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.