Ni hao- Hello everyone!
As you can probably see from the title of this post, we’ve visited a lot of cities within the past week: Guangzhou–> Foshan–> Nanning was our first big trip in week two. The past two weeks have flown by but in a weird way, it also feels like it’s gone by slow. This is probably because we’ve travelled to so many places in such a short amount of time. We’re beginning to forget what days are what. Since being settled in China for the past few weeks, we’re starting to feel the impacts of travel and being away from Canada.
For Shannon, the food is getting repetitive; noodles/ rice are a stable for EVERY meal of the day here. With our busy schedule it’s difficult to find a western style restaurant, especially being vegan the options are limited. As a daily black coffee drinker, it’s also becoming more and more difficult to find coffee without cream in it, especially the more north we go. Coffee is not as popular as tea in China so my options for coffee are limited to Starbucks, but thankfully there’s one a few steps from the hotel we’re staying at. Starbucks has been a saving grace but it’s almost double the price here compared to Canada (it’s now a treat, not a daily staple). Not to mention, the looks on people’s faces will never get old when they see a blond haired blue eyed foreign girl.
For Doris, experiencing jet lag after almost two years of not experiencing a major time difference has started to set in. It’s been a bit of an adjustment regulating a normal sleep schedule, but other than that, being back in China has gone very smoothly! As of late, no reverse culture shocks to report to any of you!
We made presentations at JJL agencies in Foshan and Nanning with students and their parents. After we had a busy 24 hours of work/travel we headed back to Guangzhou to have our first day off! Doris’s family took us out for morning tea, we got to experience a cable car ride to get a view of the city, visit a Buddhist temple and of course go shopping! Her family was so kind to tour us around for the day and treat us to many great meals. The next night we flew to Xi’an where we stayed for 6 days. The first two days we commuted an hour to Baoji by the bullet train!
Our first day in Baoji, we visited Grace International Language School, sat in on a class with a Canadian teacher and two Chinese students! After class we visited the world famous Bronzeware museum, home to China’s exhibit of civilization in Zhou and Qin dynasties. We participated in a scavenger hunt around the museum with the students and got to learn about some of the historical artifacts on display. Our second day in Baoji, we visited a private elementary school: Baoji High-Tech Number One Middle School. Many of these students have never seen a foreign person before so they went fan-girl/boy over us. We gave them a presentation about life and school in Canada, toured their campus and sat in on a few classes (man these kids have a lot of energy). Since this is a private school, students live on campus Monday-Friday and are scheduled from 6:30am-9:15pm. This was a shock from a Canadian perspective.. Their students asked so many questions, took lots of pictures with us and even asked for our autographs!
The last few days in Xi’an were spent visiting Shannxi Province Travel Agency School and North-West University as well as another agency. We got to tour the campus of the travel agency school and sit in on a few of their classes including a housekeeping class, bartending class, culinary class, etc. It’s amazing that students in China are able to go to specialized schools at such young ages compared to Canadian students. For example, students at the travel agency school were between the ages of 16-18, in other words, they would be in grade 10-12.
On our day off, we were able to travel to the famous Terracotta Army! We had such a great experience; wonderful weather, fantastic knowledgable tour guide and we even had time to see a virtual revival of the historical and cultural museum. Doris has an old friend that lives in Xi’an and he was kind enough to take us out for dinner, tour us around the most central part of the city to walk around and view the tower, light displays and botanical gardens. We’ve had another busy exciting week, next stop Luoyang! Don’t forget to check into our social media and add us on WeChat for more daily updates!