Monday, April 19, 2010

Chinese Monkey

Well it has been eventful! China has been very good to us. I previously mentioned about our concert that we had for the school. We were displayed like little monkeys. I kinda felt like those monkey's that just sit there and bang 2 cymbals together. Shaw of course was our little rock star that played on the drums while I danced, well attempted to dance. And considering who was dancing with me, I did a pretty good job. Shaw did good considering his seat collapsed beneath him half way through the performance but of course "the show must go on." I was wearing bright purple leggings with black high heels and a grey shirt. Shaw had a matching purple and white stripped polo and a big mo-hawk. It was great. I'll put the pictures up on photobucket so you can see how crazy we looked. We played the maroon 5 song, "This love" and the entire time shaw said, "oh this would be so good if Kemper and Seth were here." Well this whole trip has been, "oh this would be so good if Kemper and Seth were here." I really need to learn Chinese. Anyways, All the Chinese people clapped for us but i think they were just being polite. I'll try to upload the video so everyone can watch it. Our little kids preformed too! They were so cute. They did this little runway show and had a little dance. I dont really know the meaning behind all of that but thats not surprising because I really dont know the meaning behind anything here, thats why i have shaw. He knows everything.

Which reminds me, The people love shaw here. They always come up to him and tell him how handsome he is. Which is pretty awkward sometime because a lot of them our men. I dont know about you but if I was a man, I wouldn't want other men telling me how attractive I was. Anyways, Then when he starts speaking Chinese and they think he's a genius. Well this works great to my advantage because then when he tells them I'm his wife they give me tons of compliments. It doesn't really bother me that the compliments aren't sincere, the chinese just want to get on Shaws good side. Well and some of them try to get him married off. Good thing were already married because I wouldn't trust these chinese women for a second. hahaha just kidding

For example....The other day we went and got our hair washed while the other girls got their nails done. After our relaxing hair washing experience (Which everyone should fly to china and get their hair washed, ITS GREAT!) we went back to the nail salon. Well the owner saw shaw and started talking to him in Chinese and then tried to hook him up on a date with one of her customers. The customer got her make-up, hair, and nails done so shaw translated for the girls and asked if she had a date. So then the owner took that as an invitation which is probably not her fault but either way then she said (In chinese of course), "With you." Well I dont speak Chinese but I can understand when some woman is pushing my husband towards another woman. Yup! Don't you worry, i put her in Check real quick. Well i really didn't because i dont speak Chinese but she saw the look on my face...maybe...or shaw just told her that he was married. Either way, she knew her place. hahaha It's nice to know that so many people think shaw is handsome. It doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might.

Were preparing for our Beijing trip in 2 weeks. Were really excited. Were taking a 21 hour train from Guangzhou to Beijing. Then were taking a bus from Beijing to Xi'an and then flying form Xi'an to Guangzhou. Were taking a 4 mile hike on the great wall and zip lining off the great wall. I dont think zip lining is that cool but its really cool to say that we can do that. Were going to do lots of shopping and hopefully eat lots of good food because I am HUNGRY! I'll post some pictures and try to keep you posted!

Monday, April 12, 2010

And then some more China

You just have to love a country/culture that has designated nap time during the day. China continues to surprise me everyday. It's been awhile since I updated this thing so I'll try and capture all the important things. Teaching is going well. Nothing interesting has really happened except that maybe the children have become more evil. I think one bit shaw the other day. The school came to us and decided that we needed to preform for 800 people. Thankfully, our group is some what musically talented and shaw took the reigns and started a band. I don't really know my place in this band. I think Shaw gave me a tambourine or something like that. I can't mess that up right? The boys are playing some maroon 5 song. One of the guys can sing really well and then the girls are singing back up and dancing. It will be quite the experience im sure. Practice here is a little frustrating but Shaw has played the drums more here than he has in the last 6 months. Either way we preform on April 19th for our school. But the preforming doesn't end. We also taught our 2nd grade class the "Cha Cha Slide." YUP! And they really know how to Cha Cha! Chinese people love to Dance and sing and preform. Sometimes i feel like one of those preforming monkey's you see at the beach. It's kind of funny. The Kindergarten is dancing to the "macarana." It's really cute! I think its just cute because their little because there is something evil in them. I'm just kidding but those kids are crazy.

Recently we went to the beach. We went down to Sonya which is an island close to Vietnam. It was so much fun to just lay out and relax! It was the bus ride down that wasn't so relaxing. one of our group members pulled, What i like to call a "taken." You know the movie taken? Where the girls gets abducted well this creepy chinese man comes up to one of the girls and is all smiling and being scary and says in his little chinese accent, "Where are you going?" Now i know that seems harmless but it wasn't. I just saw someone following our group and stealing all of us. Well i know that's not very realistic and granted im a little over dramatic but still...Don't be stupid. When you dont speak the language and your on a bus that is showing a bunch of stripper movies for 15 hours my suggestion....Dont talk to scary older men. Anyways, Sure enough something has to happen in our group. One of the boys got his wallet stolen on the bus. He fell asleep with his bag open and sure enough POP, shaw and I just adopted and extra child. And just a side note: Children are expensive! That boy eats and spends money like we have unlimited funds. Fortunately for us he paid us back. Anyways, Back to Sonya. So the weather was beautiful and the beach was great!. Shaw burnt like a little crispy taco. Oh man, I want a crispy taco so bad, Minus the rice. I got pretty burned too but now im just tan. We went Jet skiing there. Only we did it though. It was fun driving through all those waves! Shaw got the guy down from 400 Yuan per person to 200 Yuan for both of us. Thats pretty good. We also ate tons of mangos which were so delicious. The sweetest Mango's I have ever eaten. The only problem with the mango's were that the lady selling them to us on the beach insisted we get a coconut. I don't know about you but i had no desire to eat a coconut. I dont even know how to eat one and if i tried i probably just get so frustrated i just hit myself with the coconut. We got the mango's for 2 Yuan a piece. We gave her a 10 and instead of getting 8 yuan back we got a coconut. THATS AN EXPENSIVE COCONUT! Finally after my little pocket dictionary sweet talked her we got our money back and our mangos. We did a lot of Shopping there and bought some great gifts for family and friends. Coming back wasn't that exciting. We got back so early that we had time to get McDonalds breakfast and was happy because thats the 1 place that we can order without his help. I have some more to tell you but im on my way to go buy plane tickets for my whole group to go to beijing, Xi'an, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou. Wish me luck because i have 11 american passports and over $3,000 USD in my purse.....AGH!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yangshuo, Guilin

So i cant upload pictures to blogspot so you can look at pictures at Well its been quite a while since I have given a full update. Where do I begin? Our 1st full week of teaching went really well. Shaw teaches just 2nd grade and I teach only 1 class of 2nd grade. Shaw also teaches some babies 3 times a week and he sings songs with the Kindergarten on Fridays. The kindergarten is my favorite because they’re so cute. Their are some twins in the kindergarten named tony and tom. Shaw took a picture with them. Considering they are the worst kids in the class I have a feeling they are nothing like shaw and kemper but it’s still really cute. Not much happened except for Shaw has already taught the kids the basics of picking on each other in English. There is a girl in his class named Susan. She’s really quiet and has glasses. In Shaws activity he decided to make giraffes. As he passed out the googly eyes to all of his kids he placed 1 on his head and said, “look I have 3 eyes.” In the process he points to Susan and says, “how many eyes does susan have?” the class responds with yells and laughter “Susan has 2 eyes.” Of course shaw just can’t leave it at that he says, “2 eyes? No, susan has 4 eyes.” He points to her glasses and counts, “1,2,3,4.” The whole class laughs. I walked in the room to check on the class and shaw says, “alright class, lets show tiffany what we learned. Who has 2 eyes?” The class yells, “ I have 2 eyes.” Then shaw says, “Alright who has 4 eyes?” The entire class points and says, “Susan has 4 eyes.” And when the giggles subside I hear a faint little giggle and a soft voice say, “I have 4 eyes.” There was sweet susan laughing in the corner because she is now Shaws favorite student.
Other than teaching not much happened during the week. It was the weekend that brought the fun. We went to Yangshuo, Guilin this past weekend. It was the most amazing adventure we have had. It began when we got on a sleeper bus. It kind of looks like the busses in Harry Potter or so I hear. It just looks like a bunch of bunk beds in a bus. It’s pretty neat. We drove all through the night on Friday and arrived to Yangshuo at 4:00am. The only downside to this experience was when we stopped for a bathroom break I had to use a squatter. YES, I USED A SQUATTER. For those people who don’t know what a squatter is, its pretty much a hole in the ground. Yep that’s it. I was so scared because there were spiders and no doors. Im just not experienced enough for that. Hahaha Either way I survived. Well we arrived at our Hostel at 4:00am. We woke up early and ventured out on the town. Saturday we rented electric scooters. They were so much fun. We just drove out into the middle of nowhere and wondered on some farming community. It was so cool. We drove on these dirt paths through some rice fields. We watched some water buffalo and we hiked through some random cave. It was one of the most adventurous things I have done. That was our favorite thing to do. Seeing the people of china. You know when you venture into real china when you receive twice as many stares. We watched little kids play in some mud and it was amazing to observe this community work together. And there we were on our scooters. We didn’t do much shopping that day. The extent of our shopping was that Some women approached shaw about a bamboo rafting trip. He managed to bargain this bamboo rafting trip for 16 people from 120RMB to 40RMB per person. It was great! So Sunday that’s what we did. We went rafting down some river to Fuli. That was pretty cool because we saw this old man on this raft with these birds that he trained to go fishing for him and shaw got to hold his birds. It was so neat. We went shopping when we got to Fuli. We bought a bunch of stuff for our families and we got some pretty scrolls for ourselves. Chinese culture is very interesting. There is so much history and when you get to go to these little towns so much of that history comes out. It’s interesting how different it is. Shaw and I were talking to the all these people. It’s pretty much just this 1 family that lives in this community and they have lived there for generations. After our rafting trip we went back and got some dumplings and won tons. YUM! So that’s pretty much the only thing I like to eat. Unfortunately for me I cant find them anywhere in Kaiyin, which is where we live. Anyways, We went to some mud caves later on Sunday. That’s something not very many people get to say that they can do. We walked through these caves and then we went in this big mud bath. It was GROSS! It felt so blah and it was freezing cold. We pretty much just rolled around in mud and threw it at each other. We have pictures that the company took for us because your not aloud to take cameras in with you. So ill have to scan those pictures in later. Then you rinse off in VERY cold water and you hike down to some natural hot springs. That was really nice. There are a bunch of different springs and you just sit where you fit. So shaw and I just cuddled up to each other in the little spring and soaked it all in. It was relaxing especially after our cold mud bath. By the time we returned home it was pretty late. We walked around the shops and I pretty much passed out. We left Monday night so Shaw and I just walked around and ate food off the street the whole day. Well, Shaw ate food off the street. I’m too much of a baby. They sell this sweet steamed bread that’s good and steamed corn. I didn’t eat any corn but I imagine it to be very bland. Other than that not much happened. We did meet some Chinese guy in this shop. He really liked shaw. We were asking him the meaning behind all this stuff so that equated to us going to a secret room with his personal bar. Of course we politely declined but he insisted. We told him we don’t drink but of course he was so nice he wanted us to drink with him. So, I then just told him I was pregnant so we couldn’t drink or smoke with him. He then figured out we were married and then continued talking about Chinese history. It was very eventful. I liked that guy. But I’ll tell you one thing. This trip would suck without Shaw. It’s so much fun being able to go around and talk to the people. Anyways, We returned home in one piece and we begin teaching again on Wednesday. I hope we don’t have an eventful week and we can just relax.

Friday, March 5, 2010

9 children and counting

I have now discovered what it might feel like to be the duggars. Since our time here in China, I think we adopted 9 new children. No one freak out I dont literally mean 9 Chinese orphans. Are you serious? Our kids are already going to stand out with dark curly hair in shaws family; we dont need to add fuel to the fire. What i mean is all these volunteers with us are quite the handful. We have to use the buddy system and I dont sleep unless i know they are all home safe and sound.

It's been awhile since I wrote in the blog. For some reason i'm having trouble uploading pictures but they will come....hopefully. A lot has happened. It was shaws birthday on tuesday. We threw him a surprise party and we all went out for pizza. Pizza was a nice change because I DONT LIKE CHINESE FOOD. GROSE! We also had all the little children in the Kindergarten sing happy birthday to him. It was so cute. We had a cake for him which was kind of funny tasting but it looked pretty. Either way it was a blast and shaw had no idea that the surprise was coming. YAY!

On Wednesday we had our 1st full day of teaching....uhhhhhhhh. No comment. Ok maybe 1. Let's just say it was a very long day. Thursday, got a little better. Shaw had to teach the 4th grade class and that didn't work out so well. They were being so bad that shaw just started yelling in Chinese at the kids. hahahahaha he broke the 1st rule, it was funny! Well all the little girls were saying he's so cute and all the boys were being mean so shaw was just like, "i can understand you so shut up." uh i dont think 4th grade is shaws choice of age group. Good thing it was only for 3 days. For now on Shaw only has to teach 2nd grade. Oh yeah Shaw also got mad @ the 3rd graders and pushed 1 kid in his chair and told him to shut up. That was funny too. I laughed because I totally gave him permission because those kids are devil children. Shaw just wanted to be like the Chinese teachers so he started yelling. It sounds worse then it really was. Nevermind no it doesn't, shaw says, "it really is that bad." Thursday night we finally got to go to McDonalds. OH MY GOODNESS it was so delicious. I hadn't eaten in 2 days. I dont know how people gain weight here because I've lost 5 pounds since I left America. The chinese cafeteria food stinks here...literally. I want a chimichanga with french fries. Although, I did find one place here that makes good french fries. Anyways, tomorrow were going into the city to do some shopping and were going to buy some bus tickets to go to Guilin. Its too complicated to explain so look it up if you really want. Either way, next weekend we're going on a vacation (YAY) with our 9 little ducklings. Well I'll try to post some pictures of shaws birthday party and where we live.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

We have arrived in our new home! Zhongshan is so nice! It has these beautiful palm trees all over. Our apartment is really nice. The bed is actually big enough for us to fit in. no more twin size beds! A lot has happened the last few days. Sometimes they don't allow blogspot in China and sometimes they do. Now is one of those times! We arrived here on Saturday night. Of course we didn't escape Hong Kong without problems. One of the other teachers packed her passport in her luggage that got checked on the ferry that we took to China. So, unfortunately for her, her passport made it to China but she didn't. But thanks to my handy dandy pocket dictionary (Shaw) we were able to get her passport back to her that night and she arrived safely in Zhongshan the following day. I guess that's how we like to make an entrance.
The school that were working at is directly across from our apartment. It's nice that we don't have to take a bus to school because that could be a pain. The school is really nice. We eat all of our meals there. Which is nice and convenient. We usually have noodles of some kind for breakfast but today we got this delicious sweet bread. OMG it was so good. I am so sick of rice. I miss mexican food so bad. MMMMMMMMMM A chicken chimichanga with peppers and onions with NO RICE but french fries and a side salad sounds sooooo good. Chinese food is very greasy. Every time I eat I have to go home and wash my face. GROSE! I mean most of the time the food is good but it gets I could go for a nice spring roll (i haven't seen any of those yet).
We took the local Kaiyin bus to the marked yesterday. We had to buy new pillows because the ones in our room were a little scary. I had to sleep on my Jeffery George(a stuffed giraffe I brought with me) because I was so scared a bug was going to bite me. Have no fears, we have new pillows and new pillow cases and I slept like a little baby right next to Shaw. (Sorry dad! no more twin size beds; just big beds) Other than our scary pillows our little apartment is very nice. It has 3 beds in it and a little bathroom. OH GUESS WHAT? It's a normal bathroom so my anxiety of having to use a squatter has been relieved. We also have a little balcony and a washer. I was a little nervous about the washers but today I did our 1st load of laundry and we are sill in business. The washer works fine and all of our underwear aren't ripped to shreds. We also have a little kitchen but you have to walk outside, walk on to the balcony and then into the kitchen. It's so much better than I imagined. I guess I'm just not meant to really rough it because in Russia I lived in some of the best housing and now I live in the best housing...Thank goodness!
Tomorrow we start teaching. Wish us luck because the CHINESE ARE CRAZY! They are all over the place. They think I can magically make 2 more teachers reappear because we have a shortage of teachers. Cross your fingers and hope for the best because tomorrow is just the beginning. Oh yeah! Today we went to one of the other Bond Language Schools for some training. In their dance room there were 3 drum sets. You can imagine the excitement that came to Shaw's eyes. He had talked to Kemper this morning and after his conversation had mentioned how we wanted to play drums with him. Well, he didn't get to play with Kemper but he did get to play. I was so proud of him and everyone was listening and just thought he was so good. (Which he is) It was a nice little birthday present. Speaking of birthdays...Tomorrow is Shaw and Kempers birthday. Shaw's going to be the BIG 24! Were throwing him a surprise party with cake and ice cream and the whole sha-bang! I'm so proud to say I'm shaw's wife. Everyone is so impressed with his Chinese and his ability to love the Chinese people. I'm such a lucky girl. wish us luck on our 1st day. i'll post pictures later.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Family reminders

We can't go anywhere without thinking about our family. Yesterday, we saw my dads favorite steakhouse and today we went to a market called "STANLEY Market". It totally made me think of Papa Bear Carter (his name is Stan). Then, we were parked at Victoria Peak off of "STUBBS road" (kim, our sister in laws maiden name). Isn't that just crazy?!

It's so fun for us that we get to kind of share this experience with our family. Well, today we took our tour of Hong Kong. It was really cool. We got to see all these neat sites and experi- ence some of the scenic areas of Hong Kong. It was so beautiful! I know i keep saying that but I dont know how else to describe it. This island is just filled with so much history and rich culture. We went to the fisherman's village. Its this place where all they have this HUGE floating restaurant and there are about 10,000 people just living in these really crappy boats and they just fish. Its so crazy. Our tour guide told us that there were about 50,000 people in this village 20 years ago and now they are expecting it to eventually deteriorate within the next 10 years. We are so fortunate to have seen such an amazing part of Hong Kong.  

Along my trip I also found some Diet Coke. Actually it's Coke Lite but whatever. I'll take what I can get! Sorry...tangent! So, we also went up to this place called Victoria's Peak. I think it was our new favorite place. It viewed the Island Perfect. Unfortunately it was really cloudy so we weren't able to go up the whole way but it was still beautiful. We have a lot of really great people in our group. Everyone just thinks Shaw is so cute. Thank you girls, I already know that ;) We took some of the girls to that dumpling place again. It was good.  Then we just relaxed and chilled at the hotel. Tomorrow we leave to go to mainland. I'm really looking forward to getting into a routine and finally starting to teach. I hope everyone is ready because we have a lot of work cut out for us. Although I'm really excited to go to mainland China tomorrow it will be sad to leave Hong Kong. We always hear sirens outside our hotel window. Shaw likes to watch the drama unfold if he can. hahaha Eventful huh? Well Hong Kong was great while it lasted but on to bigger and better things. Wish us luck!!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More fun!!!

WOW! Hong Kong is great! Shaw and I got a good night sleep and woke up refreshed and ready for the day. We had a traditional breakfast....MacDonalds. It was nice. Shaw ordered for us in Chinese.

I'm just so proud of him. Although they mainly speak Cantonese in Hong Kong we have still run into quite a few people that speak Mandarin. Its nice that my little pocket dictionary is Shaw. After our traditional Chinese breakfast we went to the temple and the Missionary office for Shaw's brother Seth. On our way to the metro we ran into the Elders by coincidence. One of them happened to be Elder Crowder which was Seth's missionary companion. Were kicking ourselves in the butt now because we forgot to take a picture. Sorry Seth :( But seth, you will be happy to know that Elder Crowder received his beef jerky (from you) right there on the street outside the Mong Kok metro. Anyways, we got on the metro all by ourselves. I was so proud of us! We made it to the temple and it is beautiful. The missionary office is connected to the temple so we delivered Seth's other package to Elder Jackson. Shaw told them that he was Elder Carters (seth) brother and apparently Seth has legendary Chinese speaking abilities. I was so proud to say I was his sister in-law. Anyways,  it was nice to just go explore the city without any help! We're pretty much master travelers. I mean getting lost twice doesn't really count right? haha The other group members came in today. Man there are a lot of us. I got to meet the rest of our group. They all seem very laid back and ready for adventure! After our day adventure on the metro it was nap time. Man I was tired. This time change is going to take some getting use too.

We went to this authentic Chinese restaurant for dinner. We just started walking around and picked this random place. As we were walking past this one restaurant this Chinese guy stood up and just stared out the window at us. It was very awkward! hahaha Everywhere we go, they stare and try to guess where were from. They always guess Shaw is from America but I keep them stumped. Apparently I dont look American. At the restaurant I got some noodles with Chicken. It was really good but very greasy. Im going to have to adjust to the food. Shaw got white rice with chicken curry of some kind. His was really good. Just a side note....there is NO DIET COKE! I know! I thought I was going to die but at least they have coke zero!Anyways, after dinner we went to this laser show down at the port. I thought it was going to be this really extravagant laser show.....yeah, sure. Shaw said the music was like Mario Cart when you get the star power. I think that's a fair analogy. All the buildings on the port kind of light up and are synchronized to the music. The littlest blinking light impresses people here. It wasn't that special but the view by the port was BEAUTIFUL.

I have never seen anything like that. We are so blessed to be here in this wonderful city. Tomorrow we are taking a day tour and will be hitting all the cool spots I hope. I have made it my new goal to be as Chinese as possible. I guess we'll see!

Oh yeah we also saw one of my dads favorite restaurants, Mortons Steakhouse. So I took a picture for you dad! Eat up! (It's a little blurry but you get the idea)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In the Beginning...

WOW! Where do I begin? Shaw and I arrived at the airport at 6am on Tuesday only to receive the news that our flight had been canceled to Chicago.  Isn't international travel so much fun?!!! They rerouted us and we barley made our connecting flight to Hong Kong but thank goodness we did. It was quite the event. We had to run to our gate! Im sure we looked so funny. We met one of the other volunteers, Kimberlee, in Chicago. Although she didnt sit with us, we all traveled the LONG 17 hour flight together. Did I mention LONG? And just to add a little extra fun in the mix, we were crammed in the middle seats in the very back next to the Vietnamese man that kept playing footsie with me. I think he was cold. hahaha We both got sick from the airplane food. After the 1st meal we opted not to eat the rest of the flight. Note to self...China+airplane+airplane food+sleep deprivation=No Good. But after our obnoxious adventure we finally made it to the Hotel with all of our luggage. (YAY) And the Adventure really begins. HONG KONG IS BEAUTIFUL! It reminds me of Moscow a little bit but better. Unfortunately, we are both missing Seth right about now because all they speak is Cantonese here. SETH....WE NEED YOU. I cant believe were already here. It all happened so fast. We ate dinner at this place that sells dumplings and these fried things filled with beef and chicken and all sorts of goodness. Our hotel is really nice but funny thing....They gave us separate twin beds! Haha I guess your prayers were answered dad, separate beds :( Unfortunately for us I'm just too tired to worry about it right now.  Not only are the twin beds providing us with a few laughs but the survey card the hotel gave us provides us with some laughs too. It reads "In order to further improve our service and facilities, we would be most grateful if you could generously spare a few minutes to give us comments on our operation. Your INVALUABLE comments will be highly appreciated." Haha I hope that gives you some laughs.
Tomorrow were going to the temple and were going to deliver Seth's request to his missionary companions. The rest of our group will arrive tomorrow and we will finally meet all the people in our group. Oh yeah, just a side note. China is not meant for curly headed people. I straightened my hair before we left the US. Yeah well good thing I didnt bring my straightener because its FRIZZY. UGH, i hate frizzy hair. So, not only goodbye America but goodbye straight hair.