Remember when I talked about the village that was destroyed near my home? In the past few months, there has been an unbelievable amount of demolition and construction all across the city. More villages torn down. Beachside boardwalks dug up. Signs refreshed. Buildings repainted and remodeled. Colored decorative lights are being installed across the skyline. Roads removed, repaved and rerouted. More portions of the city metro are being completed and starting to run. The city is in chaos with construction and laborers coming from all over China to give Qingdao what feels like “Extreme Makeover City Edition”. Where’s Ty Pennington when you need him?
“Why are they doing all this?” we’ve all been asking. It turns out that in June, Qingdao is hosting a multi-week conference for high up national leaders (READ: delicate phrasing) from across Asia. The city is gearing up to put on a good show dressed in its finest.
The crazy development for me on a personal level is that this arrival of all these leaders (including China’s head of country) is impacting our school and community families in a big way. Our last day of school was scheduled for June 13 (our school opened a week late due to moving to the new campus). However, schools are now being told that they will need to close a few days before the arrival of the conference attendees. Some families are even being instructed to leave their homes during this time (due to safety concerns for leaders and apartment complexes in close proximity to conference sites). Now, our administration is having to figure out how our school will make up the school days we will be losing at the end of the year. Regular Chinese schools go six days a week (with more frequent and longer breaks throughout the year), so it looks like the most probable solution is we are going to be having school on Saturdays during the entire month of April.
My first thought was, “UGH, school on Saturday?’
My second thought was, “GASP! What about the Saturday rehearsals I have scheduled for ‘The Jungle Book’ on those days!?”
My third thought was, “Manning, don’t panic about things that are out of your control.”
See, Mom? I am maturing! Haha.
There are a lot of details to work out about what those Saturdays will look like, but it will surely be an interesting learning experience (and something very unique to teaching abroad).
This afternoon my coworker, friend, and p—y—r partner fly out for our spring break trip to one of my top five bucket list countries. We’re headed to New Zealand! We will be there for a week travelling from the top of the North Island all the way to the bottom of the South Island. We’re young and crazy, but I’m excited to get away and fangirl over hobbit homes and the ruins of Cair Paravel (if you don’t know what either of those things are, I feel sad for you). Look forward to some great updates and pictures from our epic adventures in the coming weeks! P—y—rs for travel mercies, safety, fellowship, and rest!
Happy Easter! We are remembering the reason we have cause to celebrate. The Love. The Sacrifice. The Victory.