Friday, July 15, 2005

Me and the Foreign TeachersI went to school last Friday, returned some of my books, and hung about until lunch time. Our boss, Ms. Wang, was taking us to Korean BBQ for a farewell meal. Most of the teachers would not be returning next year, and one of us, Alex, seen here with red hair, would be leaving the next morning. Unfortunately, Leanne and Carol, another two foreign teachers, could not join us for the celebration. After eating a great deal of meat and talking about our summer plans, we took a number of photos and then went our separate ways. I think we were all happy about reaching the end of our contracts.

Angela & Me at the Top of Ling MountainThe next day, Saturday, Ms. Wang had invited all of us to go hiking on Ling Mountain. 22 of us altogether, including Angela, a couple students and their mothers, and a number of our Chinese teachers, departed at about 7AM. The drive was beautiful and peaceful, with almost no other traffic on the roads. Our destination was quite remote and we didn't have to contend with too many tourists. About three hours outside of the city center, Ling Mountain is Beijing's highest peak at 2303 meters above sea level. Here's a picture of Angela and me at the top.

Chinese CampgroundAfter a brief walk up some bright white cement stairs, past a Chinese campground at the foot of the mountain, we arrived at a lift, which took all of us about halfway up the mountain. Angela is afraid of heights, but it wasn't too scary. From there, we had to walk the rest of the way. When we had arrived, it had been wonderfully sunny and clear with a few random white clouds, but as our hike progressed, darker clouds soon took over the sky. While we were riding the lift down the mountain, it began to shower quite heavily and we got soaked. We couldn't help but laugh at our lack of preparedness, which seems to be a theme of our recent adventures. On the way out of town, we saw a number of sheep being slaughtered. Our bus driver was a little wild, which made the ride home through windy mountain roads exciting, but we all returned home safely, sunburned and exhausted.

This may be my last post for a few weeks as my parents are arriving tomorrow, and I expect to be too busy to update. Feel free to check back and catch-up on all the old posts you may have missed. I'll be sure to post a record of our travels once they return to the states, though, so stay tuned!

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