Studes

I’m waaaaaay behind on grading. There are so many papers piled high, I don’t even know where to begin, oops. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been out and about livin’ ya life // haven’t looked at students homework assignments or quizzes since week 2 and it’s week 7.
But hey, at least I decided to start now instead of later, that’s what counts right? Right.

About half way through one of the stacks, grading students vocabulary quizzes, I stumbled upon this gem:

Define and use the following vocabulary words in a sentence.

Turquoise: a traditional food in America
I like eating the turquoises very much for its delicious smell.

Exotic: something
I don’t know what the word exotic mean. I look it up in dictionary.

A for effort?

Monday night delights.

Every Monday my two Chinese teachers/ frudents and I get together to have a meal and get down with a language exchange. This past Monday we decided to cook at my house instead of go out. Each of us was to prepare one dish, and whilst teaching the others how to make the dish, could only speak in our second language. Our meal consisted of Spanish rice, coca cola chicken wings, eggs and tomatoes, fried potatoes, and soup (quite the variety, eh?).

Trying to teach them how to make Spanish rice in Chinese was quite challenging, as was them using English to teach me to make the other dishes. However it did make for a great amount of laughter, and left us all feeling extremely stoked at how far we’ve come in our language acquisition over the past 2 years.

These Mondays are one of my favorite parts of my time here in China, and never cease to put a smile on our faces even if one of us is having a bad day. These two girls have become two of my best friends, they are so patient with me and have helped my Chinese language abilities to grow immensely over the past 3 semesters. We’ve helped each other to grow as people and I’d like to think they’ve learned as much about my culture from me as I have learned about theirs from them. I can’t wait to continue this tradition with them for the rest of the semester and learn how to cook some dankkiesssss Chinese food.

Getcha (5k, 10k, marathon? same difference.) run on—

Last weekend some of my bestest volunteer friends in China came to play and participate in the Chongqing Marathon. We had a fantastically fun filled weekend of dancing, laughing, exercising, and treatin ourselves to some dankie pizza (oh the glory of CHHEESE)!

So glad to have been able to participate in this event this year and to have such wonderful people in my life, who inspire me everyday! Can’t wait to take our adventures back to America in just a few short months :)

asiamericana:

So, I sometimes come across blog posts or articles that mention the Peace Corps in a sort of all-encompassing negative manner.

Maybe it’s someone casually mentioning how they considered the Corps, but decided against it due to the fact that they didn’t want to be a part of something flawed.

allaboutchinese:

不去追逐你所渴求,你将永远不会拥有。不开口问,回答永远是 “不”。不往前走,就将永远停留。If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.

allaboutchinese:

不去追逐你所渴求,你将永远不会拥有。不开口问,回答永远是 “不”。不往前走,就将永远停留。
If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.

letsgabbyg:

China is declaring a “war on pollution.” Officials say that includes water, soil and air pollution. China is the leading producer of CO2 globally with an estimated CO2 emission of 8.7 billion metric tons in 2011. So yah, it’s about time to tackle this pollution thing hard core style. But, hey, America, we are the 2nd leading producer of C02 emissions, with an estimated 5.42 billion metric tons in 2011.  
#china #pollution #waronpollution #chinafactories #CO2 #USWTF

Gettin jiggy with the environment. ‘bout time!

letsgabbyg:

China is declaring a “war on pollution.” Officials say that includes water, soil and air pollution. China is the leading producer of CO2 globally with an estimated CO2 emission of 8.7 billion metric tons in 2011. So yah, it’s about time to tackle this pollution thing hard core style. But, hey, America, we are the 2nd leading producer of C02 emissions, with an estimated 5.42 billion metric tons in 2011.  

#china #pollution #waronpollution #chinafactories #CO2 #USWTF

Gettin jiggy with the environment. ‘bout time!

"Dear Human:

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity, lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… Messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. YOU CAME HERE TO BE GORGEOUSLY HUMAN. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need any other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.” -Courtney A. Walsh

Snacks… Bridging cultural gaps since… Forever (Part V)

When i finally arrived back in Chongqing, 2 weeks ago, I decided if I never get on a train again it will be too soon. It felt so nice to come. home. To come home to a place that I know, to a place that I have become so comfortable in over the past two years. To come home to a place that I can honestly and truly say, amongst all the things I sometimes dislike or get annoyed with, I’ve fallen in love with. In my 2 weeks here, a lot of other volunteers have swung through to come play, and explore Chongqing. It’s been wonderful to share this city with them- all of its quirks, all of its sites, all of its people. As the people who were visiting have gone back to their respective provinces, and my Chongqing friends are getting back into the swing of school, I’ve finally had a moment to breath and take it all in. Take it all in, that tomorrow starts the 4th and final semester for myself and most of my other volunteer friends here in China. I imagine this semester is going to be one for the books- with its last chance explorations, continuation of strengthening relationships, and my last chance China teacher moments. I also imagine it will be emotionally taxing- packing up boxes and saying goodbyes to dear friends who I truly may never see again, but through a video screen. However, In the midst of it all, adventure and emotional drainage, I can honestly say, that whatever may come of this semester I’m ready for it with my arms wide open. Final semester in China- lets see what you’ve got in store!

Snacks… Bridging cultural gaps since… Forever (Part IV)

After saying my goodbyes to my students family in Sichuan, Mianyang, I got on another train for my final winter break adventure before heading back to Chongqing; to see my little sister/ student/ bestie in her hometown GongAn, located in Hubei Province. When I arrived to Hubei, my train stopped in a small city, called Jingzhou, about an hour away from my destination. After a long walk in the dark, in the snow, shivering, I realized the bus to my 妹妹s home didn’t start until 8am. And seeing as it was only 5am, I was in quite the pickle. After a lot of dancing in the street, looking a bit like a crazy person, a cab appeared and whisked me away to my destination. 150¥ later, with a bit of frost bite, but an optimistic outlook, I arrive to GongAn and 高洁s family welcomed me with open arms. The first day I was there 高洁 took me on a tour of the country side. We ate delicious snacks, hung out at a coffee shop- giggling the day away, skipped rocks in the Yangtze River, and then returned to her home to feast on her Grandmother delicious cooking. With full stomaches, we took some bucket showers, and went to sleep with the sun. The next day we had planned to go on an adventure down the Yangtze River and into Jingzhou to see some temples and the historical city wall, however, halfway to the bus stop, 高洁 and I stopped in our tracks, looked at one another and n-sync said: “I’ve never been this cold in my life”, as it started to snow, we decided to turn back and have a day at home huddled around the space heater. Our day at home turned out to be quite fun; from her brother teaching me how to sing some Chinese songs, to eating her grandmothers delicious dumplings, to her grandfather royally slaughtering us in a traditional Chinese card game, none of us could stop smiling. Although it was the coldest 3 days of my life, it was some of the best. Seeing my students in their home stomping grounds, away from school life, and all of its pressures, is really something remarkable.

Snacks… Bridging cultural gaps since… Forever (Part III)

After a much emotional, but much needed trip to Henan, I headed back to Sichuan province. In Sichuans’ Mianyang I spent 5 days with one of my students families celebrating Spring Festival. The 5 days in Mianyang were jam action packed. It all started off with a big banquet consisting of about 30 members from my students family. At the banquet we wined, dined, had many a good laughs, and wished each other well as the year started to transform from the year of the snake to the year of the horse. The following day was New Year’s Eve, which meant we had many traditions to abide by, the first being that our lunch needed to consist of all cold dishes, mostly meat, followed with lots of wine and cheers-ing. This led to a fairly sloshed, me and a fairly sloshed grandfather chatting about America and how much we loved San Francisco. He then proceeded to pull out about 10 picture albums and show me every. single. last. photo. This, combined with an extremely detailed explanation of what he was doing in each one, all while being explained in Sichuan dialect (which he claimed was mandarin, and I politely agreed), left me a little bit confused, but nonetheless stoked that we shared such a great love for THE BAY. Later that night, after we had sobered up-ish and watched waaaay too much CCTV (a New Years television specialty here in China) we headed off to the cities Temple. At the temple we said our wishes for our families and friends, prayed for good health, wealth, and longevity for the new year, and ate SO. MANY. SNACKS. After our bellies were full, at around 3am, we headed home to eat more. After consuming dumplings/ more than I thought was ever humanly possible, each of us showered to wash 2013 from our bodies and the next morning dressed in our new clothes to bring us good luck for 2014. My time in Mianyang ended with a trip to the countryside to celebrate a birthday of a grandmas, cousins, brothers, uncle, or something like that. In the countryside we explored the rice terraces, ate the spiciest chicken I’ve ever consumed, and went on a boat ride around the lake. It was a lovely way to end my time with my students family. I will forever cherish the love the shared with me, and how much they made me feel a part of their family, when mine happens to be on the other side of the world. Definitely a New Years for the books!