Thursday, May 18, 2017

BEIJING BOUND, thanks to so many...!

AAAAAnd, I have my VISA! BEIJING bound so so soon! Indeed, it's been a "forbidden city" for me, 
until NOW! Just to clarify "WHY China?" (I have to focus on getting ready to skedaddle.) The position is to be a curriculum developer for the company's new on-line TESOL program, along with editing content and training, plus teaching a couple hours a day. Hoping/planning to turn it into a long-term gig, working remotely as on-line teaching spreads across Asia. 
Perfect outlet for art, stories and music, so China's the place for me next!
I want to post first about what it took to get my Z Visa to work in China.  This is fairly new for the company I'm going to work for, so I had to figure it out on my own.  If you find yourself in the same position, I want to highly recommend, after you've obtained your official documents from the company you're going to work for (they should be able to walk you through what to do up to that point), 
contact these people:
They're in the same building, on the 3rd floor up from the Chinese consulate.  
Everyone knows them and they KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING!  Even better, they're so nice!
The place was crazy busy and crowded pretty much all day 
(they're open regular business hours), but no one ever seemed annoyed or impatient.
Get your visa photos taken THERE, but don't expect to look pretty.  
You want to get the visa, right? Trust the photographer!

The biggest problem I've faced, over the past few months, 
is that no one seems to no anything.  It's cost me time, money and stress...
Nearly everyone I've talked to, even within the consulate (once I finally found it--
the Utah based company, recommended by my former college, 
sent me to the wrong address. The photos they took of me were wrong, too.  
Place to avoid: The Travel Broker in SLC, UT.), 
had differing opinions on what was required and what wasn't! 
Maybe there's someone in Utah who can actually be helpful, 
but, no one I've met.  So, again--go with this agency, Oasis China Visa Services.  
There may be others, but this one I know. I have several of their cards.
The guy drove me to and from my rental car and the Raegan National Airport is 
something of a philosopher, who's designing purses and listens to classical music.
A gentle, calming influence for a crazy trip.
Heaven bless the Charles family, for being an oasis and home-away-from home when I'm
in Maryland.  Surrounded by bird song, foliage and a lake, each day dawned with a sense of optimism 
and ended in peace. Having been there herself, Mel Charles is the one who 
gave me a heads up for what to expect at the consulate, and that my destination was NOT 
the embassy on International Place, but nearer to the National Cathedral.  
Thank you, Mel--for so many things!!
Oh, and here are some photos to help YOU find the consulate, or Visa Section of the Chinese Embassy, too.  
I had to pull over and stop an honest, kind-looking stranger on the street, who walked me to the place.  
He was one of the many earth-angels who helped me make it through this rushed, last-minute DC trip, successfully.
Here's the front of the Visa Section of the Chinese Embassy building: 
2201 Wisconsin Avenue, N. W., Suite 110,
Washington, D. C.  20007
No one there has time to answer a phone call or email, so don't try. Or try.  Go for it.  Things change.
But, that's why I'm not including a phone number for the embassy.  
Google maps on your phone will take you right to this place, but 
you won't see it if you don't know what you're looking for.
They are only available Monday through Friday, 
10 am to 3 pm, with an hour lunch break from 12:30 to 2:30 pm.  
You take a number and wait. Bring something to do to keep yourself sane.  
Here's what the front doors look like--you'll see this when you're right in front, not before.
 And here's a clue that you're almost there:
The guy on the street, who helped me, said he works in this building and that he knew there was some kind of consulate in it, because he'd been asked for directions on the street before!  He's that kinda guy--just nice.  He even told me where to park to avoid cost.  Just about 3 lights up from here, and around the corner, 
there's a recreation center and ball park with free parking--most days. 
Here's what you'll see across the street.  If you don't find anyone as nice and accommodating to direct you, like I did.
Speaking of awesome, helpful-for-no-good-reason people, the security guards inside, other agencies' workers, 
and this courier all made the obtaining of my visa possible:
Ron Green shared his number in line with me, and coached me through what to say and what not to say, which got me in that day, at least a couple hours early, and maybe even kept me from having to come back the following day.  
Everyone knows Ron, and he's usually smiling--not accustomed to being photographed!
Anyway, I have to pack and tackle my "to do" list.  
It was staggering before this 4000+ mile side trip, and even more so now.  
Lizzy's happily being a doggie with Chewie--who's moving away on the 26th.  
Big changes coming, which neither or them know anything about.  But, Lizzy loves and is beloved by
The doggie daycare people and pooches who frequent there. 
I'll cry. She'll get filthy dirty.
All's is well.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Just a Few more "T"s to cross and "I"s to dot until I have my Visa...

...to work in Beijing.  I'm excited, nervous, and so many things...  
The chance to combine art, writing stories, songs, and lesson plans, is too good to pass up, 
even though I'll have to leave my adored Lizzy behind for a year. πŸ˜“
The new job will primarily involve developing lessons and editing, 
helping with the making of videos for the school, 
as well as teaching on line a couple of hours a day. 
Toward that end, they asked me to design a lesson for upcoming Mothers' Day.
Using a story and music from an idea that's been in my head for years,
here are some excerpts:
The only human images are photos, like this one of my son and I.  
He's the very best thing that ever happened to me.
Every living thing has babies, and every baby has a mom.
From there it's easy to pull from critters which follow the alphabet, like "A" is for Ant:
and "B" is for Butterfly:
"C" is for many things, but of course, what's cuter than a Cow and her Calf?
...and so forth and so on, including the letter "E"
and "F."  Did you know a Fish baby's a "Fry?"  Starts me wondering about some of the names we choose for food, hmm?
Naturally, we want to focus on what mom's do for us: 
Mommy cleans with me.
Mommy reads with me.
Mommy teaches me and holds me when I’m sad.
Mommy takes care of, plays with, and sings to me.
Mommy makes me happy!
Each of us loves our mom because she loves us.