Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Week Six in Guangzhou

Wow! I can’t believe that it has been 3 weeks since I last posted a blog! It is now a week away from Christmas and I have been here for 6 and a half weeks. I only have 45 and a half more weeks to go. (Not that I am counting down or anything.)

Now that I have been here for a while I feel as though I am settling in and making a “life” for myself here. In fact, there have even been a few times that I have actually ran into people that I know while walking around. That is always fun because it makes a city of 15 million people seem “small”. In all honesty, there is only about a 10-block radius in all directions that we have explored. This works out to be only about 5% of the city. Therefore, there is still a lot of the city that is “uncharted” territory. I have been to a few places by taxi and metro, but am still having a difficult time being able to tell where the places are in relation to where I live.

As far as my health is concerned, China is definitely taking its toll on me. Out of the 6 weeks I have been here, I have been sick for 3 of those. First it was the “Guangzhou bug” in my stomach that prevented me from holding down any food, then it was the literal Guangzhou bug that bit up both of my legs that created extremely itchy red bites from which I am still trying to recover from, and lastly it has been a terrible case of bronchitis that has lasted a good 2 weeks. The smog, cigarette smoke, food, water, etc. is going to take my body quite a while to get used to. I am just trying to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Of course, the local Chinese people say that I just need to drink more tea.

Work, on the other hand is going great. I was named “teacher of the month” for giving an awesome open door. An “open door” is when the parents are invited to sit in on your class so that they can observe you teach and see the progress that their child is making. I was very surprised yet very excited that I was named “teacher of the month”. Honestly, it has been all of my co-workers that have been so helpful that I owe my success to.

Next week is Christmas and we have been given that day off. Then, it is New Year and we have been given the 30th, 31st, and 1st off. I think that I might be going to Hong Kong for New Years with a few friends. Lastly, in January we have the 24th through the 30th off for Chinese New Year. Two of my friends and I are hoping to travel to Bali for Chinese New Year, but right now are just trying to work out flight logistics. No matter what happens, I know that I’ll be traveling somewhere outside of Guangzhou for Chinese New Year. I am quite excited about that!

Yesterday I took the metro to a nearby park called “Guangzhou Insurrectional Martyr Cemetery Park”. It is suppose to be one of the eight scenes to see in Guangzhou. (I’m not quite sure what the other 7 scenes are yet). Below are some pictures from the park. I had a very nice, peaceful time walking around the park.

And a funny sign found at the park:

Last Monday I volunteered to teach Christmas songs for my company’s booth at the China Plaza. If I am not mistaken, the China Plaza is the largest mall in China. I chose “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Silver Bells,” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to sing at the booth. It was fun and I even got paid extra for volunteering to do it. Below are a few pictures from me singing at the China Plaza.

Lastly, I am posting a couple videos that I have made. I have just newly discovered that I can make “movies” on my computer, so the two videos below are a product of me messing around with this new program. The “First Glance of Guangzhou” video was taken just outside the flea market I went to at Tianhe Sports Center as well as in the IKEA here in Guangzhou. The other video was taken while walking back home from work one day.

Merry Christmas from China!

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