Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ni Hao!

So I am using a proxy site because blogger is blocked, but I have to tell America how much I am loving China. The tour at the beginning was awesome. I went to Hong Kong, and Beijing and loved every single minute. It took a while to fall in love with the asian people, but they really are all so kind and loving and they yearn for affection. My 1,200 students love my personality and my blue eyes. They are willing to do anything for us. I have already had so many awesome experiences, I can only imagine what will happen within the next 3 and a half months. I am currently in the province of Hunan in a really rural city called Ningyuan. The city itself is little but bustling and full of life. Every night at the town square there is dancing and you know I try to go every night. The ladies love it and as soon as we get there, there is a giant swarm of people admiring our dance skillz. The people here haven't seen many foreigners so we are the talk of the town. Asians don't believe in being tactful so if they are shocked to see you, they will show it. Pointing, yelling, staring, and taking pictures is an every day occurance. The peace sign is a must. This past weekend I had the coolest experience. Grant, my American friend from Logan, woke up on Saturday and wanted to go to the outskirts of the city to take pictures and talk to the people. (He speaks Mandarin fluently basically) We weren't sure how we were going to get there, but we were going to do it. About thirty minutes after waking up, we get a call from our Liason telling us he wants to take us to his village to show us where he grew up. Turns out, he grew up in the countryside. We did as we were told and met him in front of our school's campus at 1:30. I charged my camera and filled two water bottles. (you cannot drink the water here unless it is bottled.) The drive was something I can not even put in to words. The views of the beautiful mountains just outside our city are of all shapes and sizes. They are covered in lush, green trees and plants with an array of colorful flowers. It seriously had me speechless. My Liason told us that in the mountains there are wild monkeys that are very easy to catch. He's going to take us monkey hunting next week. We soon arrive to his village and I was appalled at the living conditions. So they are all farmers. They grow their own food such as rice, vegetables, peanuts, chickens, pigs, cows, and lots of fruit depending on the season. As soon as we arrived, children ran out of their homes to see who was in an actual car. Our Liason then told us that they really have not seen white people ever. They were so scared of us and were terrified if we made eye contact. We began taking a walk around the village to check things out. The village has a community bathtub which is water drainage from a near-by lake. We then walked to the lake and I saw the most beautiful views I have ever seen. It was quite the trek up to the lake, but it was worth every calf-ache. When we arrived to the lake, we noticed quite a few men who were skinny dipping. They thought nothing of our appearance and continued doing their thing. I couldn't stop laughing. You know when Natalie Allen laughs and she can't stop laughing? Yeah, that was my life the entire time. We then walked the shoreline and I caught glimpses of snakes, fish, sheep, cows, pigs, dogs, and tons of chickens. We then stop at our Liason's family pig farm. We were looking at the coolest pigs and I pointed to the one that had the best personality. Little did I know, we would be eating that exact same pig for dinner. The children followed us the entire time and they eventually warmed up to us. They would grab on to your hand and drag you while they ran to the tallest rock for the best view of the village. This one 4 year old boy stole a piece of my heart that day. He was so young and innocent and his laugh brought a smile from ear to ear on anyone who could hear him. He wore grungy clothes but had the best character. He would play tag with me and I would sing him little songs and he would repeat them. When he grabbed my hand, I noticed that he only had 9 and a half fingers. One had recently been cut off from who knows what. The only thing that helped his severed finger, was a single strip of gauze that they would wash and reattach. The gauze was a yellow-brown color and I knew it probably had tons of infection, but I could not let go of his hand. He was the cutest thing and was so sad when we had to go inside and eat. We said goodbye to the children and then started dinner. This dinner was insane. FRESH rice, chicken, eggplant, peanuts, pork, eggs, and chicken feet galore. It was a sight I will never forget. The chinese people are all so giving and would do anything for a friend or foreigner. Dinner came to an end and I was so thankful to be coming back to my dingy apartment that I so often complain about. I haven't complained since and I am so glad that I live in America. I have never been much of a Patriot until now, but I really am falling in love with the Chinese people and their culture. I have to go to class, but I will do my best to keep you updated with my life. Gossip Girl is starting soon and I have to wait until December to watch any of the episodes. Talk to you soon. (hopefully)