Thursday, September 16, 2010


mary is the SWEETEST lady you’ll ever meet. she is our native coordinator here in china. basically she's our go to girl about everything. she takes us everywhere we need to go, makes sure we have food on the weekends, helps translate when needed and much, much more. this is what i love about her:

*she is about five inches shorter than me, wears three inch heels every day because she wants to be taller.

*she is 23 and in charge of helping us this semester.

*she is so concerned about our safety and our well being.
she had everything prepared for us when we arrived (new rooms, two beds softer then theirs with head rests and sheets and comforter and pillows, table with two chairs, computer on desk with shelves, water, tv on stand, bed stand, phone, internet (a few days later but in our rooms nonetheless) ac, new showers, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, face towels, body wash, shampoo, house slippers, new washer, hot plate, crock pot, microwave, fridge, our own canteen, table with 7 chairs,  plates, bowls, silverware, bathroom cleaner and probably a few more things if that’s even possible.

*her english is really good and she loves learning more. (she writes down all of the english words we teach her in an english notebook we bought for her)

*she's quite the jokester...but you wouldn't know after just meeting her. it takes a while for it to come out from hiding.

*her laugh would make me laugh even if i was seconds away from death.

*she has the cutest little haircut.

*she wears the matching pj's we all bought.

*she takes us everywhere we need to go. i'm so sure that she's sick of going to the market.

*she truly has such a sweet, sincere spirit and I love her so much already.

love you mary rachel ma. you will always have a place in my heart.

xīn péngyǒu...

this is a post dedicated to my new friends and i will attempt to remember their new chinese names. mary our native coordinator gave them to us the first week we arrived. spelling is guaranteed to not be correct and the actual pronounciation is probably way different than what i think it is. but it's fun to try to be a legit asian. my chinese name sounds an awful like what we would call a wee wee. i've realized that i shouldn't tell chinese people my chinese name. i don't want to be known as a wee wee here in china...

han nah (hannah): hannah is so sweet and so far has loved all of the same movies that i do. i already know we’re going to be friends.

shishou (hailee): hailee is very cute with her kids. she has great lesson ideas and is so on top of things. she is always so positive.

guoa guoa (brittney): britt is extremely outgoing, confident, gorgeous and has many talents. she has a missionary named tyson too. :) i love that we share that in common.

ee ling (rachel): rach is one of my best friends and i'm so glad she decided to come. she has a special gift of making everyone around her feel happy and included. she is real about things, tells you how it is, but is so considerate, thoughtful and genuine.

ephan (michelle): mich is one of my oldest and best friends. she is such a trooper for coming. this is pretty outside of mich’s comfort zone (it really is for all of us though) but she get things done, does it well and is still smiling and making me laugh at the end of the day. i’m so grateful we have decided to embark on this journey together. all we need is peace, faith and luck and we’ll get through it.

shoshong (victoria): tori is our head teacher and we couldn’t have asked for a better one! she is so prepared and knows how to help us. she is efficient yet flexible and chill, she is so nice, stylish, beautiful and friendly. without her we’d all be on a plane back home by now.

yours truly, si si (camille)

did you mean a van?

let me paint a picture for you.
seven 19-20 year old girls, four chinese adults, fourteen large 50 lb suitcases, seven small carry on roller suitcases, seven backpacks, a few pillows, blankets, gift bags, and some purses all in a 8 seater van.

it's usually only a six hour ride to our school but due to three “rests” along the way, (we were forced to get out, stretch our legs, and stand for a few minutes) unwanted traffic and rain it took us a little more than eight hours to arrive at our destination: may flora international school, bengbu china. as if the long ride wasn't fun enough we had the privilege of receiving lung cancer because the driver would smoke while driving at least 3 times an hour. in addition to that (yes folks, there's more) mich and i were lucky enough to sit in the corners with our feet on top of suitcases during the entire ride. if that doesn't sound as fun as a day in disneyland, i don't know what would.

we were told that we would be taking a six hour bus ride to the school from the airport after traveling for basically two days straight. when we found this out we tried to be optimistic about it and say we'd find a way to make it fun. after seeing the " bus" we were provided with my optimism left. we definitely got up close and personal with each other. after spending time like that, while being greasy and unshowered, close instant friendships are formed. gotta love it.

enough said...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i thought i liked traveling...

well friends i have some catching up to do. i haven't blogged for a while and i hate that i haven't. many of you know that i have been unable to blog because i am in china. blogger is still blocked here and it was a little tricky to find out how i could make it work. someone who knows their stuff helped me out and now i'm able to blog. i didn't just up and move to china. (although i've met a few people who have and i think they are absolutely crazy) i am here to teach little children the wonderful language of america-english. i am going to post a lot today to catch up and hopefully i can be fairly consistent from now on. enjoy!

Preparing to leave
i felt like i was ready to leave for china in june. i wanted to leave so bad but i wasn't leaving until the end of august and there was so much to do. of course i procrastinated it all and only started getting ready to go about a week before my date of departure. i was packing and repacking for three days. ashlee and my parents put up with me while i was going crazy and helped me so much while I was trying to situate my baggage. weighing my bags over and over again was a joke. my dad and i took turns weighing ourselves and then holding the bags and subtracting the difference to find out how much the bags weighed. we also tried to weigh them by themselves. eventually both bags were under 50 lbs at home. it was quite the process but we felt pretty good about it...until we got to the airport. they were still overweight when they weighed them and i about cried. oh well though. i rearranged, other girls took some of my stuff and we got them under the weight limit. it never really hit me that i was going to china for four months until i was on the plane from vegas to korea. it still felt like a dream and was so unreal. when it finally hit i went a little crazy but i was so excited that the craziness of it didn't affect me that much.  

rach mich and i at the slc airport about
to start our four month adventure

the plane ride
it all began with two days of traveling. along with the traveling came two days of not showering, two days of stuffing my face with american food thinking it would be the last time i'd have it for four months, two days of not sleeping as well as i wanted while on the plane, and last but not least two days of swollen feet. the food on the plane was horrible (see picture one a and one b), the only good thing about the plane ride was the free eye mask and slippers (see picture two a and two b), and i really could have gone without the swollen feet. (see picture three).
picture one (a)
picture one (b) 
picture two (a)
picture two (b)
picture three

that all was the negative side of my traveling experience...majority of it is negative but there were a few postive parts. one. two of my best friends were with me during it all and the other girls in our group were so cute and easy to get a long with. two. in the korean airport we were privileged to attend a little free show and paint a lotus flower on our own fan. it was such a neat experience and a great way to make a seven hour layover seem not so long. three. mary picked us up from the airport. i'll talk more about mary at a later time but basically she's my favorite asian. she is our native coordinator here which means she is from china but speaks english well enough to help us out. she works at the school where we teach. her whole job this semester is to take care of us and she puts her whole heart and soul into that. i love her. four. the traveling did eventually end. i like that even if getting to a certain place is miserable you always have the arrival to look forward to.
mich rach me and tori painting away
rach hannah mich tori hailee me britt