I have a few excuses as to why it took me so long to get this blog up, but I will not even begin to explain. :)
I believe I left off with Karaoke. Our group went to Karaoker (as the Chinese like to say) with the Education Bureau high ups. When you do Karaoke in China, your whole party is in one room. You have touch screens to pick your songs and then a tv to sing along with. There are 2 mics and we had a blast. All of our papperozi was there and we alternated singing Lady Gaga to Wong Faye (the Chinese speciality). After the Bureau had enough dancing with the Americans, Charles had them taken home and then he took Erika, Sarah, and I out for "snacks." People in China never sleep. They only rest from 12-2 in the afternoon. Our snack was lobster and pumpkin cakes and quickly became our favorite meal.
I lost all track of time and days when we got here so I am not sure what happened next, but we have finally finished up school. I really enjoyed the education aspect of modeling best practices and talking to the Chinese teachers about it, but as far as teaching the Chinese students it was pretty tough. I had a lot of kids in my class and they were out of control, I ended up getting a new assistant June at the end and she was great! She came because she wanted her twins, Happy and Honey, to be a part of the program. We had an open house and gradution on the last day! My face hurt from smiling so much for the camera. I would never want to be famous. We gave away our teaching supplies and then that night they had a program for us where we got presents and certificates from the Culture Society and the Edu. Bureau. They sang and danced traditional Chinese pieces for us...Sarah even felt "moved" to do a little number after the middle school boy dancers. Ha! She actually was forced, but did better than any of us would have done!
We went to a town in the same province on our free day and saw how china is made. It was a ceramics factory and was pretty neat. We met the mayor of Liling and had lunch with her. It was very beautiful..all handpainted. Afterwards, we (E, S, and B) went to Charles' house for dinner. His wife, Alice made a feast and we ate with their family. She made pigs feet for us and we did try. I picked it up with my chopsticks...Erika tried to bite into it, but it was a failed attempt.
There were a few nights that we were not feeling very good so we were in bed pretty early. I think one day I took a 7 hour nap because I felt so sick. The jackhammer outside my window didn't even keep me awake. Captain keeps telling us its because of our air conditioning, but we assure him that it is not it. We have pinpointed a potential illness cause as an abundance of msg. Never fear....we are all on the mend.
A couple of nights we have snuck out for "snacks" with Charles and his friends. Lobster is always a good midnight craving. He is the only one who speaks English so often we are just trying to keep up. I have picked up more Chinese than I think I ever did of German (doesn't say alot). InChina, there are 4 tones to each sound and that means that there can be quite a few mess ups when you are trying to say something and get the wrong tone. Last night, after dinner we walked to the fountains in the town square and then Charles took us out for ice cream and then to play pool. We were the only girls in the hall...apparently women in China don't play pool.
I think we are up to 3 massages now since they are SO inexpensive. They also take quite a bit of professional freedom, which makes Erika, Sarah, and I laugh the entire massage. Not quite as relaxing as American ones.
We went shopping yesterday at the "walmart on payday with a terrible marshalls twist times a million" and finsihed up all of our shopping. Tomorrow we are headed to the mountains about 5 hours away. It is one of the famous mountain ranges in China. The pictures are amazing and we can't wait to go. You can hike or there are cable cars that run up the mountain and then there is a niagara looking waterfall. Once we get back from that adventure, we will pretty much hop on a plane and then what will feel like 40 hours later we will be home.