There are poodles everywhere.

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

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Flag of China  , Hunan,
Saturday, August 18, 2012

     So, I have been in China for two weeks now. I am getting used to it more and more. I am still struggling a bit with finding things to eat that are vegetarian and healthy (practically impossible to find that combo) but I have some go-to food places that are yummy and will suffice until I have somewhere to cook. There is so much interesting food here, one thing I discovered recently is this cart that shows up every evening across form our school, it is almost like a really fresh Mongolian BBQ but instead it is much healthier and they steam your meal in water. By far the healthiest fast food I have found.We call it the steam cart. Another place I have really enjoyed is La Mien, mien means noodle in Chinese, and they hand pull your noodles right in front of you, it is really cool! Very delicious and very difficult to convey "vegetarian, no meat please" to them. =) My Chinese is getting a little bit better, I can actually say certain phrases. Most of the time though, it just ends up being a game of charades where I look like an idiot and the staff at stores stare at me blankly or giggle as I try to act out mosquito bite cream or hair spray. I have one more week to go of orientation and hotel life and then the adjustment will start all over again when I move to my school on August 26th.
    The last week my fellow teachers and I had "Practicum" where we had to prepare lesson plans and teach classes to actual students. I ended up with primary students, who were anywhere from 8 to 12 years old. The kids were adorable, SO adorable. They knew English but the levels ranged. Ultimately they were very enthusiastic and obedient and very well trained as far school goes. Teaching for my first time was hard, we were observed/reviewed by our peers and field staff which made it a bit nerve racking but also very informative on what we need to work for our upcoming year of teaching. I have a new found respect for teachers. It is not an easy job. I realize too that this year (as it has already proven to be) is going to be very trying. But I mean that in a positive way. I am being challenged in every aspect of life right now, it is exhausting but also shows me that I can do anything I put my mind to.

Some funny things to note:
~Everyone in China has poodles, they are totally the designer dog here, I have never seen so many poodles in one place in my whole life.

~ Females in Changsha wear heels, high heels, I am talking 5 inch heels, and dresses. They wear these no matter the occasion, this is casual wear, lounge wear, traveling wear...etc. I don't know how they do it, but they stroll down the crowded, dangerous streets effortlessly.

~Babies rarely wear diapers here. If they have to "go" mom or dad holds them over the gutter and they just go. A lot of the time you'll see the whole family standing around watching as if it were something very entertaining. I suppose that could be considered green or renewable or conserving since they are cutting out throwing away multiple diapers a day. Just watch where you step!

~I got one of my first real full-body massages ever today. It was a hilarious experience. I went with 4 other girls from World Teach.No one spoke English, it hurt really bad but really good at the same time. It was a man and he spoke like three words of English and would just laugh when I howled in pain. I would say "oh my god" when it hurt and then he would say: with a Chinese accent "oh my god" immediately after and laugh. We also had to wear these silly mis-match Chinese pajamas

~ I had a young man sing a medley of Lady Gaga songs to me yesterday, he could barely speak English but he sure knew his Lady Gaga. He asked me If I like Chinese boys, I had to tell him I had a boyfriend, he said that made him sad, he told me I was beautiful, hugged me and ran off. (nothing out of the ordinary in China)

Life is just different in Changsha. Nothing seems to be really pressing, there are few social rules ( which gets frustrating) but ultimately everyone seems to be relaxed about most things. People hangout outside and play games on their stoops, lots of people exercise and play sports, food is fairly simple, there is lots of local businesses. It is very interesting.
More to come soon!
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gramma joan on

Absolutely excellent commentary. You give me the flavor of Changsha. Keep up the good work. I love you saying it is hard, but challenging at the same time. I guess that's life. Enjoy April, and say HI to your class from me. Love you. Joan

Grandma Carol on

Your descriptions are absolutely wonderful. You are right, if you can get thru this year, you can do ANYTHING. I know I could not stand their sanitary conditions and situations. It would be the worst for me. Good luck with all that. Stay as beautiful as you are, enjoy this year and come back to us safely. Love you lots!

JoAnna Jochner on

I TOLD YOU YOU WERE GOING TO COME HOME WITH A CHINESE BOYFRIEND!!!!! :D :D :D You have boyfren?? Oh hunny why you no have ??? Btw.. This comment is posted while i'm in class :D Its typing class! haha I get a computer AND i can get on you blog here at school and keep up with my SISTER!!! I love you and miss you LOVE the pictures they are soo sool and vibrant! Remember mom's birhtday is coming up the day after you move to the other place I believe. Love you bye bye!
P.s: I was done with all my work before I did this miss being a teacher and all that now :P

Christopolofagus on

Um, Looks like you are having fun, but I only see 2 entries for China and 2 from the states. ssim uoy!!

ps, y u so smarted. : )

Grandpa on

I'm glad to hear you're doing well. Are the students better at English than you are at Mandarin {Chinese}. Hey girl you may have to learn to eat meat. Remember Grandpa raises beef, so it's not a bad thing. If you aren't eating meat [ the shame of it] are you getting enough in your diet to make up for the protein you're missing? Love you, Grandpa

Grandma Carol on

So enjoying your commentaries and pictures. You sound so grown up. Do enjoy your time there as its an invaluable experience. You will come back to us more informed and stronger than ever....ready for life here. Can't wait to read more. Love you lots!

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