Saturday, August 11, 2012

I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus, rollin' down Highway 41 (The Allman Brothers)

A collage of Wuxi
The Wozza and SWMBO roadshow is dusting itself off and gearing up again, a little sooner than we expected.

As the whanau knows, I returned to Nu Zild in April with the idea of settling down in our beautiful house, close to friends and family. Sadly though, I've not been successful in finding a job in the Hawke's Bay so I have needed to look offshore again. The fresh air is fantastic but it don't pay the bills!

The job market in Nu Zild is pretty dire right now for me. I naively thought that I could always go back into the classroom and teach some English classes if necessary but there has not been one job of that ilk advertised in the Hawke's Bay schools since I returned. Amazing! Unbelievable!I've been doing some day relief at the local college but that's it.

A sub-section of the Nu Zild branch of the whanau is (understandably) miffed, but it looks like our travelling days are not yet at an end. Adam, for one, is excited by the prospect as he'll be close by in Japan for the year on his JET OE.

Thanks to one of the whanau I was contacted earlier in the year about a position in China. I've been negotiating a deal for a while and have subsequently accepted the role of Academic Director for the Avion Training Centre of Wuxi (pronounced Woo/she).

The training centre is an American owned concern that caters for Chinese male university graduates in their early twenties who wish to become airline pilots. To do so they need to have a certain level of English (this according to ICAO - the international civil aviation organisation), in particular, English that is used by pilots and air traffic control around the world. That's where the Avion Training Centre comes in. It provides ten week courses that prepare and test the students on their readiness to move to their next level of pilot training in America. And that's where I come in - I'll be leading and promoting the organisation in China for my American bosses (I'll write about this some more on my Baggy Trousers blog).

SWMBO had a temporary contract at Hastings Hospital and I've made it clear to my employers that it's crucial she gets some employment in Wuxi as well. They have a few things lined up for her as I understand it.

SWMBO and I will be leaving Hawke's Bay at the end of August to take on this new challenge, as soon as visas are organised.

While we're away our house, pets and land will be getting pampered by our house sitter. We have an amazing lady coming to stay in the place for the year. We have been extremely lucky to find Susan thanks to our great next door neighbours who recommended her. She's a horse expert and will be looking after SWMBO's horses and the rest of our menagerie (fifteen lambs have swelled numbers a tad as I'll reveal in the next post).

Where and what is Wuxi? These questions and more are answered at but if you can't be bothered - the main details are: Wuxi dates back 3000 years; is a city of over 6 million people in the Jiangsu province; is very close to Shanghai (population 17 million plus) and has become a technology hub of late.

Some shots from the interweb give a flavour of the town.

Here's a map that shows Jiangsu province and Wuxi's proximity to Shanghai -

More, lots more, to come (I hope). Should make for some interesting blog posts in the coming year if the Chinese interweb authorities don't object!

Love and peace - Wozza

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