A vacation from the pollution jungle.

This past weekend was a wonderful weekend. Angela mentioned that we had a great Thanksgiving dinner with our friends John and Catherine on Thursday. Friday we had a day of professional development that was quite enjoyable. We began the day with some interesting presentations from teachers who work at the Pudong campus (the other side of the river). I have befriended the music staff already from the Pudong campus as they play in a community jazz band with me. They were also in attendance, so I had the opportunity to talk with them. I attended a great session on the effects of moving to a new country, the depression that can follow a few months abroad, and some good techniques to deal with it. This session was intended to help students, but our friend Catherine (the guidance counselor) also aimed it towards new teachers. I went totally for my own benefit, and it was a nice session. I will add that Angela gave a session on technology that received raving reviews from her lower school faculty. At the end of our day, we had a happy hour on the field of the school. That’s right folks, beers wine and games. It was awesome.

Later that night I traveled to a town called Moganshan. Moganshan is a town in the mountains, about 3-3.5 hours away from Shanghai. Angela had plans to attend a Thanksgiving party, as did I, but she encouraged me to take the trip. Our friend Catherine organized it, and her husband John went, along with five other teachers. I was tired on Friday night, and not sure I would be up for the weekend away, but it was well worth it. We arrived around 11pm in the town of Moganshan, which is still a little rustic for being a semi-affluent seeming place. There was not a soul in sight. Luckily Catherine knew right where to go, and we soon found our accommodations for the night. We stayed in a hostel-like dormitory with communal bathrooms. A very rustic place, but very cozy as well. I read my book for a while before falling asleep. The next morning I awoke to this:



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Ritz Carlton Shanghai

Teacher friends in Iowa, be jealous.   I know we’ve been spoiled these past 2 weeks, but last night was just too good to be true: complementary cocktail hour at the Ritz Carlton in Pudong.  Of course I’ve never stayed or visited any Ritz Carlton hotel and considering the stores surrounding it were Cartier, Tiffany, and Armani, I knew that this would be a treat!   Our bus arrived first and we were escorted to the elevators.  After stopping at the 30th or so floor we were shuffled into another elevator where we arrived to the Flair Bar on the 58th Floor!  Here we were eye to eye with the top of the Pearl Tower.   Take a look at the photos!  It was really amazing….of course it was really hot, but because we were the 1st group to arrive it was nice to have lots of space to take pictures etc.   Also this high up, you really see the pollution.  Either way it was beautiful!


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