Edit Blog Post
Published: September 21st 2007
I have been invited to teach in a small town in Hunan Province (Chairman Mao's birthplace). My small town is called Anren. The students have never had a Foreign teacher and many people have never seen a foreigner. So I will not only be representing Australia, but every Western Foreigner. I am sure my quirks, mannerisms, personality and character will be looked upon with a magnifying glass and thought of as the norm for foreigners.
I arrived at my new school which is in a very rural area. We (Dana from The USA & I) were driven 3 hours off the highway, 2 hours of it being red dirt and through rice paddies and farming areas.
We arrived at the school to a parade of students and teachers clapping and cheering. We were given a bunch of flowers as we entered the school gates which had a huge red sign across the front of the school saying "We warmly welcome Miss Daniella and Dana to our school".
We were taken out to dinner and breakfast and lunch today to meet many excited teachers. It's all very exciting.
I had been sick for a couple of weeks and
kept putting off going to the doctor. So after trying traditional medicine such as moxibustion, accupuncture, Chinese tea and herbs I was taken to the hospital to visit a doctor.
The hospital was like something I would have pictured from a Frankenstein movie in the 20's. The X-ray machine looked like a torture machine and the doctors rooms had bars on the windows with the rain and wind coming freely through. The cupboards to hold equipment looked like something you would see in your old grandpa's garage when you were young with nails sticking out of the wood and an unsmooth finish. The examination table was a thin wooden structure resembling a rectangular bed with newspaper as a pillow. The room where i had to sit for 2 and a half hours to have my drip also had the same bars on the window with rain and wind coming in onto the ground. Everything I looked at seemed to be electrically unsafe or rusty.
Everything in our apartment is brand new. Furniture, appliances, paint, Furnishings. It is just like a one bedroom flat which is ALOT different to the 3 bedroom house I just moved out of. It's
tiny. But Dana and I have our own long corridor with one side of it overlooking trees. We have a huge flat screen TV and computer, scanner, printer, a range hood, brand new toilet, tiles, wooden floor boards, its beautiful and its going to be where we call home for the next 6 months.
The school has over 100 years history and the architecture is very beautiful. We live on the main street which is not very long and are surrounded by farmland. There are no factory's in this county at all.
The school has a huge dining hall, modern gym, basketball courts, grassed soccer pitch and a library. This is the best school in the county and most people in this town have never seen a foreigner. We went to the police station to register that we are living here and the policemen in their uniforms were so excited to have their pictures taken with us.
There are 32 people on the English staff and everyone has been wonderful. They are alot more honest than my previous experiences. On our first day here our guide, Mr Xi Li, Uncle Li or Mr Stu-dy showed us his Red Book (party member book) with such pride. We are about 100kms from Chairman Mao's birthplace and millions of Chinese pilgrimage here every year.
The English staff do a lot of activities together, including pop dancing in the music room for exercise and singing.
For the past 2 months there has been no rain and the farmers have been getting very worried about their crops. Since the moment we arrived into the Province of Hunan it has poured. Non stop. I have never seen anything like it. And now the town is flooding. We live 200 meters from a river and the houses on the river have flooding up to their knees on the first floor. The main street has water coming up to the entrance of the shops. A teacher made me wear plastic bags on my shoes so they wouldn't gets soaked.
So this is me for the next 6 months. I am nervous as hell to do my first class. Most classes have around 70 students and I will have 20 lessons per week. So I will be teaching the same lesson plan 20 times. 90% of students are from farming families and travel along way to go to this school. There are over 4,000 students, 2,000 of them live here permanently and can only go home for the October holiday and at the end of the semester. I am looking forward to getting to know them.
Tot: 0.108s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 13; qc: 66; dbt: 0.0781s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb