Wednesday, August 24

Now on Twitter!

Follow me @HongKongTESOL for the latest TESOL jobs all over the world!

Friday, July 15

Thinking About Doing What We Did?!

Then I'd encourage you to check out this e-book on Amazon-- Teach English Abroad: Travel the World Without Spending a Dime. The book can be delivered wirelessly on your Amazon Kindle via Whispernet or downloaded onto your computer. Use the Kindle App for your iPad or iPhone and you are set to go. It's only $2.99 and well worth it.

The book is arranged in an orderly timeline, taking you from deciding whether teaching English in a foreign country is a good idea for you all the way to dealing with culture shock after you arrive. The middle is full of resources for job offers, questions to consider before signing your overseas contract, and TESOL training information. Note the testimonials from other teachers, progress report short-cuts, checklists before you leave, and warning flags regarding illegitimate job offers. This edition includes a jam-packed addendum of Children's Games to use in your classroom-- an excellent way to start creating lesson plans! Happy travels!

"We live in a world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if we only seek them with our eyes open." Jawaharial Nehru

Monday, July 26

Hi, everyone!

This is my swan song, if you will... the last post from me. I left Hong Kong Friday, July 16th after a great week of farewell dinners and get togethers with friends and teachers. We had the most amazing year in Asia, and I only hope we haven't peaked too soon... I don't see myself spending Easter in Japan or jetting to Malaysian beaches in the middle of winter again anytime soon. Time for Real Life to begin.

I arrived home and was greeted by my aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandmother, my immediate family, and my sweet friends Anne and Drew. It was such a surprise to see them all. My house seems so big and the food is so tasty! It is great to be home, but I know I will always have a special place in my heart for Hong Kong! Immediately upon returning home, my family set off for Turks and Caicos-- a quick flight from Atlanta but feels a thousand miles away-- definitely recommend to anyone looking for a Carribean getaway!




Alas, I must keep this post short as its creeping towards midnight and I am not finished packing. Tomorrow bright and early I set off on a girls-only road trip to New Orleans to see my childhood friend Katie, who is getting married in just a few months! It will be my first time in the Big Easy, so I am pretty excited about a new city and old friends.

For those wondering, Tripp is still in Hong Kong for another month to show off the city to friends and family. The blog is coming to a close, but check back for pictures from his adventures as they come. This has been the most fun way to keep in touch with those from home and document our travels. I am humbled at the sheer number of hits we've been recieving daily. Tripp and I love to check and look at the unbelievable number of people that take the time to read our day to day bits. It's also awesome to see the different parts of the world our viewers come from. Thanks for reading and happy travels!

Over and out, Sara Beth
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Wednesday, July 14

Goodbye Card

My morning and afternoon K3 classes surprised me with a massive handmade goodbye card! Each colored a construction paper heart signed with their English name and they painstakingly each wrote out an English phrase-- things like "miss you", "love you", "take care", and "lucky"(?)

It was such a sweet gesture and so unexpected! Of course I burst into tears when the two teachers presented it to me. It is extraordinarily detailed and took them quite alot of time to create it. The local teachers said while the students worked on the "top secret project" they had one student "keep watch" by the door in case I walked by.

I will have to carefully transport it on the plane-- this is better than any souvenier I could buy! (I don't know what's going on with my hair in the pic below..)
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Mavis Lee, me and the card, Miss Wong (my principal), and Jenny Yuen.
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With my afternoon K3 class.
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Monday, July 12

Its crazy that its time to say goodbye, but thats what we had to do on Saturday. We got together with some friends, to say goodbye to "Miss Sara"

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Few more from the beach. . .

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I cant believe this, its been a year. . . We meet these families a year ago, and on saturday we had our last playgroup together. Heres a few photos
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Saturday, July 10

Heres a few from my "Moms-Morning" class. Yeah thats right, Tripp+10 Moms+10 Kids= chaos/playgroup
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playgroup at YWCA

Its the end of the year, so I finally got around to getting some photos with the kids.

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Friday, July 9

SwAp PaRtY!

Last night Liza and I hosted a Swap Party at our flat! These things are genius. I LOVE rummaging through sales and finding bargain, so this was right up my alley!! I first read about these in Real Simple magazine (I can tell I am growing up when things like this excite me) and they had an e-vite template for an exchange party so I decided to do one myself. (Are e-vites tacky? Hope not.)
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This was loads of fun, mainly because it required NO work on the hostessing end! In fact, I was in workout shorts and had no food or drinks to offer to Tracy when she arrived first, bags of once loved items in hand. The whole vibe was so casual and it was alot of fun getting together. I even had Thai curry takeaway delivered for myself while we were all hanging out.

Since some of my friends are staying in HK and others were trying to lighten the suitcase weight load, we had no rules for this party. People brough as little or as much as they liked! (No rules about swapping; if you wanted it, it's yours!) This was a fun, free way to get "new" things and give those staying some items we couldn't take home.

Some of you know EXACTLY how small our flat is, (if you don't, its about 480 sq ft) so to make room for friends AND all our old junk, we took the mattress of my bed and stuck it in Liza's room, leaving my IKEA bed frame to serve as a table. I took down my fairy lights to put in the pile, and used the hooks the lights were strung from to display our old clothes (Mel got my long gown I wore in the Chinese wedding! So glad that pretty dress gets a third life!)

I'd like to chalk this up as a massive success. In the course of a year, we've accumulated things we can't take home-- a little oven, microwave, bookshelf, fan, lamps, flowers and the coordinating pots, some dishes and glasses, sleeping bags and tents and all kinds of books and random gifts and clothes we are tired of, etc etc etc. One persons trash is another person's treasure, as they say, so it was great to comb through everyone else's book collection and stock up for the long flight I am taking alone!

Highly recommend doing this between groups of friends for a green and economical "shopping spree"! The best part is, all of our leftover items are going to some Filipina domestic helpers Tripp has gotten close to over the course of the year. These women work tirelessly for very little pay, living in the flats with their employer, raising their employer's childen, doing all the cooking and cleaning, with only Sunday to rest-- and most of them have husbands and their own children living back in the Phillipines they get to see maybe once every two years! I hope they will be able to enjoy the books and goodies we can't cart home. A win-win situation!!

Thursday, July 8

Camping Under the Stars by the Sea

We sure missed going to Tripp's lakehouse for the 4th of July!
We needed to celebrate US independence the Hong Kong way-- what better way than a weekend with King's men (and women) and a Kiwi! We went camping on Tai Long Wan Beach. We did this at the beginning of the year for Moon Festival, and it was such a success we wanted to come full circle and do it again! This time we did not do the hot hot hot long long steep sweaty hike, but instead hired a boat to take us to the shore.
Tripp's got some more beautiful photos of the beach on his camera-- this place was paradise!
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It was hard to believe we were still in Hong Kong!
We all slept under the stars because it was so humid! The sea was clear and the megayachts were out in full force.

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The beach is very isolated-- accessible only by boat or helicopter. But there are two local places to eat since the smores we made only satisfied so much!
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A great way to see the other side of Hong Kong!

Monday, July 5

Oldies but Goodies!

From my roommate Liza's blog ( I am collecting photos from this amazing year to start putting together a huge culumative photo album, so Hong Kongers, send them my way! Wanted to share these two: one is from Thanksgiving at the Peak Lookout, and the other is from the opening ceremony of the East Asian Games in Hong Kong in December-- indescribable firework display!
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Happy Handover!

Thursday was a public holiday recognizing the British handing over Hong Kong to the Chinese in '97. Liza and I sought out TC2 in Mong Kok, a gem of a coffee shop in the midst of what Guinness calls the most densely populated neighborhood in the world. In the middle of the putrid smells and beating sun, the red sliding doors beckon you into the air conditioned room with handmade jewelry for sale and a loft with local photographers art on the walls. Fish and chips with green curry sauce, a seafood soup, and hazelnut latte for $56 HKD! Grossly mismatched flavors, I know, but you can't beat it. (160 Portland St for those in town) Saved half my meal to eat the following day at school, and then Saturday took Tripp before playgroup. So yeah... three TC2 lunches in a row.
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That afternoon Tripp and I had been planning on doing some knockoff shopping in the mainland, but it was the hottest day of the year thus far, so we headed to Pui O beach instead. This was our first time to this remote beach surrounded by cliffs and jungle, and it certainly did not feel like you are in Hong Kong. It took a solid two hours to reach but was well worth it! We trekked around with wild water buffalo! We found a beachfront restaurant I had heard great reviews about and it was filled with Westerners enjoying the long beach and relaxing from the stress of the city. Even our waitresses were Western! That's an absolute first! I realize my blog posts are solely about meals, but what better way to really understand a place, right?

Ooh La La! was amazing-- beautiful views, right on the beach, eating great food al fresco. An Australian guy manning the grill was brushing BBQ sauce and onions onto burgers, so Tripp and I picked those and got hummus and veggies for an appetizer. I can't explain how rarely I get my favorite food (hummus) over here, so just believe me when I tell you I was pumped. Actually I am pretty sure I tell you when I get it, so you DO know! :D

[I have to be straight with my dear readers and let you know I Google-imaged these photos for this post. I am sure you can tell it's not Tripp behind the camera because he would have done a much better job capturing the beauty of Pui O. Tripp tutored early Thursday morning (on a holiday! he is dedicated!) and I didn't grab the camera. My bad.]




The aforementioned mainland shopping happened Friday. Tripp and I went to Shenzhen straight from school. Once again the immigration officers gave Tripp the quadruple passport/his face/computer check, but we made it through China Customs. We grabbed dinner at the Shangri-La sports bar with plenty of time to shop for handbags, electronics, sunglasses, and all those other little souveniers I wanted to pick up before I leave Asia.


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I cannot believe how fast this year has flown. It's unreal to think I won't be going back to Shenzhen anytime soon, and that two weeks from today, I will be in Turks and Caicos with my family!