The trip consists of a mixed group of lecturers and Napier students, spending three weeks with the students in Zhengzhou to teach them the basics of SQL and web design. In addition to gaining lots of teaching experience and working on our Mandarin, we will also have the opportunity to explore the city and surrounding province. A trip to the Great Wall is planned for when we arrive in Beijing and we’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Terracotta Army. We plan to document our trip and create a lasting legacy by combining our super awesome computing talents and putting together a kickass blog. The group (three girls, three guys) already seems to have a nice dynamic and we’ve been bouncing ideas off each other like crazy in our Facebook group.
On a more personal note, I’m looking forward to learning more about one of the oldest civilisations in the world and immersing myself in Chinese culture. I hear from friends that China is like nothing I have ever experienced before, so I’m already thinking about the difficulties I will face as an obvious foreigner in a country where English isn’t spoken widely and the written language is based on an entirely different alphabet from the one I know. But hey, I love a challenge!
However, the trip isn’t free and so we are now in the process of fundraising. It’s been suggested that I take orders for cheap goods and bring lots of fake handbags etc in a spare suitcase, but I’d much rather take a more traditional (and less dodgy) route to fund the trip. My daughter has made me promise to bring her back lots of Hello Kitty stuff so there won’t be any room to bring stuff back for the Del Boys. Sorry folks, you’ll have to find another supplier!
On a more serious note though, I am open to funding suggestions should the initial application fail. If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know!