Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ni Hao from behind the wall...the iron wall that is.

Well, after a long week of meetings and our first two days of school, I can finally have time to update everyone on our "new" life here in China. We moved into an awesome new place that we just love. It really feels like home to us now. I never thought I would say that.

The most frustrating thing is that we have been blocked from many of our favorite "social" sites...facebook and our blog. As you can see we can type posts on our blog through a proxy but I still haven't been able to find a way to upload pictures. We also can get on facebook and spy on everyone but again aren't able to post anything so nobody knows we are there.

I have searched and found several software programs that we could download that would allow us access to these things but of course the websites to download the programs are blocked. If we leave the country then we will be able to get these things which will be in about a month unless we find a place in Hong Kong where we can sit and use the internet. Starbuck's is calling our name right now but it's just finding the time to go over.

We are planning our first trip for the year to Phuket, Thailand. We have a week break the end of September. It is way cheaper to go now then to wait until Christmas time. The prices are at least double during that time so we have decided to just stay around here at Christmas and do things locally. That way we can go on two major trips this year for the same cost as one during Christmas. We loved Thailand last year and now we will go see a different part of the country. Our next trip we are looking at Bali, Philipines, or somewhere in Malaysia. The beach is the way to go for our vacations. If only we could find some decent surfing spots for Gavin.

School started on Thursday and we are excited to start this year. Gavin is still in Secondary teaching Physical Science, Geometry, Physics, and the IB CAS coordinator. He is the Science Department Head and will be coaching the Girls Secondary Basketball team, as well as, the Middle School Boys Basketball. I'm in Middle School teaching mostly the 13's Reading, Language Arts, Algebra I, Math 12 and Cultural Studies. I'm the 13 Year Old Team Leader and I have also been asked to be the Secondary Girls Volleyball Assistant Coach, and the Math Olympia Coach for the Middle School. It'll be a busy first few months for me since volleyball and the Math Olympia are starting right now. Our first volleyball tournament is next Saturday. I'm really rusty on playing volleyball and am a little nervous about coaching but the boy's head coach is awesome and will be a great support.

The kids are doing great. Rachel turned sixteen last week and will be going on her first date today...scary!!!!!! She is a really good kid and this boy in our branch here has been waiting for her to turn sixteen so they could start dating. She will be playing on the volleyball team to start and with the IB program at school, will be very busy this year.

Jonny is playing Soccer right now and is really enjoying our new place here because it is closer to the "girls". Mainly, Miranda. He always has this group of three girls that are always hanging around. He also is closer this year to his basketball and skateboard buddies so he has plenty of things to do regarding his social life.

Nikki is always on the go as well, she will be playing soccer starting in a few weeks and is our little social butterfly.

Of course Vika is as cute as ever. She was a little reluctant to be coming back to China but once we got here she was fine and ready for school to start. The modeling agency contacted us again to see if our kids would still be interested in modeling so I had to send new pictures to them. We will see. Jonny is probably a little too tall now, although he isn't very tall for his age. They usually just use the little kids. Vika loves being the center of attention and wants to be a "top model" as she calls it, again.

Really wish we could post pictures. Our new place is awesome with a cool view of the bay. I'll try to get them up on a web album. That way people can at least have access to them. I'll post another post if that happens.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Made it back to China

Well we made it back to China to only find that our blog is still blocked. Again I can access it through a proxy but can't upload any pictures. Another teacher here has been posting pictures on his blog but I haven't seen him yet to find out how he is doing that. I will have to check into other proxies or ways around it but for now we just wanted everyone to know that we did make it back. We also learned that facebook is blocked so there goes all our main communication with the outside world. I guess we have to resort back to the old email. Funny to think that we would consider that an old source of communication. Hopefully, things will change or we can find a way around this. Some governments still feel like they have to control what people view and say. It's a little irritating and just another thing that people take for granted back home.

We moved into a new home and just love it. We have a great view of the Shenzhen bay and everything is great right now.

Our email address is For now that is our only way of communicating.

We had a great summer. I didn't get to post our pictures from all our adventures. Love and miss you all.