RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Day 300: Welcome Home!

Hey everyone!

We’re back in the States and I’ve found my kitty, an iced coffee, and the world of American sandwiches. All is well with the world.

It’s been interesting adjusting to life in the States. We experienced a lot of our culture shock in Hong Kong, but there have been some things unique to the US that have been particularly striking.

  • The first thing I noticed when we stepped out of the airport door was the smell of pine! I’ve lived in North Carolina for a few years now but I’ve never noticed how overwhelming the smell of pine is in the air. Compared to the plasticky smog we’ve been inhaling all year in Baoding, it was a refreshing change, to say the least.
  • On the drive home, we were in the car (on the highway) for about ten minutes before we realized we didn’t have our seatbelts on! I was surprised by this since I’d complained about the disuse of seatbelts in China so much when I first got there, but I guess I got used to it in the end and habit didn’t kick in once I was back home (note: that was the only time we’ve forgotten since being back).
  • Maybe it’s because there’s no mold on the walls and all the holes in the plaster have been patched and we’re a little obsessive about cleaning, but everything here seems so luxurious – McDonalds, the bathroom, even the floor (I am thrilled to have carpet in my house once again). It must be mind-blowing for first-time visitors when they arrive in the US and see how luxurious and fancy everything looks (I guess the conspicuous consumption thing is working…)
  • People seem SO friendly! When Duncan and I were in the airport, we were just beaming (we probably looked ridiculous) because everyone seemed so happy and friendly. I had a nice chat with the customs police about my minion Baby Johnson and when we went to order Zaxby’s (our first American meal) the people behind the counter smiled, welcomed us, and said you’re welcome. It really is the little things that count. (And after having put up with rude people for a year, I’m making an extra effort to be friendly and polite to everyone I meet.)
  • 4G seems really unnecessary. After getting used to not having Internet access on my phone 24/7, returning here and having it feels really excessive to me. Do I really need to be able to access Facebook when I’m in my car or at the grocery store? Surely, I can wait to look at Instagram until when I’m at home. I’m trying to keep this perspective in mind so that I don’t take it for granted and so that I can be more in the present (and it’ll save money).
  • We’re wary of other drivers. Since it was pretty common for people to run red lights in Baoding and break all other traffic laws on a whim, I’m wary of other drivers on the road doing the same thing here. It became even scarier when I realized how much faster everyone moves around. Whereas Chinese drivers almost expect people to be in the road and therefore (most of the time) drive slower, here we definitely don’t expect people to be in the road and we drive a lot faster. It’s interesting to see how my driving style has evolved over time (especially compared to 16-year old me).
  • Everyone speaking English was really weird at first – I constantly felt like I was eavesdropping. Even though we were surrounded by more people more frequently in China (and they definitely didn’t care about you hearing their conversations), since Mandarin isn’t my first language, I tuned other people out most of the time. Now though, hearing what other people are talking about requires pretty much no conscious brain activity and I feel like I’m being rude by understanding what those around me are talking about. (Sorry to the lady on the plane behind me, I wasn’t trying to hear about all your kids and their life choices.)
  • Americans have an arrogant air about them. I can understand what some people from other countries think about us – God, guns, and glory!
  • Hanging out with American kids took a bit of adjustment. As I started talking to a group of 2nd and 3rd grade kids I ran into at a summer camp, it was surprising to realize that they understood everything I said. I’ve been so used to adjusting my speech and working hard to communicate effectively, that it was startling to remember that I was interacting with kids that are fluent in English and American culture and therefore I can communicate with them at a much higher level than I’m used to. It was weird but really fun at the same time. I left the situation thinking, “Wow! Those kids are so smart!” until I realized they’re probably average kids and it was my expectations that determined my evaluation (hmm… life lesson in there somewhere…)

Little things that are so commonplace that I’ve never thought about there before are astounding to me and I’m having so much fun just interacting with the world. One of my favorite things is people not touching me all the time and the fact that I can put my arms out and spin and not come close to hitting anything or anyone. I’ve been really fascinated by the amount of space there is here, especially looking at peoples’ front and back yards. It’s funny (for me now) to remember that some Americans complain of being overcrowded because their house is eight feet from their neighbor’s house – that would be an enormous luxury where I’ve been living for the past year.
But I do miss it (already) and I know I’m going to miss the little things from China even more as time goes on. I miss being outside (despite the smog) and I miss walking everywhere. People really are less communal here (at least in the use of the tremendous amounts of space we have) and I have yet to see a park (which makes me sad). I’m definitely goes to miss all the exploring we were able to do in China, but I’ve made a goal to explore all of my city to compensate for that travel bug itch.
It’s interesting to note that I’ve done more cleaning and been on technology less since I’ve been back in the States than when I was in China. Cooking in my own kitchen and being in my own house have been absolutely amazing experiences. Seeing friends has been more fulfilling than it ever was before and I definitely have a newfound appreciation for being an American citizen.

I spent a year off the grid and on the map and I absolutely would (and hope to) do it again!

Thank you so much for following along on my adventure (300 days!) and I hope you’ll join me on the next one (whenever that turns out to be)!

Best wishes,

Alyssa

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Day 289: Victoria Peak and International Style

Hello!

We had two really great days yesterday and today. Both were laid back and filled with our basking in the culture transition and this amazing city.
Yesterday afternoon we decided to go to Victoria’s Peak instead of the escalators and I’m so glad that we did.

From the top of the peak:
IMG_3981

It’s almost like there’s a whole other city on top of the peak!
IMG_3990

For dinner we stopped by Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and I fan-girled Lieutenant Dan:
IMG_3982

From the top of the Sky Terrace:
IMG_4015
IMG_4016
IMG_4018

Today, we went to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens and spent a couple of hours wandering around, enjoying being outside, and watching all the monkeys and birds.

I found Zaboomafoo!
IMG_4049

And signs of “civilized” life:
IMG_4050

After wandering around there, we headed to the mid-levels (the giant escalator system) and grabbed a good Mexican dinner before heading over to a Caribbean bar where we people-watched for a couple of hours.

Look at all the different cuisine types on this one road:
IMG_4052

One of the things that makes Hong Kong so fascinating is how international it is. Everywhere we go, we see people from all over the world, hear so many different languages, and you can find about any cuisine type you could ever want. It’s so much fun and so interesting (not to mention delicious)!

Tomorrow we are making a day trip out of going to see the giant Buddha on Lantau Island and in the evening we might go check out a ferry or a night market.

Thank you for reading and until next time,

Alyssa

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Day 286: Welcome to Hong Kong

Hello!

After a really long day yesterday, we’ve arrived in Hong Kong and have found ourselves in a completely different world. Since we finished packing Monday night, when we woke up yesterday morning, all we had to do was have our final coffee in Baoding, fold the sheets, and drag our luggage down the four flights of stairs one last time. The school sent a car to pick us up and take us to the train station and with that, along with the company of Li Laoshi, we were on our way. We had no problems getting our tickets or into the train station (other than they stopped us to look at the pocket knife Duncan had in the bag we intend to check at the airport – but they didn’t take it) and soon enough we were in our first class (super comfy) seats on a fast train down the East coast of the country, one final time. We were thrilled to discover that we got complimentary snacks and Cokes as soon as we boarded the train but other than that, the ten-hour ride was uneventful (but very comfortable and quiet). We passed the time by reading, talking, sleeping, and (most interestingly) observing the changing scenery the farther South we traveled. Once again, I was reminded of how gorgeous South China can be, especially compared to the North (and Baoding).

IMG_3904
IMG_3899
IMG_3896
IMG_3895

Traveling the length of the country through the countryside was a fitting (and very enjoyable) way for us to say goodbye to Mainland China.

The problems started when we got off the train and began the long traverse to our hostel. We arrived in Shenzhen at 6:16 but didn’t make it to our hostel until 9:30. What with several money exchanges, multiple checkpoints through customs (twice we had to get out of line to fill out papers we didn’t know we were supposed to have when we got in the line), ten million escalators, metal bars at every entrance and exit spaced about two feet apart (making lugging our six bags of our life in China stuff quite frustrating), and four subway line transfers that resulted in one stubbed toe, one scraped knee, and (today) very sore shoulders, necks, arms, and backs we were pretty grumpy when we got to the hostel. Once we did find the hostel we climbed four flights of stairs to check-in only to discover that they don’t (even though they said they would) accept RMB and we had to use my credit card to check-in (and hope that it didn’t get declined since we’re in a new country). The card went through and we got checked in but then we had move all our luggage back down the four flights of stairs, across the street, and up five more flights of stairs to get into the tiniest room I’ve ever been in (that’s not a closet). Hong Kong is known for having ridiculously tiny housing for ridiculously high prices and considering how much we paid for our “room” at the hostel, I totally believe it. We may be at the second highest rated hostel in Hong Kong but on top of the tiny rooms it also can’t boast a restaurant or a bar – something we were looking forward to after our ten-hour ride on the train and difficult trek through the subway (called the Mass Transit Railway – MTR – in Hong Kong). By the time we’d settled into the hostel and were ready to head out, it was 10pm so the restaurants we’d eyed on the way in were closed. This ended up being just fine because we went to the 24-hour McDonald’s across the street and found “real” Western food – chicken nuggets, French fries, sweet and sour sauce, and an iced coffee have never tasted so good!

Fed, clean, settled, and caffeinated we were much happier and went on a mini-wander around our block to see what Hong Kong was all about and we’ve concluded that Hong Kong and Mainland China are truly different places. We feel like we are more in the west (I think it feels just like NYC) than any part of the world we’ve been in for the past ten months. And the things we are noticing (culture shock) are so fascinating and kind of hilarious to us. First off, Hong Kong is definitely an international city. In a five-minute walk down the block we heard Mandarin, Cantonese, English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. Everything is written in English and in Chinese (traditional characters) and (a big deal for us) everything we’ve done (ordering food, exchanging money, going through customs) has been done in spoken English. We were so taken aback by the process of ordering our food in English that Duncan and I both (separately) misunderstood what the people behind the counter were saying to us because we were expecting Chinese instead of English (Duncan kept thinking the guy behind the counter was saying “what’s that” so he kept repeating his order and I responded with “Alyssa” when the lady asked me if I wanted whipped cream and I thought she asked me for my name on the order). Another thing that has really shocked us is the nudity in advertising – it seems like there are naked women everywhere! We’ve also been shocked by the Internet (fastest Internet in the world and no more firewall of China!), flushing toilet paper (instead of throwing it away), people wearing baseball hats, and “civilized” behaviour. People wait for lights to change, no one is hawking loogies, people say “sorry” and “excuse me” when they bump into you, they clean up after themselves in restaurants, there’s no honking (and people drive on the “wrong” side of the road), there’s no burning plastic, and people smell like perfume and cologne. The hardest thing we have to deal with right now is the fact that almost everyone speaks English so when we talk to each other, other people are likely to understand us. We’ve developed a bad habit of just talking to each other about anything and everything around us (since it’s pretty likely that people wouldn’t understand us in Baoding) and we’re making a conscious effort to end that here in Hong Kong.

Overall, I think it was a good idea for us to come to Hong Kong before arriving in the US because it will serve as a culture-shock transition period. I’m really enjoying taking note of all the similarities and differences between our life in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and the US.

We found clouds!
IMG_3914

The hustle and bustle of a 24-hour, international city:
IMG_3909

Hong Kong is more vertical and horizontal:
IMG_3908

View from our hostel room (I see the ocean!):
IMG_3915

The rest of today will be spent wandering around and getting our bearings and tomorrow we will begin exploring and touring. As a side note, today is the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident, and international media has said that there are massive protests going on all over Hong Kong. We have not seen nor heard anything about protests since we’ve been here and the only thing we know about is a candlelight vigil scheduled for tonight. We are staying safe and all is well!

Thanks for following along and until next time,

Alyssa

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Day 282: Bye-bye, Baoding!

Nimenhao!

We’re three days out from departing Baoding and making our final touring journey to Hong Kong. This week has been eventful and filled with last classes, exams, goodbyes, pictures, Children’s Day festivities, packing, and last suppers. We even ran into Samantha at QLH (a change of her plans meant that we get to see her one more time before leaving – yay)!

We’ve received multiple gifts of thanks from the primary and junior middle schools on campus as well as from boss man at QLH and some individual teacher friends. Earlier this week, the primary school took us out to a really delicious lunch and we had a great time hanging out with most of the primary school teachers and Li Laoshi. And last night, we had our “last supper” with Enkui and his family before we spent the evening together in a typical Chinese park soaking up the communal love and dancing fun that is a unique Chinese experience and one that we will sorely miss.

Instead of narrating a week of events, here are some of my favorite pictures from the week:

P6-3:
IMG_3614

Fifth grade notes (the top one drew what I drew on the board that day and the bottom note drew one of the games we played frequently):
IMG_3773

“Bey-bey”:
IMG_3748

Love notes from fifth grade:
IMG_3738

Selfie with fifth graders:
IMG_3732

P5-1:
IMG_3723

This is a camera with a picture of Alyssa Laoshi inside plus a note from the student underneath that – how creative!:
IMG_3706

Lots of girls from one class signed this:
IMG_3704

Special letter from a fifth grader:
IMG_3703

Chinese fortune tellers:
IMG_3702

P5-5:
IMG_3687

J1-3:
IMG_3656

J1-5:
IMG_3645
IMG_3640

P6-2:
IMG_3638

P6-4:
IMG_3635

P6-6:
IMG_3628

Selfies with sixth grade boys:
IMG_3624

P6-1:
IMG_3621

P6-2:
IMG_3617

Video compilations I made of the Children’s Day performances Thursday and Friday –

Kindergarten: 

Primary: 

Art Classes: 

We will spend the rest of this weekend packing, cleaning, and saying goodbyes and then we’re off to Hong Kong. My next post will probably be when we’re no longer in mainland China, so join us in saying farewell to Baoding.

Thank you for reading and until next time,

Alyssa

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Baoding, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 270: The Last of the Routine

Nimenhao!

The girls have been packed up and shipped back to the US to end their college adventures and we’re here wrapping up our big China adventure.

Tuesday afternoon we had the opportunity to observe a seventh grade Chinese-English class (definitely a unique spectacle) that led to a two hour long conversation with Li Laoshi about the differences between education systems and values in the US versus China. Despite our differences, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and was glad to have been able to have it.

Seventh grade girls giving a performance in class:
IMG_3488

Wednesday, we began solo-teaching again (classes went as well as they ever have), and other than that, not much has happened since the girls left, which is why I haven’t been as frequent with posting. We were pulled out of our own classes (much to our annoyance) to do more photographs for the school but the classes I did go to, were very happy to see me (and I them).

Selfies with fifth graders:
IMG_3490

Friday we went to a brand new restaurant in Baoding with Johnson and tried one of the more popular chicken dishes in China – Spring Chicken. It was tasty and we always have fun talking to Johnson (I swear he knows more about American pop culture than I ever have). We’re definitely going to miss him.

IMG_3507

And this weekend, I was able to get some footage of a Chinese woman in her natural habitat (this went on for about 20 minutes, as it always does):

Today marked the beginning of our second to last week of teaching in China and 21 days until we’re back in the States. This week I’m reviewing with my students in preparation for the exam I’ll give them next week and next week’s lesson with be half exam, half party time/saying goodbye. Farewells will be hard, especially considering how life-changing this year has been, but now that I’m counting down, I’m anxious to begin packing and on to our final adventure in Hong Kong/Macau.

Statue of Liberty (seventh grade creation):
IMG_3501

So with less than nine teaching days left (for me), it’s time to make sure we squeeze the most out of the rest of our time in Baoding, China and begin preparing for the Children’s Day Festival (in which we’re – surprise! – performing) and saying goodbye to life as we’ve known it for the past 270 days.

Thank you for reading and until next time,

Alyssa

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Baoding, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Day 263: Teaching in (Baoding) China

Nimen hao!

We’re 28 days from leaving and have between one and three classes left with each group of students depending on the grade. Teaching new material is effectively done and now (at least in my classes) we’ll be reviewing, taking my final exam, and saying goodbye. It seems that just as I was getting the hang of “this teaching thing” the WKU teachers got here and now, after they leave on Wednesday (how has their month here already passed?!), the semester and year are officially concluding. We’re in the home stretch.

As I’ve been observing Haley’s classes and advising her as best I can on the “different beast” that is teaching English to Chinese students, I’ve come up with a list of things I’ve learned about teaching (in this specific environment) this year:

-Your class may not count, but you do:
My classes have not been worth a grade or had any “official” impact on the academic careers of my students, which has made engaging disinterested students even more difficult, but as the students realize I’ll be leaving in less than three weeks and that I will not be their teacher next year, there is no doubt that I, personally, matter to (most of) them. Just as relationships with the students have been really rewarding to me, I think the students have relished the personal attention Duncan and I strive to give to them. We interact with the students very differently than their Chinese teachers do (most characteristically by emphasizing positive interactions – whether it be creating a positive, shame-free, and fun learning environment or rewarding correct answers and good behaviour) and making ourselves accessible and welcoming to casual interaction has clearly been important to the students. They’ll miss us as much as we’ll miss them.

-You have to adapt your vocabulary to words and phrases the students have likely encountered or been taught before:
You have to bring yourself, your lesson, and your teaching to a level that is understandable, accessible, and relevant to them. For example, our students were taught “water-closet” or “W.C.” instead of “bathroom” and before I taught them that the American equivalent is “bathroom” or “restroom”, I had to acknowledge that they were correct and that I understood them. I taught them “Earth friendly” rather than “environmentally friendly” because they had already learned the word “Earth”. I have simplified my spoken English in the classroom to make them more able to understand what I’m saying without relying on a translator. My goal with this was to get them understanding and using as much English as possible independently rather than relying on a translator or losing their interest in my class because I was just speaking at them incoherently.

-No matter how ridiculous it feels, talk slowly:
I’m a fast talker with my English-speaking peers so slowing down my speech enough that non-native English speakers could have a chance at understanding me took quite a bit of adjustment. It wasn’t until I really started trying to communicate on my own in Chinese that I realized just how big of a difference it makes in whether or not I can understand and continue to communicate with people. I really appreciate it when people are patient and considerate enough to slow down their speech so I can catch the individual words and phrases in Chinese and so I have made a deliberate effort to do the same with my students learning English. In turn, they’ve even slowed down their Chinese enough to teach me new words and phrases.

-Become a mime:
One of the hardest things to get used to about teaching, other than speaking at (what feels like) a glacially slow pace, is learning to be exaggeratedly expressive. Often to help explain the rules of a game or a concept, I have been very literally demonstrative. Whether it’s just pointing or miming an action with your entire body, expressing yourself with more than just words is very helpful to students. This also took me a while to adjust to, but once I did, my students began understanding me and getting more out of my classes almost immediately.

-Get used to embarrassing yourself:
This applies to pretty much every aspect of living in China, especially if your language ability can’t be categorized as fluent, but it is especially true when teaching kids. Talking slowly and literally acting out everything in your lesson sometimes turns you into a comedic variety show, of sorts, in your classroom, but it’s worth the embarrassment and self-consciousness since it often is beneficial to your students’ learning. One of my lessons was on health words and this meant that for every “cough”, “sneeze”, “help”, “sick”, and “sleep”, I was essentially acting out a charades game by myself. Whereas this benefitted the older kids by their learning the English equivalent to a visual thing rather than to the Chinese translated word, the younger kids joined in on the acting and they learned the new English words through total-body engagement in the lesson. Now, if I asked my students what I’m doing with my hand over my mouth, they know I’m acting out “mask”. It’s weird; it takes some creativity; but it seems to work and makes class more fun.

-There is a ton of variety in your classes:
In all of my classes, I can expect and have found an enormous amount of variety in age, ability, patience, learning style, hygiene, interest in school, background, interest in extracurricular activities, willingness to speak in front of the class, willingness to speak just to me, comprehension, and speed of learning amongst many, many other factors. This is especially true in my older classes in which I have eighth graders who can barely count to twenty in English while their desk partner is having full conversations with me in English and wishing me to “have good dreams” at night when I go to sleep. This makes creating a lesson even more difficult (than it already is considering how infrequently I see the students). While some kids may want only to learn about hobbies and computer games, others want to learn about American culture, others need to be tutored in basics such as colors and numbers, and others could genuinely care less about your class or ever speaking English for that matter. Do I cater lessons to the advanced and interested students or do I cover basics but leave the advanced students bored? This is not a situation unique to ESL teachers in China, but it has presented me with some challenges that I wish I had been better prepared for.

I have also learned a lot about what I would do differently were I to teach these classes again. For one, I would focus more on teaching frameworks rather than vocabulary, at least at first. For example, I wish I’d spent more time teaching phrases like “I like ____”, “I feel ___”, “I want____”. In the long run, I think this would have been very useful for the students and, though what I taught the students certainly was still beneficial, frameworks would have been more universally applicable. I also wish that I had taught phonics from the very beginning. One of my biggest criticisms of how Chinese students learn English, at least from my experience at this school, is that they memorize how to say a new word but since they don’t have a firm grasp on phonics, they are unable to sound out new words they see or how to hypothesize how to spell words they recognize orally but not visually. I wish I had taken the time every time I taught a new word to sound out and focus on the phonics. Maybe that would even eliminate the frustrating “-a” added to the end of every word(-a).

Another thing I’ve come to see in a new light is technology in the classroom. When we first arrived at this school, we were frustrated (I was a little panicked) about our classrooms. We were told that we would have multi-media classrooms but lo and behold, when we entered our classrooms for the first time, we found a chalkboard, fifty desks, and about 3 pieces of chalk. Since I can’t even remember the last time I had a class in which the teacher only used a chalkboard, I was dumbfounded on how to teach a class without technology. In the US, teachers and education majors are increasingly expected to use technology such as Smart boards, PowerPoint presentations, and YouTube videos in their classrooms. And before this experience teaching in China, I was fully on board with all of that and more in the classroom – in an increasingly globalized and technological world, of course technology should be utilized. Though I still agree with this, I’ve become aware of a different angle – that maybe we’re too dependent on technology. By writing on the board and making my own flashcards, I’ve effectively taught 25 classes a week without a single electronic aid and now that I look back on it, I’m not sure how a Smart board would have taught the students any more vocabulary than I did without it. I was talking with the other teachers the other day and they mentioned another interesting aspect I hadn’t thought about before – patience. With technology in the classroom, lessons are sped up, students can switch focus (and get distracted) quickly, and, teachers can lose the attention of students even faster. But in our classrooms here, where students are accustomed to waiting the few extra seconds it takes to write a sentence on the chalkboard rather than it almost instantaneously flashing on the screen, students are required to have a little more patience, a little less entertainment, and a little more focus for a longer period of time. Perhaps, in the midst of our ADHD “epidemic”, we should try teaching without instantaneous gratification and flashy Powerpoints, and instead teach our kids, in the classroom, how to listen, how to wait, and how to be behaved and patient while they wait for a few quiet seconds.

To end this post (much longer than I originally intended when I sat down to write it), here are pictures of some of my classes from last week:

IMG_3408
IMG_3411
IMG_3447
IMG_3455

Thank you for reading and until next time,

Alyssa

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Baoding, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 257: Goodbye Beijing

Hey everyone,

We’re back from our May Day trip to Beijing and now in the final month of our contract.

Last Tuesday night we were able to have another (final) dinner with Johnson and Samantha and we had a really amazing time. We met up at QLH and took taxis to a Chinese tapas restaurant that was delicious and then we went to an “indie” coffee shop that smelled like Asheville but was decorated with Cultural Revolution era artifacts. It turned out that we went to the coffee shop on its one-year anniversary so on top of our orders of coffee, we all got a free glass of wine – definitely my kind of place!

DSC_7178

IMG_3273

IMG_3274

Wednesday, we headed out and began our grand adventure to Beijing. The girls were thrilled to have the opportunity to explore a part of China outside of Baoding and were as impressed with the high-speed rail as I continue to be. Once in Beijing, they got to experience the subway as we made our way to the hostel, hutongs (alleys), and, as always, tremendous amounts of walking.
The hostel was almost directly behind the Lama Temple, a really gorgeous part of Beijing, and as the girls went off to explore the temple itself, Duncan and I wandered through the hutongs and streets in that district.

Yoda in our hostel:
IMG_3312

Also while in Beijing, we visited the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square:

IMG_3093 

We went to an acrobatics show:

IMG_3081

IMG_3077

And on the way there, drove past Tiananmen:

IMG_3329

We did a ton of shopping (along with all these people):

IMG_3309

And when we almost got caught in a terrific thunderstorm, we got hand-carved stone stamps made by this guy:

IMG_3354

We even went to the Olympic Village:

IMG_3099

We had a really wonderful time in Beijing, and loved getting to share everything we’ve seen and done with our new friends.

Sunday, we said a final farewell to Beijing and left Beijingxi Railway Station, and made our final return to Baoding where we will be for the next 27 days.

IMG_3112 

Yesterday, we had another good day of classes and Haley, Caitlin, and I all got our own Baoding Bilingual School uniforms:

IMG_3376

And I found these gems on the sixth grade floor hallway:

IMG_3371

Today, the school asked Duncan and I to oblige them by doing a photo-shoot for them to advertise us to future middle school students. Apparently, some teachers saw me dancing in the parking lot a couple of months ago, and now they want pictures of that too.

DSC_7088 

Thank you for reading and until next time,

Alyssa

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Baoding, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Lewis and Clark and Mark

Travel. Photography. People. Bicycle Touring.

CARDBOARD BOX OFFICE

A world of film, a house of stuff.

Alyssa in China

Ramblings on Life in China

backpackerlee

Backpacking (and eating) my way around the world!

TIME

Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates

中国 Jaunt

One girl's quest to teach some kids and eat a lot of rice

Asheville NC Mountain Travel Tips

Go to www.RomanticAsheville.com for the most up-to-date info!

Brevard Tiny House

Tiny Houses, Big Dreams!

THE WORD

Where one word inspires many.

My Hong Kong Husband

Third culture wife: Polish girl married to a Hongkonger, fresh off the airplane in Ireland. AMWF, lifestyle, culture, food, Asian fashion and a little bit of Cantonese

xballerina's Blog

Inspiration for the artist and athlete in everyone: the art of being human.

Duncan's Year in Pictures

A 365 Photo Challenge

Pointe Shoe Brands

Pointe Shoe Brands From All Over The World

Life in Russia

The Bridge between two countries

waltzing on water

dancing through life while sailing the high seas

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

The SWC Chronicles

Living, Laughing, and loving writing down the moments life is full of

JourneyBird

Whet your wanderlust.

%d bloggers like this: