JIANGMEN, GUANGDONG — I have finished seven days of teaching English to four groups of 8- to 11-year-olds here at WuYi University (五邑大学) — a real busman’s holiday. We visiting teachers now have two days off and then finish up with three more days of teaching.
I did the same gig last year, and by chance or by plan, have to teach the same units as last year. So, the task is not terribly onerous. In fact, it’s fun. These kids are more responsive than my university students in some ways.
Last year, the weather played tricks with me. I expected warm weather, but it was cool enough for me to run out and buy a wool coat. This year, it’s nice and warm and I had to buy a couple of warm weather shirts. It was nearly 80℉ today. (I know this will not cheer those you dealing with snow, sleet and/or tornadoes in the States. Sorry ’bout that.)
My regular university duties finished up Jan. 10. My initial plan was to set out on traveling right away, but I arose on Jan. 11 with an urge only for a staycation. So, I hung around Jishou for a week and set out the next weekend. Stayed one night in Changsha, meeting with a Chinese friend who has just moved to Canada, then took the high speed rail to Guangzhou. There I stayed at a friend’s house for a couple of nights, and came to Jiangmen on the 23rd. My Aussie friends were already here by then. They’ve done this gig now for several years and know Jiangmen almost as well as Brisbane.
Spring Festival begins in a week. After these classes end, three of us will head to Yangshuo 阳朔 in Guangxi province. I’ve been there before, but for too short a time to appreciate it. Should be interesting this time of year, and still warmer than Hunan. Details as they arrive.