Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happenings in a Far and Distant Land!!

Greetings from China!!!

After lots of traveling on planes and thru Hong Kong I am now safely to mainland China. Hong Kong was tons of fun to see. We felt kindof spoiled that we got to start out our trip there (more people speak English in Hong Kong). We went to see this big Buddha and some monasteries and stuff. It was really cool, and we have fun pictures. The next day we did a tour. The tour took us past Jackie Chan's office and house, and up to Victoria's peak where we could see a lot of the city. We lucked out and it was a clear day, so the view was amazing. Later we went to a jewelry factory, and that was pretty fun. After that we got to go do baptisms at the Hong Kong temple. That was way fun. When we got there they were doing some baptisms in Chinese, and they speak soooo fast. They did ours in English, but again they go sooooo fast, almost so fast you still think they are speaking Chinese because you can hardly understand them. The poor little Asian man was probably very overwhelmed with all of these giant girls that he had to baptize. The font was really little, and it was not very full, so it really was quite an experience trying to get totally immersed in the water. I bashed my knee on the front of the font the first time I went down. Anyway it was a really cool experience, and I feel very privileged to have gotten to help these people with that important work. After baptisms we went to a laser show on the pier. It was pretty cool, but honestly I was expecting it to be a little bit better. They had these lasers on the top of the building and music playing, and it was all choreographed and stuff, but the lasers were so far apart sometimes that by the time you noticed where they were you saw them for about 2 seconds, and then they moved on to another spot. Anyway it was really fun to be out on the pier, and take in the fun atmosphere. We spent all day Sunday traveling from Hong Kong to Zhongshan. It is pretty funny to watch our group travel around. There are about 30 people and 70 huge pieces of luggage as well as many carry ons. We took a ferry over, and then I of course am one of the 2 from our group who almost got quarantined. They took me and this one other kid away to this little room (of course speaking to us in Chinese the whole time so we had no idea what was going on), they took our passports then gave us facemasks and shoved thermometers in our armpits and left us to sit there. I actually managed to stay rather calm, and told myself it wouldn't be that bad if we had to stay there, I was also really glad that there was another kid with me. Well the other kid's thermometer fell out so he had to start over, but after a long while they finally came back and gave me my passport and let me go on to join the rest of the group. We both made it out fine, then we loaded the vans and headed on to the new kindergarten for or first official dinner in mainland China, which ironically enough was broccoli, watermelon, and spaghetti. Then we went on to our part of the city to see our apartment. We lucked out and there are enough rooms for everyone to have their own, except for 2 girls. There are even 4 bathrooms and 2 kitchens. It is way humid here. We had to haul all of the luggage up to the 4th floor (no elevators), afterwards we were soaked, it is rather disgusting.

We got bikes and locks yesterday for 148 kuia, which is 21 dollars. Mine has a few problems (we already had to go back to the bike shop because the chain broke), but they are fun. The little man at the shop just laughs at us now as we take turns going back to get new problem fixed. China has a bit of a smell, and we are already joking about how excited our families will be to have us all come home smelling like China. There is also a taste to everything that is a hint of China, we will probably get used to it soon. Some things don't have much flavor, but we really haven't gotten to try much Chinese food yet. Annie (our cute little Asian coordinator) orders us food for dinner and lunch everyday, sad thing is it is all pretty much the same, and we are getting sick of it. It us usually just lots of steamed rice, and either potatoes or some other vegetable with a little bit of meat. Yesterday we got peppers, and it was a lot like my moms pepper steak, I really liked it, it reminded me of home. Today though we got tofu (one of the girls here is vegetarian). BLECK it was nasty. The texture was so gross. It was really hard to pick up with chop sticks (which I am getting good at), and it sort of melted in your mouth but was hard to swallow because of the nastyness. I am trying to be brave though and to try everything.

Today we started teaching!!! wow was that crazy. We were on a weird schedule, so we only ended up doing 3 rotations. tomorrow we should do 6. The classes are a little strange. I am teaching gym, and the first class didn't go very well. The second class was great (both of those classes were older 5-6 yr olds). My last class was younger kids (4-5) they were well behaved, but they would not repeat what I would say, in fact they mostly just stared at me like I was an idiot. Oh well, they will get better, and hopefully I will get lots better too. For gym we are supposed to have a huddle after we play a bit, the first time I said ok guys huddle up, one girl ran up and just gave me a big hug. lol I guess she thought I said cuddle or something. Anyway it is a very interesting experience. We all thought that we would be in tears by the end of the day, so we were doing leagues better than we thought. The kids are way fun too, and I figure even if I am terrible, they can't complain too much about a volunteer

Sthere are no pics. I am working on it, but with the China blocks, I was lucky to even get to blogger.

1 comment:

marionh said...

love hearing about your adventures