Tuesday, September 22, 2009


What to say, what to say.

For starters I have my big vacation planned out- all the details and everything! It's next Wednesday. Can't believe it. So here's an idea of what will happen: Take a 2-3 hour train ride to Shanghai Wednesday night, stay at Leanna's house that night, get up early the next morning and board our TWENTY THREE hour train ride on a HARD SEAT. yeah. All the beds were sold out. This should be fun. Then get to Guilin. Take a train to Jishoua (3 hours or so?) then a bus to Fenghuang, then a taxi to the hostel. Yes. That's just getting there. So we'll be in Fenghuang for 3 days. This is ancient china. Red lanterns everywhere, city divided by a river with little bridges and stone steps across, not a lot of modern-ness. And we couldn't be more excited. Then.... going to Yangshou. You can google this place too. One of the most beautiful places in China. We plan on swimming the mud caves, maybe doing some hikes, and hopefully just find a bunch of random things to do! This vacation is over the Chinese Moon Festival... so basically its only second to the Chinese New Year... yeah. LOTS of Asians... EVERYWHERE. I have to carry all of my belongings with me in a back pack the whole time. So for eight days I plan on taking two shirts, shorts, jeans, and tennis shoes. A little bit of snacks, some pills, and three other girls! Woot.

The Chinese experience still gets better every day. My kids are DARLING. Even if they aren't my students or I don't know them, I have little kids running up to me wanting to hold my hand or get a hug or just practice their English by saying "HELLO!" Precious. These are the names of my homeroom: Jake, Minnie, Sally, Nicolas, Kevin, Katie, Jenny, and Blake. They call me "Teacher Barrack" because often times they call me "Block." When I correct them and make the rrrrr sound, it comes out as "Barrack". Ha. Good times asia.

Went to church again last week and I'll be going again this week. It does take a bit of time but every time I get there it is well worth it. I wake up at 5 to get ready, leave the school at 545, catch a 45 minute bus, take a train for about an hour, take the metro, and get to church a little before it starts at 10. I love it though. And I never regret going. Oh yeah- I have a calling now. Sunday school teacher for the young men! All two of them ha. I'm excited though. Because in truth, I've never really been in love with Sunday School. So now that I am teaching it, maybe things will go smoother? Who knows.

One of my new thrills here is giving the Chinese people English names. It's just the funnest thing to do. Even I have an Asian name: Ting Ting. The other day on the train we met a boy who looked exceptionally bright. So, we named him Harvard. Other names have included George, Obama, Gus, Dr. Seuss, and some others that I can't remember.

Just figured out how to taste the MSG in your food: watch for the tingle in your tongue. It's like they are trying to get us all buzzed up on the food or something. But whatever. Most of it tastes good. It just reminds me of the Teen Girl Squad comics, when the girls get MSG'd from eating pan-asian-rolls. :)

It's getting not so unbearably hot here. It's rained most days this week, which is nice for me, because I get to wear more of the small wardrobe that I brought.

And now, I get to go teach a morning class the difference between MAD, SAD, and GLAD. After they eat the hard boiled eggs that are delivered to their room every morning ha. Ok well more later. Thanks for the emails! Maybe someday I'll figure out how to post pictures...

Wo Ai Ni


Laur said...

Oh Skokie, Did you rename all your homeroom kids too? Because those are not asian names... My homeroom's kids names are : Antonio, Frida, Abril, Regina, Diana, Valentina, Isao, Mariana... Love the Mexicans. You love the Chinese?

natalie said...

brooke, Sounds like you are having such such a good time! I just love hearing about your adventures!