Monday, September 30, 2013

Beer Fest & Olympics


I'm too tired to write coherent paragraphs so Ill just upload my pictures from the last few days and comment on them :)

Beautiful sunset on the main road

cute little area behind the main mall--lots of cafes and coffee shops

Carrefour! my saving grace--love this supermarket

Beer Festival

This really drunk chinese guy was hazing my coworkers ;)

I finally met some other foreign people in Jinan--so beer festival was a success

REally drunk chinese guy got everyone up and dancing--too funny

and my coworker is singing in chinese

some live music after beer festival

Today at school the whole school did an olympic event--i thought it was a fun thing to do instead of having classes the last day before a week off.

the teachers had to run a relay so i had to partake--just a 100 so it wasn't too bad 

After work i did some shopping--everything is all decorated for national day!

I thought these shopping posters were hilarious...basically the signs say during the week long holiday this mall will be having sales

Off to shanghai tomorrow evening! :D 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm still alive!

I apologize that its taken me ages to update! My VPN has been not working...I finally emailed the website today and figured out whats going on.

I have been teaching for about 2 weeks now--Senior 1 students which are American sophomores. They are pretty awesome in terms of motivation, behavior and critical thinking. I have a lot of characters in my class--some that i see fitting right in with American college students.

It's a little hard to assess them still because they all have very different levels of English and the same students who are very confident in their speaking ability always participate so Im facing different challenges than i would if i were teaching in the US. Plus they are paying a lot for this program so its more important to make sure i am doing actives and lessons that they are engaged in, thinking critically, and working on their speaking ability.

At the end of the week before last I had to go to Hong Kong to get a work visa. I flew into Shenzhen, went to Hong Kong for two days...lots of shopping...then stayed in Shenzhen for the weekend and got a chance to catch up with friends and get the rest of my things.

I think every time i go to hong kong i like it a little more. 

the gianormous apple store that is in Central HK

A view from the Central Pier 

Wouldn't mind running on that path everyday....beautiful view of Victoria Harbour. 

GARRETTS in HK! If only there was Portillos my day would have been much more complete. Still so comforting to see something so close to home!

Only in Asia...hello Kitty world

So much traveling! Those of you who know me know that i absolutely hate flying. 

 Last weekend we had 2 extra days off for the Moon Festival...since Chinese holidays are based off the lunar calendar we had wends day, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday off and then worked Sunday. My dad says that the Chinese men in his office did the same thing--working on Sunday is still a bit unusual! Before the break we had a little party with the teaching staff. Lots of singing and food--i am the only one who is not musically challenged!

There is a HUGE shortage of taxis here--after me and two of the chinese staff went and got food for the staff party we took this little thing back since we couldn't get a proper taxi. 

Over the holiday i rested and set up my house--one day some of the guys and i played some tennis, went to a big street full of street food & BBQ and then checked out Daming Lake which was extremely beautiful. 

Crowded street food 

Daming Lake

My conclusion of Jinan (thus far)--there are really pretty natural springs to walk along and a GORGEOUS Lake to walk around--a boyfriend here would be ideal. 

Picture of the Springs

Besides that there is the main road with a mall right down the street from me and then two larger malls and a walmart about a 20 minute walk away. Ive been walking to the supermarket or the malls daily just to do something besides just going home each day. 

Next Monday the kids have an Olympic games which i am a little excited to watch--i miss track! Then Tuesday we go on holiday for a week. Im planning on going to Shanghai but well see! 

Peace and Love xoxo

Some pictures around Jinan:

All three above are part of the Springs 

An "old navy" outlet 

I think these are silkworms, there are a lot more of them here than i ever saw in the supermarkets down south. 

Along the main road (near the entrance to the Springs) there is this outside theater. There are men BBQing and lots of families sitting around tables and in seating. I love this!

Outside Wanda Plaza the mall right near me they have little adorable kids taking rollerblading lessons. I miss teaching the little ones!

I decided to hit up the track one day over my holiday. brought back some memories and helped me to realize that I'm extremely out of shape. I'm still sore from my one mile jog

My latest obsession--bao zi, steamed stuffed bread. 

I joined the local gym which is surprisingly nice

Beautiful sunset! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Starting Fresh

Orientation in Nanjing went by quickly. I didn't really get a chance to see the city, but its only 2.5 hours away on the fast rail so I might take a weekend trip sometime.

The day before Orientation started we did get a chance to check out the Nanjing Massacre was very sobering to see. The Memorial was very well put together and was a reminder of how ugly history could be.

Each stone represents a person who fell victim to the massacre

Beautiful room for reflection

All together 300,000 innocent people were victims. The statue of the woman at the top was a Chinese American missionary who wrote a book about what happened in Nanjing called The Raping of Nanjing. Writing the book and the details of the Massacre scarred her so deeply that she committed suicide. 

A view from near our hotel in Nanjing

Welcome to Jinan! 
We left orientation Thursday afternoon and took the fast rail train to Jinan. 
The school is located right in the heart of the city. The tallest building in this city (of 6 million people!) will be 50 stories tall when its finished being constructed (below)

The school has an apartment right across from the main building for foreign teachers so we all live on campus. My apartment is big and its nice to not have to worry about rent...ill put up pictures once I get settled in. 

Its nice to be back in a professional, school setting again. The school has a middle school, the high school, and then the international wing where there are 240 students between 3 grade levels. There is a basketball court, tennis courts, ping pong tables, a track, and a soccer field all on campus. 

Friday we got settled into our office and our apartments and then starting Saturday we had to come into the office to plan classes. I will be teaching American Studies to the new Senior 1 class (2 classes of 35 kids a day) Even though ill only be teaching 2 classes a day, I must be in the office from 8 AM to 5:40 PM when the last class ends. We do have lunch from 11:30-2 which is kind of nice...but getting done with work at 6 gives me little time to do much. 

Jinan is known for its natural Springs. They are not too far from the school so I went down and checked them out...very beautiful! 

Im hoping tomorrow I will get a chance to explore a little bit more. Its hard readjusting to a new place that is smaller, less developed, and much more "Chinese" than the last one that I lived in. 

Not to mention I work with all guys...I'm in need of some female friends!