Monday, February 3, 2020

8 Photographs of Wuhan, China: A Free Resource

I wasn’t planning on writing another blog post about China but I’ve been obsessively reading and watching the news about the coronavirus that began in Wuhan, China.  Because, you see, I used to live and work in Wuhan – in the early 1990s, I spent 2 years teaching at a university there. 

It was a fantastic experience and I fell in love with China as a result.  My original contract was just for 1 year but I extended it because I wasn’t ready to leave.  A Chinese family kind of adopted me: They often invited me over for dinner or to play mahjongg, and really helped me adjust to living in a radically different culture.  I also became very friendly with a Chinese couple who were close to me in age; the wife was an English teacher and was my first Chinese-language teacher.  They moved to the United Kingdom and I lost touch with them for a time but in an amazing coincidence, we all live in Arizona now and reconnected when I moved to that state.

When I was in Wuhan, I explored the city on my own, which gave me the chance to speak Chinese because with my students, I felt obligated to speak English so they could practice their English.  Every Saturday morning, the university provided a mini-bus for its foreign teachers because going to the downtown shopping district on public transportation was time-consuming and not particularly easy.  After a few months, when I felt a little more confident with my Chinese language skills, I gathered up my courage and took a solo trip to a small town called Yueyang that was famous for a certain type of tea.  I also explored Wuhan on my own, visiting Buddhist and Daoist temples as well as other places of historical significance such as the site, now a museum, where in 1911, soldiers rose up and were the catalyst for the end of the Qing Dynasty.  The university also organized excursions for us foreign teachers to places of interest in Hubei Province.  As a result, I got to take a boat trip down the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges and visited the Daoist temple complex at Wudang Mountain. 

I give all this background because what is happening now in Wuhan is truly heart-breaking.  To see the city and its people in a lockdown, fearing for their lives because of a new and deadly disease, is terrible.

Download a free resource of photographs of Wuhan and Hubei Province in China & find links to resources by The ESL Nexus for a TpT Sale | The ESL Nexus
Find this free resource HERE; source: The ESL Nexus
There isn’t anything I can do from the U.S. to help.  But I decided that I could share my memories of a happier time in Wuhan and Hubei Province so I created a free resource of some photographs that I took when I was working there.  You can use the photos if you are discussing the coronavirus with your students or if you are teaching about China for Chinese New Year.  The photos were digitized from the original slides last summer so the quality may not be quite what you are used to.  On the product description page, there are some suggestions for how you can use the photos with your students. 

Anyway, I greatly enjoyed my time in Wuhan and I wanted to offer some positive images to counteract the negative picture people now have of the city.  I hope you like my resource and find it useful.

If you need resources for Chinese New Year or China in general, please click HERE.  You might also like my Gift Guide for Chinese New Year, which recommends products you can buy for your students and yourself.