Monday, April 19, 2010

First Winter : Zhangjiakou City 2002

Snow started early that year.  I remember, the first snow started before Halloween.  We loved every bit of it since it was our first snow.  Being born and raised in a tropical country, snow is something we all have been dreaming of.  We had endless nights dreaming of what we're going to be doing when we touch snow.  Snowball fight, building a snowman, or even making a snow cone were some of the plans, we, as Filipinos would dream of doing. According to my friends in Zhangjiakou City, it was the worst winter they had in ten years.  Yes, you got it right -- our first snow was one of the coldest that city ever experienced.  We had temperatures as low as -25 C degrees, but we enjoyed every bit of it.
EAM (5 years old) enjoying her first snow
KIM (2) loving every bit of it.
KIM looking like a doll, doesn't she?
I'm freezing .... seriously, freezing --- bbbrrrr
All photos were taken outside our flat.  We lived inside the campus of No. 6 Zhangjiakou Foreign Language School.  I was working as a foreign teacher then.  Looking back, I would love to take my girls back in this city.  The city of our so many "firsts" in a foreign land.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, China

It was in 2002 when I took a job as a spoken English teacher for Hebei province, China.  We were a group consists of teachers from different countries (US, UK, Philippines, Canada, Australia).  Our group was managed by University of Maryland, USA.  We were all assigned in the different cities of Hebei Province, north of China.  I was assigned in Zhangjiakou City.  

Zhangjiakou, situated in northwest Hebei Province, covers an area of 36, 947 square kilometers. It connects the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region to the north with neighboring Datong, a coal base, to the west and with Beijing, 199 kilometers to the southeast. It administers 13 counties and regions with a population of 4.3 million.   


EAM was only 5 years old, while KIM was only 2 when we started our lives in China.  Zhangjiakou is an old city in the mountains.  The weather is cool -- cold in the winters (of course it was our first winter).  Zhangjiakou boasts for its different parts of the Great Wall of China.  

The city is a big fan of soccer.  In China, they call it football (British English).  Their square speaks so much about the city's passion for the sport.  

As early as 2002, the entire China has been preparing for the 2008 Olympics.  Every square (city's center) in the China has its countdown til the 2008 Olympics.  (See left side of the picture).

My kids have always been pet lovers.  In this picture, EAM (5) and KIM(2)  was trying to check the puppies.  China is known for its pet street or pet markets.