23 September 2007

Fall Camp and The World Cup

Currently reading: September 10th Newsweek (US edition)--thanks Mom and Dad!

Currently listening to: Funnel Cloud, Hem

Last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was our Middle School Fall Camp. We loaded all 100+ middle schoolers into charter buses early Wednesday morning and headed off to a resort near Beijing. I haven't done too much chaperoning since becoming an "adult", but after this week, I'm happy to go back to just merely being a teacher. I had a great cabin of 7th and 8th grade girls. It was a Japanese style resort, so we slept on mats on the floor. The facilities were amazing--it was quite easy to forget that we were 20 minutes from the Beijing airport. The middle school students are all split up into 4 different houses (Harry Potter-like). Each house has house colors, a house cheer and a house name. At Fall Camp all of that is revealed for the current school year. My house is called Hot Stuff, our mascot is a fire-breathing dragon, and our color is red. Every Monday, all the middle school students in our house MUST wear red so that we can continue winning the house competition. Fall Camp is the most intensive part of house competition--we had paddle boat races, go kart races, an Oreo challenge, and even a sand castle contest. The excitement for the week was that our house won Fall Camp!

Fall Camp:

I have seen some interesting things while traveling in this great country--I can now add a truck full of pigs to that list.

The students getting ready for our first house competition: A paddle boat relay.

The beautiful lake that the race was held on.

The resort was so gorgeous that couples were getting their wedding pictures taken there.

The trees at this resort were planted in rows equidistant apart from each other that made for the perfect spider web home. These spiders were huge and all over the place.

Our house's winning sand castle. In case you can't tell, it's a dragon protecting a village and a castle.

House 1 wins the most creative name in my book: The Bubonic Rats. This was their awesome rodent of a sand castle.

A point of clarification because a few people have asked me about this: Our school is about 60% Korean, 40% American, Taiwanese, Malay, Singaporean, Dutch, etc. I teach all Korean students because it is an ESL class, but there are Western students in the school. The Koreans tend to be a bit more nervous about having their pictures taken.
I went swimming with some of the middle school girls at camp. The Chinese always wear swimming caps so we had to buy some before we went in the pool. The girls really wanted to go in spite of not having their bathing suits, so we found whatever would work (PJs aren't the best thing to swim in, just FYI)

Another sweet spider picture.

A tree lined street at the camp.

The Women's World Cup is being held in different cities across China, using Olympic venues to practice for the real deal next summer. The quarter final match of England vs. the USA was held right here in my fair city and so I got a ticket for last night's game. I was a little skeptical when I read my ticket and it said Row 1 because I only paid $12 for it. But it was true, I had a front row ticket on the goal line. The US won 3-0 and I saw all 3 goals scored at that very goal. It was amazing! The whole thing was quite surreal--I rode my bike with a friend, met up with some other co-workers at the grocery store where we parked, walked 10 minutes, and was in my seat 15 minutes later.

The brand new stadium was quite nice.

The stadium is huge and will host some of the soccer events next summer.

The opening introductions--the US was white and England was red.

A great view of crowd and the match.

The zoom on my camera isn't the greatest, but the detail is still pretty amazing.

What a nice action shot!

The US celebrating the second goal that was scored.

The moon was just rising as the game was finishing.

The final score board.

The parents section was up and over one section from me, so all the women came over to wave to their parents after it was finished.

September has been a very busy month. I have one week of teaching to go and then next week is China's National holiday when we have our staff retreat and then our annual teacher conference in Beijing. Please be Thinking of the travel that I will be doing and that the upcoming week off of school would be refreshing and renewing.

For His glory,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow! i'm jealous of your soccer game experience! 12 bucks for front row! go rachel!