Wednesday, May 29, 2013

pkoch9999 shared an Instagram photo with you

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"#nofilter #beijing "Go Dragons!""
(taken at International School of Beijing)

The Instagram Team

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chinese TV Anchor - Devon

Devon's end-of-year Chinese project

Check out his video on YouTube:

Sent from the iPad of
Paul R. Koch


So, word is in.  We are re-Jinged until July 2014.  It has been a bit of a long and tough limbo: uncertain future, re-enroll in school or search for the next one in Va, what to tell my baseball players, to apply or not to apply(and interview) for jobs back home, who is gonna pay for our flights this summer, the continuous conversation starting with, "So, you guys know yet?"   

A bit of clarity came in the form of an official email last week extending Joanne's posting here.  The kids are happy about it, Joanne and I are happy too, our parents sound happy for us.  

I will return to the states in about a week and make my way to Brockton, Massachusetts to work as an assistant coach for the Brockton Rox in the Futures League.   Granny will help see the boys through to the end of the school year here at ISB.  They will spend a couple of weeks exploring Guangzhou, then they will all come stateside for home leave.  I am pumped about the summer - the blue skies, American flags, and Take me out to the Ballgame in ballparks around New England, checking in on life and friends in Virginia, seeing Meemaw, Pop Pop and the rest of the family.  

I'm equally pumped though that we will have one more year to explore China.  The general consensus of people we associate with here is that three years is a good length of time.  One or two is too short, and the bad air makes more than three or four a bit scary.   For most of the first year, we tried to figure it out - how to speak, where and what to eat, how to hail a cab, driving.  The second year, with a tiny bit of a Chineducation, was a year of exploring: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guilin, Yangshuo, Thailand, Singapore, Seoul and of course, this past weekend's very special trip to the mountains near Tianjin where Joanne ran the marathon on the Great Wall.  

We have a lot of friends moving on from Beijing this summer, a common trend in this expat lifestyle, but for us, now would be too quick.  Too quick to say goodbye to Li Xiu Lan, too quick to break ties with the baseball programs,  too quick to pack our life into boxes, too quick to explain to the kids that they are starting a new school - again.

Now, with a fixed end date, we turn our attention to our China "bucket list", we also have time to thoughtfully plan our next move, the boys can get their goodbye.  A year from now I will be writing my final "Dugahole" post, surely with mixed feelings, but man, I am really glad I don't have to write it now.  We've still got things to do, so we throw out one more offer to any of our back-home people - come and do them with us.

Sent from the iPad of 
Paul R. Koch