Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was wonderful and definitely one to be remembered. It was parent day at school so for the whole morning, there were tons of parents observing our teaching. We were a bit nervous but it went very well. Amazingly, the kids were really good with their parents there. The school put on a huge dinner for us in honor of Thanksgiving. Our chef, Michael, made delicious Chinese food and we made some American dishes for everyone to try. I made mashed potatoes for the first time and gravy. They turned out really good. It was definitely different than most of the Thanksgiving feasts I have had. There were chicken feet, fried squid, weird sausage things and many other interesting things but the stuff I did eat was really good. Some of the other girls made apple crumble and cookies so I still got to over dose on sugar. It was so much fun to be around all the teachers and staff at the school that we rely upon so much and that we have come to love. The food was great and then we played some games.

I have so many things to be grateful for! I have been so blessed with such an incredible and supportive family. This year, I am particularly grateful for the opportunity I have had to live in China. It has changed my life. I am a different person now than I was before and I hope that I have changed for the better.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Free Jeans Day!

About a month ago, we went to a lunch that was put on by a company for foreigners in the area. We did not love anything about the activity except the food. The food was delicious. We were however promised free jeans so we all attended. At the lunch, they had someone measure us for our jeans. After much waiting, we all got our free jeans yesterday! It turns out that all the styles are completely different. They are all different colors and types of jeans. They all have different brand labels on them as well. I do not love mine but I love that they are free. China is always surprising. I can understand trying to bribe people to your event with a gift but I would have never thought of giving jeans. It worked for us and I am not complaining. Here are the four of us in our new jeans. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Talent Show

A couple months ago, Candice asked us if we wanted to compete in a talent show. We had and still have no idea what the talent show was for but a couple of the girls in our group are really into dancing so we all agreed that we would throw something together. We decided to dance to Thriller since we had to have a performance for the Halloween Party our school was throwing as well. After a long series of events, we merged our thriller dance with 3 of the Chinese teachers that were also dancing. This turned out to be an extremely good idea. 

Here were the most interesting things about the talent show...
1. We were the only white people participating and we were dressed up like zombies. We usually get starred at but it was taken to new levels at the talent show. 
2. We participated in the talent show and then found out that not only was there another round but that we made it to the finals so we had to dance again. We had no idea that we were just participating in the preliminary. We were all very distraught at this news. It turned out that we had to perform again a week later in a much more public place outside. There were 10 dancing acts and 10 singing acts that made it to the finals. 
3. We did not win but we did get a case of milk that turned out to taste a lot more like something unlike milk than milk but we happily took it. Tina bought us ice cream and gave us lilies that made our apartment smell good for weeks so we are completely satisfied. 
4. Heidi made the observation that Mandarin just doesn't sound great in song form and I have to agree. It may just be that I cannot understand the words but it definitely is a strange language in song. The singing acts were really all terrible.
5. We were the last act to perform. This didnt bother me. I was not at all nervous. For some reason, performing in front of hundreds of people that I do not know and cannot speak to does not bother me in the slightest bit. If you asked me to dance in front of my roommates, that would be a different matter entirely. 
6. After the talent show was over, they made one person from each group go up on stage to accept the prizes. For some reason, the Chinese teachers decided that Wendy needed to be the one that represented us on stage. The only problem with this is that Wendy does not speak mandarin and had no idea what was happening. She just stood up there and every once in a while someone would make her move to a different part of the stage. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
7. In all the talent show was a good experience. I am glad we did it and I am extremely glad that I never have to do it again. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010


A while ago, we went to Guangzhou to performance of some sort. We still dont really have any clue why this performance was going on or why we were there but we do know that we managed to get our hands on about 25 leaf fans that they gave to everyone in the audience. After seeing these amazing fans I decided that Wendy and I needed to be leafy fairies for Halloween. We made that happen. The wings were made out of some hot glue and the amazing fans we procured. The skirts are just made out of tulle and elastic. I loved being a fairy and sincerely wish that I did not have to dress like a zombie for the gigantic Halloween party our schools is throwing for 1,000 people but at least I got to dress like a fairy once out of the four times we had to dress up for Halloween this week. 

Halloween Week

This last week has been crazy. It was Halloween week, of course, so everyday at school was a different dress up day for the kids and teachers. We had fun dressing up and the kids were even more adorable than usual. 

Monday- Pajama Day
Tuesday- Crazy Day
Wednesday- Backwards Day
Thursday- Black and Orange Day
Friday- Costume Day

I was in charge of arts and crafts this week for my lessons so I made Halloween crafts with them all week. Some lessons worked better than others but I made these headbands with the kids and I think they are so adorable. On Wednesday one of the ILP directors, Casey, came for a visit. He watched our teaching and saw how things went down at the school and at our apartment. His visit went very well and he reaffirmed to us that we are at the best school, have the best coordinators and live in the best apartments in all of the ILP programs in all of China. We are truly blessed because all of those things really are true. Casey talked about sports and politics with us and it was really nice to have someone else to talk to that can understand you completely and that knows what is going on. He even took us out to dinner and bought us ice cream. That is really all it takes to win us over. 

I am so glad this week is almost at an end. It has been crazy and tiring. Thank goodness tomorrow is November! Happy Halloween! 

Saturday, October 16, 2010


One day at school, a little girl did not have an English name so we were asked to name her. We were brainstorming possible options and Wendy decided that we should name her something that had the first initial of all our names in it. The best option she could come up with was J.A.G.T.H.A.W. You will be happy to hear that we named her Daisy but the name has stuck with us and that is what we call ourselves. It also turned out that J.A.G (Jessica, Alex, Gabby) lives in one apartment and T.H.A.W (Tessa, Heidi, Alyssa, Wendy) lives in the other. 

About a month ago, we were bored on a Sunday afternoon so we decided to take T.H.A.W roommate family photo's. We then made large prints of them and awkwardly hung them all over our house to make our visitors feel awkward and to make our place a bit more homey. The Eighties themed photo's we took, that will not be displayed on my blog, are hung up in our apartment as well and are sure to make all the people that visit us feel awkward. I spend most if not all of my time with these girls. 

In the pictures it goes Alyssa, Wendy, Me, Heidi. I love my roommates and they are some of the best people I know. I am extremely lucky to get to live with them here in China. You can blame them for my love of Hindi movies and other strange hobbies that I am going to come home with. It is not my fault. 

10 weeks

This week marked our 10 week anniversary of our arrival in China! Time is starting to go by fast. We had a Hindi themed party of course! No other theme would do. We are all a bit obsessed with Hindi films at the moment. Heidi, one of my roommates and my Head Teacher, is really into it and has us all hooked. We got noodles from our favorite Muslim noodle place, some friends of ours came and brought some Apple Chutney and we watched a fantastic Hindi film called Ghajini. It was rather comical to have 10 of us in our tiny living room watching a 3 hour movie, in which you have to read what they are saying, on a lap top. We have a TV but we dont know how to turn on the English subtitles because all the menu's are in Chinese so we are forced to watch all Hindi movies on our laptops. The party was a success and China is better than ever. I am constantly overwhelmed by how amazing this experience this is. I think the only thing harder than coming to live in China will be having to leave it. I try not to think about it. Thankfully, that is not for another 8 weeks. 

The picture is the only picture we took at the party. Everyone is doing their best to look like Sanjay, the main character in the movie. I am not sure if they were quite spot on. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yangshuo 11 Hostel

Since being in China, we have stayed in some rather shady hostels around the country. They have been perfectly satisfactory for our needs but not a place I would like to chill after a bad day if your picking up what I'm putting down. However, we LOVED our hostel in Yangshuo a great deal. It had a sweet big TV with all the movies on it that you could ever want. The rooms were relatively clean. You got to our hostel by winding around these little tiny alleyways off of the main road and I loved getting to do that. The people in charge of it were extremely helpful and friendly. Our favorite part was the roof. Our hostel had the highest viewpoint of the whole village and it was in a perfect location. We loved to just sit and look at the gorgeous scenery from the roof. The only problem with the hostel was the smell of our bathroom but I can even overlook that because it was so awesome. I miss that hostel and Yangshuo and probably always will.

The pictures were taken from the roof of our hostel. 

Moon Hill

For one of our glorious days in Yangshuo, we decided to go on a hike at Moon Hill. I was completely naive as to what Moon Hill was and what the hike was going to be like. I am glad that I did not know how hard that hike was going to be because I if I would have known how hard the hike was going to be I probably would not have gone.

We took a bus to the park and before we could even step off the bus we were surrounded by four elderly Asian women with big coolers full of stuff they wanted to sell us. We sat down on a bench for a while and they sat with us. They stayed with us the entire time we were in the park. At the beginning of the trail you can see a big mountain ahead of you that has a moon shaped hole in it. I thought to myself, "we surely cant be hiking up to that hole. That is too high up and far way." I was apparently mistaken because the trail consisted of 1000 stairs that went to that moon shaped hole. I was extremely brilliant and forgot my inhaler that would have been mighty handy in that situation. I may or may not have had to stop about 5 times on the way to the top but I made it! The Chinese women did not even break a sweat or breath heavily. They make that hike once or twice a day. Once at the hole, the Chinese women showed us a trail that had a sign in front of it that said, "NO ADMITTANCE." They pointed above us and then pointed to the trail. This shady little overgrown trail led us to the very top of the mountain. There were incredible views from there. I was not looking up at all the mountains around me. I was among the mountains that were surrounding me.

Dragon Bridge

I am not exactly what you would call an outdoors and exercise lover but it is amazing the physical activity you can get out of me when I am in exotic places around the world. In Yangshuo we went hiking around caves, bike riding and climbed a limestone formation that was 1,000 steps high. One of my very favorite days in Yangshuo was when we biked to Dragon Bridge that was 20 Kilometers away. It was an incredible bike ride. We were biking through some of the prettiest places I have ever seen. Since, for some reason, I mysteriously get really brave around water, I jumped off the 30 foot tall bride. That was an extremely terrifying experience but I am glad I did it. There was many Asians at the bottom cheering me on with their camera's at the ready. Everyone in our group jumped in except Jess who was completely at peace with herself and did not want to destroy that peace by self inducing terror. If I could go on a 24 mile bike ride like that everyday, then exercise would become a lot more appealing to me. Yangshuo is just so dang beautiful. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Li River

One of the highlights of the trip was our boat ride on the Li River. The river runs through Guilin and Yangshuo and many other little villages that are between them. We knew all along that we wanted to go by boat from Guilin to Yangshuo where we would spend the remainder of our vacation but we did not exactly know how that was going to happen. It was a holiday so everything was very expensive. Thankfully, we ran into a man who offered to take us for a pretty good deal. He kept introducing himself by different names so we are unsure if his name is Smiley or Jerry. Anyway, he convinced us to start our journey at 5 AM so that we could be on the river when the sun rose. The only problem with that plan is that we did not realize how cold it can get at 5 AM when you are on a river in a boat. It can get a medium to extra large amount of cold and none of us brought jackets or even decent pants. Smiley/ Jerry picked us up in a van and took us about 45 minutes along the river to where we got into the boat. It was the bumpiest and craziest ride I have ever been in. We then got into a bamboo boat that was actually made of enormous PVC pipe. Normally it would have bothered me that the hour and half boat ride that we paid for was only fifty minutes but I was so cold that if I would have been on that boat one minute longer I may have expired right there. The boat ride was gorgeous though. I loved weaving around the big limestone formations. After the boat ride we drove through some little towns and got to see where the picture on the 20 Yuan Bill Note is taken from. I am definitely glad that we went to Yangshuo by boat. In my opinion, there is no other way to go. 


Our vacation started out in Guilin. It was a nice place but not much to do. It is a rather big city and it was crawling with people while we were there but we managed to have a good time. I found muffins that where baked in pie crust and owl purses so I was perfectly content with our days there. One of my very favorite things about Guilin was the gigantic Sweet Potato I got from a street vendor that was baked by a fire. It was so delicious and I loved it a great deal. We also really enjoyed seeing the pagoda's of the sun and moon. They were really pretty. 

The Knight Bus

The last several weeks have been some of the craziest and greatest days of my two decade long life. Four days after returning home from Bejing, we traveled to Guilin and Yangshuo. I loved Yangshuo a great deal and will post many photo's. First, however, I must explain how we got to Guilin. I have been on many 12 hour long road trips but none of them were quite like this. We decided to take a sleeper bus because it was relatively close and the bus was inexpensive. The bus was quite remarkable. There were three rows with beds stacked two high. There were about 42 beds on that bus that were asian sized which means that I was about 6 inches too tall for them. On the way there, there were extremely sketchy blankets on all the beds that I had to use because of a tragic incident with my fruit juice that I will not go into detail about. Here are significant things about the bus and our bus ride. 

1. When entering the bus, you can see a very large "No Smoking" Sign that is ignored and apparently not enforced. It was a very smoky ride.
2. When entering the bus you must take off your shoes and put them into little baggies. I suppose the goal of this is to help keep things clean but I wonder where the cleanliness the are trying to retain is. I am not sure how much good removing your shoes does for the already filthy bus. Nevertheless, I complied and removed my shoes every time I got on the bus. 
3. There were TV's on the bus that played extremely strange Asian movies at loud volumes. Randomly, on the way there they played the new Twilight movie which was a bit sad to me. Even on a sleeper bus in the middle of China I cannot escape the mayhem that is Twilight. 
4. The bus ride was the bumpiest, craziest and most beautiful ride I have ever been on. We weaved in and out of mountains and winding rivers. It looked like I had pictured China to look like. I loved looking out the window. 
5. I officially vow to never complain about bathrooms in America again. I went in the shadiest bathrooms I have ever been in on the bus ride. The bus would stop and the man in the front would smile and wave to us which meant that we could get off to go to the bathroom. We would be led to strange places that resembled bathrooms. There was not one bathroom that had doors on the stalls and most of them resembled troughs. I survived. That is all. 
6. The bus ride there took 11 hours to go to Guilin and when we came back from Yangshuo, which is 2 hours closer, it took 13 hours. We are not sure how that works but, when we are talking about this bus, it makes sense somehow. 
7. I am rather sure that there are very few foreigners that ride on that bus because they seemed very confused and befuddled by our presence. 

The bus was a good experience and made me feel like a Chinese person. That is always a nice thing. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Eight Weeks

This last Wednesday marked our eighth week in China. The fact that I have been living here for eight weeks is astonishing to me. To mark this occasion, Wendy and I decide to host a Harry Potter Party. We decorated our apartment like The Great Hall (of China), dressed up, ate dinner, had a sorting and attempted to watch one of the movies. About ten minutes before our guests arrived, I realized that I did not in fact have any of the Harry Potter movies with me so we did our best with You Tube but it was an epic fail. The night was quite the success though. I managed to get my hands on some butter and I made pasta. It was delicious. We also had tons of fruit and our British friend Elaine brought ice cream. Wendy and I dressed up like Fred and George Weasley. Heidi dressed up like a wizard who is trying to dress like a muggle. Alyssa had my favorite costume that consisted of a sheet because she was Dobby of course. The other girls were Belatrix Lestrange and Luna Lovegood. Wendy and I were very excited that our little party was such a success. I am sure that the next eight weeks will be as great as these last weeks were. Wendy and I are planning our 10 week party and all I will say about it is that it is going to be epic. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three Down

One of my lifetime goals is to visit all seven man made wonders of the world. I am happy to report that I only have 4 more wonders to go. Here is the official list and the sites in red are where I have visited. 









The opportunity to get to see The Great Wall of China was one of the reasons I decided to come to China and it did not disappoint in any way. Out of the three man made wonders of the world I have seen, The Great Wall is by far my favorite! Was it because of its beauty? Was it because of its vast length, size and location? Was it because I got to toboggan down from it? Was it because the weather was amazing? I would have to say that it was because of all of those things.  As with many things I have seen in China, it completely blows my mind. I do not understand how it was possibly built. I cannot believe that the wall is over 5,500 miles long. We traveled about 2 hours outside of Bejing to go to a section of the wall that is up in the mountains a bit more. It was beautiful. I stood at one point and could see sections of the wall three mountains away. The whole time we were there, I could not believe what I was seeing. We walked along the wall for a little ways and it was very hard work. I know you are wondering if we really did do Kung Fu on The Great Wall of China and the answer to that quandary is always yes. On the return trip from The Great Wall, we got on an extremely full bus and stood in the isles for the 2 hour ride home. It was worth it to be sure.

Who wants to go with me to my next man made wonder of the world? I am up for any and all of them. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Love Bejing More Then Ever!

I did not know was crazy was until I experienced the last week of my life but China consistently and frequently redefines many things that I thought I knew and understood. Bejing was wonderful and none of us wanted to leave. I will break down a basic schedule. I will post more on each site later but that is a start.

Tuesday September 21rst- Went to school, and then took a 4 hour bus ride that was suppose to be 2 hours to Guangzhou where we would catch our train to Bejing. Then we barely caught our train to Bejing. 
Wednesday September 22nd- We chilled on the train in the morning and then finally got off of our 21 hour train ride in Bejing sometime in the afternoon. We checked out Tiananmen Square and stuff downtown that night. It was the Mid Autumn Festival so we thought there might be festivities going on but there turned out to be no festivities just thousands of people.
Thursday September 23rd- We went all around Bejing and dominating the extremely crowded metro like ninja's. We went to The Forbidden City, different sweet places around Bejing, various temples, the Olympic Stadium "The Birds Nest", and went shopping at The Pearl Market. We were extremely excited but it was a great day. 
Friday September 24th- THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!!!! We went to a section of the wall that was about 2 hours away so we took various metro's and buses to get there. It is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I was and am still in awe. We took a ski lift up to the wall and then tobogganed down. It was great. The two hour bus ride back in which we were standing the whole time amongst a bus chalk full of Asians was not quite as amazing as The Great Wall but that is not to say that it was not a good experience. We then went back to The Pearl Market because I had dreams of all the pearls that I saw there and I had to have more. China is so cheap and I cannot help myself. 
Saturday September 25th- We went to The Silk Market in the morning and then caught a train to head home in the evening. 
Sunday September 26th- Chilled on the train all day then, once we finally got back to Guangzhou after another 21 our train ride, caught a 2 hour bus ride home. It was extremely strange to return home from a big trip to somewhere other than my actual home. I do love my Chinese Home though and was very glad to see it. 
Monday September 27th- We taught at school during the day and then took off, in our extremely beautiful lime green polo's, back to Guangzhou to go see a huge performance in celebration of the International Tourism Day that I did not know existed. It was incredible. I have never seen anything like that performance before. We got back from Guanzhou that night at about 12:30 AM. 

Dont worry, there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In 3 days we are going on another vacation and this time we are going for 10 days to Guilin and Yangshuo. I am extremely excited. There is no time for resting in China. There are far too many Asians to meet, things to see and food to try. Maybe I will slow down when I get back to the U.S. We shall see.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello Malaysian Food

Making friends is not always the easiest thing in the world for me to do but I have found the answer to my difficulties in that regard. All I have to do is live in a foreign country that does not speak my native language. I have never found it easier to make friends. If I meet someone who speaks English, we are instantly friends because we can speak to each other. It is amazing how grateful I am for communication when it is not readily accessible to me at all times.

 We met Joy on our first day here in Zhongshan. She is from the Philippines living here with her mom. She also teaches English and claims that her Mandarin is not very good but I think I disagree with that. I do not think she has a ton of friends so she likes to hang out with us from time to time. She lives right next to us and Wendy and I run into her all the time on buses and around the apartment. She asked us if we wanted to go shopping with her and grab some lunch sometime and we were delighted to agree. So last Saturday we went out on the town with Joy and had some of the best food I have ever had. She took us to a Malaysian food place that was fabulous. Joy ordered Squid Curry as an appetizer and it wasnt completely terrible but I liked the Chicken and Potato Curry that I ordered much better. Wendy had Pineapple Fried Rice that was served inside an actual pineapple. I think Wendy could have died of happiness right there in that restaurant. The kitchen was right in the middle of the restaurant and there was about 10 different cooks in a line all wearing brightly colored do-rags just waiting to cook their portion of your meal. It was awesome. At lunch, we also met a teacher from Scotland and a younger American girl that is here teaching. Again, it is great to get to know people you can talk to so hopefully we will be seeing them again too. They are going on vacation the same places we are so I expect to see them around. The more I see of our city, the more I like it. It is such a beautiful place. 

At this time tomorrow I will, hopefully, be on a train headed to Bejing! 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kung Fu Lessons Revisited

We started Kung Fu lessons a month ago but, because of Karaoke last week, we just had our third lesson this last week. It is time for an update. I am going to go ahead and answer questions that I know you have before you even have to ask them. 

You have been in Kung Fu lessons for three weeks now, are you a Kung Fu Master yet? No. I am not a master yet but I am definitely less sore than I was in week 1 and week 2. I am not sure if that is because this last week I only participated in half the lesson because I was laughing most of the time or if it because I am getting better. We will go with the latter. 

Are you going to have to do a Kung Fu show at the end of the year in front of all the people you work with? Unfortunately, yes. Apparently the principle has a big party planned and us, and our Kung Fu, will be part of the entertainment. Spring does not think that one time a week is enough time to get us ready so we are going to start going to lessons of Saturday as well to get us ready. 

Are you planning on doing Kung Fu on The Great Wall of China? Yes! It is going to be awesome. That is all. 

What do you do in Kung Fu? We usually start by stretching. Due to a genetic anomaly I am extremely flexible in some ways and not at all flexible in others. When Spring saw this, he became determined that I was faking and that I can actually do the splits. If I could do the splits, I would not pretend I couldnt I assure you. Anyway, he pushed me, literally, until I thought I would split in half. Maybe it is different here in China, but I was under the impression that when a person screams it means to stop what you are doing to them not to push harder. Maybe I should try laughing next time. Dont worry though, I will conquer my inflexibility! We then learn some Kung Fu moves for show. Spring then teaches us some fighting Kung Fu moves. This usually just means that one or more of us end up on the ground. Kung Fu is always a good time. We have a little too much fun for Spring. He always says, "Kung Fu bu kaixing (Kung Fu no happy)" 

Is Spring infatuated with Wendy? To Wendy's dismay, I am afraid that the answer to this question is yes. To my dismay, the fact that Spring loves Wendy means that I have to work harder than the others because I am always partners with Wendy and Spring never leaves her side. For example, we all had to do 50 sit ups but because Spring never left Wendy's or my side he decided our sit ups were not good enough and we had to do another 50 while the others just sat there. I suppose I should be grateful. I wasn't at the time though. Spring made Wendy dance in front of us all which she hated. She also would constantly whisper things to his buddy Brandon and then they would both stare at Wendy. I think it is rather funny, particularly because they have matchy matchy headbands, but Wendy has determined that she would rather have an old man teach us. She is a good sport though, as seen in the photo's. 

That is all I have to say about Kung Fu for now. In two days we are going to Bejing! I could not be any more excited. We are going for 4 days and then we come back, teach for 4 days and have another 10 day vacation. We are going to go to Guilin for the long one. It is going to be a crazy several weeks but bring it on! I will update the blog a great deal when I get back!!! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Decisions Decisions...

I have been in China for 6 weeks now! To celebrate, we are going to eat American food at an awesome Pizza place down the street. We love eating there but we try to save it for special occasions. We definitely count our 6 week anniversary of our arrival in China a special occasion. We have very big plans for our 8 week anniversary that may or may not have a Harry Potter theme and involve no bake cookies. It has been a fantastic 6 weeks! The hardest and the best in my recollection. 

The pictures were taken at a park in the City I live in. We just discovered it and it is one of the coolest parks I have ever seen. I live in such a beautiful place. I have decided, with the help of some extremely wise people within my acquaintance, to go to a University in the Spring and major in English. The only problem at this point is that I do not know whether to go to ASU or NAU. It is a difficult decision but it will be made soon and from China. That much I do know. I am very excited to go to school again. This is an awesome break but it will be nice to get back into the swing of things.

I hope the next 6 weeks in China will be as awesome as the first 6 weeks were. I have a feeling that they will be pretty great because we travel to Bejing in a week and 4 days after we get back from Bejing we are going to Guilin for 9 days. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Friday was Teachers day in China which was awesome! A little boy gave us some Moon Cakes, which happen to be disgusting, and we also were given hearts, chocolate, and a weird felt rose. Our Native Coordinators, Tiny and Candice, wanted to take us out to do something special to celebrate as well so they took us to Karaoke. We had to skip Kung Fu lessons because Tina, Candice, and Fanny all wanted to go during the buy 2 hours get 2 free special. So, just to make sure we are on the same page, we did indeed go to 4 hours of Karaoke with 3 Asian women.

Things I discovered about myself, China, and the entire Universe during Karaoke...

1. I know every single word of "Burn" by Usher. This is something I did not know about myself. I am not a fan of Usher. I am not a fan of the song. I just happen to know it all. I have no idea how. This excites me because I knew a pop song better than the 6 other pop loving girls I was with and depresses me greatly because I knew a pop song better than the 6 other pop loving girls I was with. However, I was encouraged by the fact that I didnt know any of the other backstreet boys, N Sync, and Brittney Spears songs they sang. 

2. Every song that was in Chinese has random English words just thrown in every few sentences. I have no idea why every single song needs to throw in English words but they definitely do. Tina, Candice and Fanny would sometimes sing Chinese songs that were in English. My favorite song they sang had a chorus that went something like this, "I'm a big big girl in a big big world and its no big big thing if you leave. But I do do feel that I do do will miss you much, miss you much." Dont worry everyone, I will find out the artist so you can download this gem of a song soon. 

3. Most of the English songs they did not have permission to be using so they could not use the original version or the original music video. An example of this would be the fact that the "Do Re Me" music video were a bunch of Asians dressed up dancing on a hill. They would always use extremely random river scenes or historic sights of China for the background of all the English songs. Lets just say that we got extremely sick of those video's by the end. The Asian music video's were also weird but extremely modest and cutesy. 

4. Four hours and the word Karaoke should never even be mentioned in the same sentence. Let us just say that the experience was tolerable and even enjoyable for the first 2 hours but after that it was rather excruciatingly painful. I am not sure if I have ever been happier to leave a place. 

5. Chinese women love High School Musical and Taylor Swift. Candice, Tina and Fanny were so excited to sing High School Musical and Taylor Swift. It was hilarious. Believe me, High school Musical music is much better when it is sung by Asians. Fanny also rocked singing "My Heart Will Go On." I am not sure if I will be able to listen to any song I heard that night the same.
There you have it, that is my experience with Chinese Karaoke. It was a great experience and it was also great to see it end. Sorry the pictures aren't great. The room was really dark. 

Just Another Day at the Kindergarten

As previously mentioned, Wendy and I worked with the little 2 year olds this week. It was frustrating but also awesome. We were told that they did not have English names so we named them all. I was just getting used to the names that we made up for them when, come to find out, they really have had English names all along. So we now have to call them by the names their parents gave them (rather frustrating, I know). I am so confused. They also have probably never heard their English names before so trying to get their attention is often a completely fruitless venture. On Friday, we were teaching Martin to say his name and he kept yelling, "My name is MARTIN MARTIN MARTIN!" over and over again. It was awfully cute. We do not get to work with the 2 year olds until we get back from Bejing for another several weeks. I am excited to see their improvement. 

Pictures: 1. Davis who is, in actually, named Martin. I can never remember what his actual name is. 2. Max who's name is awaiting official approval from his parents. 3. Benny had a bit of an accident and was being whisked away to get cleaned up. Good thing that little puddle was there for the other kids to play around for the rest of the time we were at school that day. I even offered to clean it up but apparently they just wanted it to sit there. Chinese hygiene is completely beyond me. Benny happens to be the most beautiful adorable little Asian I have ever seen. The Chinese teachers say this is because he looks foreign.