Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I'd say every day has a miracle. Or something close to it. For example, the other day I was buying train tickets with a couple of my friends to Shanghai for the weekend. After a 45 minute bus ride to the station we discovered that there was no ticket booth that had someone who spoke English. After standing at a booth, confused, with about 15 impatient Chinese people behind us, Frank came out of nowhere. "Do you need some help?" he said in his cute little asian accent. "YES, we do!", we happily exclaimed. That was the miracle on Tuesday. Yesterday's miracle was that us ILP teachers found a website the hacked our way into BLOGSPOT and FACEBOOK! Beautiful. Yes, there are a million popups and yes it probably wouldn't make Mao very happy. But nonetheless I can finally make a post and tell a little about my time thus far in CHINA.

Getting here was quite the adventure. Us 11 girls took a flight from Salt Lake City to San Fran, then from there to Taiwan, then from there to Shanghai, then a 3 hour bus ride to our interesting "little" city, Changzhou. From the minute I walked into the airport until we stepped foot into our dormitories, it took us a total of 34 hours to get here. Changzhou has more people than Salt Lake and is a pretty huge city, but is a small place for China. So, it is not visible on most maps we find here.

Getting around is actually not that bad. Sometimes we're surprised to find that if we just start speaking to someone they actually know "a little english". To get into the big part of town we take the 302 bus which costs 1 YUAN (the equivalent of about twenty cents). Everywhere we go here, we get interesting looks, as if we're walking around naked or something. Changzhou is not a tourist town. You can figure that out when you google it and nothing pulls up besides this blog. For a lot of the Chinese here, we are the first white people they've seen in real life. The little kids are so cute and telling. They get huge eyes, gasp, stare, and then call for their parent's attention so that they're sure to see the white person.

We teach at an international school called Tsing Ying. We live with the kids in the same dorms, eat with them, and teach them for 3-4 hours every day. I love it. We pass them and all of their cute little asian faces scream "Hellllo teacher!" Teaching is fun, but demanding and requires a lot of energy. I have an awesome room mate, Abby Barth. Friend from USU. woot. Our beds are literally wooden boxes with less than an inch of padding. Yet everyday as I lay to sleep it seems to get softer and softer. We were without hot water for about 2 weeks, but for the last week it has been working. Hopefully stays that way ha. I have also become quite accustomed to my personal squatter. Mastering this method should be considered an art. No more just sitting on a toilet seat and pulling out your favorite magazine. We have AC, which means we can relax in our room. It has been cooling off lately, but when we got here it was HOT. The time difference was initially hard to adjust to, but we finally did it. Here, we are 14 hours ahead of Mountain time.

We were really lucky last week and were able to go to a private church meeting in the Nanjing branch in Nanjing, China. It was great to see some other Americans and be able to freely speak about religion. This weekend we're going to Shanghai! Crazy. Me and three friends will be staying with my mom's high close school friend Leanna. We cannot wait. She's going to show us some fun places over there. We're also going to a sort of "stake conference" where Elder Oaks will be speaking.

October first is the big week long holiday for most Chinese people. It is called the Moon Festival. They eat moon cakes, sit and stare at the "very very round moon" (the full moon ha), and celebrate. For that big week long vacation me and a few other girls are going to take the vacation of our life! The first city we will be going to is called Fenghuang. Check out this link to see some awesome pictures of this ancient town: "". Then we'll make our way to Yangshuo. You should also check this out if you have some time to kill. Both way beautiful cities.

Any who, I kind of don't know what to write anymore or what people even care to hear ha. But when I get connected with my laptop this weekend I'll be sure to post some sweet pictures of my good old time here. Yes I miss some things back home, but everyday I love this place more and more. Wo Ai Ne!!


natalie said...

oh Brooke. I loved that post. I just got done studying at the library and thought, I'll check Brookes blog before I go home, and BAM. you updated. just what I needed to finish the day. I'm so glad that you are loving it. it really is a great place and it sound like you are adapting well to the hard beds and squatters. (those were always enjoyable) And how cool that you can go to church and hear Elder Oaks speak in China. Not many people can say that. but I will email soon. promise. I'm just WAY busy until monday at 9:30, then I'll be free from studying for a while longer. miss you lots Brooke. wo ai ni.

Melanie said...

Yea Shoko, it is so good to hear something about you. Happy that you are making the most of your situation and having a great time. Miss you lots and lots.