Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Because professional... so wonderful

Here a few of the fun/super informative signs we've seen over the last month... they keep us laughing. :)

This is hard to read.... but it says "please cherish the green lives"

Washing your "cowboy clothing" will cost you about $4

Not great... but satisfactory.

Oh thanks... that really helps

Friday, August 24, 2012

We're done with class!! 3 1/2 weeks just flew by. When I think back to my last time in China, I remember hitting the one month mark and how FOREVER LONG it took to get there. We had a celebration and made cheesecake. I guess we haven't technically hit 1 month, but it literally seems like we just got here. Adjusting has been so much easier this time but I guess the real adjustment will come when we move-- tomorrow!

This afternoon we had a "sending off celebration" and we lifted up each team and said our goodbyes. It was an awesome time together but sad! We're the only team staying here in Beijing. Everyone else is leaving, or already has left, on buses and trains, some of them going really far away. We've made some good friends on other teams so everyone leaving felt a little like abandonment. :(

Tomorrow we will finally leave the hotel and move into our apartments about 2 miles down the road. The nice thing about staying here in Beijing is that we don't have the headache of getting all our luggage to a new city. A lot of teams had to ship bags ahead, and they may not get them for a week or two. Yikes.

Lift up our team this week as we adjust to our new home and get used to only having each other. If you want more news  from my team, here are my teammates blogs...


A thought to leave you with- something we heard in a message last week that has stuck with me:
"I have nothing to prove. You know my heart."
Does the fact that He knows your heart give you peace or leave you fearful?

Here are a few pictures from my week...

Two of the cute kids that we taught in our micro-teaching practicum.
The one on the left was a mess!! So cute.

Melissa and a sweet baby from across the street.
His family sells us our ice cream. :)

Naomi, this picture is for you. It reminded me of my
beautiful painting!! haha

Lacey enjoying Nathans. It's our team leaders favorite
place to eat. Good hamburgers!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This week we have been taking a class on Asian Culture and Communication and one of the things we talked about in class is deflecting praise... if a Chinese person pays you a compliment, such as "You are so smart," you say, "No, no, I have only studied hard."
So... there's a boy that works down in the lobby and someone has given him the name Samuel. A few nights ago my friend Lacey and I were hanging out with Samuel and struggling through a conversation. He starts asking me about my major (piano) and then says something with the word "beautiful." I thought he was asking if I played the piano beautifully, so I repeated the question back to him, "Do I play the piano beautifully?" to check for clarification, and he says, "No no. You are so beautiful." I laughed and quickly replied, "No no," thinking I was being a good Chinese person, and he looked at me with a confused face and said, "What, I can't tell you you are beautiful?"
Yeah. So that didn't work.

Here are some things I've done the past few weeks...

I climbed the great wall! It was very foggy that day and super humid so you couldn't see far and we sweat out half our weight. But it was still pretty awesome.

I ate hot pot with my team. Hot pot is where you have pots of boiling broth and you order different meats and vegetables and cook them in the broth. Interesting. This is me with my team leader Kimmie.

These are my team mates, Lacey on the left and Meshea in the middle. 

I went to the summer palace with some friends yesterday. Neat place, but we never actually saw the summer palace. Apparently it's kind of tricky to find. 

At first we thought this might be the palace, but it turns out it was just another temple. 

That's all for now! If you want to follow me on instagram my name is bigrach08. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

Im safe and sound in Beijing and having a great time!
Love love LOVE my team and team leader. We are the smallest team and we have so much in common already. We've already had to force ourselves to socialize with other teams because we found ourselves only hanging out with each other! It's a good thing, I guess.
We've jumped right in to training. Last week we did a good bit of exploring the city and learning how to order food... I thought I didn't remember any Chinese but a lot of little things are coming back to me. I also thought I didn't miss Chinese food, but I've been pretty excited about everything we've eaten!
Since our team is staying here, we've already seen our school campus. I have to say, I think we have got it made. Our organizations headquarters is on the campus of our elementary school which means we have access to a dryer, a full kitchen, a baby grand piano, and best of all, we will get to celebrate holidays with our "family."
There is still a lot of training ahead so keep us in your thoughts. Some of us non-education majors (like me!) still have pretty much no idea what we're doing.

This picture is from our first day of exploring.... these are scorpions, sea horses, and starfish- that you can eat! The scorpions are at this point still alive and squirming around on the sticks. They deep fry them. I didn't try them but a few people did. It's only my first week, not feeling that adventurous yet. :)