Thanks a million to everyone who gave advice on our China dilemma, especially Emma, Nicole, Sabrina, and Meagan. Our decision was made a lot easier by the fact that the school in Xi'an found other teachers in the area before we could make up our mind. So we've decided to go to Qinhuangdao! We've already told the school and they're working on arranging everything for us. Of course, now we're entering into the bureaucratic nightmare that is China. Apparently we need to show proof of our diplomas, which are in storage in Santa Monica. Andrew is trying to bribe his brother into climbing into the attic and going through the dozens of unmarked boxes we have looking for two slips of paper. We might have to re-order them from Cal, but that would be very expensive and supposedly takes three months, which is too late. We also have to do a bunch of medical stuff, which we already did in November but doesn't count for China.
I've been reading the blog of the couple who are there now, and everything I've read re-affirms our decision to go there. Also, they have pictures posted of them holding baby pandas. Perhaps not entirely ecologically sound, but unbelievably cute and something I'm definitely going to do. Andrew says that if we can hold pandas the whole year in China will be well worth it even if we end up in a Chinese prison for owning a Lonely Planet guide that doesn't include Taiwan as a part of China. The trick is getting to the pandas before the police get to us... :)
We've also been offered positions at a French summer camp from May 16-June 18, which definitely helps us in terms of finances. I'm hoping we'll get to do this Italian summer camp from June to July before we head to Beijing around July 8. Still a lot of details to work out, and if for some reason we can't get our diplomas, we might not be able to go, so we're keeping our options open and our fingers crossed!