North America, Asia ·
204 Days ·
106 Moments ·
8 days ago
May 15: Saw the new Avengers movie with Sophia, Ray, Deb and Brian. It was a crazy movie. I am still not sure how I feel about it. But it was great spending time with friends.
11 May 2018
May 11 - Larry in Fuzhou: Today Larry left. I am so glad he came. I loved traveling to Beijing with him and exploring that city. And then I got to show him around my home city of Fuzhou. He got to see my apartment. He got to try all the authentic Chinese food and he got to meet most of friends. We even got to explore a near by city that I had never been to before. We had a great adventure but it was still very hard to see him leave.
10 May 2018
May 10 - Larry in Fuzhou: We were quite lazy this morning. We slept in until almost 10 and ended up skipping breakfast. We meet up with Ray for a traditional Fuzhou cuisine for lunch. She took us to a really popular but small restaurant. We tried a couple of dishes including pig kidney. Ray insisted on paying for lunch so we treated her to ice cream. After Ray had to go to work so we went to Bravo one more time for Larry to pick up all the treats he wants to take home with him. After we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and packing. For dinner we went to a Korean BBQ. They cooked all our food right in front of us. It was very yummy and a nice last dinner together.
9 May 2018
May 9 - Larry in Fuzhou (part 2): Even though we were kind of tired from the Fun Zone it was nothing compared to how we felt after hiking in Fuzhou National Forest Park with Ray. We had fun hiking. It was really pretty. But there were so many stairs and we were climbing a mountain. We hiked back to Dragon Falls and there were many small waterfalls on the way. It was very peaceful out there. Also, hiking gave Larry a chance to get to know Ray better. By the time we got back we took a golf cart to the entrance before getting a taxi back to my apartment. Larry and I were so tired we ordered dinner in. We had spicy kabobs and rice.
May 9 - Larry in Fuzhou (part 1): Today we spent the day with my coworkers. There was a TRT event at the Fun Zone. In total it was Charlotte, Ray, Areal, Chris, Deb, Larry and I. It's a team gaming facility that has multiple game for us to play in teams. It started with a weird relay race with this really pokey plastic. The second game was a giant foosball. Some of my coworkers were super competitive and I definitely got some busies out of it. It was still a ton a fun. The third game was a giant wack a mole. I had fun hitting my coworkers in the head with a blow up hammer. And the third was a trampoline park with basketball hoops. I of course had to do some flips on them. We had a ton of fun. I was so tired afterwards, we all were. After we all went to a north western Chinese restaurant for some traditional cuisine. I really enjoyed the duck. They also had traditional Chinese dancers during the lunch rush and of course they asked me and Areal to dance with them.
8 May 2018
May 8 - Larry in Fuzhou: Today we decided to have a very yummy and nutritious breakfast of donuts and milk before going to the island of Pingtan for a beach day. It is an island but it is huge and has mountains on it. It's was a great day for the beach. It was mid 80s and very humid in Fuzhou. It was our first time ever seeing the Pacific and it was fun to see and swim in it. The water was also quite warm. We also walked along the beach for a while and climbed some rocks that jutted out into the ocean. We also had fun building a sand castle. For lunch we just had snacks but for dinner we found a local little restaurant that had some really good food. We got ice cream on our walk back to the beach. We stayed till well after sunset in hopes of seeing the blue tears, which is when the water glows blue because of bioluminescent fish but we didn't get lucky. It was still fun to see he ocean at night before getting a didi back to Fuzhou.
7 May 2018
May 7 - Larry in Fuzhou: Today the plan was to go to the Fujian Museum and West Lake Park but I didn't know that the museum was closed on Monday so we settled for just the park. We walked around for a while and we also just sat under some shade. It was quite hot and humid today. We decided to go back to Mr. Chen's Dumplings, my favorite dumpling place and now Larry's too. After we went back to Walmart to pick some stuff up for my apartment like a summer comforter for my bed. The I had was quite heavy and hot for the summer here. We also got popsicles to help with the heat. On the way back it was raining and we got a really got thunderstorm that night.
6 May 2018
May 6 - Larry in Fuzhou: Today was a relaxing day. We took the day easy. We slept in and watched movies. I had never seen the justice league series and Larry brought them over so enjoyed watching them. For dinner we went to Haidilao a really nice hot pot restaurant. Some of my coworkers, Charlotte, Brian, Ray, and Deb came with us. The food was good and it was nice for Larry to get to know my coworker better.
5 May 2018
May 5 - Larry in Fuzhou: Today we went to 3 lanes and 7 allies which is the main tourist pet of town with mini museums and shops. It's where all the rich and famous people use to live. We did lots of souvenir shopping for ourselves and family. We went to a couple of the museums but we were more interested in the shops and food. We got a really good waffle ice cream cone and some Chinese danishes. We also saw a pretty church near by. I don't know if it was because I was with Larry or the time of year but at least 5 people asked for photos with me. They love my white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. For dinner we decided to go to my favorite dumpling place, Mr. Chen's Dumplings in Wanda Plaza. Larry really liked the dumping too. Then we went to Walmart so he could see how different it was here compared to in the US. We also got some more snacks to try.
4 May 2018
May 4 - Larry in Fuzhou: Today I showed Larry my favorite park near my house, Minjiang Park. It did sprinkle on us a little but the park was really pretty. After we went to my school so Larry could meet all my coworkers. One of the course consultants, Sunny, said Larry was hot. We then went downstairs for dinner at a dumpling place with Brian, an international teacher. After Brian had to get back to work but Larry and I went to Bravo because I had no food at my apartment. We mainly grabbed snack food as we planed to eat out a lot. Larry picked out some chips and desserts that he wanted to try.
3 May 2018
May 3 - Beijing to Fuzhou: Today we left Beijing for Fuzhou. We decided to take the train as then we could look at the country side. It was about an 8 hour trip but we enjoyed each other's company and we even watched some movies on my laptop. When we got to Fuzhou we took a taxi to my apartment. Larry pretty much had a panic attack. Even though I warned him the driving over here can be quite scary, especially for the first time. You are just looking for your break peddle and hoping you won't crash into the the million cars that you are squeezing between. Since we had a full day of travel we decided to order in dinner. We got my favorite delivery food which is rice, fried chicken with veggies and potatoes.
2 May 2018
May 2 - Beijing day 4: Today was our last full day in Beijing. We decided to sleep in a little today so we missed breakfast at the hotel so we ended up at McDonalds for breakfast. After we headed to the Forbidden City. It was so big. We took about 3 hours walking around and we didn't see everything and most the building we couldn't even go in. We did do the Hall of Clocks and Watches which was really cool to see. We both enjoyed the royal garden. After walking around so much we wanted to rest so we decided to watch Mulan since we had now seen the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. After we got dinner at a local noodle restaurant. They made their noodles by hand and they were so good. They also had a good juice. Then we returned to our hotel to pack.
1 May 2018
May 1 Beijing day 3 (part 2): The hike on the Great Wall was defiantly a work out. And it bothered my knee a little bit but I would go again in a heart beat. To go back down the mountain we got to take a luge. It was a ton of fun going down that way. We met up with Matt for dinner and got some souvenirs before making our way back to the hotel. I got a cool mug and Larry got some post cards. The trip back was also long. On the long bus there were so many people that we had to stand. At one point I almost fell over but Larry caught me. By the time we got back we were quite tired and turned in early.
May 1 - Beijing day (part 1): Great Wall day! First we got breakfast at our hotel. Larry is enjoying trying new things every morning. He found one type of dumpling he really likes. To get to the Mutianyu Great Wall was quite a process. We walked, took the metro, 2 busses, a taxi and a chair lift. We did meet a nice guy named Matt, who was also from the USA. We took the taxi with him. The long trip out there was totally worth it. It is so beautiful. It wasn't too crowded. This section of the Great Wall is mostly restored but has some original steps too meaning that some steps where as high as my knee while others were barely a bump. We decided to walk to where the end of the restored section was and I was so glad we did. The unrestored section was covered in trees and was really cool to see. We couldn't help but take a ton of photos.
30 April 2018
April 30 - Beijing day 2: Today we explored the area around our hotel. First we had breakfast at our hotel which was a traditional Chinese breakfast. Larry got to try some new things. After we walked down to Tiananmen Square. There were so many people. Tiananmen Square is huge. After we were going to go to the Forbidden City but all 80,000 tickets were already sold for the day and it wasn't even 11am! Instead we walked around the area and did some shopping. Larry got some cool souvenirs and I got a new book called '101 stories for foreigners to understand Chinese.' For dinner we went and got Peking Duck which is the food that Beijing is famous for. We originally went to one restaurant but the wait was way to long. Instead we went to one in a hotel. Our waiter, Kenny, was super nice. And the food was amazing.
29 April 2018
April 29 - Beijing day 1: Larry is here!!!! Even though his plane was delayed by 5 hours meaning I waited in the airport for him for 8 hours it is totally worth it because he is here. We took the metro to get to our hotel which is right in the center of Beijing. Once we got settled we went to get snacks at the corner store.
28 April 2018
April 28: Today we had a teacher team building event. We went ice staking in the same mall as our school. We have been talking about going since November. It was a ton of fun. Ray, Brian and Charlotte had never ice skates before so it was fun to help them. Deb was an amazing skater and was doing circles around all of us. After Ray, Deb and I went to my favorite dumpling place, Chen's Dumplings. Then I went home to pack as tomorrow I go to Beijing to see Larry!
25 April 2018
April 25: A new international teacher arrived today! Her name is Deb. I picked her up from the airport this morning and took her to the hotel. After I showed her around the area, gave her a tour of the school and we went to lunch with some other teachers.
24 April 2018
April 24: Today there was a TRT event. They have these events periodically for EF employees as team building events. Today's event was handmade soap building. It was fun making them and now I have some really nice soap.
13 April 2018
April 13: We had a big review of our school today. The management team came in to check everything from our sales to the paint on the wall. Brian, Ray and myself represented the teacher team. Also, In preparation they needed the demo room wall painted with some of the characters. Even though it took a ton of time I'm really happy with my hard work and it was nice to pint again.
7 April 2018
April 7: My recruiter, Juliet Wells, came down from Shanghai to learn more about Fuzhou. She also recruited Alex and Pauline. It was a great time catching up with her over some great Greek food
5 April 2018
April 5: Today I sent most of my day with Sophia! She is the best Teacher Assistant (TA) at my school and she is super cool. We went to a West Lake Park and the amusement park next to it. It was really pretty. We walked around for a while and we went on the a paddle boat. After we headed back to my apartment to watch a movie and to get out of the sun. It is getting quite hot here. We watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. She thought it was funny. I also made us dinner. We had a great time talking and having a fun relaxing day. Sophia and I plan to hangout again soon.
4 April 2018
April 4: Today was a good and productive day. I got a workout this morning and then I went shopping for a kaki skirt. I didn't have any luck finding a skirt but my workout was good. After I got some stuff cleaned up in my apartment before heading to a celebration dinner for Charlotte's 4th year and for Brenda's Birthday. Also, the head boss of Fuzhou brought her 2 month old baby and he is such a cutie. It was a great dinner. There was great food and great conversations. Also, the cheese cake was amazing!
3 April 2018
April 3: This week has been a tons of fun. Two new teachers, Alex and Pauline, came to Fuzhou this week. I have meet them several times but tonight I had them over for dinner along with Charlotte. We had a fruit and veggie plater for starters with mimosas and for diner we had a traditional American breakfast with bacon, fried potatoes and spinach, mushroom, onion scrambled eggs. I'm really bummed I didn't take any photos. It all looked so good. Also, I get along with them really well. And they are form MICHIGAN!! So we know all the same places. We already have plans to hang out again soon.
19 March 2018
March 19: Today we had a training across town at school 1 so instead of just going over for the training we made a day out of it. We went to a great Greek restaurant first. After that got some ice cream and walked around the mall. I'm so lucky to have great coworkers.
14 March 2018
March 13-14: I had a great weekend. On Tuesday I had my favorite dumplings from Chen's Dumpling and then I went to see Black Panther in 4D with Brian (international teacher), Joyie (TA), Cici (TA), Sophia (TA), and Brenda (bosses boss). It was so good. Much more violent but good. On Wednesday I joined a gym and got a great workout wth Brian and Ray. I've been teaching Ray how to use the machines. After the workout we went to a taco place to have lunch. I have been craving tacos so much. It was my first time having them since I've been in China. Also, I was dog sitting my bosses dog all week so I got some good walks too.
10 March 2018
March 10: Brian, our new international teacher arrived today. He seems super nice. He is from South Africa and has been in China for two years. All the teachers went out after work to have a welcome dinner at a hot pot. It was so much food but it was so good.
8 March 2018
March 8: Today we had a birthday party for Phoebe and myself. There was cake, fruit and good company. Also, it was women's day so we each got roses. It was so nice and yummy.
7 March 2018
March 6 and 7: Spring is here in Fuzhou so I spent quite a bit of time outside during my weekend. On Tuesday I took a nice walk in the park near by my apartment. Also I found a good hammock spot that was perfect for reading and relaxing. On Wednesday Ray and I met up to first go to the bank. As that did not take as long as we thought we came back to my apartment were we watched Ferris Bueller Day Off (which she had never seen) and I made lunch for us. After we went to the biggest park in Fuzhou to see the peach blossoms. We also saw some other cool plants and trees. One tree was over 1,000 years old and was huge! I want to go back to the park again because there is a waterfall further up the mountain but it started raining on us so we decided to head back. On our way back we ran into another coworker. It was a good weekend.
5 March 2018
March 5: Even though I had to work today, it was still a great birthday. I got a package full of some of my favorite food from my mom. A bottle full of fairy lights from my co-worker, Ray. A plush toy from a student who also sang Happy Birthday to me. And some gorgeous flowers from my boyfriend. After work I was taken out to dinner by some coworkers.
2 March 2018
March 2: Tonight I got to celebrate Lantern Festival. It is celebrated on the last day of Spring festival and is celebrated with parades, light shows, big sculptures and of course lots of lanterns. Unfortunately because of work we didn't get there till late but we still got to see a couple of the big sculptures all lit up. I'm bummed I missed the setting off of the lanterns and the big dragon parade but what I did see was still pretty cool.
25 February 2018
February 25: Most people take down their Christmas tree and decorations but not me. I turn them into spring decorations. My Christmas tree is now a spring tree and my snowflakes are now flowers. Happy spring everyone :)
19 February 2018
February 19 - Sansha day 7: Today was my last day at Kitty's house. We didn't have to leave till the afternoon so we spent the morning relaxing and spending time with her family. Kitty's niece wanted an English name so I gave her a few options and she went with Dani. I will miss Kitty's family. They have been so nice and welcoming to me. I'm so happy I got to learn more about Chinese culture. I loved celebrating a traditional Chinese New Year. Also, I loved trying all the food. I have some new favorites like rice noodle wraps, bamboo soup, dumping and sticky rice patties. I just wish I could cook that food myself. But at least now I know how to make dumplings. Kitty's family said I am welcome to come back anytime. Maybe next time I can learn how to cook more.
18 February 2018
February 18 - Sansha day 6 (part 2): After lunch we went hiking near a bay which was mostly empty during low tied. Also, there were all these sticks in the water which apparently have some type of vegetable growing on them. We hiked till around sunset but unfortunately we weren't able to see it due to a mountain being in the way. After we went to her friends apartment to hang out for a little bit before going to dinner at a more traditional Chinese restaurant which means lots of sea food. Kitty's friends are really nice. They tried their best to communicate with me and some of them had decent English. After dinner two of her friends drove us back to her house.
February 18 - Sansha day 6 (part 1): Today we spent all day in a neighboring city. It's where Kitty went to middle school and high school. There we meet up with some of Kitty's friends. They get together every year during Spring Festival. First we went to a small amusement park and went on the Ferris Wheel which gave us a cool view of the area. Unfortunately I couldn't get good pictures due to the bars around the cage. Then we went to a park to meet up with her friends and to try a local snack of fruit with a red sugar coating. The auger part was good but I'm not a fan of the fruit. One of her friends had the funniest electric bike. It was in the shape of snoopy. We then went to get lunch at a western/Chinese restaurant. We ordered everything to share so I had waffles, pasta, fries, mango ice cream, cauliflower, chicken, rice patties, and one of my favorite Chinese desserts which is kind of like french toast but crunchier and is served with ice cream.
17 February 2018
February 17 - Sansha day 5: Today was really cold and very windy. The original plan was to go to the island near by but with the high wind it wasn't a possible. But a windy day is perfect for playing with bubbles so get bought some blue wands. It was fun and we got some cool pictures. After we went to warm up at a coffee shop. Kitty's friend, Kunpeng, went and got us some Korea BBQ for a snack. After that Kitty and I went back to her house to relax for a little bit and had dinner before heading out again to meet up with a group of her friends. First we went to a bar to hang out and play some games and then we went to a restaurant to get some food. The friends were really nice and tried their best to communicate with me and include me in the games even though their English wasn't very good.
16 February 2018
February 16 - Sansha day 4: Happy Chinese New Years! Today we welcomed in the year of the dog. Today was great. I got to celebrate with some of the Chinese traditions. First, children and some adults wears new clothes. This is a tradition because the poor use to not be able to afford clothes so this was the one time a year they would get new clothes. Another tradition is red packets, which are envelopes with money inside. The children get red packets from their relatives. I gave red packets to Kitty's niece and nephews but I instead of RMB I put dollars. Another tradition is for the entire family to go to the temple together. It was really busy. There we rang a big bell to bring luck in the new year. After the entire family spends time together eating and playing Mah Jong, a domino game. I tried to look up the rules and watch but the game is so complicated. I only watched but I enjoyed the food. Also, I found roasted watermelon seeds and sugar cane are both are yummy.
15 February 2018
February 15 - Sansha day 3 (part 2): After dinner we went out to meet up with one of Kitty's friends, Kunpeng. It's common for young adults to go out after dinner to catch up because Chinese New Year is the only time they have too see each other as they all work in different cities around China but everyone comes back home to celebrate. We went to a restaurant and there they taught me how to play a dice game. I'm pretty good at it but I'm still not sure I actually understand the rules. We then got some fireworks and had fun lighting them off and taking pictures. After we went back to Kitty's house to light off fireworks with her family and then watch the fireworks at midnight. They were amazing! The most fireworks I've ever seen. People from all over the city were lighting off fireworks. Picture 50 grand finales all going off at once for a half hour! It was so pretty. It also made me realized how big this town is. Even though they call it a town it is has a huge population!
February 15 - Sansha day 3 (part 1): Today is Chinese New Year's Eve. It is beautiful out today. It's sunny and in the mid 70s. Since today is a family day we spent most of the day at Kitty's house. For some of the day I laid outside in the sun and read. It was wonderful. Surprisingly I didn't get burnt. Dinner is the start of the big Chinese New Year's celebration. There was so much food. My favorite was a rice noodle dish that you put in wraps. Her family wanted me to try everything! They also want me to eat more. They are afraid I will be hungry. During dinner they taught me new Chinese words. Their family is so nice and the kids are adorable.
14 February 2018
February 14 - Sansha day 2 (part 2): On our way back we went to the beach to see the sunset which was gorgeous. When we got back to Kitty's house we had dinner. Her mom made us amazing dumplings and soup. Her mom also taught me how to make dumplings which is actually quite easy. I can't wait to make them at home for my friends and family. I hope I can find the wraps.
February 14 - Sansha day 2 (part 1): Today we did a lot of exploring. The day started with a great local breakfast. It was like an egg roll but with really thin noodles and veggies in it and it was amazing. One of her friends meet up with us. He spoke English pretty well, so that was nice. Together walk around the main downtown of her town before we got a van that took us to a neighboring town. The weather here is super nice today. It was mid 60s and sunny all day. I wouldn't be surprised if I got a little burnt today. In the neighboring town we saw some temples, went to the river, walked around and had a really filling lunch. It was sort of fish soup that I would love to learn how to make.
13 February 2018
February 13 - Sansha day 1 (part 2): After lunch, we headed out so Kitty could show me around a little. Today we went to a really cool Buddhist temple that sits on of a mountain. We first went into town and then we got a van to the temple. Her brother and second cousin came with us. Her second cousin is absolutely adorable. She is 6 years old, never stops moving, and is always laughing. Also, she repeats every English word I say and has really good memory. When we were at the temple I looked out and said 'wow' she ran around looking everywhere looking out saying 'wow.' It was the most adorable thing.
February 13 - Sansha day 1 (part 1): Today was the first day of my Spring Festival/Chinese New Years break. Chinese New Years is huge here. Everyone goes to their home town to spend time with family. Kitty, a coworker, is super nice and invited me to celebrate with her and her family. Kitty is from the small sea side town of Sansha. I'm super excited to celebrating a traditional Chinese New Years. Her home town is about an hour train ride north of Fuzhou. Her family lives on the side of a mountain with a great view of the ocean. We dropped off our stuff at her house and had some lunch made by her mom. I also got to meet some of her family. She has a really big family. None of them speak English but they are all super nice and super hospitable. They all learned how to say hello so they could welcome me which I thought was really nice. I really hope to improve my Chinese here. Kitty is really good at teaching me new words.
11 February 2018
February 11: Tonight we had our end of winter course/Chinese New Years party. It was a great time. We had great food and good company. We even played some fun games with prizes. I also got the Excellent Teacher Award which was a really nice surprise along with some nice headphones. And the teacher team got an award for being the best.
6 February 2018
I found this music video a while ago but the longer I’m here the truer it is. I wanted to share it with you guys but I also realize most of you will be totally lost when listening to it so I attached some translations in the picture.
And yes, I would be totally lost without my phone but I do carry around a little but of cash just in case.
24 January 2018
February 6: sorry for not posting recently. It's been all work recently. I have been working 6 days a week for winter course where we teach the students nursery rhymes, phonics and do cool crafts. Also, one of my students gave me a rose for Chinese News Year
17 January 2018
January 9-17: Chongqing (part 2): I came with 4 other teachers from Fuzhou but we also meet a ton of other teachers here. It was really nice to meet more teachers and I got to know some of them pretty well. I even stayed with Elizabeth the last night I was there. My last day in Chongqing I was able to explore. I made the most out of my morning as Dani, a Chongqing teacher, took me to a tour bus that took us to all the best places here. I learned some interesting history too. My favorite was Hongyadong Cave which is a huge mall like building built into the mountain cave. It's really pretty on the outside and had lots of local arts, crafts and food. I got a really cool bamboo coffee mug with Chinese engravings on it! Seeing the point where the Yangtze River meets the Jialing River was kind of cool. The two rivers are different colors and you can see where they converge on a nice day but I wasn't able to really see it. I'm still glad I got to explore Chongqing a little. Now back to Fuzhou
11 January 2018
January 9-17: Chongqing (part 1): I traveled to Chongqing for 7 days for my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in class training. Chongqing has a population of over 30 million (larger than Texas' entire population or about 2.5 time the population of New York City) ... so it's really big. The city reminded me a lot of a much bigger Pittsburg. It is built around the converging of two rivers, is a very mountainous city, and have so many bridges. Every day we had class from 9:30-530 so there wasn't much time for exploring during the week. Every night we did go out for dinner and we found some really good food. Chongqing is known for being the spiciest city and boy was it. It's a special pepper here that makes your mouth go numb. Their most known food is their spicy hot pot which we went to one day. I couldn't handle much of it. We also got Korean BBQ, Indian curry, French lasagna, southern Chinese, American burgers, Chongqing spicy noodles, and Chinese BBQ. The food was great!
3 January 2018
January 3 - Wuyishan day 3 (part 2): When we got back to the apartment, we packed up all our stuff, then headed to the train station. We had to run to make our train as we almost missed it due to traffic. The train ride was easy and now I am back in Fuzhou. Back to work tomorrow but I am really glad I took advantage of my three day weekend. It was great to bond with more of the teachers and learn more about the country I'm calling home for a year.
January 3 - Wuyishan day 3 (part 1): Today again took us a while to get going. Two teachers needed to head back early this morning but myself and 4 other teachers got to explore more of Wuyishan. After a Chinese breakfast we hired a taxi for the day to drive us out into the country side to see some of the smaller towns. What really struck me was how underdeveloped the area was. China really is a developing country. There is construction everywhere but the houses where they live are still very old and many would be deemed unlivable by western standards. Going to this area reminds me just how blessed I am. Also, I felt weird about taking pictures of people's lives and houses. I felt like I was intruding on their life. One thing I really enjoyed seeing was how tea was made. We were in this small village and there was a tea shop that made the tea there. We got to try some of their handmade tea.
2 January 2018
January 2 - Wuyishian day 2 (part 2): We then got a quick lunch. I got fried rice before going on the rafting trip. It was cool and so relaxing. I totally could have fallen asleep listening to the water. We then did a tiny more hiking before going for dinner which was another family style restaurant. Our drivers were really nice and told us we should also go to this old Chinese town that sits on a canal. It was really pretty at night. I know my pictures don't do it justice. Also, Chris bought some fireworks there which we let off when we got back here. We then went to a tea house where they taught us to drink tea. We sat around there for a while before coming back to the apartment.
January 2 - Wiyishan day 2 (part 1): It took us a while to get around in the morning. Once we got going we went and hiking a really tall mountain at the south entrance. It was was a hard hike up with so many stairs, 888 stairs to the top but the view was so worth it! We went downtown the other side and there was a cool taoist temple. When I say down I should say down and up and down and up. It was very mountainous. We meet some friends along the way who are also English teachers from Fuzhou but they teach at York, another school.
1 January 2018
January 1 - Wuyishan day 1 (part 2): After lunch we went to the North Entrance to Wuyishian Mountain Park. We hiked for about 4 hours it was lots and lots of steps so so worth it. We saw the Water Curtain Cave, the Three Sages Shrine, Hui Yuan Temple and lots and lots of tea bushes. After we got a nice dinner and tea before going to a show. It was all about the history of tea and how tea has impacted their culture. It was an amazing experience. The audience was on a big rotating platform and the show happened around us. It was really well done. That night we did a little shopping for breakfast food for the next day and when we got back to the apartment we were staying at we all crashed. I was super tired.
January 1 - Wiyishan day 1 (part 1): Happy New Year! I decided to not really celebrate New Years at midnight but instead take a trip from Monday to Wednesday to Wuyishan which is a mountain area about an 1.5 hours from Fuzhou known for tea and a beautiful mountain hiking. Myself and 7 others traveled here by train. We are staying at a beautiful 3 story apartment near the center of town. After dropping our stuff off at the apartment we went to get lunch at a local restaurant. Like many restaurants in China you order food family style and they bring it out as it is cook and put it on the lazy-suzan. It was super yummy. My favorite was a bamboo and bacon dish.
27 December 2017
December 27: Today I explored Fuzhou some more. Ray, a local teacher took me to three lanes and seven alleys which is a old area of Fuzhou where the rich and famous lived. It is now full of museums and other shops. We went to a couple museums and I learned a lot of of the history of Fuzhou. We also got a traditional soup, fish bowl from a little restaurant. Also, I got to see a Chinese pharmacy which is very different from western pharmacies. After we went to a a park near by that was part of a mountain. It was really pretty. For dinner Kitty invited me over to her apartment. She made me and some other coworkers some good Chinese food.
25 December 2017
December 25: Merry Christmas! Today was very different compared to what I'm use to for Christmas but everyone here really made it a good Christmas for me. I started the day video calling with Larry and his family. Then I went to another teacher, Charlotte's apartment to watch a Christmas movie. We decided to watch Home Alone. After we went to a big Chrissy as buffet at an Irish pub. It's was amazing. They had turkey, mash potatoes, gravy, carrots, cupcakes, pigs in a blanket, stuffing and Yorkshire pudding. They also gave us Santa hats and had Christmas music playing. It felt pretty festive. After we played some board games. I ended my night with talking with lots of family.
24 December 2017
December 24: Today was a fun but long day! I had a full day of work but after work I went to a rock climbing gym for a Christmas Eve party with some teachers form the other school. In Chinese Christmas Eve translates to sound like peace which also sounds like apples. So they celebrate Christmas Eve more than Christmas and they also eat apples. For the party they also had a huge grill out with lamb, chicken, oysters, squid, corn, pepper, mushrooms and lots of different oils to put on them. They also cooked a whole lamb that was so delicious. They also had games and rock climbing challenges that I was really bad at. I did win one game. It was Simon says in Chinese. I know now how to say Simon say in Chinese. Still not sure how I won but it was fun and the owners thought it was funny that I couldn't speak Chinese and still managed to win but I won a cutting board and chop sticks which is cool. My friends and I also sat around and drank tea for a while at the end of the night.
20 December 2017
December 20: Christmas decorating thanks to the wonderful care packages from my mom :)
19 December 2017
December 19: Today was great! I got to explore the Fuzhou a little more with two other teachers. First we went to Fijian Museum. I learned a ton about the history of China and Fuzhou. On top of that there were some amazing sculptures done in cork, stone and porcelain. The porcelain one was my favorite! The clay was thinner than paper. I have no clue how the artist managed it. After we went and got lunch at a small Chinese dinner. We got pork, soup, rice, veggies and potatoes. Then we headed to the panda park that was near by. I got to see Regular pandas and red pandas. Both were so cute! Pandas are so amazing. They are the only animal used for diplomacy. Also, they are omnivores but since their food source changed/they are lazy they changed their diet to bamboo. And they are adorable!
13 December 2017
November 13: Great day with Krystal and Kitty! I invited them over for dinner. Both of them wanted to learn how to cook. We made chicken fettuccine alfredo! Also, I made Oreo cheesecake. Both of which they loved! It was nice spending time with them :)
10 December 2017
December 11: Another great week of teaching. I'm getting much more confident with teaching. I have been independently teaching all my classes now. Also it was Charlottes birthday this week. We had a little party for her with cake and I made apple crumple which she requested.
6 December 2017
November 6 - Disney Shanghai (part 4): After Star Wars we went over to the Marvel Section of Tomorrow Land. There was a game where you could pretend to be iron man which was fun. Also there I was able to meet Caption America. Out of all the characters I meet he was the only one that spoke English. We then went to Main Street to do some shopping. I got myself a sweatshirt and a Shanghai pin. After that it was starting to get dark so we headed for the castle to see the tree lighting ceremony with Olaf, Anna and Elsa and the fireworks show. Both were amazing. Since we skipped dinner we decided to go back to the Cheesecake Factory for some food and dessert. We ordered the macaroni and cheese balls again and we got some cheesecake. Both were very yummy.
November 6 - Disney Shanghai (part 3): By this time we were hungry as it was well past lunch time. We decided to go over to Tomorrow Land for lunch as there was a good burger place there. We were trying to get our fix of western food while at Disney. After lunch we went on Tron. It was unlike any roller coaster I have been on before. Each seat is a bike that you sat on and then they strap your legs in and put a harness of your back. And then the ride itself was awesome. The first part was outside but the rest was inside in the dark. After that we went to Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescues. This was our favorite of the day and we ended up doing it twice. Next we headed to the Star Wars area. There weren't any rides but there was a tons of memorabilia and characters to meet. I even got to sit in the Millennium Falcon which I know will make some of my friends and family jealous including Larry. Charlotte was terrified of Kilo Ren. It was super funny. He kept staring at her the entire time.
November 6 - Disney Shanghai (part 2): Right when we got inside the Disney park a there was a show with the classic Disney characters singing and dancing to Christmas songs. It was a great way to start our day. We then headed too Pirate Cove. We went to a Pirates of the Caribbean stunt show which was kind of a mistake because they spoke Chinese throughout the entire show and the stunts weren't very good. Also in that area was Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure which was a great ride with really good effects. There was also the Black Pearl that we got to go aboard. We also got to meet a pirate that was really funny. He only knew a little English but he gave us a treasure map and we got a picture with him. Next we went to Fantasyland there we went on the Seven Dwarfs mine ride, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Voyage to the Crystal Grotto and Peter Pans flight. Charlotte really likes the Seven Dwarfs ride. My favorite was the Voyage of the Crystal Grotto.
November 6 - Disney Shanghai (part 1): Today was an absolute blast. Charlotte and I really got to have some great bonding time and we got to spend all day in Disney. Our day was very full! Disney Shanghai and Disney Florida Magic Kingdom are similar in many ways. There is of course the classic Disney castle right in the middle but Shanghai has the biggest castle in the world. There are also had differ sections to the park like Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Treasure Cove and Adventure Isle. Another similarity is there a couple of the exact same rides like the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride, Peter Pans Flight, Buzz Lightyears Plant Rescue and the little kids rides like Dumbos ride and the Carousel but there was also a ton of very different rides. Disney Shanghai seemed to be focused on more adult movies than Disney Florida. Such as the entire section focused on Pirates of the Caribbean, another one on Marvel and another one on Star Wars.
5 December 2017
December 5 - Disney Shanghai: Today Charlotte and I traveled from Fuzhou to Shanghai by train. Once we got to Shanghai we took the metro to our hotel which was about half way between Disney and the train station. Our hotel was decently nice. We dropped off our stuff there and headed to Disney so some late night adventuring. We did not go into the park on this day we just explored Downtown Disney. We looked at some shops. There was one called Spoon Full of Sugar which I though was super cool because of its reference to Marry Poppins. We also went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was so good! We got like all the food I had been missing. We got loaded tater tots, deep fried Mac and cheese balls and loaded nachos. Charlotte and I shared all of it and we were so full. By then Downtown Disney was closing so we headed back to the hotel so we could get some rest before our big day at Disney the next day!
November 5: I'm off! Charlotte and I are taking the train to Shanghai Disney! I am super excited to see all the Christmas decorations and to do everything Disney!
4 December 2017
Teaching is going amazing! I am feeling more confident everyday. I am loving getting to know my students too! The last couple of days we have had a huge event to show off our students and to help recruit more students. It was really well!
29 November 2017
November 29 (part 2): At 6pm I meet up with a bunch of employees for a school sponsored night out. We got dinner and did some karaoke. We had our own private room with a karaoke machine and two tvs. It was a great time!
November 29: Today was a great day! I got to sleep in. I had an easy morning and then I explored Fuzhou a little. I found out there is a river side park about a 25 min walk from my house. It was a beautiful park! There are sculptures scattered though out the entire park and so much green. I had a great time walking through it and taking pictures.
23 November 2017
November 23: Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for my job and the wonderful opportunity to learn about a different culture. I got to start today with video chatting with Ashley and Luke. Also, I got to talk with Larry. Today was an exciting day at work. Today was my first day teaching in my own! I had a class of 9, three year olds. It was really hard has most of them had never had never had an English class before. Also, it very well might have been their first time seeing a white person. Never the less everyone now can say hello, and goodbye! I'm so proud of them. After work we had a little Thanksgiving party for the EF employees. We got thank you cards from other coworkers and one of those really cute pillow things. It was great to be able to celebrate a little today even those I'm not home.
22 November 2017
November 22 (part 2): At 5, Ray and I headed over to Charlotte's house (my boss) to have dinner with the rest of the teachers from school 1 and school 2. We had chicken instead of turkey because they don't have turkey here but the rest of the dishes were pretty traditional. It was a precess getting everything heated up because Charlotte only has a small oven and two burners. She doesn't even have a microwave. But we managed and everything turned out great. The apple cranberry marshmallow salad and the apple pie were big hits. The food was amazing and the company was great. It was so nice to spend more time with my great coworkers.
November 22: Today I celebrated Thanksgiving with all the teachers from both EF schools. Ray (local teacher from my school) and I decided to meet up earlier in the day to cook our dish to pass together. She really doesn't know how to cook so it was fun teaching her some western dishes. We meet up at 11am to go shopping at Walmart. It was much harder to find the ingredients than I would have thought. Like cinnamon, it is impossible to find cinnamon here. After we got everything we could find we got some lunch at a dumping place near by. We then headed to the school we work at. There are no classes on Wednesday so we were able to use the kitchen because neither of us have ovens at our house and the school does. We made corn, cranberry sauce, cranberry marshmallow dessert salad and apple crumple. They all turned out great!
16 November 2017
November 16: This morning I was able to Skype with some college friends. It was super nice to hear from them. I'm the afternoon I was observing classes at school 1 for the first time. It was great to see different teaching styles. After work I went to late dinner with Chris and Ariel at a Muslim restaurant where I got a rice, potato and beef dish that was super yummy.
14 November 2017
November 14: Today was such a great day! I went to see Thor 3 with two teachers from my school, Charlotte and Ray. After we went to a Spanish restaurant and got some paella, pasta and churros to share. We also went to meet up with some other EF employees to play badminton. It was a great time and I got a nice workout. Charlotte and I came back to my place to grab some stuff before heading out to shop. My landlord deliver my hot plate, microwave and water jug yesterday so I got stuff for cooking like a pot and pan and food. For everything I only spent like 45 dollars. When I came back to my apartment I made myself eggs for dinner on my new hot plate and pan. Tomorrow I will do more shopping as I forgot to get salt.
11 November 2017
November 11: Today was my first day full day of class observation. I am getting more confident about teaching my own class soon but I am glad I have a week more of observation before I team teach. After work I went to dinner with two of the local teachers, Jenifer and Ray. I had a great time with both of them. We talked about going to the movies soon and going ice skating. There is an ice rink here in the mall. I look forward to hanging out with them more
9 November 2017
This is Kitty. She works in admin at EF. She has been super helpful. She is the one that picked me up from the airport, showed me around Fuzhou, apartment hunted with me and is helping get everything set up with my visa and apartment like wifi. She has also been helping me with my Chinese and I've been helping her with her English.
November 8: Today was a second day of regional orientation. The school I will be working at is inside a huge mall. I'm talking like 8 stories tall. The entire 6th floor is all restaurants. The school is on the third floor in the corner. It has one big classroom and about 14 smaller ones. They all have big touch screen TVs which are super helpful for teaching.
8 November 2017
China fun fact: They have Walmart here. It's totally different than in the US. It is like an under ground maze. You start at one end and it makes you go through the entire store to get to the cash registers. I was able to get everything I needed for my apartment there for pretty cheap.
7 November 2017
November 7: Today I moved into my apartment! I spent most of the day cleaning, unpacking and decorating. Now I feel like a have a home here. My apartment is only a 5 minute walk from work and it has a security gate with a beautiful park in the center. And the view from my apartment is amazing. At night I got invited to go to the movie, seventy-seven days at the theater near me. It was an interesting/weird movie about a guy crossing the unlivable area in northern China.
3 November 2017
November 3 and 4: The last two day have pretty much been only apartment hunting. I went to at least 20 apartments. Thankfully I was able to find one I liked close to the school. I signed the contract yesterday and I move in Monday. I will post photos on Monday. One thing fun I did was I went to a hot pot on Friday night with 5 other EF employees. It was super fun and yummy.
2 November 2017
Novermber 2: Today I had to get a medial check. I already had one in the states but I have to get one here too. After the medical check Florence and Kitty took me to get food because I had to fast since last night. We went to Subway which is very similar to the States version. Although, they didn't have salami for my spicy Italian. After Florence took me to Fuzhou school 1 so I could see the other school here Fuzhou and to meet some teachers. She also gave me a little welcome present which was Chinese candy. Florence and I went to a really nice lunch where we got dishes to share. Later in the day Kitty took me apartment hunting. The two I looked at today weren't good so the search will continue tomorrow. Tonight I went out for a late dinner with other EF teachers. We went to an Indian place. It was so nice getting to know them. They seem like a really nice group.
1 November 2017
November 1 (part 1): First day in Fuzhou was a success! Although I had a very early morning (4:15am) in order to make my flight from Shanghai to Fuzhou. Julia, Judah and Li all woke up early with me to help me bring my luggage to the lobby. It was sad to say bye to all the friends I had made but I'm excited to make more in Fuzhou.
November 1 (part 2): My taxi to the airport went smooth but the airport was a whole different story. It first took me a while to figure out which airline I was flying with but when I did I found a very long line. When I finally made it to the ticket counter they wouldn't give me my boarding pass because I had to go pay at a different counter for my second luggage. Also, I had to go to go to this room where they had to open on of my checked luggages because there was a knife in there and they had to check the length. When I finally got back in the long check counter line again I was standing there for a while when the lady behind the counter came and grabbed me and gave me my boarding pass and told me to hurry. I ran to security and ran all the way to the gate. I made it but only just. The flight went easy and I slept most the time.
November 1 (part 3): When I arrived in Fuzhou, Kitty and Crystal along with one of their friends picked me up at the airport and drove me to the hotel. They were all so nice. After putting my stuff in my room they took me out to lunch. There was so much food. We did not even come close to finishing it. After they showed me to the school I will be teaching at. It is in a huge mall. I also got to meet some more of my coworkers. After we walked back to my hotel so I could rest before they took me out to dinner at a noodle place. It was quite good. They thought it was to salty. After we walked around and saw what was in the area.
Welcome to Fuzhou!
31 October 2017
China fun fact: There are more people than cars here in Shanghai thus in very busy area people tend to walk in the streets and cars areI'm confined to the middle lanes. Also, bikes and motorcycles are allowed to use the side walks and they don't really stop or slow down for anyone.
October 31: Today I got breakfast with some of my teachers. Judah and I left the hotel to head to EF HQ a little earlier than others as we did not want to be late and we wanted some tea/coffee. At HQ we had our last day of group orientation. Today was full of presentations. It was a lot of practical information about how to teach different age levels. We got some time off to go to lunch. A group of us went to a Taiwanese place that was very good. I got a beef dumpling soup. Also to end the day there was a Halloween party at HQ which included some great desserts such as croissants covered in chocolate and candy, brownies that looked like spiders, ice cream and popcorn. Afterwards, I came back to the hotel to pack up all my stuff as I leave for Fuzhou in the morning!
30 October 2017
China fun fact: Their license plates are written in Westernized Arabic letters and numbers not Chinese characters I expected except for the first one which is the same on all.
October 30: All of the EF teachers got breakfast together at the hotel before getting picked up and taken to EF HQ. From there we went to the bank to set up a Chinese bank account. After a group of us went out to lunch at a Thai restaurant which was quite good. After lunch we had presentations at EF HQ about how to teach and what we should expect when teaching Chinese students. The information was quite helpful. After we quickly stopped at the hotel to change out of our uniforms before going out to dinner at Yang Dumpling. It has kind of turned into our go to dinner place as it is yummy, cheap and close.
29 October 2017
October 29 (part 3): To finish the day we went to Shanghai People's Square. It was very pretty but not what expected. It was mainly a park. The flowers were pretty and one was even shaped to say welcome in Mandarin. What really made stopping there worth it is a man told me I look like a fairy.
October 29 (part 2): After the Shanghai Temple of the Town God we did find Yu Garden. The Garden was beautiful. It was much bigger than expected. It had so many little passage ways.
October 29 (part 1): More exploring Shanghai today with one other teacher. After breakfast we headed to Yu Garden. While trying to find the entrance we found the Shanghai Temple of the Town God which was a great find. It was a beautiful temple with the Shanghai god statue.
28 October 2017
October 28 (part 4): After visiting the Shanghai Tower we Ferried back across the river so we could see the Pudong skyline at night. After we headed back to the hotel via the metro which I am getting really good at navigating. We got dinner near the hotel before heading back. By the time I got back I walked over 8 miles which means I was super super tired
October 28 (part 3): We crossed the Huangpa River on a Ferry to get to the Shanghai Tower. The Shanghai Tower is the second tallest tower in the world but has the highest observation deck at the 119 floor. It had an amazing view of the Shanghai skyline! We were even there at sunset so we got to see the skyline at day and night.
October 28 (part 2): Second we went to The Bund which is where the Europeans first settled in China so it has a very European look. The Bund is also right on Huangpu River and has the best view of Pudong (other side of the river) sky line. We also got lunch in the area.
October 28 (part 1): Today was a great day of exploring Shanghai with seven other teachers! Which resulted in lots of pictures. After breakfast we headed to the Jade Buddha Temple. The actual Jade Buddha was not able to be photographed but the other statues were also very pretty.
27 October 2017
October 27: I was able to sleep in a little bit more today till 4am. I still stayed in bed until 7am. I got breakfast at the hotel before heading out to EF Headquarters for a Chinese lesson. I learned the names of some food and how to order at a restaurant. Afterwards I explored the area. That area had a ton of western shops like Chico, Abercrombie and Finch, and Louis Vuitton. But also in that area was Jing'An Temple, and Jing'An park which are both amazing and beautiful. For dinner I went out with four other new teacher to a place called Yang Dumplings. I got pork wanton soup which was very yummy.
October 26 (part 4): At about 5 we headed back to the hotel via the metro. That was an experience. I had it pretty figured out but another teacher thought they did too and they went the wrong direction on one on the trains so like five people went the wrong way. They made it back here too but it took a little longer. We all came back together and we planed to go out to dinner but I totally slept right though it.
October 26 (part 3): After lunch we went back to the EF Headquarters. We had more presentation. One was on health and safety. It was about how to get health care. And tips on how to be safe. One thing that I thought was interesting was the presenter said that this is the safest city he has ever lived in and another presenter agreed. We also had a presentation on how to find a house but that one didn't apply to me as much because they help out a ton more in Fuzhou.
26 October 2017
October 26 (part 2): A driver picked me and about 15 other new teacher up from the hotel and took us to English First Headquarters. When we got there in the we had ice breakers. After we went to a class room and had some presentations first it was on what EF stands for and their core mission. We also had a presentation on the visa process now. For lunch they took us out. And it was amazing!!! It was a big lunch family style Chinese food. They just kept bring food. My favorite was a lamb dish and this corn dish. The dumpling were also good. My EF recruiter joined us for lunch which was cool. I was able to talk with her more and I got to know some too the other teacher too.
October 26 (part 1): Today was the first day of orientation. My sleep schedule is all messed up so I woke up at 1am and was up most the morning. They had breakfast at the hotel. They had a very interesting selection. They have stuff like waffles, toast, fruit and eggs but then also have French fries, hot dogs, corn on the cob and wonton soup. I had rice mixed with eggs, peas and corn for breakfast and toast.
25 October 2017
First night in Shanghai was a success. Myself and another teacher, Brandon, who will be going through orientation with me walked around the area and found a very small resultant. He knew some Madarin and was able to help with ordering. We got some super yummy dumplings!
Made it to Shanghai, China! Even though the flight was long it went really smooth. I had an entire row of seats to myself.