China Update: Early May

 The days are flying by in a blur of so much “stuff” to do! This time last week, we were moving into our new apartment. In the past week, we’ve been to the house every day (including multiple trips today!) to haul our remaining belongings to the apartment and get things sparkling-clean for the new owners. I thought we had gotten rid of so much (we have), but we still have so much stuff left! The downsizing will continue from the apartment. Sigh.

Of course, we are doing all this while still working as teachers at our current school. The school year’s not over yet, people! 23 more school days!


We got an estimate for shipping our remaining stuff to Suzhou. Keep in mind, we are not shipping ANY furniture. The school gives us just over $2000 toward our shipping expenses, but our estimate clocked in at a whopping $4155! Wonder what it would be if we moved furniture–sheesh! It is mainly clothes, shoes, a desktop computer, my kids’ Wii and all their Skylanders and Wii games, about 50 DVDs, a shoebox-sized box of small action figures, and my boys’ bikes.

So obviously, we are not going to use a professional shipping company. We’d be better off spending $4155 on all new stuff when we get to China. We are now looking into mailing our packages or just carrying a lot of luggage on the plane. We are allowed to use our shipping allowance for mail and extra baggage fees.

Work Visa:

Almost finished! After months of paperwork and waiting on government entities to do their thing, we are finally ready to apply. Once the school does their part, we’ll contact the China Visa Service Center to help us with the application. We used them for our authentication of marriage and birth certificates, and they were easy to use and efficient. It cost us $348, but it was worth it to avoid the hassle of two trips to Houston.

Library Intern:

This actually happened in March, but I wasn’t allowed to announce it until it was all official. The Headmaster of Dulwich College approved a new library intern for the 2014-2015 school year. I interviewed five local candidates, all of whom were fantastic, and sent my feedback to the Junior School Librarian and the HM. They interviewed and hired an excellent candidate who is a current library school student. I always say that “you can’t train enthusiasm,” and that is the biggest thing I look for in a candidate. The intern we got has enthusiasm in spades. I know I will enjoy working with her, and we will learn much from each other!

My Children As Dulwich College Students:

I sent my sons’ applications to The College. I had to scan 16 different documents (some with multiple pages) between my two boys–an 8-page application, school records, passports, birth certificates, shot records, dyslexia paperwork. It took me two days to get it all done and sent in. Both my boys still have to do an online skills assessment before they are officially admitted, so we’ll be working with their current school to get that done.

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