Coming back here after six years has been an interesting experience. Staying with Debbie is good, Peter and I were good friends with her during our first year here, and she has hardly changed at all. Her little flat is nice, but like all Chinese places the floors are ceramic tiles, the walls are tiles or plastered, and there is no carpet, so it is quite cold.
My bed is very warm and cosy and I am sleeping really well. I think I have adapted to China time rather than Aussie time. The two hours makes a difference in the sleeping patterns.
I went with Debbie and spoke to some of her classes. It was nice to be in front of a black board again, good fun, and the students here really are very well behaved. I also think they are coming here to university now with better English than when we were here. The middle school seems to be doing a good job. Even the freshmen had pretty good English skills and much of the speaking has the prepositions in the right place, which is one of the hardest things for Chinese students to learn.
The actual campus is lovely. Well set out with trees and gardens. This is the round building we were supposed to teach at, but only got to visit a few times. It is also on the edge of town, and well set back from the road so it is quiet, we hardly hear any traffic noise.
I will add a bunch of pictures.
Clark is now a teacher at the Number 1 middle school here in Longyan. He was one of the best speakers at the school when we were there. He is courting a girl at the moment. He is just 30 years old, a good time to marry.
There are about 8 to 10 students per dorm, so things are a bit crowded.
Even in the coldest weather there is no heating, but this room seemed warm enough when I was there. They are used to wearing their heavy coats and clothes indoors, even in the house it is normal, rather than using power. Heating is usually only turned on in exceptional circumstances in Chinese homes. They generally have 3 or 4 layers of clothes on and woollen longjohns too.
The architecture for this university was based on the Tulou. These are round stamped-earth buildings that are unique to this part of China, in fact I think this is the only place i the world that has these. So this whole university was based on a round building concept. This is a photo I took when Peter and I visited some of these unusual buildings not far from Longyan.
So it has been an interesting time. The town of Longyan is changing, some lovely big buildings, more modern, but the old part is still the same, old and grubby and smelly in comparison to what we have at home. Although I really enoyed my few times in the classroom, there is no desire to come back to it.