Published: January 20th 2013January 20th 2013
Belly dancers wear boots
These young ladies were wearing the fashion statement of furry boots.
So, winter break is here and I'm finally doing something with it!!!
But first, lets recap since New Years has come and gone. ^_^ So after NY I pretty much was planning on wasting class time until the week of the 7th when exams would start. There was very little to teach, but I still was scheduled to have a slew of make up days during the weekend of the 5th, these however were mostly cancelled because the only snow I've seen in Nanchang yet decided to come down on the fourth. So, on the 7th I did my duty and watched a group of college kids take their exam for about 2 hours. Wow was it boring. The most exciting part was the fact that a good portion of the students planned on getting their answers from each other. My job then became much more intersting as I then got to continually narc on the students lifting up their papers, peering at others and otherwise were participating in illicit exam behavior. Woohoo.
Thankfully there was an end to it all and we handed in the exams and then I got to collect the exams that my students were
Pneumatic with sand, moving shape for posture heartbeat is announced. You guessed it. They're selling hair care products. 0_o
given and go home and correct them. Eventually. Thankfully I was given a deadline so I actually got some work done at a reasonable time. During this week I was also still helping out Almer who was due back that weekend on the 12th. Helping out at Kid Castle is one of those things that I hated and loved. I was actually really grateful to have something to do. It was great that I had to be somewhere everyday since it prevented me from acting like a complete sloth, yet working as a substitute for a bunch of kids who I couldn't understand was quite trying at times. All I can say is I'm quite grateful to the awesome teaching assistants who helped me through learning the ropes and also prevented the classes from rising up against me. I might not mind teaching children abroad again if it's from the beginning of the semester, but when I'm just filling in, I know they don't really respect or care about me, so it's hard to keep their attention (probably even more than usual).
Once that responsibility was filled I was a little panicky. I'm not very good at being productive
Garage sale meets sidewalk.
on a normal day let alone a day where I've got no responsibilities, so I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do to not be a bum and sit around my apartment all day every day. What I ended up trying to do was to make a goal for each day. On Monday (1/14) I ended up cleaning. And cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. I was actually super happy. I just dusted, washed my clothes and swept to my heart's content. It was a beautiful day out and my hands didn't get numb from washing things or being out in the air, so it was a great day just to get things done.
Tuesday is the day I ate myself sick if you saw my FB post. On the weekend Patrick had said he would have a BBQ on that day, but it turned out it was raining so I pretty much just went back to sleep and told myself I'd be productive later. I get a call a few minutes later from Anna asking where I was for the BBQ. It turned out the other teachers hadn't heard about Patrick's cancellation and had started their food,
Leet Real Estate
where we meet all your gaming, uh I mean, housing needs.
so everyone had just gotten together and went ahead with the party. I therefore had to drag myself out of bed, get together my stuff and go over Fannie's place where I thought I'd spend the next hour or two and then go home. I went over around 12 and went home around 5 or 5:30. It was a great time just eating and talking with each other. I just love the women who I get to work with and really look forward to another semester with them (and their great cooking!).
Wednesday I was set on taking some pictures of things around Nanchang. The journey wasn't too cool, I pretty much just wandered from place to place, but I felt the pictures turned out pretty weel. My first stop was a temple that's near by school. I actually didn't even notice for the longest time despite having ridden past it several times, until one time I glanced to the side it was on and saw the incense lit up in it. I didn't go in or near it because I didn't want to draw attention to myself or get in trouble for taking pictures, but I thought it
was cool to see something so traditional near a place that has so much new construction going up on around it. I was a little sad to the condition of it though. There was so much trash around it, that it made it seem like it was a dump site. I'm not sure how much it's used, but I'm surprised the locals don't try to protect it more.
Thursday wasn't a big deal, I just checked out the new Auchan supermarket near my school. I was super excited though when I found out that I no longer have to go to Metro to buy my cheese and butter. : ) Friday was definitely the highlight of the week. I first off got to talk to the Haines household for at least 30 minutes with some people. I hadn't seen or heard from Julie in the longest time, so it was awesome to get to say hi. It also turned out that the rest of her household (Erin G, Jessi, and Lindsay who is temporarily there) were chilling around too so they also gave me a shout out. After that I went to visit Shawn and Dawn for the afternoon.
I've only visited with them a few times over the past couple months, but already I feel so close to them. They offer such open and loving hospitality and I feel like I can just spend hours with them talking. After we got tired of sitting, they gave me the tour of their coffee shop and classrooms that are open during the semester, and in the evening we all went down the street to have Chinese food at their favorite restaraunt. Around seven I went with Shawn and some students into Nanchang and got introduced to the Gov't sanctioned church though I feel like I went under false pretenses since the entire service was in Chinese. Thankfully one of the students took time to translate the service for me and it felt really cool to be included.
On Saturday I did what I had been saying I'd do for months. I went to Guangzhou. Not without a bit of a push though. Pravine had to buy my ticket and thankfully Kelcy took me by the hand (not literally) and brought me safely from the airport to the apartment I'm staying in until I leave. I also give many props
This inch of snow meant all my classes were cancelled for 2 days! ^_^
to Dawn and Shawn for bringing me to the airport yesteday morning. I had asked them if they knew where either of the airport busses picked up people in Nanchang since the info I had found on the web was pretty confusing and they ended up insisting that they would be fine with taking me. I was SO relieved. I think I would have had time to find one of the busses, but it was nice to not have to worry about it all morning and then worry about the bus making it to the airport on time. Anyway, I got here on time, safe and am so happy. It's been great just talking with people, making new friends and just relaxing. At first I felt like I just needed to do stuff to keep busy, but honestly I think I'll be fine with taking some days to explore, relax and just build up some new relationships. I feel like this is going to be a fun trip for me and it doesn't hurt that I don't need to walk around with three layers on wherever I go either. ^_^
Hope all who read this are doing well and
look forward to showing to fun pictures of the tropical city of Guangzhou on my next post. Until then, take care!
There are more photos below