The girls started teaching on the 21st, but the school had a little welcome "party" for us and the teachers only had 1 lesson, so our first full day of teaching was today. It had a mixture of 1/2 cup success and 1/2 cup craziness. That's the usual recipe for the First-Day. The teachers are excited to teach, the kids are adorable, but everyone is still figuring out where to go. A routine will definitely be established, it just takes time.
We've had chances to venture out in our neighborhood several times, which has been quite fun. But today some of our coordinators took us into the heart of the city. We took two buses to get there, and went to a place called "Walking Street", which is a little shopping district. There was also a forest area that we ventured around, with a tower that was apparently built 400 years ago. So we stopped and took some pictures there. :)
We are still getting used to the humidity. Every 5 minutes we have to wipe the moisture off our faces. And of course with a hot, humid climate comes bugs. We are trying to combat the mosquitos and whatever else is biting us, but they seem to be winning the battle so far.
I love the girls in my group. The five of us get along pretty darn good. There is also another group that is staying temporarily in our same apartment building for a few weeks (and teaching with us) until their school in Changsha is finished being built. So we've been hanging out with them as well.
Life here in China is totally different---yet people are people, and life is life. People around the world have different cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles; yet we all contain basic human nature, and function in the same way. As far as culture shock goes I feel like it either hasn't hit, or I adjust quite easily.
Chinese people are very friendly. We always have random strangers saying "hello!" as we pass by and we answer saying "Ni-Hao!"
Here are the latest pics I've taken...
Common transportation in China
Just a normal day.
Me on "Walking Street".
Our group on "Walking Street".
My group next to the pagoda.