In a matter of weeks Sandy and I will board a plane at JFK Airport in New York. From there we will say good-bye to our friends and family and to our native soil. Seventeen to twenty hours later we will say hello to new friends--that will become our family--and our feet will stand on foreign soil. We will be Expats in China.
In the meantime we have been neck deep in the immense undertaking of whittling down our household goods and personal belongings, donating liberally to the Salvation Army, taking care of financial and medical issues, physicals, shots, changing our residency, procuring renewed passports and working visas, filling out enough Chinese documentation to fill a portfolio, and working through all the emotions that separating from our children, our friends, and our family invokes. All the afore mentioned is just a drop from the giant bucket of details we have to empty before we leave. Have you ever tried to reduce your possessions to two suitcases each? As contradictory as it might sound, we have gone about it non-stop and with energy and eagerness.
The back story. . .
Our journey to vocational residency in China actually began in 2005 after I returned from a backpacking trip through China. Upon returning to the States we had the good fortune of spending hundreds of hours with Chinese students pursuing advanced degrees here in the U.S. Then in 2009 Sandy and I spent a month in China lecturing at two different universities. For reasons I could never fully explain--from day one--our connection and bond with Asians has been almost supernatural.
The sudden news that the Shorey's were moving halfway around the world came as a great surprise (shock) to many of our friends (not so much with our kids). Not that our friends had no idea of our interest in China, but the fact that we are leaving NOW! Until recently our plans were to stay in the U.S. for another five years (until I was 60 years old). However, China no longer allows foreign workers to stay beyond their sixtieth birthday. So all of a sudden the time IS NOW. If all goes well we will spend the greater part of the next five years abroad. What a gift!
Offers from two different Chinese Universities were ours to chose between, but because of our longstanding relationship with SIAS University--where we have built relationships with students and foreign faculty--we chose to invest our lives there (google SIAS). As is the case with nearly every first year foreign teacher we will be teaching oral English. This educational environment allows us to spend a lot of time in dialogue with our students and to build trusting relationships. From all we have been able to gather, Oral English is one of the students favorite courses.
The intention of this blog is to chronicle our adventures in China for posterities sake. Hopefully, it will also provide another link for us to remain in contact with our friends and family. Who knows, Maybe some of you will chose to join us!
Enjoying the Adventure,