Well, the teaching is coming to an end. I leave in just over a weeks' time! I'll be very sorry to say goodbye to the students. They alone have made the stay in Yongfu, with the mattressless bed,the monochromatic, monastic austerity of Yongfu Experimental Middle School, the bugs and the beasties, tolerable! In the meantime, however, there is the small matter of individually testing approx. 230 students in the next week. I've been told to spend no more than 3 minutes per student, which is far too little time to make any sort of proper assessment, added to which the marking is completely subjective with no attempt at standardisation. So, I really don't know what they hope to learn from the tests. Anyway, I'll do what I can and then off I go and the final leg of the journey begins!
I am planning to go to Beijing initially to get my Russian and Mongolian visas sorted. I've been told that the Russians can be a tad tiresome about issuing visas - they seem to be quite hostile to the very notion of tourists visiting their country - so I thought that I'd get that out of the way first. I have no idea how long it will take to issue the visas, but I will be stuck in Beijing all the time the Russians and Mongolians have my passport. It is impossible to go anywhere without a passport. They are needed to travel anywhere and to check into hotels, so I very much hope that it is not going to take too long.
Beijing will, I think, be hot and expensive. I hope that, while I'm there, I'll also be able to organise a week in Tibet. That will take about 2 weeks to set up. So those are the immediate plans. Beyond that, there are too many if's and but's...
It's lychee season here in China!!! I've been feasting on the most luscious, juicey, succulent lychees imaginable, for the equivalent of a pound a kilo!! Delicious!
Well, not very much more to add this time, except to say that I'm to be a granny once again! Susie is expecting a baby in December, so congratulations to Susie and Steve!! Zai jian (or, if you prefer, bai bai), until next time!
(Later) I ought to just mention, fleetingly, that we have gone from the rainy season to the torrentially rainy season, in the shape of the monsoon rains, which have now started. The kids wear plastic bags tied around their feet to keep their shoes dry and everywhere is flooded. I beginning to feel like Noah! The rain brings no relief, of course, from the heat or the mosquitoes. Life in China is nothing if not challenging!