In my previous blog I had reached the end of my time at the Nansha College Preparatory Academy and had covered my first 10 days in China.
AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!! (And I must say I find your lack of faith in the accuracy and legitimacy of my blog disturbing and offensive.)
Anyway … I had a day and a half left in the Nansha district before I moved to the next school, so on the Saturday Dianne (Librarian at NCPA) and I visited the huge park and gardens just down the road from the campus. It contains the Nansha Tian Hou Temple and the Nanling Tower that can be seen from the school. So glad I finally made it there before I left.
In the Temple I rang this bell. I’m sure you heard it from where you were.
The next day I left Nansha and was driven for about two hours to the city of DONGGUAN. I was pretty happy to finally arrive at my lovely room in the Haiyatt Garden Hotel.
And for the first time since arriving in China I had a TV to watch. Ummmmm …
It was a lovely room and I particularly liked my free-range bathroom.
The room service was pretty impressive as well.
The next morning I set off with these wise words from the book of Jing Si Aphorisms that was in my room, ringing in my head.
Carefully watching my tone and facial expressions, I spent two enjoyable days (Monday and Tuesday) at the International School of Dongguan (ISD) where I gave workshops to the Grades 4 – 8 and 10 & 11. Once again the students and their teachers were great, with a special thanks to Dora in the library for all her organisation and hospitality.
On the Tuesday afternoon it was another long taxi ride, this time to the big smoke of central Guangzhou (previously Canton) to commence my final school visit – five days at the American International School of Guanzhou (AISG).
I stayed here at the Grand International Hotel and caught the Faculty bus every morning to school at 7.00 am. Luckily it stopped right in front of the hotel. (And thanks to Elisa who made sure I never missed it or the bus home!)
At AISG I met with each of the four Year 6, 7 and 8 classes for two lessons. Once again the students were great to work with – willing to act things out, try the writing activities, share their work and generally get involved.
Also during my time at AISG I had the pleasure of having lunch with these awesome book-lovers …
… and being interviewed by these intrepid and intelligent junior reporters …
… and these intrepid and intelligent senior ones.
A big thanks yet again to all the students and teachers who made me feel so welcome at AISG, as well as the good folk who took me sight-seeing and out to dinner. A special thanks to Darlene in the library (and her wonderful library co-workers Elisa and Kitty) for her friendship, good humour and for all her planning and organisation .
On my weekend off in Guangzhou I was kindly taken by a teacher and her husband to the top of Baiyun Mountain via cable car. I was a bit worried by the scrolling sign that said ‘drunkards and psychopaths’ shouldn’t ride the cable car, but I got on without any problem.
It was wet and very cold day but we still had a lovely time and there was a great (although misty) view over the city from the top. And you’ll be pleased to know that my hands did thaw out. Eventually.
In the gardens at the top there were also these interesting figures …
… but of course I had my photo taken with this one …
Afterwards to warm ourselves up we went to a very modern and high-end underground shopping mall and had a beautiful meal including these …
… made by these guys.
During the weekend I got to see a bit of this very modern city.
Including the impressive Guangzhou Library.
And just for my Australian friends – look, apparently Joe Hockey must have visited Guangzhou at sometime as well.
On Sunday morning I caught a taxi to the Guangzhou Museum.
It was the coldest morning Guangzhou had experienced for many years. I noticed some flakes of ice falling on me but apparently in some parts of the city that morning (possibly while I was inside the museum which incidentally was just as freezing as outside) they witnessed their first snow fall in 87 years.
This is me wondering why I can’t feel my face any more.
Luckily the Museum was wonderful. So many amazing carvings in wood, ivory and jade along with beautiful pottery and other artwork from over the centuries. (NB: against my better judgement I’ve even included a cat here for some of my Facebook friends.)
And then, as if to counterbalance all those gorgeous and amazing creations, over in the Underwater World section, there was this shark. No comment.
That’s about it, but before I finish off, I should mention that of course not everything on my trip was plain-sailing.
My phone decided to go crazy shortly after I arrived in China and began sending me multiple text messages – and when I say multiple I mean for example that I eventually received the same one from my wife around 80 times! Now I know I’m a little slow on the uptake, but seriously, was that really necessary?
Then to add to the excitement and spontaneity of the trip, my phone also decided to randomly change the date and time without telling me. (I now have a new phone.)
Also my newly downloaded Windows 10 killed my notebook just before a presentation at NCPA and I quickly had to restore it to a previous setting. Unfortunately that setting ended up being from some time in the Pre-Cambrian period and as you can see below it required a little catching up.
My very last session at AISG, and the final one of my China trip was a combined assembly for the year 6, 7 and 8s which was a lot of fun. As it turned out, my school visits concluded appropriately enough on Australia Day (although we really do need to change the date) so I got to wear the last of the Made-in-China koalas and kangaroos that I had been giving away throughout the trip.
That definitely is it! If you made it this far, you’re an absolute legend! (Either that or easily amused.)
All that remains now is for me to wish everyone at NCPA, ISD and AIGS a happy, fulfilling and prosperous YEAR of the MONKEY …
… and to thank you all (but especially Dianne Salminen) for spoiling me and making my three week journey such an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Wait, that’s not the end! A final, FINAL thanks to BOOKED OUT SPEAKER’S AGENCY who always do a great job in helping arrange and organise all my school visits including this one.
Cheers & thanks China!