang. I spent last night and today simply 'eating'. I'm once again living at the school and next to me is an English couple. She, Alexia teaches the Grade 1, 2 & 3's at my primary school and he, Daniel teaches at the Middle School. I will be teaching Grades 4, 5 & 6. After spending several meals and short walks with them I have a great feeling about them. They both seem very cool and down to earth. They've been in China since the beginning of this term (3 months) and both love it. After last nights welcoming dinner we all headed out to play pool for several hours with one of Daniels Chinese friends. This morning I was woken to take part in another huge meal for brunch and this evening we were taken out by the Mayors Wife and her daughter. So far I've only had a chance to have quick scouts through the streets and have found an inner section I'm dying to see. Shaowu is old and full of little side streets and back alleys. The glitzy shop fronts hide the real city within. It seems within the centre of each city block hides a cluster of old two story wooden houses built along dirt or cobbled streets. It really does have an awesome vibe to it. The Min Jiang River is about a three minutes walk from where I live and beside it are several parks and a mountain full of walking tracks. From what Daniel and Alexia have told me about the weather right now, the days are beautiful and the nights are cold. Not freezing like in Baiyin! I was in sandals today and had thermals on whilst outside tonight. Once again I find myself blessed with offerings of a beautiful place in life. As usual I shall wake and thank the stars for the creation of such a beautiful world. Beers and noodles to you from a very happy Shane

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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