Kirtland Eastwood


Kirtland Eastwood

I am a single mom seeking to see the world with my daughter Ava through Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. I'm really excited to experience new traditions and live amongst other cultures with her while sharing our experiences with anyone interested. Also, I want to show that this is something that single moms CAN do! With fortitude and open minds, we can achieve just about anything.

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang » Xin Jian December 17th 2013

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Ava! Happy birthday to you!!! I put the videos on Promptfile again. So, you will need to click on “continue” a few times and deal with a pop-up or two. Here’s the video of the teachers singing to Ava: I can’t believe that my little girl is 5 years old! Even though she’s quite naughty, I’m really proud of her and am amazed at how much she’s grown up in the last year. Not only is she a lot taller, but she’s also turning into quite the young lady. For Ava’s first birthday, my mom and I had a big lunch with most of our neighbors and many friends. It was a lot of work and I told myself that I wouldn’t do it ... read more
Roller Girl
Opening the Firecrackers
Opening Presents is a Team Sport

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang » Xin Jian November 22nd 2013

When I think of parks, I automatically picture the little parks in Michigan with slides, swings, picnic tables and different things for kids to climb. But I should have known that when Licho mentioned going to “a” park that she actually meant going to “the” park. I say “the” because Nanchang has one major park in the middle of the city and it’s where everyone goes to play and hang out. The park is called Bayi Park and I found few web sites that really do it justice. It seems like every time I go to this large park I see something new. Apparently, it takes an hour to walk around the edge of the park (something I read online), so it’s quite large. I took some video during a previous trip to Bayi Park of ... read more
Mmmm… Cotton Candy
Lisa and Ava playing
Lisa and Ava discussing fishing strategies

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang » Wan'An November 10th 2013

This was a rough week for me. I had to make up all my classes that I missed after Ava’s surgery plus a few that I missed due to a misunderstanding between myself and my co-teacher. I also had to teach my regular classes and fulfill all of my regular obligations. So, Sunday was my only free day this week. Ava and I woke up later than usual and took our time eating breakfast. It was sunny outside but also quite windy. I suggested that we should take our electric bicycle out for a spin and Ava agreed. We rode near the bridge into the city of Nanchang and I found an entrance to the trails along the river that I always see when we go over the bridge. I have wanted to investigate the trails ... read more
Ava on the Electric Bicycle
Balloon Amusement Park in the Mall
Students Hanging Out at the Park

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang » Xin Jian October 29th 2013

Many of you have asked about Ava’s fingers. I am sorry that I didn’t give an update sooner. My Internet has been out for the last week and its delayed things a bit. Ava’s fingers are healing nicely so far. She cut them on a sign that it’s posted all over the university. She tried to pick the sign up and show it to me because she thought it was cute. We have gone every other day to have it cleaned at the hospital on campus. There is one doctor who usually cleans her fingers. He obviously loves children. Ava runs to him when she sees him and he picks her up and hugs her. He’s a real sweetheart and takes good care of her. Her fingers are still twice as big as they should be ... read more
Still-Swollen Fingers
The New Cast
The Hand

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang » Wan'An October 26th 2013

Ava and I were settling in for a lazy morning. I had just seared a nice beef roast and put it in the crockpot that I recently bought. We were chillin’ in our pajamas watching Wonder Pets when the doorbell rang. It was Jia and Lemon! Jia said they were going to eat some crab and would like us to come. I asked when they were going and the answer was, “Right now.” I begged her for 20 minutes and showered while Ava got herself dressed. 17 minutes later, we were in the car and on our way to a village that is famous for crab. Along the way, Yong and Jia told me about the different lakes, rivers, and farmland. We saw farmers leading cows on ropes along the road and chickens running about. There ... read more
The Plate of Crabs
A Full Bucket and Full Bellies
I Got One!

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang » Xin Jian October 14th 2013

It’s a beautiful night. It’s warm but not too warm. It’s not windy or too humid. It’s nice outside. So, Ava and I come outside at 8:00 p.m. so that she could play with the other kids. There are lots of parents chatting and watching their children. It’s a typical night in China. I sat next to Licho and Jia, who speak English well and have 6-year-old daughters. They are quickly becoming two of my best friends here. We are talking and laughing like moms do when their children are happily playing. I hear Ava scream. I see her sprinting towards me. She is crying but I’m not worried… until I see the blood. Ava has blood all over her hand. It’s dripping onto the ground. I ask her what happened and she says that she ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Shangrao October 4th 2013

Living in the apartments has its challenges. The guy who starts hacking things up at 6:00 a.m. every morning (on the dot!) is a real source of conversation. There’s also the girl who lives on the 6thfloor who wears heavy heels and pounds her way down the stairs at an early hour. It sounds like someone is knocking on the door and a lot of us fell for it the first few weeks. Of course, there are also benefits to this living situation. One of these benefits has been getting to know May. She’s a wonderful young lady who is my next-door neighbor. She is the person who picked us up from the airport, took us for our medical exam on the first day, and later took us for our foreign residency visas. She also loves ... read more
Group in front of 1,000 year old Tree
This Woman was Happy to see Us!

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang September 29th 2013

Ahhh… today was great! I swear that it was like Christmas in September. I started the morning off with a trip to downtown Nanchang with my coteacher. We picked out a new toilet for my apartment. My toilet has been such a disaster! It is broken into several pieces and leaks all over the floor. The fact that the used toilet water gets all over my bathroom floor means that I have to use strong chemicals on my floor to keep Ava and I from getting sick. The strong chemicals are causing our feet to peel and the whole thing has been generally disturbing. After a whole lot of begging, pleading, and complaining, I finally got permission to buy a new toilet and be reimbursed. So, my coworker helped me to haggle the seller down to ... read more
Lauryn and Zac
Mushrooms and Peppers
Mutton and Cabbage

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang September 29th 2013

Random fireworks several times per week, playing under evening streetlights, dance lessons at school, 6 male English teachers who dote nonstop, hoards to people asking for photos in the town square, delicious street food, celebrity status, a cafeteria with 3 floors of new and exciting food, and constant activity. These are some of the things Ava loves about China. Although several of my friends were concerned about a child’s life here, I have to say it has been an excellent choice so far. She is in love with the city lights and crazy crowds. I think she even gets a kick out of the garbage piles we see when we hit up a back street. We often go shopping on a back street that connects two college campuses. Sometimes, I will stop to look at something ... read more
Ava in her party garb
Happy Birthday to Lemon!
Friends and Party Blowers

Asia » China » Jiangxi » Nanchang September 13th 2013

“Mom, look at the cute bunnies.” “Those are rabbits and people eat them for dinner.” “People eat cute rabbits?” “Yep.” “Oh.” Ava kept walking. We had seen snakes, chickens, ducks, bags of jumping frogs, turtles, and even clams that spit water at us. It seems like Shanghai Street had just about every live food we had expected to see and never buy. There were also stalls with cuts of meat that were unrefrigerated. Women were fanning the meat to keep the flies away. There was also booth after booth of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of them were unknown to us, but most of them were familiar. There were stalls with spices, most of them hot, but some of the smells were familiar. It’s close to the Autumn Festival, so there were moon pies for sale ... read more
Can you spot the pig's foot?
Snakes in a bucket

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