Robert and Annemarie Barnes work at the Wuxi International School as Pre-K teachers. Along with teaching their students, meeting neighbors, and exploring Wuxi, they are also raising two children, Althea and Robert ages 4 and 2. Annmarie teaches a small class of 7 students all with varied language skills. “Since I work at an International School, I have students from Korea, Taiwan, America, and China. They all have different language abilities, ranging from only English with no Chinese at all, to only Chinese with almost no English at all.” Still she says that she loves teaching in an international school and it is a profession that she could see herself in for a long time. Robert and Annemarie seem to be making Wuxi their own through biking adventures and taking their children to dance in the public square, as well as befriending their neighbors and enjoying homemade dumplings. Annemarie cites the language barrier as her greatest challenge, as well as her never ending struggle with WiFi. Despite the challenges, the entire family continues to power on and learn Chinese as well as they can. The children are learning in the Wuxi International School and Robert and Annemarie are learning as they go. The Barnes’ are truly a family immersing themselves in China and loving it.
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There’s a lot you can tell about a car by its license plate. In general, the character represents the province where the car is registered, while the first letter represents the city of registration. Many abbreviations are straightforward, others represent historical toponyms (湘 for Hunan, 粤 for Guangdong, etc.). The provincial capital is always A, with the second largest city as B, and so on. A high proportion of cars with A 00 after their province character are black Audi A6s with tinted windows, the car of choice for high up officials. License plates with red characters at the beginning denote cars belonging to the armed forces: WJ is for the military police, 空 is for the airforce, 海 is for the navy, and other characters represent specific army bases. Police cars have a red 警 after them.
The Chinese and the Americans aren’t so different: just like in the US, you can get vanity plates. Lucky numbers 8, 6, and 9 are popular, especially in strings. Some people also go the dirtbag route and get the number 250 on their plates, a Chinese insult implying lesser mental capabilities.
Please read Andrew Ebanks’s submission to this photo essay contest where he uses a fun acronym, “QLAPPp” to catalog his experience in China. Vote if you find it amusing!“The beauty of the QLAPPp is that it’s something that, once you learn it, it stays with you forever.”Welcome to the first ever AYC program Video and Photo-Essay competition, open exclusively to AYC 2013-2014 participants. We are looking for videos and photo-essays that demonstrate what it feels like to uproot from a western life, and completely be emerged in a new culture and lifestyle. The video or photo-essay should demonstrate the story of coming to China as a foreigner or a teacher, and/ or something meaningful you have learned in your time in China. The video should be between 3-5 minutes, while the photo-essay should be between 500-1000 words with at least 5 photos. Prizes: The first place prize for both competitions is a free trip to Hong Kong, including free roundtrip airfare, 5 day hotel stay and a free ticket to Hong Kong Disney! There will be 3 second place winners for both competitions, and the prize is a free trip to Yunnan including free round trip airfare, and a free 5 day hotel stay in Yunnan. There will be 5 third place winners for both competitions, and the prize is a free 500 kuai high speed railway ticket. Prize packages include 3 star hotels, 2nd class train tickets, and economy class plane tickets. Please read the Terms and Conditions area to find out contest details and guidelines. Feel free to submit any questions that you may have about the contest to the official teachers AYC page, or email them to email@example.com. Submissions are open until March 1st at midnight, and voting will open on March 3rd. Any entries submitted after that will not be entered into the competition. We can’t wait to start receiving your content! Good luck to everyone! Best, AYC 2013-2014 team
Be sure to check out Andrew Ebanks’ contest entry!