Sunday, November 13, 2011

Busted

Well today was a new adventure in the life of an international "criminal" expat. Ok so I have not been perfect: Indonesia asked me to support the Policeman's Benevolent Association (gee the Capital Letters don't spell BRIBE??),contributed to the New Zealand local government fund ( 100K in a 70 K. zone on New Year's Eve) but today was a first.
I received a visit from the Taiwan Environmental Agency on a complaint about air pollution. Ok so every now and then I really need to turn on the exhaust fan but that was not it today. Today it was reported that I was polluting the air with wood smoke while BBQing the Thanksgiving Turkey and Ham. Never mind that the fish cooked in oil in the local homes can drop you with the strong odor or that the guy downstairs feeds us lots of second hand smoke through the air vents or that grandpa's ghost money can give the whole of Taipei eye infections from the pollution. No it is just my hickory smoked turkey that is offensive. ........but they never turn down a chance to eat the smoked turkey or ham. Ah well. Have I mention durians and stinky tofu yet?


Oh the young lady let me off...thank you officer!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Link to You Tubes relating to our China trip

These are YouTube Links for some photo of Lijiang, the city we visited first on our China trip. The mountain in back is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. These are not my shots but they will be coming. Just copy and paste these into your browser. Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdPLJH3vFf8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9T8bKvcU14&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myauZJAQT5Y&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmWipzGeX8g&feature=related

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Our Itinerary at The Linden Center , Dali China

The Hoehn Party at
The Linden Centre
April, 2011

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”–St. Augustine -

The Linden Centre is happy to welcome the Hoehn party of Bill, Carol, Patricia, Marty, Gary, Jaami, Kendra, Ken, and Deb. Your travels have brought you to an area renowned for its beauty and ethnic diversity. Our footsteps will follow the paths taken by Arab and Tibetan traders as they carried tea, silks and religious beliefs through the verdant mountain valleys. We will explore villages little-changed since the local sojourns of Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, and will hear the echoes of Flying Tigers that helped the Dali region survive WWII unscathed.

The Linden Centre, started by Jeanee (Quan) and Brian Linden in 2008, is nestled in the southeast Himalayan foothills of Yunnan-'South of the Clouds'. The Centre offers guests an unprecedented immersion in a timeless China while basking in the comforts of a carefully restored national heritage estate (protected at the same level as the Great Wall).

A leading merchant family in the old Southwest Silk Road town of Xizhou built this famous complex that houses the Centre. It is one of the largest complexes of its kind and, because of its use as a military installation after 1949, has remained in pristine condition, unaffected by the ravages of the Cultural Revolution (the Red Guards were unable to enter due to the military presence).

"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of the living." - Miriam Beard

Tour Description and Itinerary:
DAY 1: Today marks your first evening at the Linden Centre. After check-in and coffee, Brian and Jeanee will personally guide you through the Centre complex. The restoration of the Centre has garnered numerous international and national accolades for its attention to detail and sustainability. We will share many of the challenges facing a foreign couple in taking over a national relic. (The Lindens are among the first foreigners to take over a national relic in China).
After dinner, retire to the Linden Centre coffee and wine bar to relax, and to try the local spirits of plum and orchid wine.
Day 2: Every morning at the Linden Centre starts with a fresh Western and Chinese style breakfast. Enjoy a plate of toast made of our home baked bread, or bite into a delicious omelet prepared in front of you.

This morning we will take you on a guided tour of Xizhou, including the Village Square, and the morning market where the famous Xizhou pizza is baked outside on a daily basis. We will then take a short stroll to the village elder’s home as he recalls a lifetime of memories, and reveals his passion for painting and cultural preservation. Some of the old homes still contain Song and Ming Dynasty antiques which often can be purchased directly from the home’s owner.

After lunch at the Centre we will take horse carts to the Tongue of the Lake and surrounding villages to enjoy the scenery and people.
Tonight, a delicious dinner prepared by the Centre’s renowned chefs. To help us digest, we will share tea in the first courtyard while being entertained by Xizhou’s Dongjing music group. This music is considered to be a “Living Fossil” and dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The term Dongjing is an abbreviation of the title of the Taoist scripture Dadong Xianjing- a text that has been the basis of exclusive religious societies oriented around the worship of the Taoist deity Wenchang.
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DAY 3: This morning , we will take a short car ride to peak into in a small village kindergarten to observe and interact with the young students. Don't be surprised if you are dragged into a impromptu basketball game or local dance!
For lunch we travel up the foot of the mountain for a selection of local foods in a courtyard setting.

After lunch, we will visit an ancient courtyard in the village of Zhoucheng to trace their renowned tie-dye process. Family guilds have been creating these woven treasures for centuries, and we observe all aspects of this creative tradition. The craftsmen believe that the indigo leaf, which produces the deep blues used in their textiles, is therapeutic, and we will be able to taste some of these teas while trying our hand at the tying process. We will also meander the old stone lanes and visit their famous Dragon Spring Temple and afternoon market (which is nestled beneath two massive, centuries-old Banyan trees). Dinner is back at the Centre and can be followed by a movie in a screening room or board games with the rest of the Linden team in the cafe.

Day 4: After a filling breakfast, we will travel north to the Peach Ferry Port and board a 100 ft boat for a journey across Lake Er to the sleepy fishing village of Shuanglang. This village clings to the rocky shores and has become the second home for many famous Chinese entertainers and artists.

A local lunch will be served along the shores and overlooking Nan Chao Island, with its gleaming white cultural palace and Guan Yin statue.

After returning to the Centre, we will have a Yong Chuan master come and give a talk and demonstration and have tea together to talk about his philosophy and life.

Dinner at the Centre

Day 5: Travel to Dali Old town after breakfast to see this ancient walled city. Dali has wonderful boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and traditional craftsmen. You will have free time to wander the streets to look in the shops, look in on a local craftsmen making fresh tofu. Peruse the English language bookstore, rest in a café or walk on the old wall. Visit the old Catholic Church, in the shape of a tradition temple, that has been serving parishioners for over 170 years.

After lunch at the German Bakery, we will ride the chairlift up the Cangshan Mountain for breathtaking views of the Dali valley. We will take a short walk along the Path of the Clouds, situated at 8500 feet in altitude.

Dinner will be held inside a newly built courtyard that exclusively serves vegetarian dishes.

Day 6: After breakfast we will assist you with check out and also travel arrangements to the Dali airport for your 12:00 o’clock departure to Kunming.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

International SchoolTeaching Info

For all my colleagues who have had it with Wisconsin’s abuse of teachers.

Here is information to get you started looking for international schools. Do not be afraid to look or apply. You may never know how good it can get being out of the USA and, more positively, living in a new country. The rewards for courage and a willingness to take a chance are huge and long lasting. It is absolutely not like public school teaching which can be both good and challenging. But the bottom line is that with few exceptions, teachers are respected and compensated accordingly. There are tax breaks from US and other monetary “goodies” that are unheard of in USA .Be prepared to work and work hard because most of the rest of the world has extremely high expectations for their students’ success and are actively engaged in their children’s education process.

If you want to contact me, use FACEBOOK message (only), and I will send you email to use as well as a SKYPE contact and I will get back to you. If you got this message, feel free to pass it on to others who you trust.

I am sad for you and am sick at heart for what is going on.

Yours,

Bill Hoehn



http://www.iss.edu/
International School Services


http://www.carneysandoe.com/
Carney Sandoe and Associates

http://www.search-associates.com/main.html
Search Associates


http://www.uni.edu/placement/overseas/
University of Northern Iowa overseas placement office….this was my entre but Taipei American School no longer attends the fair.

Western Area School Council accreditation for west coast AND asia schools
http://www.acswasc.org/pdf_general/WASC_Directory_latest.pdf


http://www.internationalschoolsreview.com/
a site that has information about how to apply, how to interview, and reports on schools. ($39)/year

http://www.ibo.org/
website for the International Baccalaureate organization that also has an employment page.


http://www.tas.edu.tw/page.cfm?p=476
a link to our school’s prospective faculty page


IASAS Schools

Taipei American School
Jakarta International School
Singapore American School
International School, Bangkok
International School, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
International School , Manila

Please check their websites for employment information.


Find a country you like, search for the international school in the area, check religious based schools in the area, go to the school websites, fill out application. GET A SKYPE ACCOUNT WITH VIDEO…..most interviews are done over SKYPE, at least the initial ones.

Stay out of EU….it will cost you money to work there (with a few exceptions).

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Why our Chinese New Year Trip was cold, wet, and stormy

Our trip to Mataking Island off the SE coast of Borneo was not up to our usual standards partially because of the weather....huge tides and tidal surges, extremely rough seas all the time and COLD temp for Malaysia. Carol and Gary only got to snorkel 3 times during the week and even then it was not good. The tropical cyclone Yasi which hammered Australia and New Zealand was the responsible factor. Follow this link and see just how big the system was. HUGE!!!!!!!

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/floodrelief/how-cyclone-yasi-compares-around-the-world/story-fn7ik2te-1225998762870


More later Oh and ask Carol about the Komodo dragon on the island?????

Love

Bill and Carol

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Year of the Rabbit

 
Posted by Picasa

CNY

It is that magical time of year in Taiwan known as Chinese New Year....when children and all employees look for red envelopes filled with money, when every house and business is cleaned item by item and trash fills the street to make way for the new. On Dihua Street in downtown Taipei, stalls lined 6 city blocks and vendors sell candies, meats, specialty food items, auspicious decorations, give away tons of samples, yell and scream, dress up in animal suits (it is the year of the rabbit) and in general make merry. The crowd is so dense that one need not walk...just let the crowd push you along and hope you do not trip. One of our less traveled teachers at school had to leave because she thought people were touching her. OF COURSE they are and you are touching them with full body contact over 100% of your body but all in the cause of holiday treats. So what...get over it! We absolutely just literally dove in and went with the flow. You can not cross @ 90 degrees, instead you move diagonally across the stream just like with ocean current. But everyone is having a great time and the exotica of the scene is intoxicating. All the music talks about being with your family, eating fish for prosperity, hoping for good luck, lots of money, good health and a good life with lots of cymbals and loud horns and general mayhem noise. The fireworks will start in our park soon. So everyone, enjoy the slide show on the right and if you want to go slower, click on the picture and it will take you to the Picassa sight where our pictures are located.

We are off to Borneo and Mataking Island for diving and snorkeling, massages and evening cocktails, cookies, and euchre card games. Love to all of you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!