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Catch up on December

12/20/12
It has seriously been almost over a month since I have last blogged!! I’m sorry for not keeping this blog very updated, but after awhile I just forget to keep all of you informed, but I will be home soon so I figure I will just tell you the great experiences in person :). Wow, time has really flown by!!! I can’t believe in about 10 days I will be getting on a plane to go home. Time has really went by fast here!! It seems just like yesterday I woke up at my aunt Mia’s house in SL got in the car with my mom, lyndsi, Oaklie, Alex, and Brandi and headed for the airport. I could hardly wait to start my adventure. Now it’s coming to an end, and it’s really all bitter sweet. Sad to leave all the great people I met and made a huge impact on my life, but good because I’m over excited to see all of you (I had to count sheep last night in bed to get me to fall asleep, no lie. I kept thinking about coming home and being with friends and family….and eating costa vida…). But I will type a lot more about that when I’m on the plane heading home, I have 17 hours to talk about what an experience china has been for me, so I will post that blog when I am home.
It seems like I have been incredibly busy lately, lots of hanging out with teachers, American friends, and crazy foods (might as well eat the weirdest things while I can right??). So here’s some memories that I have made over this past month
-little boy peeing his pants in my class because he was so excited about doing the hokey pokey, or because he was too lazy to just go. You be the judge of that
-eating turtle, pigs blood, goose kidney, goose bowel, goose liver, and duck kidney. They also offered us to eat pigs stomach and pigs tripe, but we thought it would be best to not try that one
-going to a club in Zhenjiang with our good friend lyne and her husband. Club stories never end well, we will leave it at that
-we went to another wedding and watched the bride and groom kiss for like 3 minutes on stage. Best wedding kiss I had ever witnessed
-teaching kids about christmas. It really has been such a fun lesson to teach. They all get so excited about it.
-having my hair pulled out after class because one boy thought he might make a blonde wig…not really. But her probably could have with all of the hair he kept pulling out.
-going to lyne’s house and hanging out with her family. It really felt like home. We watched some basketball AND got to sit on a rug that was like carpet. They don’t have carpet anywhere here, so when they had that giant rug we were more than thrilled
-coming home in a taxi and hitting a man on his bike, running him completely off the road, and nearly throwing him into the Yangtze River. He came back yelling at the taxi man, but no emotion from the taxi man. He just kept his eyes on the road and didn’t even acknowledge he was there he was a safe taxi driver
-hanging out with the cutest 3 year old cocoa. I seriously want to take her home
-introducing the Chinese to sour foods, since they don’t have like ANY here. Their faces were priceless as we made them eat a sour skittle
-going to Zhenjiang and meeting the nicest man, Steven. We were having a hard time getting a taxi, so Steven came over and helped us get one. People really are gat here
Those are just a few of the great memories, but it’s all I could think of right now. What a blessing it is to be here. Tomorrow we are going to cook our Chinese friends French toast, eggs, and hash browns….mmmm. Friday lyne and Linky are taking us to Pizza Hut in Zhenjiang. Then Sunday we are leaving for Xi’an to go work in an orphanage until Thursday. That is where I will celebrate my Christmas, so I’m way excited about that. Then the next Monday I go home!
Shout out to lyndsi and Stetson who just had their baby girl today!! So excited for them. I haven’t actually seen pictures yet, but I’m sure she is beautiful!! Riata Lee, welcome to the family, I can’t wait to meet you!

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Missing not just Christmas, but thee entire holiday season

11/28/12
Before I start I just want to say how much I love china and the experiences I have learned here. I wouldn’t have traded this for anything! I have really loved being here, but I knew this day would come when I miss Christmas. When I found out I a coming home the 31 I was a little bummed that I would be missing Christmas, but it was only one day so it would be fine. After being here in china I realized its not just one day that I miss its the whole holiday season. I love listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies on abc family, decorating the house, looking at the lights, delivering neighbor gifts, having the towns decorated in fun Christmas things, and most of all spending time with family. Around thanksgiving time I was like yes Christmas music! But when I started to listen to it I had to turn it off because it just didn’t seem like Christmas at all. I tried listening to more Christmas music after thanksgiving, but i couldn’t do it without tearing up. We all watched a little bit of the Santa clause with Tim Allen last night, but ended up just sharing our fun Christmas stories together. This morning while cleaning my room I turned on pandora Christmas station and the song ill be home for Christmas was playing, I thought oh yeah, what a great song to be playing right now. But this remix of the song was different it has soldiers speaking in it saying how they miss their families and they are wishing them a merry Christmas. That’s when it got to me, I’m so lucky right now. I may not be in America at this time for a fun holiday season, but at least I can come home six days later. The soldiers who are out there have been away from their families for a long time, and will be for longer. A lot of them also have kids that they will have to miss watching them open presents. I don’t have kids, but with Hudson and brystol being at fun ages I get sad just to think I will be missing them opening presents and doing fun things for Christmas…I can’t even imagine missing your child Christmas. I guess what I’m trying to say through all of this is that yes, I’m going to miss the holiday season, but I really need to be grateful for what I have and the opportunities that have been brought to me. To start off the holiday season I would just like to say how grateful I am for my country and those who fight for us. I’m also grateful for my family and all that they have done for me. They have all been so great to me while I’ve been in china, I’m sure it gets annoying with me face timing them almost every day ;). Lastly I’m grateful for our savior and the sacrifice he made for us. There was another christmas song on pandora that I loved and its called Joseph’s lullaby by mercy me. I suggest all of you to listen to it, such a great song! I hope all of you have a great holiday season!!

Living my everyday life in china

11/25/12
Well life in china has been going GREAT! I’m sad that I will be going back in me month, but it will be good to see my friends and family again. Teaching is still going good! I have the days when I just want to slam the meter stick on desks like the Chinese teachers do, but I tend to keep my cool. The more I teach these kids the more I’m going to miss all of them…well most of them. Some other things that have happened is, thanksgiving in nanjing, some church visits over the weekend, some great shopping, Shelby and marissa coming to visit (the girls we met in Beijing), dinners with our students, and making great memories with the girls I’m living with here. Enjoy the pictures!!

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CHINESE WEDDING!!

11/21/12
We finally went to our first Chinese wedding!! So one of the English teachers in me and Jessica’s school invited us to her wedding, and it was a BLAST! Weddings in china are a complete party!!! When we first got there we were introduced to Alex, the grooms brother, he spoke way good English AND he actually had a sense of humor with what we said. I don’t know if I have mentioned on the blog before about how Chinese people don’t really understand my weird sense of humor, but Alex knew the slang of our language so it was a lot of fun to talk to him. Anyways we ate some dinner, some crab which I really don’t like here, and we had other weird food that I really didn’t like. After the dinner the real party began. The announcer of the wedding sounded like he was announcing a basketball game as he was announcing the couple walking down the aisle. Balloons erupted everywhere and it was a HUGE party. After the marriage ceremony the had many different performers, from an exotic belly dancer to a magician. It really was a good time. They also had all 6 of us girls from yangzhong sing a song for them, so we sang marry me by train. Me of us are real great at singing, but the Asians seemed to love it so we didn’t really care. After the song we hung out with Alex some more, took pictures, then went home. Chinese wedding can now be checked off the bucket list! 🙂

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Dinosaurs aren’t extinct, they’re just all hiding in chongzhou!!

11/13/12
I’m not the type of person to really get excited over animals, or dinosaurs for that matter, but when an amusement park is involved I am! A bunch of us in the Nanjing branch planned a trip to go to the dinosaur park in changzhou this past Saturday. We were all coming from different cities, so we just said the time that we would meet at the front of the park and go from there. None of us in our city have phones (we ran out of minutes) so if needed, no one could get a hold of us. We woke up Saturday morning to a lot of rain and clouds. We had no way of getting a hold of anyone, so we figured they were all still going. We woke up early to begin with, and we had a pretty late night, so we were not in the mood to really go. We told the others we would be there, so we went to the bus station and rode the bus for the 2 hours. Once we were going we realized how stupid we were for even going. Jessica said, “won’t the rides be closed down since its raining?” I responded “well in America they would, but in china I doubt it so we are probably good.” Obviously they close rides down in America for a reason when it’s raining…maybe so we don’t all die?? We get to the amusement park and see the park. It actually looked pretty fun, so we were glad we went. Obviously the boys that were supposed to come didn’t show up because it was raining and it would be cold (the babies). Also, we were told that the cost of the park was 120 RMB. Turns out it is actually 200 RMB, so we were debating if we still wanted to go in. We asked some Chinese kids if the rides are still going they said no, but maybe later in the afternoon they would open up. People were still paying and going into the park, so we decided we were all ready there…might as well make the best of it. We went in and took some fun pictures around the safari part and messed around. We were having fun just walking around taking pictures and talking to the Chinese people. We walked a little further and saw a ride, with people on it (by this time it had quit raining and was just cloudy) we got all excited that there was a ride, and then we walked a little further and noticed there are A LOT more rides and they are OPEN! I don’t know why we didn’t notice any of the rides before while we were taking 50 million pictures when we could of been riding rides. Oh well! They had a ride similar to the rocket, and another one that was like the cliffhanger. There were other cool rides that were our favorites like King Kong and this indoor roller coaster. But the best part of the day was when we got to ride an ELEPHANT!! And I’ve always thought that it would be cool to say you rode an elephant. I didn’t really know what to expect when riding it, so I plopped myself on it. I then realized that the spine sticks out a lot on an elephant, and that did not feel at all pleasant. After riding around on an elephant the day was complete, and we were all glad went. The day turned out to be one of the best we’ve had in china. And we got to go home and brag to the boys about all of the fun we had.
Also, I’m typing this post in my office where another teacher is, she is chomping the heck out of this chicken foot that smells. In china if you smack or chomp your food that’s good manners meaning you really like the food. One of my pet peeves is chomping your food, so typing that post took a lot of concentration. On the plus side, Linky REALLY liked her chicken foot!!!!

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Life’s still good in china

11/9/12
It’s crazy to think that it’s all ready NOVEMBER!! This experience has gone by so fast! Life in china has been great these past couple of weeks. They have consisted of going to nanjing for church, a Chinese birthday party, dinner at some students houses, going to the park will all of the grade one students, teaching the students about clothes and making them model my clothes (they loved that), buying some weird bread stuff from the Muslim people, some shopping (or maybe a lot), finding some pig skin to buy….just in case you have a special occasion of Americans coming to eat at your house (ewwwww), making hand turkeys, and a visit to the farm with grade 5 (and having your students buy you a chicken, fish, some veggies, and some eggs) and I might add that all of that was pretty fresh!! The chicken they killed right there….in front of me and the fish was still flopping around in the sack on the bus ride home. When they say FRESH here they mean FRESH! I have been loving life lately and learning so much! Of course I’m sooo excited to go home and see my family again, but I’m still excited to be here in china with such great people. It is starting to get pretty cold here, so a jacket is definitely needed! The thing about chinas winter is, it’s actually not that bad if you have a warm building to go into after being out in the cold, but they don’t have heaters…anywhere!!! Also the schools in china are a lot different! It’s all like outside, so rather than having one big building with classrooms in it they have a ton of buildings with a classroom. It’s kinda hard to explain, but the point I’m trying to make is that it’s COLD teaching!! The poor kids fingers are always ice!! One day while teaching grade one the little girl in the front had her mittens and hat on and was shivering the entire class. I felt so bad for her!!! S no student in America should be hating school, they have it so much better! On that note, they should also not complain about school lunch, since they aren’t fed a chicken foot for lunch, yep that happened to me today! Also they through in some chicken liver and stomach, just because they like me so much :). Anyways, I will be seeing everyone soon! I might add that my mission all should be here soon! Make your guesses and tell my family!!

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Teaching the children!

Here are some pictures of my cute little students!

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