E-Travel Log #1 -- Introducing the Adventure Team

Dear students,

Ni Men Hao! (nee-mehn-how)* Hello from Shanghai, China, and welcome to the China School Project! My name is Cai Li - though many of my friends and family members call me Lilia - and my name is Paul Hurteau. We'll be your hosts for the project. In this report, we'll tell you a bit about ourselves and our travel plans.


Lilia Cai: I was born and raised in China's largest city, Shanghai. It's on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, across the East China Sea from the southern tip of Japan. (Can you locate it on the map?) I'm an English teacher (though Mandarin Chinese is my first language). Three years ago, I left China to teach English in the Amazon Rain Forest - and for the last two years I've been working as a project coordinator for OneWorld Classrooms, visiting schools in the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon (again) and Namibia in southwestern Africa. It has been fascinating to visit different parts of the world, but now I'm really glad to be home -- and I'm very excited to have the chance to introduce you to my country and to students your same age who live and go to school here. (Above is a picture of me with students at a school in Namibia.)

Paul Hurteau: I'm a teacher from New York State, but since 1989, I've done most of my teaching outside the U.S. (as a WorldTeach volunteer and the director of OneWorld Classrooms). I've lived and taught in Kenya, Ecuador, the Canadian Arctic and Namibia. So, now, I'm very excited about adding China to the list! I also like to write poetry and I've written lots of guess-who poems about Asian animals which we will be including in upcoming travel logs. (Here is a photo of me with students in the Amazon Rain Forest.)


Over the next six weeks, we'll be traveling to several different regions of China, visiting partner schools along the way. Our first stop will be the country's capital, Beijing, where we'll visit the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. From there, we'll take a train to Xi'an, home of the Terra Cotta Warriors and gateway to the historic Silk Road. Next, we'll proceed along the Silk Road to three more towns, Langmusi, Xiahe and Dunhuang, the last of which is in the Gobi Desert. From the desert in the north, we'll fly to the rain forest in the south, known as Xishuangbanna, then climb up into the Himalaya Mountains to visit two towns called Dali and Lijiang. Finally, we'll fly back to Shanghai and visit an arts school and the Shanghai Museum.

China is an amazing country with 9,600,000 square kilometers of land and 1.3 billion people. It has large cities, rain forests, deserts, grasslands, huge mountains, plateaus, rivers, tropical islands and beaches. It's rich in culture and history. So, we're very glad that you'll be traveling with us and we're excited about discovering the many wonders of this fascinating country with you.

Upcoming travel logs will contain accounts of our travels, famous traditional Chinese stories, brief Mandarin lessons, guess-who animal poems and responses to the questions you have posed to Chinese students in your partner classes. We also hope you will visit the project Web site which contains several adventures and activities that will allow you to travel with us online.


That's all for this report.

Zai jian (zah-ee -jee-ehn) for now. Goodbye! See you in Beijing! (Bring your hiking boots for walking along the Great Wall!)

Lilia and Paul


*In Mandarin Chinese, "hello" is literally "you good" (ni is you and hao is good), and men is used when a plural audience is addressed.


Next Report

E-Travel Log #1: Introducing The Adventure Team

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