Experience in China

My experince in China

In this blog, I want to share with you my experience in China. My feelings of being away from family, teaching in a foreign country, and forming new friendships.
  • In front of President Lewis' home

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Guilin

This summer, I only had a week for vacation before starting my new job. The place that we chose to go was Guilin, heaven on Earth. If you are ever contemplating on whether to visit China or not, then I say yes and go to Guilin. It is the most beautiful place ever. Here are some of the moments that we captured.

Train Trip: 26 hours
We decided to splurge and get the soft sleepers. It was totally worth the extra money. If you are going to travel by train in China for more than 12 hours, then buy soft sleepers.

I was on the top bunk of the soft sleeper compartment. If you travel anywhere in China for more than 10 hours, I highly recommend the soft sleeper.

I was on the top bunk of the soft sleeper compartment. If you travel anywhere in China for more than 10 hours, I highly recommend the soft sleeper.

Ryan likes to try taking self-portraits of himself

Ryan likes to try taking self-portraits of himself

These were some of the girls from the Nanjing branch. They were also heading to Guilin for a vacation. They however only got the hard sleepers.

These were some of the girls from the Nanjing branch. They were also heading to Guilin for a vacation. They however only got the hard sleepers.

These were the other two guys in the same sleeping compartment as us. The guy in the black shirt snores like crazy.

These were the other two guys in the same sleeping compartment as us. The guy in the black shirt snores like crazy.

view from the train window

view from the train window

 

Day One: Explore Guilin and hike Seven Stars

The park near the hostel that we stayed at.

The park near the hostel that we stayed at.

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I also love bridges

I also love bridges

It was nice to see clear blue sky for a change instead of the city smog.

It was nice to see clear blue sky for a change instead of the city smog.

I love pathway pictures.

I love pathway pictures.

We found a little teashop while exploring and decided to stop and get some tea and fruit.

We found a little teashop while exploring and decided to stop and get some tea and fruit.

This woman was playing the zither. It was like we were having our own personal concert.

This woman was playing the zither. It was like we were having our own personal concert.

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If you notice the pavilion on the top of the hill there, that is where we hiked up to.

If you notice the pavilion on the top of the hill there, that is where we hiked up to.

The view of the river near the hostel that we stayed at

The view of the river near the hostel that we stayed at

By the time that we got to the top, I was freaking tired. It wasn't that far, but in extreme heat it seem far. By the time that we got back to the hostel, I was bright red with a bad sunburn.

By the time that we got to the top, I was freaking tired. It wasn’t that far, but in extreme heat it seem far. By the time that we got back to the hostel, I was bright red with a bad sunburn.

The top view of Guilin city

The top view of Guilin city

I love how green it was

I love how green it was

A bridge that Ryan noticed on the way back down the hill

A bridge that Ryan noticed on the way back down the hill

These are called the Twin Pagodas. (Sorry for the bad quality, I took this one with my phone)

These are called the Twin Pagodas. (Sorry for the bad quality, I took this one with my phone)

Day two: Cruising down the River

Getting on the raft on the Li River

Getting on the raft on the Li River

This was our tour guide

This was our tour guide

This was our raft driver for the Li River. We were on a motorized raft that could sit 4-5 people.

This was our raft driver for the Li River. We were on a motorized raft that could sit 4-5 people.

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Trying to get proof that both of us were there together ;)

Trying to get proof that both of us were there together 😉

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Along the way we saw the area that they used as the image for the back of the 20 yuan.

Along the way we saw the area that they used as the image for the back of the 20 yuan.

A waterfall!

A waterfall!

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We were on the raft with a father and daughter who were from Europe (I put Europe because I can't remember what country they said they were from, it might have been Holland)

We were on the raft with a father and daughter who were from Europe (I put Europe because I can’t remember what country they said they were from, it might have been Holland)

Nine-Horse Hill

Nine-Horse Hill

On the way back, it started raining.

On the way back, it started raining.

The bus ride between the two raft cruises (Li River and Yulong River)

The bus ride between the two raft cruises (Li River and Yulong River)

Yulong River

Yulong River

This guy is a cormorant fisherman

This guy is a cormorant fisherman

Untying the cormorant so it can go fishing

Untying the cormorant so it can go fishing

Taking the fish out of the mouth of the cormorant. (The cormorant's neck is tied so that it can't swallow the fish)

Taking the fish out of the mouth of the cormorant.
(The cormorant’s neck is tied so that it can’t swallow the fish)

Petting the water buffalo

Petting the water buffalo

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We decided to be a sucker and do one of their photo shots.

We decided to be a sucker and do one of their photo shots.

The quality is not very good because it is a scan version of a lamented picture.

The quality is not very good because it is a scan version of a laminated picture.

It's a great place to get wedding photos.

It’s a great place to get wedding photos.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

The water felt so good and you could actually see through it, even if you can't tell by the picture.

The water felt so good and you could actually see through it, even if you can’t tell by the picture.

Our driver for the real bamboo raft on the Yulong River

Our driver for the real bamboo raft on the Yulong River

We had a little dip that we went down

We had a little dip that we went down

Carefully on the front edge of the raft.

Carefully on the front edge of the raft.

After our cruise down Yulong River, we took a bus to Yangshuo

After our cruise down Yulong River, we took a bus to Yangshuo

The shopping street of Yangshuo called West Street

The shopping street of Yangshuo called West Street

So many different vendors. I would love to go back and do some more shopping.

So many different vendors. I would love to go back and do some more shopping.

Day three: Longji Rice Terraces

I had to get Ryan in his natural element (camera in hand)

I had to get Ryan in his natural element (camera in hand)

We went with a small group of people (There were 6 of us all together: a guy from England, a girl from Ireland, a girl from Australia, and two others from America) I am showing this picture because it shows our group hiking up on the hill. I forgot to get a group picture)

We went with a small group of people (There were 6 of us all together: a guy from England, a girl from Ireland, a girl from Australia, and two others from America)
I am showing this picture because it shows our group hiking up on the hill. I forgot to get a group picture)

A worker carrying some wood back to the village.

A worker carrying some wood back to the village.

Ryan was so happy to see birds

Ryan was so happy to see birds

A view from one of the village on the hill

A view from one of the village on the hill

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A guy spitting out food for his ducklings

A guy spitting out food for his ducklings

I don't like spiders, but I love this picture that Ryan captured of the spider web

I don’t like spiders, but I love this picture that Ryan captured of the spider web

Getting up close and personal with the rice plants

Getting up close and personal with the rice plants

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I know I only ended up showing two bird pictures, but Ryan actually took alot more

I know I only ended up showing two bird pictures, but Ryan actually took alot more

I love pathways

I love pathways

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At the end of the day, we went back down to the main village and found a teashop while we waited for the rest of our group since we hiked a different direction. At the teashop was an adorable girl with her grandmother. The teashop was owned by the little girl's father.

At the end of the day, we went back down to the main village and found a teashop while we waited for the rest of our group since we hiked a different direction.
At the teashop was an adorable girl with her grandmother. The teashop was owned by the little girl’s father.

This is one of the women from the Yao ethnicity, who are famous for having very long hair.

This is one of the women from the Yao ethnicity, who are famous for having very long hair.

She was nice enough to unwrap her hair so we could take a picture. This is the part her hair that she has not cut.

She was nice enough to unwrap her hair so we could take a picture. This is the part her hair that she has not cut.

She is wrapping the additional hair that she has cut before back with her other hair, so she can wrap it back up onto her head.

She is wrapping the additional hair that she has cut before back with her other hair, so she can wrap it back up onto her head.

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Day four: Chilling out close to town, so we can take the train later that day

The front lobby of the hostel The staff was so friendly and nice

The front lobby of the hostel
The staff was so friendly and nice

Chilling out in the hostel

Chilling out in the hostel

You can tell I took this one with my phone and not Ryan's nice camera

You can tell I took this one with my phone and not Ryan’s nice camera

One of Ryan's professors would take self-portraits in the bathroom mirror whenever he went on vacation. Now, it seems that Ryan wants to try it too.

One of Ryan’s professors would take self-portraits in the bathroom mirror whenever he went on vacation. Now, it seems that Ryan wants to try it too.

If you ever see these steamers in China, most likely they are selling baozi which are one of my favorite Chinese food.

If you ever see these steamers in China, most likely they are selling baozi which are one of my favorite Chinese food.

This is a cicada, which is found in most parts of China. You will usually found them in tree making a very loud sound that sounds more like electric alarm. The interesting thing about them is that some Chinese people believe that it is a symbol of rebirth. However, sometimes you will find these bugs cooked on a plate.

This is a cicada, which is found in most parts of China. You will usually found them in tree making a very loud sound that sounds more like electric alarm. The interesting thing about them is that some Chinese people believe that it is a symbol of rebirth. However, sometimes you will find these bugs cooked on a plate.

I love this guy's hat

I love this guy’s hat

I think these women were practicing for a performance.

I think these women were practicing for a performance.

While walking around the lake, we came across this shop where some people were practicing traditional Chinese instruments.

While walking around the lake, we came across this shop where some people were practicing traditional Chinese instruments.

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I think it a tai chi lesson

I think it a tai chi lesson

She was doing a very beautiful dance with the fans. That's the great thing about walking around parks in China. You'll usually found people dancing or doing tai chi, especially in the morning.

She was doing a very beautiful dance with the fans.
That’s the great thing about walking around parks in China. You’ll usually found people dancing or doing tai chi, especially in the morning.

I extremely enjoyed our trip to Guilin, if though I got sunburnt on the first day. I just wished we had more time there. It was so beautiful. Definitely a most see!

Kindergarten Dance

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One day after teaching my lesson, I noticed that some of the classes were doing their morning exercise dances with matching clothes in the afternoon. I then noticed that the kindergarten leaders were taking notes while watching them. These kids were getting a grade on their dance. It amazed me that the kids needed to grade on this, but it was fun to watch them. They were so cute!

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Tutoring on Saturday Morning

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These are the two children that I tutor on Saturday morning. I teach English classes at the kindergarten during the week. But, these two are in the younger class, so they are not in one of my English classes. However, their mothers really want them to learn English, so they come over on Saturday mornings and I teach a little bit. The first week, I taught them how to greet someone. Last week, I taught them colors and they got to paint. Yesterday, I taught them numbers and they made “I spy” bottles with foam numbers and rice.

Since I am not suppose to take on jobs outside of my contract, I do not have them pay. I just ask them to bring some kind of snack or food. These kids are so cute, how could I refuse to say no.

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The first week, they brought a variety of different kinds of snacks and it was great. Now they bring some homemade Chinese food, which is good. But, not the greatest. They bring some weird dishes. For example, Image

But, I love teaching the children. And it gives me something to do since Ryan goes to Xinyi on Saturday to teach a class. He doesn’t get back until late afternoon.

Tutoring and Cooking Lessons

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On Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening, this boy comes over with his mother for a tutoring session. His English name is Harry. I first met him when I taught an English class at the kindergarten during the summer. Now I continue to teach him more English words and sentences. In exchange, his mother Qian Yabin teaching me how to cook the local Chinese dishes. This has been an interesting experience since she does not speak much English at all and I don’t know how to speak Chinese. But, we have been able to communicate alright with simple words and pointing. And when we need to really communicate with each other we use http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php (which is a translation website). It’s amazing because you can type words, sentences, or even whole paragraphs and it will translate it for you in both languages.

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Here’s Harry after I taught him about shapes. I use a whiteboard to write the new words and then I do some activities with him to learn the new words. One of the activities that I did with him this evening was tangrams. He using tangrams to make pictures using shapes. Also, after each lesson, I give him a snack. When the lesson is over, his mother teaches how to cook.

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Here is Qian Yabin showing me how to cook Chinese food in my kitchen. It has been fun learning how to cook the local dishes. She has shown me many different dishes so far. She is very kind and patient. These cooking lessons are more of me just watching her cook while I take notes of what she is doing. Here are few of the dishes that she has taught me.

ImageBeef with potatoes -and- Eggs with tomatoes

ImagePig ears with peppers -and- Asparagus sprouts with peppers

ImageRadish with egg soup, green beans with peppers, and fish with scallions

ImageChinese vermicelli with peppers

Kung Pao Chicken

She also taught me a couple of other dishes, but the pictures didn’t turn out. The thing that I have noticed is that she likes to cook with peppers. And, of course, garlic since our city is the top producer for garlic.

Grand Opening

When a store opens in America, you will find an advertisement in the newspaper, a big sign in front of the store, and some discounts. In China, it is totally different. When a store opens here, it is a big deal. There’s loud music, big inflatable decorations, a stage with performers, and firecrackers (lots of firecrackers!).

The gifts that we received for helping with the store.

A crowded store

Lots of shoppers

Want to buy some soap?

Dutiful employees waiting for customers

They check your bags, so you don't worry while you shop.

The shopping mall owners

The crowd waiting for the store to open

10 for good luck!

They love the inflatable arches

If the thousands of firecrackers weren't enough, they also had loud cannons

firecrackers

My mother

May 15, 1945 - December 22,2010

Before coming the China, I decided to start a blog. I began using blogsite, but found out when I arrived in China, that I would not be able to access it. That is when I switched over to wordpress for my blog. However, I finally was able to access the other blog and copy what I had written down. This is the post that I was able to save that I would like to share again on this blog…

My mother, Shirley Ann Waters, passed away on an early dark and cold morning in the ICU. It happened so fast that I still can’t believe that she’s gone. There are times that I think that I caused her the pain that she went through. When I was born early, my mother ended up having complications where she lost a lot of blood. She ended up needing to have a blood transfusion, which saved her life at the time. However, she contracted Hepatitis C through this blood transfusion. It never caused her problems until a year ago, when she found out that she had cirrhosis of the liver. The doctors told her that it has been dormant in her body until a year ago. After many tests and procedures, she was put on the list for a liver transplant. That’s when I decided to moved down in October so that I could be with her.

When I first got there, she was still moving around and doing things, but slowly.  While growing up, I remember her being a bubbly little lady who would never stop. She would just keep doing things for other people all the time, never taking the time to think about herself. Even in her last months, when she couldn’t get around very easily, she wanted to still do things for others. She got frustrated at times because she wanted to do so much more, but she was restricted to her bed those last months. It seemed that once I moved down there in October, more doctor appointments were being scheduled. She use to only have to go see the doctor once every couple weeks. By December, she had a couple of doctor appointments scheduled every week. It seemed like we were always there at the hospital for something, especially to do a blood test. She told me that she felt like a pin cushion. And it didn’t help that she had veins that liked to play hide-and-seek.

It was a Friday morning that we went in to the clinic because the doctor wanted her to get some fluids since a previous blood test was showing that she was dehydrated. They told us that it should only take a couple of hours. The nurses at the clinic tried to find a proper vein, so they could put the IV in for the fluid. About 3 or 4 of them tried, but unfortunately they weren’t able to find a good enough vein with the equipment that they had. That’s when they told me that I needed to take her to the ER, so they could give her the fluid that she needed. That’s when it all seemed to go downhill from there. We arrived at the ER and with their equipment, they were able to find a vein to insert the IV. After waiting a few hours of getting fluid, she was still showing that she was dehydrated. That’s when I found out that they wanted to admit her to the ICU to observe her overnight. They then continued to give her more fluids to try to rehydrate her. Unfortunately, the extra fluids were causing her to swell up more and cause her more pain. After a couple of days in the ICU, they were able to find a balance of fluid for her body.

On Monday, we got the good news that she was being moved out of the ICU into a patient room. We were so excited because we thought that meant she might be able to go home before Christmas. That evening, they started her on a medicine that was suppose to help strengthen her blood. This had to be changed every 10-15 minutes for a new round, which was sounded by a loud beep. They didn’t start this cycle until 12 at night. Usually my mom is a light sleeper, so I was surprised when all of the loud beeping was happening, she didn’t wake up. I should have known then that something was definitely wrong. The next morning she woke up just like any other morning but her speech was getting slurred. But, after taking her morning medicine, she threw up. That’s when a lot of commotion started. The doctor came in and asked Ryan and I to follow him in the hall to talk. He sat us down and started to explain that on top of her liver failure, her kidneys were starting to fail dramatically and that she needed to go back to ICU. He also recommended that we call family members. To realize the seriousness of the situation, I asked the doctor if I needed to have my older brother Les come from California. I will not forget that moment when the doctor nodded yes. It was like someone kicked me in the stomach. I knew then for sure that my mom was not going to be going home for Christmas, but joining my dad and sister in heaven. One of the hardest phone calls that I had to make was to call my brothers and tell them that they need to come say goodbye to our mom in the hospital. Mike rushed right over. When I tracked down David at work, he left immediately and Les jumped on the soonest plane. Minutes seemed like hours when watching for Les to arrive. Sitting around the bed, hoping that Les gets there in time to say goodbye. I felt a strong presence of my Father and sister there waiting to take Mom back home with them. So, when I saw Les walk down the hallway towards us, I felt relief and anguish. Relief that my oldest brother was finally there, but anguish since I knew that my mother would let go when Les said his goodbyes to her. At 1:55am on Tuesday morning, my mother joined my father and sister back to heaven. I love you Mom!

Teaching in July

A few of my students

The whole month of July, I was had the opportunity to teach English to a small group of children at the kindergarten. I had only 30 kids in the class compared to the normal 60 kids that they have all school year. During the month of July, I made it a goal to teach them not only words but phrases to use those words. For example, “I am happy, I am sad”, instead of just teaching them “happy, sad”. I began the month by teaching them the introduction phrases that they would need when meeting someone new. “Hello, How are you? I’m fine, Thank you. What’s your name? My name is… Where are you from? I am from… Nice to meet you. See you later!” I am proud of how well they did. They worked very hard at learning the new words each day. I taught them about 4 new words each day. Since I had a smaller class, I was able to do small games and other activities with them. I enjoyed the experience very much! It was interesting to observe how school is run here. This is the reason why I wanted to come to China, so I can learn how different schools are around the world.

Practicing introductions

"I am a girl. You are a boy." "I am a teacher. You are a student."

"I am happy. I am sad. I am angry. I am tired."

 

"If you're happy and you know it clap your hands." "If you're tired and you know it, take a nap."

"Head, shoulders, knees, and toes"

"I can count 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10"

"It is hot. It is cold."

 

Today is...

"I am from America." "I am from China."

singing a song

"I see black. I see white. I see red. I see yellow."

 

Teacher Zhang (Her English is Lily)

Their parents came to observe the last day

Beijing Trip

It was Thursday late afternoon that we made the decision of going to Beijing. I have been wanting to meet President Lewis of the Beijing International branch for awhile now. And I knew that going to Beijing after the school term had started would be difficult since it takes 12 hours by train. I thought this might my only chance to see him until next summer, since there is no way that I am traveling during Chinese New Year. So, Ryan went to the train station Friday morning to get our tickets. Unfortunately, they did not have any sleepers available. In fact, they didn’t even have any seats left. But this is China, they will still sell tickets. We had a train car number, but not a seat number. Which means we were aisle bodies. Let me remind you that this train ride is 12 hours during the night! Not having a specific place to sit or lay down, was horrible. It would have been so bad if we could have stayed sitting somewhere, but people needed to get by almost every 5-10 minutes. Up and down throughout the night. Then 10 hours into the ride, someone let us sit down in their spot. I think I finally was able to sleep a few minutes. By the time we arrived in Beijing, Ryan and I were walking zombies. And to think that this is a normal way for the Chinese people to travel. But, we have arrived and that is all that matter and we were not heading to the airport this time. Now we just needed to find a taxi since we didn’t know the bus system. It took us forever to get a taxi and we were so tired that we forgot to ask the driver to turn on the meter, so we were charged far too much. But, of well. We stayed at the King’s Joy hostel, which is suppose to be only a 10-15 minute walk to the Forbidden City. However, Ryan and I were so tired from staying up all night on the train, that we decided to skip our chance to see the Forbidden City and just slept at the hostel. Later that night, we went to the Chaoyang Acrobat show.

They are only holding on with their mouths.

8 chairs high on a platform!

10 on 1 bike!

I’m glad that we went to the show! It was amazing! But the thing that made to whole trip worth it was Sunday. I was able to finally meet the branch president of the Beijing International branch that I belong to, which is part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There a couple of branches in Beijing for the people who live in the area, but then there is an online branch for those of us who live in scattered areas in the eastern part of China. On Sunday, I was able to see what was happening on the other side of the phone line. Since usually for church, I just sit on the couch with my laptop in my lap and listen to the meeting through Skype. It gets a little lonesome sometimes since, the closest church member is hours away. So, being able to seat in the same room as the branch president and his wife during the meeting was so nice.  I couldn’t hold back the tears when I realized that I was actually able to partake of the sacrament, instead of hearing a deafening 8-minute silence that I usually hear when I am at home in Pizhou. I am grateful for that sweet opportunity of partaking of the sacrament. I truly have a testimony in Jesus Christ and the simple act of partaking of the sacrament means so much to me. That is one thing that I hope people who are members do not take for granted. You will not realize how precious it is until you are not able to participate. I just wish I lived closer to some other members, so I could join them more often.

In front of President Lewis' home

Sister Lewis and me

 

6 months in China

The alleyway

kitchen in first apartment

It was six months ago that we first saw this alleyway. It was late at night and we were both tired from traveling. We were still trying to let it sink in that we were actually in China, and then our ride drove us into this alleyway and parked. I can still remember the startled feeling that I had. I wasn’t sure what was going on. Is this where we were to live or were we just parking here? Even with it being dark, I could see how dirty the alleyway was. I felt like we just arrived in the ghetto, but we actually were living in the same building where some of the school leaders lived. Since that night, I have come to realize that sadly there are some people who live in much worse conditions. Despite the outside appearance, the apartment that we lived in wasn’t too bad. We actually had an inside western-style toilet. And we also lived on the same block as the school.

 

The college

Dad and Mom

The first couple months were really tough. We were both trying to overcome culture shock. Ryan fell into a deep depression, where I was afraid for his life. And then I was still trying to overcome the fact that I just lost my mother to sickness just a month before we came to China. The people are nice here, but nothing replaces family. And not being able to talk to my mom or dad about what was going on was pulling hard on my heart strings. But luckily, we made a friend here that was able to help Ryan with his depression. His name is doctor Gao.  He introduced Ryan to another doctor that gave him something to help him. It took a couple of weeks, but Ryan started feeling better. By this time, he was also feeling a little better about teaching. After all this was his first teaching job and it was to people who barely spoke English.

 

One of my kindergarten classes

The kindergarten

And then there’s my job. I also teach at the college, but I mostly work at the kindergarten. I teach children where most of them have not been introduced to any English until me. And speaking with my colleagues is difficult because neither one of us can speak each others’ language. Surprisingly it has been alright so far. And I have really fallen in love with the children here. This summer I had the great opportunity of teaching a small group for the month of July. I will do another post just on that later.

 

 

 

Happy Mart at night

grocery store

Besides teaching, the life here is so different. Even the experience of going to the store can be an adventure. I remember the first time that we went out to go shopping because we needed to get a phone. We certainly had people staring at us and curious about who were. Then when we stopped to look at something, we would have a huge crowd of people nearby trying to see what we were looking at and also wanted to take a picture of the Americans with their cell phones. I could tell that they weren’t used to seeing foreigners. But I was also starting to have a panic attack from being surrounded by so many people. Thank goodness when we returned to the safety of our apartment. Luckily, it’s not so bad shopping now. I think they are getting use to us and we’re now viewed as people and not some kind of amusement park attraction.

 

 

student's home

eating a restaurant

The one thing that I noticed that they focus on, besides education, is food. We are all about eating and eating more. In America, you get together with friends, you’ll usually go do something like a movie or shopping. Here in China, they get together to eat. Family time is food. Hanging out with friends is time for food. They even finish business deals by eating, especially if there’s drinks. They are really big about keeping the custom of drinking to show respect for each other. But the food is a whole experience. You don’t know what Chinese food is until you are actually in China. The food is nothing that I have experienced in any restaurants in America. I think I will have to do another post on just food later.

 

 

 

kid eating his lunch

man napping in bike

I expect I will learn much more about this place and people. For now, here are a few pictures of what you might see when walking down the street of our town of Pizhou.

sidewalk business

Chinese chess

Summer School

I am teaching at the kindergarten this summer for a month. I wasn’t sure what to expect because during the school year I have been teaching 12 different classrooms with about 60 children in each. Now luckily I only have one classroom with 31 children. I am in class from 8-5, but we all go home from 11:30-2:30 for lunch. I actually like this schedule a lot better. During the school year, my schedule was all over the place with different hours each day. It was hard to keep track of sometimes and I wasn’t able to really get to know any of the children, since I was teaching around 700. Now with the class that I have now for the summer, I am able to get to interact with the children a little more. I just think it is funny that 31 is considered a small class over here. But the kids are great! I am really loving the kids in this class. They are working very hard at learning the words. I even hear some of them saying some of the words or phrases later on. I’m so proud of them!

Last week, I taught them how to do the introduction conversation.
“Hello, How are you? I’m fine, thank you! And you? I’m fine, thank you!”
“What is your name? My name is…”
“Where are you from? I am from…China, America”
“Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too.”
“Goodbye. See you later!”

This week, they are learning about the days of the week, weather, and direction words. Concentrating on using “It is…” For example, “Today is Tuesday. It is sunny. It is hot.” Then I’ll teach them direction words such as, up and down, left and right.

To help the children with learning the words, I made a booklet for each child. The booklet has 25 pages. A title page and then a page for each lesson from each day. The booklet has been very helpful since the Chinese teacher uses it to review with the children the words from the lesson that I just taught. I also included the Chinese pinyin with some of the words that didn’t have pictures.

In the morning, we start with morning exercises. Following that, I teach a lesson and then the children have a snack. Next the other teacher does a drawing lesson and then I do my second part of my lesson, usually I do a game or art at this time to correlate with the words of the day. Next we go home for lunch. When we return, the other teacher starts with using my booklet to review some words and then she does a music lesson or we go outside for exercise. Finally the children have snack and I finish off the day with my review lesson.

The only hard part of it is not really being able to communicate with the children or their parents or grandparents. There are a couple of moms who know a few English words, but that is all. Some of the grandparents come up to me to ask me a question and I feel bad that I have no idea what they are saying. The Chinese teacher in the class knows a few English words, but not enough to translate for me. But she is very kind and a good teacher. She works very hard and the children love her. I also feel bad that I’m not able to understand what the children are saying most of the time. But it seems to working alright with me pointing to things and saying what it is in English. They always seem eager to learn more English words. The world of language is now is their hands!