Tuesday, June 28, 2011


You guessed it... I am finally home and it is good to be back!
It was a long day of traveling, but definitely worth it when we eventually reached salt lake city.
I don't even know how to express how happy I was when I saw my family! 
It was so nice being able to see them face to face.
They have treated me like a princess since I have been home.
The house was clean, my room was ready, and A LOT of food was bought.
Even though it was hard to say goodbye to china, it feels good to be home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Goodbye Grade One

Today was my last day of teaching.  I have been anxious for today, because I knew that had to say goodbye to my kids.  Saying goodbye is definitely not one of my favorite things to do.  Coming to China, I had to say a lot of goodbyes.  I was extremely sad saying goodbye to my family at the airport.  However, I knew that I would be able to see my family in a couple of months.  Saying goodbye to my kids was a lot harder because I don't know if I will ever see them again. 

For the last day of teaching we had a movie day.  They thought it was so much fun!  They were so focused in the movie and their eyes were glued to the screen.  It made me have a flashback to when I was a child and how excited I was when we would watch movies in Elementary school.  Whenever I would watch a movie in class, I would consider it the best day ever!  As we were watching the movie,  I would randomly sit among the kids because I wanted to make sure that I spent time with each of them.  I was making my rounds, and decided to sit by Bobby last.  As I sat next to Bobby, he reached for my hang and clung on tight.  I am going to miss Bobby!  He can't speak much English, but this small gesture was all I needed. 

After the movie, we split the kids up into our homeroom groups and we gave out gifts.  Everything was going well, and I was holding my emotions, until the kids had to line up to go back to Chinese class.  They were standing in line and I made eye contact with Steven.  He immediately burst out into tears.  Steven is a trouble maker!  He is very wild, and was the hardest to handle during class.  I couldn't believe that out of all of the kids, he was the one crying.  Sara and I rushed over to Steven, and hugged him as all of us cried.  This started a chain reaction, before I knew it all of the children were crying and hugging us.  They didn't want to let go.  I held onto each of them as they cried.  Some of the children asked us why we had to leave.  They told us that they loved us and that they were going to miss us. 

Even though today was an emotional day, I know that my kids will be okay.  I know that they are in good hands and that they will be taken care of.  They are all amazing and have so much potential!!  They each are brilliant students and they have a great future ahead of them. 

I came to China because I wanted to experience something new and different.  Little did I know, that not only would I experience something new and different, but I would love the teaching aspect!    Teaching here in China has actually helped me decide what I would like to do for my career.  I have been thinking for a long time what I would like to do, and I think that I have decided that I would like to become an Elementary teacher.  I have found that I love spending time with children.  What a better way to spend time with children than to teach?  Not only was I able to find my love for teaching, but I was able to spend time with the cutest children!  Each child had something to give, and I was able to learn and grow because of their examples.  The children that I taught, definitely made my teaching experience!  If it weren't for them, I would still be unsure of what I want to do for my education path.


Under The Sea

Our performance is done! 
We spent a lot of time rehearsing with the kids, and now it is over.  
Hours and hours were spent on rehearsing, memorizing lines, and getting ready to perform.
We were told that we needed to put make up on them. 
So we decided to paint bubbles on their faces.
They were dressed up in the school uniforms, and they looked so cute! 

I was so proud of my kids!
They were amazing. 
They sang their songs loud enough and you could understand what they were saying.
The kids all remembered their lines, and spoke them clearly.
Even Sky said his line!
Sky is one of my students, who I believe has autism. 
Justin, another student, has helped so much with Sky the past couple of weeks.
He helped Sky practice his line, he helped him walk to his spot on stage, and he made sure that Sky was taken care of.
It was really good for me to see Justin's patience as he helped Sky.
Justin was Sky's friend, and it made me feel really good knowing that someone was watching out for him.   

It was pretty funny because my group  didn't understand the concept of passing a microphone, so instead "Teacher Lindsay" held it for each of them. 
The performance went wonderfully and they were the best group of sea animals that I have ever seen.

Picture 1: The Performance
Picture 2: Justin with Sky

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the best Dad that I could ask for!

I am so grateful for my Dad!  My Dad is such a great example to me and I have missed him so much while I have been here in China.  I love skyping my Dad!  We always have the best conversations, and he is always so happy that he gets the chance to me.  It makes me feel really good that my Dad enjoys talking with my as much as he does.  Fortunately, I will be returning home this Saturday and I will be able to give my Dad a gigantic hug!  My Dad is such a caring person.  He is always looking for ways to serve and has taught me how important service is.  My Dad is very dedicated to what he does.  He is a great leader as he is always fulfilling his calling.  He has taught me how important it is to do what is asked of you.  My Dad is a hard worker!  Growing up, I would complain when my Dad would ask me to help him around the yard.  I did not like to WORK.  But as I have gotten older, I have realized how important work is.  My Dad is HILARIOUS!  He is such a funny guy and he is always making me smile.  My Dad has the best laugh, and he loves having a good time.  My friends will come over to my house to hang out with my Dad.  One of the most important things that my Dad has taught me, is to always have a good attitude.  He often reminds me to live in the moment, and not stress about the future.  He reminds me that I need to be positive no matter what the circumstance may be.   I am grateful that my Dad has taught me these simple qualities and I hope one day to teach my children them as well.

I am looking forward to having lunch with my Dad and doing the dishes with him!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Wanted: A Dressing Room

I decided that I either:

a. provide really good entertainment
b.  am a really awkward person

let me tell you why...

Last night we were out shopping at walking street and we decided to go into the sketchy mall. 
The one that I hate. 
The one that I am scared of.
And the one where I got robbed.
 I clung on to my purse as tight as I could.  I wasn't going to let anything happen this time. 

ANYWAYS... I saw this shirt that I thought was pretty cute and I decided that I wanted to look at it.  In China, they don't believe in dressing rooms.  They won't let you try anything on.  This annoys me, because I like to try things on before I purchase them.  I have to make sure that I look good in it.  So because they don't have dressing rooms,  I just try things on over my clothes.  By the time that I started putting on the shirt, a crowd had formed around me.  They must have thought it was funny that I was trying clothes on, or they couldn't believe that they were looking at an American girl.  I eventually got the shirt on, and decided that I didn't like it.  It just didn't look right.  I started taking off the shirt and in the meantime, must have grabbed the shirt that I was wearing.  Because, I stood there with two shirts in my hands and I was only wearing my tight tank top.  Everyone that was watching started to laugh, and I didn't know what else to do but laugh.  My cousin, Sara, was with me and she was dying of laughter as well.

 After re-telling this story, I have come to the conclusion that I must be a really awkward person because this isn't the first time that I have been in a situation like this. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


For the end of the semester, our students have to perform for their parents.  The teachers are in charge of putting together a little skit, and then we have to teach it to our students.  Our theme for the performance is "Under The Sea."  We have been teaching them songs, and rehearsing lines for the past month now.  Today was the first time that they were able to practice in the auditorium.  It was  a pretty big deal and our students were really excited.  They did pretty good except for the fact that they spoke way to fast!  We will have to work on their lines a little bit more next week before the real performance. The other part of Grade 1 is doing a different skit, and so we were able to watch each other.  We were trying to have our students sit quietly and listen to the others who were performing.  I was sitting by a group of boys, and they were being so funny.  I was trying to have them stay quiet but after a lot of effort, I decided to join in on their fun.  We started speaking Chinese with each other, and they thought it was the most funny thing of the entire life.  I must have been pronouncing everything incorrectly.  They were telling me their Chinese names and we were having so much fun.  We even had a little photo shoot.  They love having their picture taken, and they love seeing the picture even more.  I know that I should have probably disciplined them.  I was the teacher and I should have had them remain super quiet, but I was just having too much fun.  I only have 3 more days with them, and I want to make sure that I make every moment count.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011


We finally went to Zhuhai!  Sharon has been wanting to take us to Zhuhai for a couple of months now, and we finally went this past weekend.  Zhuhai is the beach, known as the "chocolate beach."  The water is not very clean and it looks like chocolate.  Even though this was the case, we still had a lot of fun!  It was fun to be able to walk along the beach.  While we were walking, it started to rain.  It made the whole experience that much more enjoyable.  It also was neat because we have now seen the beach!  We live only 20 minutes away from Zhuhai and we hadn't seen the coast since the first day we arrived to Zhongshan, China.  We took a couple of pictures by this statue that we went to.  I am not really sure what the statue means, in matter of fact, I have no idea at all.  I did however, decide to pose by the it.  That was sweet!  Zhuhai is a pretty big city, we even found a Starbucks.  We of course had to stop by, and I got a vanilla frappuccino.  It was delicious!  Did you know that they have cinnamon and nutmeg shakers that you can put in your frappuccino??  Because I sure didn't, but now that might be the only way that I can drink mine.  Sharon also bought us cake poppers while we were there.  She is such a nice lady, and she always makes sure that we were treated well.  This was our last time with Sharon.  She is such a great person!  I am so glad that we had the opportunity to meet her and her family.  She was very kind to us and helped us experience a different aspect of the Chinese culture.  I loved being able to get to know her and spend time with her. 

Two quick funny stories that happened with Sharon while we were in Zhuhai:
First, she explained to us that she loves to gamble.  She loves to play the game "panda."  She goes to Macau once a month which is like the Las Vegas of China.  She was trying to explain to us what she had won.  She proceeds to pull out a $1000 HKD from her purse.  We were all in shock when she did this.  She then tells us that she had won 20 of them!  We were a little confused, and we didn't really understand what she was saying.  She then starts pulling out 20, $1000 HKD from her purse.  Sharon was just holding $20,000 HKD in her purse like it was no big deal.  She had definitely won the jackpot.
Second, on our way home from Zhuhai... Sharon may or may have not started to fall asleep.  Okay, she started to fall asleep.  I was watching her through the rear view window and her eyes were drifting off.  I was scared for my life.  Asian drivers are not good as it is, and to have our driver falling asleep was bad!  Speaking of Asian drivers, you don't have to take a driving class to get your license.  You don't have to take a test either.  All you do is pay the fee and you are a legalized driver.  Scary right??!?  So in order to make sure that Sharon did not fall asleep, we started singing really loud in her car.  I think that she enjoyed it because Sharon started singing along.  She has such a beautiful voice and it was so much fun because we were able to hear some Chinese songs. 

Wo ai ni, Sharon!    

oh and I almost forgot!  I failed to mention that the rattle snake I tried was from a "snake farm". phew.. glad they didn't catch it out in the wild. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The List Keeps Going

WOW!  I thought that I was done with eating and trying strange foods, but I definitely am not.  I only have 13 days left here and yet we still have found ourselves trying something new every day.

Yesterday, I tried frog.

Tonight, our dinner consisted of:
  • tripe (served frozen cold and fried)
  • rattle snake
  • snake soup
  • pigeon
  • oyster
  • a hot corn milk shake
  • shrimp which still had eyes
  • lamb

I can honestly say, that I tried every single thing on that list.  I think you could now say that I am no longer a picky eater.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last Vacation

We recently just got back from our last vacation!  I can't believe it was the L A S T!  It is crazy for me to think that I have lived in China for the past four months, and my time here is coming to an end.  Luckily, our last vacation was a success!  We went back to Yangshou because last time it was rained everyday.  I am so glad that we decided to go back, because this time the weather was perfect!  We were able to do all of the things that we wanted to.  We went on a bamboo raft down the Li River.  This was absolutely amazing!  The river winds through mountains that are different sizes and shapes.  It is remarkable to see the scenery.  I had to remind myself multiple times that it wasn't just a picture, I was there in real life.  We put our feet in the river and the water was extremely refreshing and cold.
 The next day, we went to the mud caves.  We literally hiked through a cave for about an hour and eventually reached just a pit of mud.   Before we entered the cave, we were told to wear helmets.  I thought it was weird that we had to, but soon realized why they made us.  The cave at some parts was extremely low and it was a VERY good thing that  I was wearing a helmet.  I am not always the most steady person, I tend to get hurt quite a bit.  Either by falling, tripping, or hitting my head places.  The mud pit was not bad.  We got dirty, thew mud at each other and had a good time.  Unfortunately, Katie got some mud in her eyes.  A couple of hours after we left the mud caves, her eye started to swell and goop.  It was crazy to see how fast things changed in such a small amount of time.  Her eye was dramatically getting worse.  We ended up going to a hospital which is very different from a hospital back in America.  We were able to get her some medicine, and her eye is healing! 
On the last day of our vacation, a group of us decided to rent scooters.  If you didn't already know, riding scooters is probably one of my favorite things  to do.  Back at home, my mom has a Yamaha scooter.  I think that I have taken over the scooter, because of how much I ride that thing.  It is so much fun to ride the scooter in the summer.  I love the feeling of wearing my hair down and having the wind whip in my hair.  When I found out that you could rent a scooter in Yangshou, I got extremely excited!  I made sure that we were going to rent them!  I ended up sharing a scooter with my cousin Sara.  It was a blast!  The scooter was very different from the Yamaha back at home and I had to get used to it.  I was a little nervous to drive in China traffic but it was such a thrill.  After about two minutes, I got the hang of things and we were on our way.  We rode along the countryside in Yangshou, and it was amazing.  The scenery is absolutely breathtaking!  We were able to drive through some villages and it was neat to see the little buildings.  I love Yangshuo and I don't think that it could ever get old or boring being there. 
Our vacation was four days long, and then we had to catch a sleeper bus back to Kaiyin.  Katie, Sara and I had to sleep on the beds at the very front of the bus.  The beds did not have much space, in matter of fact, no space at all.  We must have looked extremely uncomfortable with our backpacks and souvenirs all piled on our bed because after about ten minutes the bus driver grabbed our backpacks and put them by him.  We instantly became friends.  I decided that I was going to try and speak some Chinese to him.  I started small with saying, "ni hoa!"  I then told him my name in Chinese, and everyone started to laugh.  The bus driver, and other Chinese people that were on the sleeper bus.  They kept laughing and laughing.  I decided that either I was pronouncing my name wrong, or it means something horrible.  I guess I will never know, but it makes for a good story.
Our second trip to Yangshou was great!  I had a really good time and I am glad that we went back.  Now we only have about two weeks left in China.  Things are coming to an end and I can't believe that I will be headed home in only two weeks.  It is surreal to me.   

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bobby & Linda - My Favorites!

I know it is some what bad to pick favorites, but I have definitely picked a few.  I love all of the students that I teach, but I have made a special connection with some  of the kids more than others.  The two that I am going to miss the most when I leave are Bobby and Linda. 
BOBBY Bobby is very quiet.  He has the cutest little grin!  He has had his front teeth missing since we have been here.  I am not sure if they will ever grow in.  When I come in to class to teach, I always poke my head around the door to see Bobby.  He acts as if he is looking for me, and then get's the biggest smile on his face when he sees me.  Bobby is one of the only children that will come and say hello to me while I am eating in the cafeteria.  He will run through the doors, find me at my table and then just stand there looking at me.  I always talk to him, and he simply just smiles and nods.  I give him huge hugs and then he goes on his own way.  A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching arts and crafts.  We were making clothespin people.  The kids thought it was funny to break the clothespins in half.  I tried to explain to them, that it wasn't funny (even though it kind of was) and told them that they would only get one clothespin.   After a couple of minutes, I realized that Bobby wasn't working on his.  He was just sitting in his desk.  I walked over to him, and he said nothing.  All he did was pull out his hands and lying there was his clothespin broken in half.  This just made me smile, and I simply gave him another one.   

LINDA In class, Bobby sits next to Linda.  Linda is such a smart, clever little girl.  She is always smiling!  She is such a big help in class because she can speak and understand English very well.  Linda is an extremely great dancer!  She loves to show me new dance moves, or tricks that she can do.  Whenever I walk in to class, Linda always runs up to me and helps me bring in my supplies.  Sometimes she will gab my hand and hold tightly as we walk together.  I teach at a boarding school, however, some students don't spend the night.  Linda would be one of those students.  Her grandpa picks her up every single day after school.  I see them often walking past our apartment, holding her grandpa's hand.  The other night, I was walking back from getting some ice cream, and I could see Linda and her grandpa ahead of me.  As we got closer, Linda could tell that is was the American teachers.  I could tell that she was trying to find someone that she recognized.  Immediately, we made eye contact and she ran up to me and jumped in my arms.  I swung her around as she giggled.  Her grandpa looked at me and smiled, because that is all he could do.  There was a language barrier between and we couldn't really communicate with one another.  It made my night that she had ran up to me with open arms. 

These two children are so precious, I wish that I could take them home with me.  Maybe I will have some room in my suitcase!