• 21Jun
    Uncategorized Comments Off on Katy Comes To Town…

    My good friend from college has come to town to visit on her last summer break.  It’s semmingly the perfect way for me to end my trip here too.  We’ll be flying back to the states together!!  I fact I fly out a week from today!  Wow.  I can’t believe that it’s already almost been 2 whole months.

    Tuesday we leave for Dali with a friend here.  I haven’t been there before so I’m excited to get to see more of China.  Plus a bonus is that my friend speaks Chinese!

    It is said a picture speaks a thousand words… so here’s what we’ve been up to.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2398634&id=3309938&l=ef003eca1c

    Enjoy.

    Lup

  • 14Jun
    Uncategorized Comments Off on Back in Kunming

    Only 2 weeks left in this trip!

    On Friday I arrived back into Kunming from Mangshi.  I already miss teaching a little bit.  But I have hope that more teaching just might be in my future.  Still a lot of things to work out, but I’m being hopeful for God’s plan.  It sure is good to be back in Kunming.  I love the big city life, with the walking and the buses.  I feel so much closer to things and now have the ability to walk to where ever I want, in Mangshi I was in the outer edge of the city, so walking was an option, but you just had to be ready to walk for a good 20 minutes to get to something worth while.

    Yesterday I went to fellowship with my new friend Kate.  She’s from Hong Kong so it’s nice that she speaks English AND Chinese.  After fellowship we went out to lunch with some people from fellowship and they all spoke Cantonese!!  I just can’t seem to get myself around Mandarin to save my life!  We had a great lunch.  It was on the expensive side… meaning I spent a whole FOUR USD!  It was I think around $30 for 7 of us and two kids.  We had a full fish, a beef dish (which was cool cause when they brought it out… they lit whatever liquid was in the bowl under the meat on fire!  and the meat was on a mesh grill like thing…), an almost like sweet and sour pork looking dish, a potato dish that was very similar to hashbrowns, a plate of buns, a vegetable dish, and an egg dish.  After lunch several of us went out on the town.  We went to several shopping areas… now shopping isn’t my favorite thing, but it was sorta neat to see a lot of the culture and items that are sold.  Most of the area was like an open air market type place where people are just selling their items on a glorified cart.  Our next stop was….

    McDonalds!  Hah.  I haven’t been to one yet in China… so it was kinda a fun experience.  We went there just for a snack of ice cream and someone got some fries.  Here’s some pictures….

    image0023

    There’s the menu… look familiar?  It was basically the same style as in the US.

    image0024

    There’s the cash register and the worker.  I like their outfits here.

    image0026

    This was on the placemat.  So I guess they have a little bit different food here.  This is like a Sausage McMuffin but with grilled chicken?… maybe they have that in the States… but I seriously can’t remember the last time I went to McDonalds in the States for anything other than ice cream.

    image0025

    I’m not sure it’s really visible… but I took a pic of the receipt to compare prices.  The Ice Cream Sundae that I got was 6 RMB or a little less than $1 (so almost the same)… the Large Fry was 8 RMB so a little more than $1 (so way cheaper)… and a Medium Sprite was 5.5 RMB or less than $1 by a bit (so way super cheap!!!).  But this food is super expensive in Chinese standards.  I’ve figured out that things are priced the same here as in the States, it’s just that the exchange rate makes it SOOO cheap for us since we get to essentially divide everything by 6.5.  So if you think about it… they’re basically paying 6 BUX for a Sundae and 8 BUX for fries… now it sounds expensive eh?

    I’m so excited for my friend Katy to come visit!  She gets her on Thursday!  It’s going to be hilarious.  We should get a reality show or something to tape two chicks running around China without knowing Chinese.  It’ll be great.

    Hope all is well wherever you are!

    Lup

  • 07Jun

    Well I took some pictures of my classes.  I only have 2 of them (I forgot to take a picture in the last class!  I’ll take it on Monday I hope).  There’s also some random pictures of fun things I’ve seen in Mangshi…

    primary-3

    This is my Primary 3 Class.  Meaning they’re the least experienced.  They’re the class I’ve taught the most simply because I taught them on my first day in Mangshi.

    In the front from viewing left to right is : Jessica (probably the best in this class at English… but she’s a talker in class… she is probably really good at hearing Jessica be quiet… but maybe she doesn’t know what it means???) Anna (this was her first class… but she’s already taken some English so she’s pretty close to the top of the class), Susie (who has trouble remembering her own name… haha and always is “helping” Lisa even though I think that Lisa might actually know more than Susie now), Lisa (who is 6 years old and probably the cutest kids… I love the way she says “I’m Lisa!”)

    The middle row (left to right again): Joe (the most ambitious, he definitely tries the hardest),  Mary (the best volunteer), Carol (not the best… but she’s cute)

    Top Row: Harry (the most obedient, he sits up the straightest, and is very much a “Chinese student”), Kelly (very quiet… I usually can’t even hear her when she’s talking), and Tom (the tallest kid in all the classes, but he probably has the worst pronunciation… Yao Ming better watch out this kid is only 11).

    primary-1

    Primary 1- Meaning they’ve been learning the longest.  Probably my favorite class because they pay attention the best and are fun to teach. This one is hard to teach though because they range a lot in their English skills just simply because of their age differences… it ranges from 6-11.

    The Back Row (Left to Right): Carol (probably shouldn’t be in this class… she’s never seeming to pay attention or have any retention skills.. haha!), Pam (second best only to Doris in all the classes I teach), Doris (really really good at English, really fast learner, I usually end up giving different/higher skilled questions to them), Rena (her first day in class and already better than half of them)

    The Front Row (Left to Right): Daisy (is fun to teach, last class we couldn’t get her to remember “starfish” to save her life… but we worked on it… and the next class she got it!!.. but we had some good laughs because it was so funny that I would just quiz her on the same word over and over and she couldn’t remember!!!), Jake (only 6 and it shows, he’s so happy when he gets one right though), David (is always surprised when he can’t remember words… which is often… and looks baffled… it’s kinda funny), Eric (loves to distract David).

    Kids are basically the same as they would be anywhere.  They like to pick on their neighbor, don’t like to sit down, some kids are good, some don’t care.  I basically sympathize with teachers more now, trying to keep kids entertained for an hour and a half is hard enough, much less a whole day.

    elias

    Here is the family’s son, Elias.  He’s 4 and speaks fluent Spanish and Chinese, and can converse in English a little bit.  He loves to look at Transformers, watch Buzz Lightyear, play with his car/bike thing, play with anything you’re playing with, doesn’t like to eat dinner or lunch, love to drink juice, loves to shoot you with his hand, and karate chop.  He’s a ton of fun to play with.

    mangshi

    Here’s a street in Mangshi.  Most streets are lined with palm trees, have shops on the first level and offices or apartments on the top floors.  Average building is around 4 stories.  Most people either ride scooter/motorcycles or walk.  Not too many bicycles or bus riders.  It’s a pretty small town (1 million people) that I’d have to say is probably on the poorer side, I’ve seen a lot more low quality living here, but there are also really nice parts.  It’s hot and humid here (at least while I’ve been here).  It’s rained about 50% of the days I’ve been here, but not the whole day.

    dumpling

    Here’s the prices at the Dumpling Place.  10 Boiled Kind for 3 Yuan.  Meaning less than $.50USD/Dumpling.  With discounts going up as you buy more.  We got 130 dumplings for 40 Yuan or a little over $6.

    dumpling2

    There they are.  Yum.

    melisa

    Here’s Melisa.  She just turned 1 a week before I got there.  She walks, but doesn’t talk yet.  She blabs a little bit, but I think language might be a little late just because she’s hearing Spanish, Chinese, and English all the time.  She understands commands like throw this away, give this to this person, come here, sleep.  Super cute except when she wants out of her high chair and when she’s screaming in the middle of the night.

    hellokitty

    How could I resist putting up a picture of this… or taking a picture of this… it’s MEN’S underwear.  Note that this is even in XXL.  Who wouldn’t want their man sporting some good ole Hello Kitty Underwear?  If anyone wants me to bring them back some just let me know… China is one funny place.

    I’m back in Kunming on Friday!

    Hope all is well with you!  I love all the comments.  =)

    Lup

  • 01Jun

    Life is pretty “normal” these past few days for me.  There hasn’t been much that’s exciting for me to write about…

    I teach classes every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night from 7:00pm-8:30pm.  And then I teach 3 classes on Saturday, one at 8:45-10:15, 2:30-4:00, and 4:15-5:45.  All of classes meet once during the week and once on Saturday.

    We’re mostly learning about places like: house, train station, airport… modes of transportation like: car, airplane, bicycle… foods like: apple, pumpkin, chicken, beef…

    We roughly use those 1000 word books, the one that has the cute little duck in all the pictures…. well that’s where most of the vocabulary comes from…

    I’ve been trying to add common sentences, starting with “My favorite ____ is _____”.  The kids catch on really fast, I find myself forgetting that they don’t really speak English.  The hardest part is trying to work on giving individual attention while controlling/entertaining the whole class.  I noticed that it was really easy for the kids to just “pretend” like they knew the words by letting the kids who actually know it say it for them… so I’ve been trying to give a little more one on one listening and pronunciation work… but it’s hard to not lose the class.

    I’ve been trying to add in games and activities that I know from the states, but it’s really hard to “teach” the rules.  Remember these kids don’t really know English… so imagine trying to be an example of how to play all the different parts… hah.  I imagine it’s pretty funny for the kids.

    My favorite part is probably when you call on the kids to answer a question, they stand up proper and answer, then sit back down.  It’s old school style.  It catches me off guard a lot of the time… I’m always like… what are you doing… oh right… you guys do that… haha.  It’s also fun to see the kids having fun and getting excited.  They love playing this math racing game that I do in order to help them with their numbers.  Two kids basically race to finish a math problem, but the trick is that they have to be able to say the answer in English.  I love giving really long problems… it makes it more fun!  We played pictionary in yesterday’s class and that was really good too.  Hopefully they’re learning!

    In other news, I’m starting to finally feel better!  I’d say I’m about at 90%.  I started to take Tylenol Cold a few days ago and that’s really seemed to help a lot.  It’s good at helping me to dry out.  =)

    Hope all is well wherever this finds you!

    Lup

   

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