Wow! It certainly has been a long time since I've updated. Blame China's "Great Firewall"; my free proxy hasn't worked so I went ahead and paid for one. It's working!
I got my first postcard today from Lily Hunt! It made my day! If you want to send me mail here's my address:
The Office of International Relations, North Campus, Guizhou University, Huaxi District, Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, China PR.
Postal code: 550025
I know a lot of my friends and family have been wondering how my classes are. After all it is the reason I'm in China. I've had classes for the past 2 weeks, and I'm loving them! I'm taking 4 academic courses: 口语课 (speaking)，听力课 (listening)，写字课 (writing)，and 综合课 (cumulative). Each week I have 20 hours of class. Each class period is two hours. We meet for the former 3 classes twice a week, and the cumulative class four times a week. In addition to these, there are some extracurricular classes: Chinese idioms, martial arts/taichi, and Chinese songs. You can choose to go to these 2 hour classes each week. That being said, I'm in class for more hours that I was back at CofC, but I don't really mind. In the listening class we have quizzes or tests every time we meet. I'm really thankful for that because it keeps me on my "A game". Literally. We're learning so much in /most/ of the classes.My writing class is very remedial, but I guess sometimes it's good to review the basics?
|We also stay in the same classroom for almost all of our classes.|
I remain with the same classmates for each class. Sasha is from Tajikistan, Longhui and Hejun are from Laos, Laura and Anna from the USA, and Mint is from Thailand. We almost always speak Chinese to each other because most of them don't have very good English skills. It's a great way to practice and we're starting to get to know each other. (I mean, I know that Sasha likes to drink beer and he does not eat pork or beef, Longhui and Hejun are going to teach Chinese back in Laos, Anna studied at GuiDaXue last year, and Mint has a good sense of humor.) We all eat lunch together most every day during our lunch break. After lunch I usually do homework or take a xiuxi (rest/nap). The class periods each day are 8-9:50, 10:10-12 and then 2-4. Extra curriculars are from 4:30-6:30. I always find time for some badminton!... If it's not raining.
|Playing badminton with my Cambodian and Chinese friends.|
Meishijie- International Food Festival
|Stars and Stripes|
|Chelsea and Matthew reppin' USA|
So last Monday (September 18th) GuiDaXue hosted an ASEAN event and the third Guizhou University International Food Festival. This is a way for us to share our culture with people from different countries. In the end, our group of about 10 Americans threw together french fries, hamburgers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried chicken, banana bread, and flan. I know that flan is not a traditional American desert- and usually we don't serve french fries with spaghetti sauce- but we had a little help from Xiaoxiao and she insisted it be that way. Wait a minute--- who are the Americans here?!? We were thankful for her help though because she helped us get organized and she worked her butt off in the kitchen that day. I also made a large American flag which we hung beside our booth and found some red, white, and blue balloons!
|The guys from KY/TN and some locals|
|Chinese Tea Ceremony|
The event was fantastic! I got to try food from Laos, India, Mexico, Cambodia, South Korea, and Thailand among others. Some of it was more familiar than others. (At the South Korean booth I had Korean sushi. Cambodians provided shrimp pancakes with whole baby shrimps baked into it. Even the few European students joined in on the fun. We had Belgian waffles and potato cakes from Czech Republic! While people were eating and cooking, we had ASEAN representatives tasting and asking about our countries. There were also some cultural performances, including a bluegrass jam session from Josh and Ed, Lao and Thai dances, and a Chinese tea ceremony. My classmates Longhui and Mint were in the dances from their home countries. I got a picture with Mint in her traditional Thai outfit.
|Delicious Indian food|
|Sa-bay-dee krup from Thailand|
The Big News!
I guess this is when I should mention that I have received the Confucius Institute Scholarship for the spring semester as well. Even though I was originally planning on just staying for one semester, I think it would be best for my language skills if I were to continue my studies here. So I'll see you in July, USA! Maybe I'll be home for January/February. We get winter break from January 1 until March 1. Judging how cold and rainy it is already I'm not sure I want to be here in the dead of winter.