We had a rough start. We spent about 32 hours in transit and about 50 hours on 2 hours of sleep. Shane was late to pick us up (so we spent two hours at the Jinan train station), but it wasn't his fault. My email confirmation telling him what time we'd be in didn't go through.
After that mess, things got a lot better very quickly. And I don't want to speak too soon, but:
So far we've met Shane (our liaison), Billy (our school's director/principle), SaRi (I'm not sure, but he's worked at ALWAYS for four years and he drove us around), and Lisa (class coordinator). They are all fabulously friendly and warm. And their English is great. I think they'll be great to work for/with.
We also bought Chinese phones today. Just little Nokia bricks for now. Maybe we'll upgrade later, maybe not. We have Chinese SIM cards, so it'll be a cinch. My phone number is 86-130-6502-5110.
Oh, and if you want to send us something, you send it to the school:
Bayi Always School
c/o Casey Whitlatch and Ian Carter
No. 82-13 Jingshiyi Road
Off to bed for me. We are headed to the school to be oriented at 9am. Good night!