Living in China, Rachel and Tomas Stenback

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Photo Albums

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Philippines, Jan-Feb 2009
During the school’s winter break we went to the Philippines for a Church of Sweden conference. We also traveled to several islands to see more of this friendly country. Amongst other places, we visited the so-called Chocolate Hills, saw dolphins, and stood eye-to-eye with the world’s smallest primate, the endangered tarsiers, before returning home to China via Hong Kong.
Tibet, January 2009
During the school’s winter vacation we spent ten days in fascinating Tibet. We visited several Buddhist monasteries, met many local people and saw Mount Qomolangma (Mt. Everest).
Karst mountains and rice terraces in northern Guangxi, October 2008-10-16
During the National Day Holiday we traveled north in our new province, to Yangshuo and Ping’an. The mountains there were just as beautiful as we had seen on pictures, and hiking amongst golden rice terraces in the hills around Ping’an is now one of our top China experiences.
Longzhou Flood, October 2008
This fall Longzhou was hit by the worst flood since 1986. The water rose over 10 meters, and the water rushed into the city and on campus. Students on the bottom floors were evacuated and were forced to sleep in the classrooms.
China earthquake, May 2008
On May 12 China a major earthquake, 8.0, hit China. Although the epicenter was in Sichuan Province, our school was also hit, since Chengxian is very close to the Gansu-Sichuan border.
Xinjiang Province, October 2007
During the October break we traveled west to Xinjiang Province. There we visited the cities of Urumqi and Kasghar, and we spent one very cold but spectacular night in a yurt at Heavenly Lake. Xinjiang sometimes felt more like the Middle East than China, with all of its minority people with their different appearance, clothing, customs, and language.
Yunnan, February 2007
During our winter break we spent over two weeks in Yunnan Province in southwestern China. We visited the modern, clean city of Kunming, along with the two old, cute cities of Dali and Lijiang. We also hiked Tiger Leaping Gorge. It was on this Yunnan trip that we saw the most amazing nature we have seen in China so far!
Chengdu, February 2007
We were in Chengdu a week in February for Amity Foundation's Winter Conference. While we were there we visited the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base.
Christmas on Hainan Island, China
Together with our friends and colleagues from Sweden, Gunnel and Per-Martin Hjort, we went to “The Hawaii of China” to celebrate Christmas. We didn’t see any snow, but we did see many Christmas trees and a few Santas.
Hiking around Chengxian fall 2006
Chengxian lies in a valley and the green mountains around the city entice us to take long hikes in the beautiful nature.
Chengxian, October 2006
In October Tomas was in a soccer tournament; we were invited home to a Chinese family; we attended our students’ Halloween party, and we visited Gunnel and Per-Martin Hjort in Lanzhou.
Chengxian, September 2006
In September we began teaching, and we started to feel more at home in Chengxian. Here are several pictures of the city and the surrounding mountains. We spent one memorable day in the older parts of the city.
Chengxian, August 2006
We came to Gansu and Chengxian in the end of August. Here we found a lively city which is unique from other areas we had previously seen in China. Chengxian is in the southeastern part of Gansu, and it is surrounded by lovely green mountains. Here you can see our first photos, which show some of our first impressions of the city which is to be our home for the next two years.
Trip to Beijing and Xi'an October 2006
We had a week off from school because of the Chinese National Day, so we used that time to travel to Beijing and Xi'an. It was an exciting experience, and we were able to see a completely different side of China than what we have experienced in Chengxian. On our trip we visited many famous sites, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Terracotta Army.
Nanjing, August 2006
We were in Nanjing for four days for a conference. There we met all of the teachers from the Amity Foundation. Since Amity has their headquarters in Nanjing, we also visited some of their projects, including the printing press where they print Chinese Bibles.
Hangzhou, August 2006
From Huzhou we took an excursion to the nearby, famous city of Hangzhou, which, in a famous Chinese expression, is described as “Paradise on Earth.” It was quite beautiful indeed. But what surprised us is how that which Chinese people seem to find most beautiful is man-made nature. This famous West Lake is man-made, and the surrounding nature is anything but natural! But it was quite lovely and it was fun to have seen it.
Huzhou, August 2006
In Huzhou we met about 20 Amity new colleagues, and together we studied Chinese language, culture, and food, and we learned tips on teaching in China.
Macao, July 2006
From Zhuhai we traveled to Macau for a weekend. We wanted to see if the guidebooks are correct in their descriptions of Macau. They call it “China’s Las Vegas” and we had also read it would be like traveling to Portugal. Macau was a fun getaway weekend, but it did not feel glamorous, nor did it feel like going to Portugal (except for some unique Portuguese-style buildings).
Zhu Hai, July 2006
In 40° C heat we worked to adjust to life in China. Zhu Hai is just north of Hong Kong in mainland China.
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