Monday, March 15, 2010

So I owe everybody an update...

Alright here's the big update of what's been up; sorry it's taken so long! I've been busy and have otherwise just been lazy regarding this!

I'll post an entire separate blog regarding my thoughts on teaching, but for the sake of this post, just know that it has had its ups and downs. During the first week, it was mostly up, as the students were super excited...

The first week of teaching went pretty smoothly. Although I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I was able to wing it pretty well with all my classes of grades 4-6 (students 10-12 years old).

The Friday night of my first week (March 5th) was definitely the most interesting. All I knew is that I was to meet the headmaster of one of my schools at some dinner event...that was it.

It actually turned out to be a weekend retreat for the teachers of this school due to the international Women's Day holiday (a fantastic holiday, exactly as it sounds, and it should be celebrated in the US).

That week the kids had some kind of military instruction from some Chinese navy soldiers:

It was adorable. It was also nice because I got to get out of teaching a few classes that week thanks to this!

Here's what this school looks like. I did it the favor of taking the picture in rare sunlight...

Later that afternoon, on Friday, we took a coach to some remote location a solid hour away in the hills/rural areas...

Gotta love the abundance of leg room while traveling so far...

We ended up in the hills outside of town...

...Where are we going, anyway?

Super-excited teachers with one really confused foreigner...

This bird...screamed like a person in danger or something. It was terrifying. Also kinda cute...

Really pretty!

The weirdest part here is that we essentially entered rural China. This is the area that I thought I'd never be in, so I figured I wouldn't need the malaria vaccine, right?


(It's over a week later and I'm doing pretty well, so I'm guessing I survived this one).

Anyway, it ended up being this very fascinating retreat from the urban city; I guess it's a popular spot for the locals that can afford it. There was even a farm that you can pick fresh fruit and vegetables:

We ended up having a nice dinner there while we waited for the van with the headmaster to show up (they got lost).

I tried pig's blood. They wouldn't tell me what it was at first out of fear that I wouldn't eat it. I would equate it to...meat flavored Jello. Not awful...but I wouldn't go out of my way for it again.

Later in the evening I somehow ended up singing karaoke with some incredibly drunk Chinese sailors (the ones from the drill instruction), as well as the leaders of the school (the headmaster and wise headmaster)! It say the least!

His face was way more red than this picture conveys!

It was...hilarious.

They also turned out to be my ride home...which was one hell of an experience, to say the least.

I didn't quite expect to say that I would be having the experience of driving an hour in a van full of super drunk Chinese sailors when I signed up for this trip...but I have to say: it was fantastic.

They communicated to me in broken English, and I communicated to them in broken Mandarin.

They asked me who my favorite basketball star was - I decided to go with Kobe Bryant - they got super excited.

Either way, I somehow ended up back at my apartment, and that was it for the night for me.

Moral of the story: rice wine is strong. Very strong...

No comments:

Post a Comment