Well, I wish I could go on and on about the exciting things I’ve done in the past week or so… but really it’s just been about the beach. Last Thursday was the Future School BBQ/Beach Party and tomorrow I’m returning to the beach to even out my tan/burn.
The BBQ/Beach Party last week was a blast. The day was spent at a small beach just off Binhai Rd. I think it was called Golden Beach, but I’m not certain. We spent the day playing volleyball and drinking – two activities I’m not too shabby at.
 The Future 5 (aka My School) group.  Volleyball in full swing – my team took it in the end. Yeah, that’s braggin’, whaddaya gunna do about it?  Tim and Rebecca.  Nat and Liz warming up for the three-legged race.
The day also featured some excellent games (sack and 3-legged races) that I completely avoided. After the Future School-provided beer ran out we settled for purchasing our own (cold) beers at a local shop and continued the party. The day went long but continued to be a riot. Most of the other future school folks went home on the provided bus at about 5, but a good chunk of us lao wai stuck around until the evening before piling into taxis and heading for some dinner.
 The sack race.  The three-legged race.  The Beach.  The Crew.
 Annie, a woman from my school, making the trip to the beach edible.  As my father used to say in t-ball practice – ‘focus on the ball’ – right.  Myself, Justin, Natalie and Tim.
Dinner was great and we capped it off with some karaoke. The best part about going to dinner with a group bigger than five is you’re often given your own room and reserve the ability to make a complete ass of yourself just to the people you know best. After watching Justin show the side of the restaurant what he had for dinner, Mandy and I managed to find our way into a shared taxi back to Jinzhou and we left the rest of the group to their destination of JDs – a dance club that I really had no energy to visit after a day in the sun.
 Zach and Sarah – taken shortly before Zach had to leave due to an oozing wound suffered earlier in a heroic vollyball maneuver.  ‘Like a virgin… touched for the very first time…’ – Madonna never looked so good. [3 & 4] There are few men that look as graceful as Justin when they’ve been drinking.
Well – back to the beach tomorrow with some of the same group, guess I should get some shut-eye. Not really anything new or exciting to report, just been doing the same old same old. I started a new A7 class, with only two or three students, and it’s pretty good, but other than that, nothing too new to say.
I guess the biggest thing that’s on the horizon is my birthday and Mandy’s departure. I finally got up the courage to tackle the “how we going to leave it?” topic last night… and surprisingly it didn’t end with either of us ejecting ourselves from the apartment. We didn’t come to any clear resolve as to how we’re going to leave things when she heads for Guizhou in a week and a half. The problem is thus: she leaves a week from Saturday and doesn’t return until a few days before I head down to Shanghai (and in-turn off to Australia). We both knew this moment was coming, but both of us are a little unsure as how to best deal with it… and as it’s 1:30 a.m., there’s a beach waiting for me tomorrow and a bed waiting for me now… I’m just going to put it off a bit longer.