Lisa McClure's China Diary

May 13, 1999

Lara and I continue to enjoy life in Jinzhou. Despite the recent stresses caused by the Embassy bombing, we have been treated with the most amazing warmth and kindness by our friends and students. I feel exceptionally lucky to have the opportunity to live here.

Two neat things happened to us this evening after I returned home from teaching my MS Word class. My boss told me that the summer school Intensive English class I want to teach has been approved (Hooray!) so I definitely know what I'll be doing this summer. I'll be teaching about 25 students 20 hours of English each week for nine weeks. All of these students will be studying in Canada or the United States next autumn.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am recruiting American and Canadian college students to help me out as unpaid Teaching Assistants for this class. I would like to have four assistants, and have already received two applications, so if you know of anybody who would be interested in this opportunity to live in Jinzhou and get some ESL teaching experience, please have them write to me ASAP for the particulars.

Professor Chen also introduced me to a lovely girl named Kara. She's from Jinzhou, but has been studying computer science in Ottawa these past seven months, and came by the foreign teacher's guesthouse to meet Lara and me in person. It seems that while she was in Ottawa, she got pretty homesick for Jinzhou, and found my website and has been reading all about us here! I thought that was pretty cool, and it was great to meet her. I've got to tell you, the Internet is an incredible place to meet people and make friends.

I'm definitely going to call upon Kara to talk with my English class some this summer. I know that they'll be able to learn a lot from her experience. While she was here visiting here this evening, Kara took us over to her dormitory room, and also to the library. I was startled to realize that we've lived here on the LIT campus for eleven weeks already, and this is the first time that I've been inside one of the dormitories or visited the library! (and it's only down the street from us) But now that the weather has turned so nice, I am sure that we'll start exploring a lot more, both on campus and off!

I continue to marvel at how the Internet allows me to simultaneously enjoy the very local experience of living small city life in China, while at the same time remain an active member of the worldwide community of my e-friends and family. It's amazing that I can immerse myself in Chinese culture and language, and never feel a single moment of isolation from my old life. I have to tell you that I think I'm about the luckiest person I know these days.

So, if you have been worrying about Lara and me here in China, please don't. We are safe and well, enjoying a wonderful Jinzhou spring, and very much looking forward to a challenging and interesting summer here as well. I have a huge backlog of stories to tell and photos to post on the website. Of course, as usual, I am running behind with these projects, but little by little I continue to add a little more, and I will try to touch base with you all every couple of weeks.

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