Let it go "It's China"

Trip Start Aug 02, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Flag of China  , Hunan,
Tuesday, August 7, 2012


After MANY hours on  three different planes, and very little sleep, I have made it!!!!
I have been in China since Friday. Boy is it a culture shock! I am currently staying in Changsha China. It is where I will be teaching for the next year!
We are staying in a hotel for the next two weeks so that we can train to be a teacher and to learn about the culture and language.
Lets get to the good stuff:
~I have had my picture taken by random Chinese people everyday that I have been here
~People are pretty friendly and welcoming, but mostly when you walk down the street they just stare at you.
~ I was unaware of the toilet situation in China, most places do not have western toilets. You squat over a what looks like an in-ground sink and pretty much everyone can see you. The first time I attempted this, I dropped all my American change in the hole, along with my camera case (the camera was fine but the case definitely got thrown away)
~ I am the only one in my group who has never traveled abroad.
~ The weather here is awful, I see why people move to California. Humid, 90+ degrees 24-7, it will rain at any moment......Not really my cup of tea but I am acclimating.
~ Obviously... I cannot understand anyone or read anything.
~I am already tired of eating Chinese food, I swear they eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Being a vegetarian is a little rough in China, the field coordinators have really done a good job trying to offer vegetarian options at our meals but, in china asking for no meat in a dish does not guarantee that that will actually happen. Saying "no meat" means no actual meat chunks like from the muscle, I will ask for no meat and the server will say "oh no meat" (but in Chinese) but when the dish comes it has big chunks of pork fat. This has been rough due to my lack of communication.

We are advised by our field directors that most of this along with many other frustrating things in China are better resolved with "Letting it go" or just accepting that hey, "It's China".
More to come definitely.

I do not want to sound negative. So far this experience, though overwhelming, has been amazing. I still have almost a year to go and I am sure I will be a natural at dealing with Chinese culture in no time. As of right now it is quite the adjustment! It is just quite comical and I still cannot believe I am here. I am super excited to meet all my kids that I will be teaching and I cannot wait to get to know them.
My favorite things so far :  =)
~ I CAN DRINK MILK TEA(bubble tea) EVERYDAY FOR LESS THAN $1. Hallelujah. Love it.
Haha, aren't the small things in life great?
~ Everyday, common things are cheap!!!! 6.3rmb to the U.S. $
~The kids are adorable especially the little girl in my picture
~ The group I will be teaching with is diverse and hilarious
~I love the sight seeing
~I like the spicy food

    I miss my family and friends, though I am fortunate enough to be with some great folks that are well versed in the traveling abroad spectrum. It is nice to have these people to share my woes and joys with as they are going through the same experiences.

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baoftahoe on

Great pictures April! Keep'em com'in! It looks like alot of fun! So does that mean I cant play video games in the bathroom there? Other than that it seems realy cool! I hope to talk again soon!

lisaj on

you are really good at writing entries!
boo thang will arrive this weekend. i will need to learn some chinese to get her ready for the return of her mommy. at least i have a year:)

clare may on

Hi April, What a wonderful way to keep intouch - we (and the kids and grandkids) are delighted to be able to follow your adventures. Sorry about the food - even the oils used are probably from animals - but close your eyes and enjoy some new tastes! Do some of the parents of your little kids speak English? Or is your Mandarin going to get practiced ALL the time??? Much love and good luck - Clare and Jack

aprilinchina on

Thank you everyone for your feedback! I am glad this blog was a success as I am not really a blogger! More will come soon!

Clare, most people don't speak English! Especially the older generations. I may encounter some parents that do but for the most parts these kids board at their schools so I may never meet their parents! A lot of my Chinese teacher colleagues will have some English background though, thankfully!

Randy McVicker on

Love the photos and your writing style is very enjoyable to read.....great stuff........thinking about you and hoping that you are becoming less overwhelmed, what a fantastic experience for you !!!

Grandma Carol on

Wonderful explanations of what you're doing and about to do. I'm sure the food will get tiresome, but for the most part it will keep you healthy. We miss you already but want you to have a great year - it will be an unforgetable experience. Love you!

JoAnna on

April, I just wanted to comment cause im a dork.. but.. Love you Have fun!

aprilinchina on

Thank you Randy!!! that is very encouraging to hear, I am glad you enjoy it, more to come soon!

Miss you grandma Carol!!!!!!!!!!

Christopolafagus on

For a professional blogger, almost a half a month and no update. I guess I'll check back in October. Jk, I hope you are safe and having a great time, I miss you C

P.S. Who is the model in your photo with that fabulous hair?

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