[A]s a newly elected school board member, I have an opportunity to visit China. HEB ISD teaches and offers world languages, which includes Mandarin Chinese for our students. Both governments provide an ongoing opportunity for educators to learn and study how education is done in China, called the Chinese Bridge Delegation.

Fred’s China Trip 2015

School and board personnel can apply for grant money to be a part of this yearly delegation. The opportunity allows for 11 days tours of China, opening mutual exchange of information, and cultural perspective on the study of both countries public education systems.

The HEB China Team 2015, Fred, Lisa & DebbeHEBISD applies for this grant each year and sends administrators, principals and school board members to participate in this informative trip. I am going with two others. Our CFO of School Finance Director, Debbe Roesler, and our Director of our Buinger CTE Academy, Lisa Karr.

Seeing how I have two, and soon to be three kids in our language programs, and how Karen and I hosted a Chinese student at the beginning of this past summer, I am honor with the opportunity to go. As delegates, we meet up with more than 50 other public school representative from all over the United States to visit and tour different Providences of China.

Fred's dress for the 2015 China TripOur trip began Sunday afternoon, November 8th, 2015. The tour of China consists of several plane rides, 14 time zones, and crossing the International Date Line. That’s code for it take a full day of travel to get there. We left Dallas/Fort Worth airport at 3:20p CST, flew to Los Angeles for a layover, and then connected with Air China for a 13 hour international flight to Beijing. If all goes well, we’ll arrive around 6a on Tuesday, November 10th, Beijing time.

The China Adventure Begins

Since these are long flights, I have been advised to dress in my most comfortable clothes as I will basically wearing these items for over two straight days. I chose to wear my HEB ISD green t-shirt, showing off our “Wonderful World of HEB” and our tagline that “Everyone Make a Difference.” To add my own little flare and be easily recognized, I slipped on my lime green Crocs!

[tweet “Off to discover the cost of tea in China and study education, China style!”]

We landed in Los Angeles International airport without event. Claimed our bags, then walked over to the International terminal to check-in. I found a currency exchange shop and converted my first set of US dollars into yuáns. To understand activities, and to break this into bite size blog entries, I will report a single day with times per post. The first two days will be in Central Standard Time, then I will switch to the 14 hour different, Beijing time.

After a fairly length security check, from which I had to show my passport about five times, we have finally made it through security. Our flight leaves at 2:50a CST. Come join my journey! This is my school board trip to China.

Have you ever been to China or Beijing? What would you like to see when visiting China? What are your thoughts on our mutual governments Bridge Delegation program?

Images from Fred’s China Trip 11/08/2015, Click here to read Day #2.