China Once, China Twice

What I had never planned to do

WECL in Qingdao March 25, 2010

Filed under: China — Ginny @ 1:21 pm
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WECL stands for World Exchange College of Language.

I think it was a stroke of luck for Sam to be quickly (and unknowingly) placed to teach in Qingdao.

WECL Qingdao , will give you some background on the school in this location.  His students do speak English, Sam’s job is to teach them to speak English properly.

If you never travel outside your own country, it is natural to have preconceived ideas about people and places from other countries.

The biggest misconception (or maybe it’s not!) that the Chinese people had about me as Sam’s mother, was how I physically looked.   They expected me to look old and fat.  At age 56, genetics has still been kind to me.  You won’t find me in a fitness center or gym.  In general, I also only eat when I am hungry.

What surprised me most about Qingdao was its topography.  I had just left inland Beijing, and hey, that’s BIG.  Qingdao, on a peninsula, felt more like San Francisco.  There were hilly streets, and cooler temperatures.  I had to buy some warmer clothes for this location.

I was impressed too, with the camaraderie of friends Sam had, built over a relatively short amount of time.  Each night we had dinner with a different group.  A going away dinner was the first planned event, a few students were leaving.  Their employers had placed in them in WECL to learn English, but a change in their job assignment was sending them to Russia.  There was true emotion felt in their departure, a strong bond between students and teachers had been built.

These photos are from the school, the going away dinner party, and it started my focus to capture images of different foods and signs as I traveled.  Qingdao and Tsingtao are pronounced the same, but are very different.  Qingdao is the home for Tsingtao.

The school


Students, faculty and guest (me) with Sam

They cared...

Great group

Great students

Funny group




tsingtao beer

Fruit flavor something

This was good too!

Great, great group