Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yangshuo, Guilin

So i cant upload pictures to blogspot so you can look at pictures at http://s778.photobucket.com/albums/yy61/tamonte8387/China%20Stuff/ 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 old...fast. 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.