stormy1x2: Ruthie babushka dog (Default)
[personal profile] stormy1x2
So it's been one year since our group of 6 teachers became the first foreigners designated, sent and approved by the foreign experts bureau to do teacher training in Kashgar. I've never posted pics from that trip or even mentioned any real stories from it because it was a very conflicting trip. On one hand, the locals were lovely to us, we had beautiful accommodations, the food was out of this world amazing, and the teachers were so dedicated and hard-working - both our team, and the ones we came to train.

On the other hand, the restrictions placed on us, the bombings, the riots and the military presence were unnerving, and outright scary at times. There was dealing with the fact that we had been 'mis-communicated' about certain things, and there was no real compassion given from sides we needed it from. We were scared, and treated at times like royalty, and at times like prisoners (though pampered ones), and all the time we were told it was for safety, safety, safety and the vagueness of it all terrified two of our teachers.

A lot of the fear could have been removed if someone - ANYONE - had just sat us down and been honest with us. Not towing any special line, or keeping things from us because they 'thought' we couldn't handle the knowledge of what was happening around us. It is true that our worst enemies are our own imaginations. My fellow group-leader and I didn't feel as worried (ignorance, I think) but we tried to help by staging planning sessions at night that were intense, ranging anywhere from 2-4 hours in length, poking and prodding each and every idea until we all felt we were ready for the next day. Taking control of the only thing we could, I guess, and trying to make it as perfect as possible.

It worked - I mean, it must have. Our reviews were great, trainee approval high, and we got tears at the end of it - not to mention an award and a letter from the government. So despite how growl-y we got, we obviously hid it well from our students. :)

I don't regret that trip for anything - if nothing else, it made us all a little world-wiser, and we will know what to expect in the future. These are all positive things. If we have the chance, I most certainly WILL go back. But it took a while before I could work out that trip in my head. I suspect my fellow teachers felt the same way - I see several of them all the time and we never have those 'do remember that time in Xinjian' stories... none of them have posted pics online, and a few say he/she hasn't even told her family about the trip. It was eye-opening.

It was also a beautiful place with the warmest people and so many interesting things to both see and do and I've decided to focus on the positive side and start sharing some pics from that trip. I have a 250-page diary filled from that journey that I am slowly typing up and maybe one day I'll share that too.

Pictures to come when I get home tonight.  They are taking FOREVER to upload to photobucket.



February 2013

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