Thursday, December 8, 2011

Single Digits!

I am down to 9 days left of my China life. I am very excited to go home to my normal life and my family and friends! I will however miss my little kids :( I got quite a few kisses on the cheek today and they were adorable. Going to miss those cute little faces everyday! Good thing I still get to teach kids again when I get home in swim lessons! If this trip has done anything it has made me so extremely grateful for everything I have back at home. I have also affirmed to myself that I really want to be a 1st grade teacher, I just love these little kids. Yes, they are frustrating at times and horrid at others, but the sweet little things they do makes them all worth it. We have had a change in schedule for parents day tomorrow (Friday), we are teaching in the afternoon for only an hour instead of the morning SO Kailey, Cami, Kate and I had a girls night and watch a movie and chatted most of the evening about things we are excited for back at home...mostly food...haha. I think every person here is excited for real food. Word of advice to those planning to visit China, bring lots of snacks. I don't know who came to america and decided that Chinese food at places like Panda Express was considered is not even close to legit Chinese food. Well today the weather dropped to about 15 degrees with an icy wind that is blowing so hard right now the building is whistling! No snow yet, but we had flurries all day today, not wet enough to stick. Oh well, it'll make the home coming even better if the first snow I see is at home :) We get to sleep in tomorrow morning! Yeah!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Last of my Thankfulls!

23rd- Hot showers. We only had about 1 minutes worth of hot water at our hostel this week and showering in cold water in the winter is not my favorite!

24th- Vitamin C! Everyone in my group has been getting sick and I am very thankful my mom sent me two bottles of vitamin C, it has thus far kept me from catching the ILP cold!

25th- I am thankful for skype! I have been able to keep in touch with my family and friends back at home while I have been living in China.

26th- My car! I have been riding in taxi's and on public buses for 3 months and it is just so much easier to drive yourself places, I'm very happy to have my own car!

27th- I am thankful for my head teachers. They have been our mothers here for the past 3 months and have had to put up with a lot of stuff from everyone and yet they are still around, thanks Cami and Marie!

28th- It has been bitterly cold here as of late and I am very grateful that I have a winter coat and gloves! I would probably freeze without them! Thank you mom for sending them!

29th- I am thankful for oatmeal. Strange thing to be thankful for, I know, but seeing as I very much dislike rice, this has been a life saver that I could even purchase it here in China!

30th- I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to come and live in another country. It has been the most challenging thing I have ever gone through thus far in my life, but I have learned a lot and I am more grateful than ever for all the things I have back at home.

Well that wraps up November! Onto December! Only 15 days to go :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We have left and returned from Qingdao already and I wasn't able to get blogger to work in our hoste so I will fill you all in on the happenings of our final vacation!

Qingdao was an old German settled Chinese town. We went and visited the old part of the town...or what is left of it, it is pretty small now and beaten up. Also were able to take a tour of the old German prison! It was way neat and super creepy! In the main building there are tons of pictures of the prison from back in the day and even some really graphic ones of those on death row. The creepiest part was the actual jail area. Most of the doors were closed but a few were open and had very realistic looking wax people in them! It was so creepy! Then we reached this spiral staircase that went down into this tomb looking area with very small ceilings. It was there version of torture chambers! They had all the devices used still down there and even had blood on the floor still...sorry if that's a little too graphic, but it's true! Next we went and wandered around the boardwalk by the ocean and met lots of interesting people and walked out on the pier. We found this really neat shopping market by accident on a search for breakfast one morning and loved every minute of it! There was a small bakery about a mile or two from our hostel that we went to for breakfast "danish's" each morning. We had a fun adventure one day in search of the Wal-Mart..which we never did find...we just kept hoping on random buses and had some very funny moments on them. The bus drivers in Qingdao are insane! How could I describe this to you...For any of you who have ridden the Indiana Jones ride at was EXACTLY like being on that. We all thought we were going to get thrown to the back of the bus multiple times! The weather there was quite chilly and very foggy/smoggy for most of the trip. It was neat at our hostel though, because we had the 10-bed room (5 sets of bunk beds) which was not attached to the rest of the hostel, we had our own little cabin so to speak which was way nice. I think my calf muscles grew about and inch in that 4 days. Our hostel was on the top of a hill and everything to do was at the bottom...we hiked up and down these steep hills all day long! Never thought good would come of climbing 300+ stairs everyday at school but it certainly helped here! We hopped onto a bus to come home earlier this afternoon, about a 4 hour drive and our bus looked like a space ship! Instead of walking in the door and finding a seat you had to climb this big stair case and the seats were like in the upper deck of a double decker bus. We sat right in the front, over top of the driver, reminded me of our old motor home we used to have with the bed above the drivers seats. When we got home to Weihai it was way cold, but alas, still no snow. 19 More days!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Catching up!

I am quite a bit behind in my Thankfuls!! Here comes my catch up :)

17th- I am thankful for my religion. It has been a great asset to me being far away from my comfort zone and I am lucky to be a part of it!

18th- I am ever so thankful for my health! I see so many people in China with these horrible coughs or illness' and I have friends back at home battling some hard health issues and I am so grateful that I have been able to be pretty healthy for most of my life!

19th- For my little sister :) I know I drive her crazy and probably annoy her the rest of the time, but I do it out of LOVE. And even though we don't hang out a super ton here in China, I do not think I could of done this trip to China without her. Just knowing part of my family is down the hall is comfort enough most days when I feel homesick. Love you Abs!

20th- Only fair seeing as I mentioned the sister...My Awesome little brothers. I am so thankful I have them around. They are both the comic relief in life as well as an inspiration. They are both amazing athletes in running, as well as Matty's swimming and I am so proud to go to their meets and races and scream ever so loudly (I am sure it embarrasses them both) for them both. I love being able to go around and say "Yeah, THAT's my brother :)" Love you Kenz and Matty!

21st- WE GOT OUR HEATERS TURN ON TONIGHT! And I can honestly say I am so thankful for the furnace in my house! We have small radiator looking things on the wall that are heated by hot water so unless you are touching it the heat doesn't get much farther. So thankful I have a furnace that blows hot air through out my house!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 day countdown!

Well it has finally come, we are in our final month of our China experience. 30 more days and we will all be on flights home to our families and friends, just in time for Christmas! The song "I'll be home for Christmas" has a whole new meaning this year...and yes Kate and I have been listening to Christmas music, probably since like halloween :)

We woke up this fine Sunday morning and to MY amazement, it was snowing outside! I LOVE the snow! Many of our other teachers were not so excited. It was pretty wet snow...more like slush...and didn't stick on the ground, but it looked pretty coming down anyways!

Today Kate and I were bored so we went through our suit cases and checked through all the stuff we had bought to see what else we needed to get this coming weekend. Afterwards, I decided to put away all my summer/fall clothes that I new I wasn't going to wear again and packed them all up, along with things I am not ever going to use. I have found I am going to actually have tons of room going home, I am pretty sure this is due to all the food I brought with me here that is not making the return trip :)

As I was going through my drawer of stuff I came upon my swim cap and goggles...You know I think this is the longest I have ever gone without being in a pool, in my life! I have not seen, been near, or swam in a pool in 3 months! That has NEVER happened to me before! I actually miss swimming and being around pools, I even miss the smell. So for about an hour this afternoon I wandered around with my cap and goggles on my head, everyone got a kick out of it...except my sister she didn't find it very strange haha.

This Friday we are heading out to Qingdao for our final 4 day vacation. We are gone Friday till Tuesday night. Qingdao is an old German settled town in China, we are all really excited for the fun stuff they have there and our final big shopping trip!

We have had a count going for teaching and we are down to our last 18 days of teaching. I went through this afternoon and planned out all my lessons for the rest of those 18 days and I am excited to make these fun crafts and activities with my kids. We have also decided to have kind of a "picture day" with the kids when we get home from Qingdao, so we can have a picture of us with each of our kids. It'll be nice to put in my China scrapbook when I get home.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am thankful for...

13th- I am thankful to have such easy access to church buildings and temples! In China, we have to attend church in someones bedroom over skype. I have been so used to living down the street from like 5 different meeting houses and I am thankful to have both them, and temples, so close to where I live.

14th- Hand Sanitizer....I know it may be an odd thing to be thankful for but pretty sure I could not of survived the last 3 months without it!

15th- My job. My family can attest to you that I have not always enjoyed my job but after being away from it for so long I am very thankful to have it and I can honestly say I miss my lesson kids!

16th- Warm clothes! We have not had any heat turned on in our school yet so we've been having to layer up on all our clothes to keep warm and I am so thankful that I have warm clothes to do so with!

1 down, 6 to go!

Well I am well on my way of attaining my goal of reading all 7 Harry Potter books before I get home! Just finished the first one this afternoon and on to the second book! I haven't read these since the movies came out because...well lets just admit it, I do love movies far more than books :)...but I noticed how well they actually adapted the first film to the first book! It is almost identical! So far 2 of my favorite book series' I read have become films...this is somewhat of a problem because I much rather watching than reading, and yet they seem to be making EVERY book I actually read into a movie! Just saw The Hunger Games trailer and I cannot WAIT until March!! Well off to start HP #2!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A race against time...

So I started reading The Hunger Games series on my way here and finally decided I needed to finish it! I was just starting book two 3 days ago and finished the 3rd book tonight! Never read so fast in my life, those books just drag me in! Seeing as I know how quickly I can read now when interested I have decided to try and read All 7 Harry Potter books before I return home...which is in 35 days! I will keep you posted on how it's coming along :) The first 3 shouldn't be to hard to get through because they are all short...however the next 2 and the last one are very long. Well here goes nothing!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More thank-fulls!

9th- I am thankful for my friends! I have THE greatest bestest friends in the entire world, no one else's can compare :) We have been through the best and worst times with each other and I will always be so grateful for having them in my life! LOVE YOU ALL!

10th- I am thankful for my parents. I know I do not tell them enough, but I look up to them in so many ways and I am so thankful to be their daughter. Especially now when I am so far away from them, I have been grateful everyday to be able to talk with them over skype. They are the greatest parents and I hope to be more like them when I am older.

11th- Before I left for China, I have this heat pack I carry around everywhere when I am cold, sick, etc. Anyone who knows me can attest that they have seen me literally carry it around. Alas, it weighs a ton so I wasn't able to bring it :( I am so thankful for that old bag of rice! I am so cold without it!

12th- I am so thankful to have a car! I drove around all day today on 3 different buses to get where I needed to go. You always take a bus and it takes so long to get anywhere, I am just grateful I have my own car to get me where I need to go!

Weihai Frame

Well today we went out on a day long adventure! We got up and made muffins for breakfast and then got on the bus and rode it over to the Happiness Gate which is this giant building shaped like an upside down U. All along this park you are right next to the ocean and there is a huge long park with lots of crazy statues and exercise parks. We walked for probably 3 hours before we finally got to the frame. It is a gigantic metal frame that has two huge hands holding it on either side. After we hung out there for a while we went to McDonalds for Dinner and then headed home. Now we are having a girls night...which it always is because we have 19 girls here and 2 boys haha...but we hand girl chats, princess movies, and make overs :) Off to watch Harry Potter 7 part 2!! I ♥ this movie!

Monday, November 7, 2011

6th- I am SO thankful for heaters! They won't turn on the heat here at our school until...go figure...the week we leave! Here's to buying more fleecy blankets!

7th- I am thankful for my students today who kept saying they had to tell me a secret but when I bent down, I got kisses on the cheek today, it was very sweet, makes me even more excited to finish my major!

8th- Today I am very thankful we have running water...that is drinkable! We have to carry 25 lb water jugs up 300 stairs to have drinkable water. I shall never take my sink for granted again!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thankfuls

So I am doing Thankful November...Each day of November you write down something you are Thankful for that happened that day, great idea seeing as I should do this, living in China makes you VERY thankful for everything you have back at home. I'm a bit behind so I'll do 5 today!

I am Thankful For...
1-The internet, so I have been able to stay in touch with my family and friends back home!
2-Running water! Ours was turned off the other day!
3-A healthy body. I have started running again and I had to stop due to shin splints and I miss it!
4-Having 3 meals a day to eat, even if it is rice.

And for today!

5-Today it was down pour rain and I was very thankful for my umbrella and warm blankets!

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November.

Well I haven't updated this in quite a while...not really because I keep forgetting, mostly because nothing very eventful has happened. A few very random things have happened so I suppose I shall list them off for your entertainment :)

1. The people in China LOVE their Celine Dion and Justin Bieber. We were on the bus coming home from big world market the other day and we are sitting behind this lady, she turns around and says hello and asks for our names. Cami and I were listening to my iPod, and then she proceeds to ask if we know the "My heart goes on" song, at first we were like what is this lady talkin' about! Then she asked again "You know my heart goes on song? from movie?" We then realized she must be talking about My heart will go on from Titanic and asked if that is what she meant and she says "Yes, yes, I very much like that song, you have it?" as she points to my iPod.  I said yeah I have it on here. (I knew as soon as I said that it was a mistake) She then proceeds to say "You sing for me?" Haha right now, here, on the bus, you want us to sing this song for you??? Lady I think you are loosin it! Now I didn't really say all that but it was most definitely going through my head at the time. She says "Yes Yes you sing for me right now" (Ooookay lady, you asked for it) So yes, we 6 white Americans proceeded to belt out Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On, on a public bus, to a bunch of Chinese people. Some smiled at us, some laughed (I would of too if the situation was reversed), some older women looked down right shocked! After we sang that song, the lady liked it so much she assumed we were taking requests! Justin Bieber was next on her list, she wanted to hear once again we sang, and rapped, to Justin Bieber's Baby....Thankfully her stop was next, I really think we were starting to scare some folks on the bus.

2. We decided to watch a scary movie tonight in my room...not really a scary one, just Disturbia, but afterwards Cami started telling these scary stories, and as we all know I love a good scary tale so I found a website that told stories about all the haunted places in Utah and we read them out loud to each other! As I am typing this Cami is now sleeping on the floor in Kate and I's room...she was too scared to get out of her little cushion bed. Anyways, she wanted a pillow from in our porch area and our curtains were closed and the door was locked, but the window was open, as she got up to get the pillows a breeze blew and made the curtains move....I thought I was gonna have to clean up an accident off my bedroom floor she was so freaked out! We are now playing Disney music softly so she can fall asleep :)

3. There is this place called The Dumpling Place...actually it is probably not really called that, but that is what we call it :) Benefits of not being able to read anything in Chinese...You get to rename everything yourself!! Can be very very fun. Anyways, this little restaurant has Gua Bao Row, it's like orange chicken from Panda only it's sweeter and it's pork not chicken, but it is THE greatest tasting food I have had since coming to China. In fact we get it so often that the second the 18yr old boy who works there see's me or kate, he says "Lionga Gau Bao Row, Da Bao?" and I say "SHI!" (translation: 2 orders of sweet pork, to go) He knows our order! I have always wanted to be such a regular somewhere that I don't even have to order, they just know what to get me :)

Before I moved to China, I used to always watch the movie V for Vendetta on the 5th of November but I couldn't find a copy of it anywhere to watch today...very disappointed. That is all the random moments I can think of right now so I'm off!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We came, We saw, We....woah, double take...

In all the wandering around China we all do, we come across many things a day were you have to do a double take because you're not quite sure what you just saw. Was it your imagination? a mirage?...nope it is very much real. So I will say it again...Welcome To China

10 oddest things we have seen since moving to China

1. Babies wear no diapers and their pants have the bum cut out of them so the little bare bums are always sticking diapers...your questions were the same as ours! Where do they go to the bathroom?! The parents hold the kid in a odd position with their little bottoms inside the public trash cans ** Note to Self: Never touch the tops of said trash cans!**
2. I think the Chinese don't think American's eat because every time we eat anything around the Chinese in public they look at us like they have never seen a white person eat food before. You can imagine the looks we get when 10 American's are eating at McDonald's, doesn't get more cliche than that!
3. When waiting in a line, do not worrying if suddenly there are 3 new Chinese people shoved between you and the guy in front of you. They don't believe in lines in this country, if there is room for a small child, 5 people will appear.
4.This one ties in with #3. "There is always room for 1 more"...a philosophy the Chinese live by...You thought the subway was crowded on the 3rd stop, just wait till the 10th!
5. When ever cars, trucks, or even scooters drive by they have to honk at if to say "hey look! an American!" You would think after 2 months they'd be used to us being here, but no. I am thinking of getting a shirt made that says "Yes I know I am white, no need to honk!"
6. If the only word someone knows in English is "Hello" you can be sure they have driven all over Weihai to find us to use that word, but as soon as we say hello back they run away as if they are afraid of us.
7. Don't be hatin' on the Ping Pong...very serious stuff that ping pong in China.
8. Most things in China say "Made in Japan or Taiwan"
9. Being healthy is very important to the Chinese, advertised everywhere! Exercise parks, gym class for kids, walking/running everywhere, no elevators or escalators, small portions of food....and yet EVERYONE smokes cigarettes...
10. When walking down the side walk, if you have the urge to pick up a rock and throw it in the road just make sure it isn't brown...because that ain't a rock. The word "sidewalk" in Chinese means toilet, my translation dictionary must have been wrong.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


As of tomorrow morning my new life in China is half over. In 62 days I get to come home!!! Not a whole lot has been happening since we came home from Shanghai, this is the long haul though. The longest time we will continuously be here in Weihai without a vacation. It has gone by relatively fast. We were told last week that due to unhappy parents on parents day we would be switching all of our students for the next 2 weeks. So the downstairs kids are who we teach these next 2 weeks and our kids go downstairs with other teachers. It is really dumb actually seeing as ILP drilled into us that routine with these kids is EVERYTHING, and now the school is ruining the last 7 weeks we've had them in a set routine by switching the to another room, another teacher, another routine. I am just praying they remember their REAL routine when they come back in 2 weeks. It was very cute today though, I had to walk my new kids down to the main floor to go to lunch and after they left my real group of kids came running down the stairs all excited to see me and they all are giving me a group hug and it almost knocked me over! There are still the select few kids who still have to walk by and smack me as they leave...just to remind me they are still not little angels. When we came home from Shanghai a bunch of us decided to go running with each other every night and thought it would be fun to call it "Biggest Loser-Weihai" so now every night you can choose from running a 7pm, Jillian Michael's 30-day shred  at 8pm, or Zumba at 9pm. It is pretty crazy and funny :) I have run 2 miles everyday thus far! HUZZAH! haha haven't run that far in a very very very....very very long time. Kate and I were doing P90X, but seeing as we have to climb like 300+ stairs ever day we decided to quit because walking is very necessary here and after 2 weeks of P90X you don't walk anymore, you waddle. Well we received packages from home a few days ago! Thank you to all who helped get them here and to our parents! We love you guys and appreciate the treats you sent! My sister got 2 bottles of vitamin C...If any of you have seen the TV show "House" then you will know Dr. House walks around and pops one or two Vicodin every hour...that was Abi with her bottle of vitamin C alllll weekend. Today is definitely a nap day! Love me some afternoon naps!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mid-Vacation post

Well we have been in Shanghai for a total of 5 days now and we are all loving being able to relax and just do anything we want! We have hit up quite a few tourist-y things such as

The Shanghai History Museum
Nanjing Street (expensive shopping district)
Peoples Square Civilized Gardens
Hershey's World
Shanghai Art Museum
A very big, cheap, shopping market.
Shanghai Acrobatics Show

They have all been very interesting and fun. We hit up a new favorite food place here in Shanghai and they even have a branch in WeiHai! It is a Muslim Noodle restaurant. They are homemade and fresh noodles, made right there in front of you, and they taste so good! Pretty sure we can just walk in the shop and they already know our orders, that's how often we go. The greatest part only costs $1.50! For a big plate of it!! Aside from doing all sorts of tourist like things we have been just hanging out here at our hostel. I have never stayed in a place like a hostel before and it has been a great experience so far. We have met quite a few new friends in the past five days and were sad to see them go this morning! Kate, Cami, and I have an extra bunk in our room so we have been having lots of random room mates all week. Our first was a girl from Poland, whose name was also Kate, she is living in the Northern most city in China teaching English! Crazy how that worked out. We didn't really see her much though because she came with a group of friends but she was fun to talk with. Our second and current roomie is Linley, she is an older lady who in from New Zeland. She has been in China for almost 8 months now....teaching English to 1st graders! It is fun to hear the stories of what she has and doesn't have at her school and how she teaches compared to us. Although last night I think she woke up every hour to ask me if I was hearing that noise or this noise or telling me she thought we had a mouse in our air conditioning unit and then turned on the light and made me get up and turn it off! Ah! I really hope she sleeps all night because I do not want to be up all night again telling her that the noises are not mice or gun shots. So we found a old guy who sells DVD's and the greatest chocolate ice cream bars just down the street from our hostel. I got all the seasons of the tv show House for $8!! So excited to start watching them! Today we hit up the fashion markets and bartered for all kinds of stuff. I got a pair of real UGGs (boots) from Australia for $16. These originally cost $148 in the states!! It was a steal! I may go back tomorrow and get the pink pair too :) I also got a bunch of stuff for gift but I won't mention those on here ;) Well we are going on a water village boat tour tomorrow morning bright and early so it'll be exciting!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


We arrived late yesterday afternoon in Shanghai! We are staying in the City Central International Hostel and it is way nice! Our room is good sized with 2 bunk beds in it, 4 beds total, and has all amenities. There is a common room down stairs where we can access the wi-fi and it is like a common room. Open bar and just a large room with couches and tables/chairs. The bar has got drinks obviously but the best part is the cheap food!! It is all western style! Like pasta, lasagna, french toast, pancakes, soups, salads, sandwich's, onion rings, garlic bread, etc!! So many good american foods! Free breakfast with our stay here...toast with jam, rolls, cereal, oatmeal, juice :) It is going to be a glorious 8 days!! We met a lot of cool people thus far, met some scottish guys last night that we talked to forever, they teach English here in Shanghai. Also we met a guy who has been traveling since February all over the world, he is from Great Britan and his name is Matt!

Friday, September 30, 2011


So today was our last day of teaching for 9 whole days!!! This next week is a national holiday in China, kinda like the 4th of July in the States or 1st of July in no kids!! We are leaving on a plane tomorrow afternoon at 1:30pm for Shanghai and will not be returning until Sunday the 9th. Very happy to be spending a relaxing vacation with new friends. Tonight we went to dinner at a Muslim restaurant, the noodles tasted very good but they were extremely spicy, like every other food in this country! So i went back over to the dumpling place we ate at a few weeks ago and got take out. I ordered Chinese take Chinese!! I got the Gua Bau Row or sweet pork :) It tastes like orange chicken from panda express! So so so yummy. Well tonight my head teacher Cami wanted to watch a scary movie, so we did, haha she wanted to see When A Stranger Calls because it isn't too scary, but I am now having to walk her down the hall to and from her room. It is pretty funny. After indulging in everything that is sweet in China and watching 2 movies I am feeling rather sick to my stomach and ready for bed. Going to sleep in tomorrow and then pack for VACATION!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1 month down!..well almost :)

Well we have officially been here in China for almost an entire month! It will be one month officially on Sunday. Not to much has happened from getting back from Beijing. We still wake up each morning and go teach our crazy little kids. They are getting a little bit more behaved...I think, it could simply be that we are used to the bad behavior so it's not so bad anymore but either way we now get hugs at the end out class, and sometimes more than once during class, it's very cute. I caught a cold this week, which is strange for me seeing as I hardly ever get them at home in the states, but then again from what I hear it is part of being a teacher. I must say though that the children here are far less clean than the ones at home...trying to get them to wash their hands after using the bathroom and when I hold up soap they look at me like they aren't really sure what I want them to do with it. Oh well, WTC. This is an acronym we came up with since being here, it stands for "Welcome To China". We generally say it whenever something bad, weird, really gross, or wrong happens, which is daily. We have gotten some exploring of the city in this week, Kate and I, not by choice. You see while trying to find a bus on Friday we got lost for about 3 hours and finally found a taxi driver who knew the school. Then today we were not feeling like eating rice for dinner so we hit up McDonald's :) totally worth the 35 minute bus ride...although once again we tried to find a bus home and ended up walking about 3 miles before we were actually able to find the bus that would take us home! I have never walked so much in my life as I have in the past month. We asked Kelli (our native director) why the Chinese have stairs EVERYWHERE! She says that stairs in China mean empowerment, so you are empowered when you can climb stairs...again WTC :) We have our 10 day long vacation coming up that we have begun planning, we are going to Yangshuo and Guilin, they are in southeastern China, quite a ways away **drum roll please** it's a 30 hour bus ride. Yeah, NOT so excited about that part but hey we get to spend an entire week in a gorgeous part of China, NOT being dragged around by a tour guide who doesn't understand us, and we get a week of no teaching! Going to be a great week. We booked our hotel, it's actaully an Inn but it looked very clean and nice and we have an 8-bed private suite so 6 of us get the entire room to ourselves, for the whole week and it is only is costing us $40, for the entire week. I wish hotels in the states were that cheap!! That's all for now, I have to go to bed, it's almost 1AM here, but I had a 4 hour nap today so thats why I'm not so tired :) WTC!


So sorry it has taken so long to update this...I just keep forgetting but I will hopefully have it all updated by today :) For starters we went to Beijing about a week ago and it was a very interesting experience. It was both fun and a pain in the butt, I shall explain.

#1: We were set up on an actual with scheduled stops, guides, and everything. Basically we went where THEY wanted us to go, when THEY wanted to take us (THEY being the tour company). So we get on the bus on Friday evening and come to find out we have 2 bus drivers, neither speak any English. We have a tour guide...he doesn't speak English either. Then we have the tour guides translator, who spoke about as much English as I speak Chinese...which is like 3 or 4 basic phrases. So here we are in this huge city with one guy who kinda knows a minuscule amount of English and 20 of us teachers thinking we would have some time to do stuff, boy were we wrong! We got maybe, maybe an hour and a half at each location we went to (the forbidden city, the great wall of china, the temple of heaven, etc) and the biggest disappointment was we only got 10 minutes, 10 MINUTES! at the Olympic park so they would not allow me to go tour the inside of the pool! Anyways it just felt rushed the entire time and the food believe it or not was better here at our schools cafeteria. Except for the 3 meals we managed to sneak away which cases I had McDonals and Subway :) Note to  Self: NEVER take guided tours in China...

#2: We had this awesome market about 10 minutes from our hotel called the silk market. It has more than silk, in fact it is 6 floors of "name your price", "barter all you want", shopping :) One of the most fun things I have ever done, we got very good a haggling by the end of those 2 days. So basically you have the 1st floor is all electronics, 2nd floor is coats and jeans, 3rd floor is clothing of all sorts of varieties, 4th floor is anything and everything silk. I mean you name it and if it can be made of silk, it is there., 5th floor was all jewelry, and the top floor was big purchase items such as full sized Terra cotta warriors..they were pretty legit but also real pricey even when bartering. I did get quite a few things there but my favorite purchase has to be the silk robe that I got...not just because it's way cool but I was able to barter with her so well! The lady wanted 2500 qwia (about $400) and I was able to talk her down to 50 qwia :) That's right...I paid $8 for a $400 100% silk robe :) I am very proud of myself, the trick is to stand your ground and walk away. Some people were so crazy they'd like chase you down the escalators still yelling lower prices to you! Even if you had zero interest in buying it! Well all in all it was a fun fun place to shop!

#3: The Great Wall was so cool! It is very steep though, it's like the steepness of stairs, minus the steps part. And as it is in all attractions we were asked t be in many family photos haha I think it is funny how people try to sneak a picture of  the "white people" and they aren't really sneaky at all. Anyways so before I left home I promised a friend of mine that I would have a dance party in China, just for her, but I had an even better idea. I decided to have that dance China...on the great wall. Yes, we had a dance party, to Justin Bieber, on the great wall of China. My sister even filmed it and I will try to get it posted somewhere for you to watch it! It was epic and we were a bigger hit than the wall itself haha. We had the biggest crowd of other tourists filming us, taking pictures, trying to dance with us, it was a great moment :)

I was very excited to just get home though to Wei Hai, never thought I'd say I missed this little old place but I did and am happy to be back.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2 weeks down...100 days to go.

Well nothing has been really happening much since my last post...just the same day to day stuff of teaching, napping, walking every where and doing homework :) We did have the chance to go to a Chinese club last was newly opened and so so fun. The only people really dancing were us 17 from ILP and the DJ was so cool, he played awesome English songs...even some backstreet boys! All the Chinese people in the club just sat there and watched us, some even filmed us, it was funny! Today was an awesome day for teaching...A: because Collin was not a devil child today and he stayed in his chair the entire time! and B: becaus I get 4 days off starting now and get to spend most of them in Beijing...and on a bus...but mostly in Beijing! Tonight we were walking to the grocery store from the bank and we saw some "bung bung" driver hit a kid on a bicycle, I'm pretty sure I will NOT be walking through that parking lot ever again.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Amazing Day!

Yesterday we went to the Zoo, it is about an hour and a half away from our school but it is easily the biggest zoo I have ever seen! Hogle Zoo will forever be a let down after this one. You walk in and have only one walk way, one way in and one way out, which was nice because we couldn't get lost. Also I have never seen so many stairs ever...the Chinese really like their stairs, I must of climbed thousands of them yesterday. So the animals are caged, more like in separate areas with stone walls, and the walk ways for the tourists are along the top of them all so you can see them down below. After we got through the main part of the zoo they have a few little tents/pop-ups set up with animals underneath them and you can get your picture taken with them! I got my picture taken with a young lion, a young Siberian tiger, an elephant, a walrus, sea turtles, a bear and I shared my sandwich with a giraffe :) It was pretty much the coolest things I have ever been able to do!! Since pictures for some reason aren't working on here check them all out on my facebook page, if we are not friends my mom has them on her page as well! We also had quite a few native Chinese people that came up to us and and wanted to get their picture taken with us! It's so funny how strange we are to them. Well it was a long but amazing day, we got to see all sorts of animals, eat lunch on the rocks of the Yellow Sea, definitely worth every penny! Tomorrow we are experiencing our first Church meeting over Skype, it'll be pretty interesting I'm sure. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun with the camera

When I get bored or have extra time on my hands I like to fiddle around with my new camera. I LOVE IT! Here are a few pictures I took this evening that I though were fun! Enjoy!

Rubber gloves come in PINK here!! I am going to have to bring a few home with me :)

The sun set tonight was GORGEOUS!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Living on the other side of the world

Well sorry I have not yet updated this since we got to our actual city. It has been a week...a very long week of trying to settle in and get a routine in place. We arrived and found out we are living on the 5th floor of a teachers dormitory  no elevator :( needless to say my legs are getting quite the daily workout! We are living 2 people per room...single beds, a desk, nightstand, small closets, mini fridge/freezer (thank heaven for something cold!), a small enclosed patio, and a very small...smelly...bathroom.

The food....well I am not an adventurous food eater, i rather enjoy my PB&J...The Chinese have two flavors to most of their food, extremely spicy or no flavor at all. Then again we are eating cafeteria food so it isn't the greatest anyways. Breakfast usually consists of some boiled/pickled vegetable, a hard boiled egg, and a roll (that tastes like absolutely nothing...). They don't serve anything to drink when you eat so you have to bring your own. They are also quite particular about you eating the food the way they served in you don't add soy sauce to your rice, pretty sure one of our groupies offended the chef by adding it to their rice. Lunch is usually rice, another roll, another spicy veggie concoction, and some stew looking thing that can hold anything from meat looking tofu or slugs to chicken feet. Dinner...the same as lunch. So basically we go to the JinjinYue (like a super wal-mart), and buy whatever we can that looks somewhat normal! We have found lots of fruit, and things like peanut butter, and we found instant oatmeal today as well as a Chinese version of top ramen, which Kate so gratefully tested out for me to make sure it wasn't gross :) You can find quite a few items from home here just by seeing their looks cooler in Chinese! 

It is really hard to fall asleep here. One because it is so hot and we have zero breeze on our side of the hallway and secondly because we are basically sleeping on a wooden box that is upside down with a layer of quilting batting as a mattress. So after 3 nights of no sleep and waking up with sore hips and a sore back I decided I needed to fix it. We went down to the super market and I bought four fluffy pillows which are now lined up underneath my fitted sheet as a make shift mattress. It is almost as comfy as a normal bed! I am thinking I will sleep much better tonight!

Friday, August 26, 2011

On our way!!

Well we are officially all here in the South Korean Airport for then next like 10 and a half hours...right now we are all laying around trying to decided what to do with all our new found time. The flights were all quite smooth, but Kate, Abi, and I were not sitting near one another on this one so I just slept most of the time :) For breakfast on the plane they served Rice Porridge...I stuck my fork in it to have a little taste and it tastes like water, no flavor whatsoever. Abi was able to last 2 entire flights without once getting motion sickness or even a headache! It's a day I never thought I would witness. Kate on the other hand wasn't feeling so great once or twice on the long flight from LA but she is doing much better now that we are no longer moving.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's finally here!

The day is fast approaching, we have been packing little bits here and there and will be heading out off to China tomorrow evening! We are having a Bon Voyage BBQ tonight to say good bye to everyone, it's going to be sad, I'm going to miss my best buds so much!! Well I have a few more things to pick up from the store and then pack my tooth brush and I'm basically all ready to go! Stay posted for more travel info, I will try to put pictures on facebook but we may or may not have access. There are few ways to stay in touch with me :)

skype: add me! emilymorrison729
iPod: I can text for free on it :) so email me if you'd like the number and I'll gladly give it to ya!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Photo Project

Well I took a break from this but I'll get back on it and hopefully soon it'll be with my way nice new Canon camera :) This week the topic is Father's in honor of Father's Day coming this Sunday, I'll see what I can come up with!

Our last days in the Philippines

Well We finally made it back home after 28 hours of traveling and yucky plane food, but we made it! Our last few days were mostly composed of eating our body weight in mango shakes and shopping. We hit up 3 malls in one day, it was pretty exhausting. On our last day we just chilled at the hotel because there is so much stuff to do at Plantation bay! Then we left for the airport in Cebu to fly to Manila. It was funny, in the Cebu airport when Pete was checking us all in I guess someone had already checked in under my ticket and had a bag checked so they were trying to figure out whose it was so they went and got the bag back out of the baggage area and Pete calls me over and says "Emily, are you sure this isn't your bag?" and the reason he asked was because the bag had a Canadian bag tag on it...exactly like the one I had on my back pack and all the Tag said was the last name Morrison...It was kind of creepy! We got it all figured out and boarded our plane and found out that our group was basically the only ones on it so we all got our own row of 3 seats! When we arrived in Manila it was about midnight and the Delta ticket counter didn't open till 3am so we all laid down on the freezing cold tile floors and tried to sleep for 3 hours, when everyone woke up we were all soooo cold! It was like they were trying to make the airport the artic circle or something!! I had on 3 shirts, a sweater and my hoodie still couldn't seem to get warm! So finally get into the ticket line to check our bags and then we head to our terminal, our flight didn't end up leaving Manila until 7:45 am so we had a long long layover there. Next we fly into Tokyo and we found a McDonalds at the airport! Heaven! We all got large fries to take with us on the plane. The Tokyo flew straight into Salt Lake so we had no layovers and we were home. My mom came and got me and as soon as we were in the car I said "Mom, I need real food, I need Cafe Rio right now." So we went to Cafe Rio and as the lady starts making my pork salad I told her no rice and she looked at me and says "what! no rice?" and I almost told her "you trying eating only rice for 2 weeks and then tell me you want to eat it still", but I didn't. Now I am sitting wide awake in my room, and it is now 3:22 am because I cannot sleep! Darn jet lag, it's a good thing I don't have to start work until Monday :) Well that is it for my adventure, next one doesn't start until the end of August...this time to CHINA!...with more rice :( I'm going to hope I love there noodles because I refuse to consume another grain of rice this year.

-my whole row I got on the plane-

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


So today we got to wake up when ever and then we headed over to the "Mall of Fakes" as it has come to be known by, this is because it has designer everything and they sell it for dirt cheap, which usually means they are fake. Our guide told us not to be surprised though if some of it is real because it can be imported here easily. So after about 3 hours of shopping there, we met up and drove to the SM Mall, which is gigantic!! and we shopped again for another 2 hours. Few things we noticed about malls in the Philippines...

#1: There are no trash anywhere! I had to go outside to find one!
#2: You can't sit on the floor...or you will get yelled at by security, we aren't sure why this is but it's evidently not allowed.
#3: You thought US sales associates were pushy...The ones here follow you through the entire store, I mean like they are like 2 feet away from you the whole time you shop! Suggesting things, asking if you need sizes, colors, etc. It was very obnoxious!

Well after the SM Mall we went to dinner at this place called the Maya, it was Mexican food which was pretty good seeing as it's from the Philippines. Then we split into 3 groups, one group went to a spa because you can get an hour long, full body massage for like $25, way good deal. The second group went to the movies to see the new X-Men movie. The last group just came back to the hotel. So I opened up my green second suitcase tonight and almost died of the horrid smell coming from it. I had designated it as my dirty clothes bag and boy did it wreak!! So rather than deal with the smell I filled the tub up with hot water and poured laundry detergent and shampoo into the tub and let my clothes soak ha ha, so now they are all drying in the bathroom :) At least they smell a bit better!

view from our hotel lobby

my clothes being washed in the tub :)

Monday, June 13, 2011


So this morning we woke up at 7am to head to an eco adventure camp that the mayor invited us to. It was a 2.5 hour drive up there and the roads are dirt so in was extremely bumpy. Fortunately for the girls we got to ride in the van with AC and not dust, but the guys on the other hand were in the back of those army trucks again and we all covered in a layer of dust when we finally got there. They all look like they'd aged 40 years because their hair was white-ish from all the dust. So once at the camp we could each do two activities, most of us did the zip line and the plunge. The zip line was about 45 seconds long, you are in a harness but lay flat on your stomach, kinda like superman and takes you across this huge high ravine and then you come back across again on a second one to get to the other side, I did that one. The plunge, I didn't do this one, but it dangled you over the edge of the same ravine and then drops you and you fall till the rope gets tight and then swing...yeah, crazy people did that one but it was sure fun to watch! After that we drove back down and if you want to know how that drive was just read the post I posted about driving...scary as all get out!!! We finally get to the pier and Pete went to McDonalds and brought back a box filled with 31 big macs and anther box filled with 31 large fries...we were quite content. We had an hour and a half boat ride to Cebu and got checked into our way nice hotel!! I'll post some pictures of it later, it was too dark to take any tonight.

-Joci and I before our zip line ride-

-The boys before their zip line...this is how we are strapped in-

-This is Nolan right before The Plunge-

-And after they yell bombs away they let you loose!!-

Driving through the Philippines

I had multiple near death experiences today. First of all, let me explain about how people drive in this country. 

#1: There are no rules on the road other than don't get hit...
#2: There are posted speed limits and signs but no one follows them...
#3: You are allowed to pass any other vehicle, anywhere and at anytime...

I have yet to see a stop light since coming here and it is just scary! So I have been driving in the front seat because I get car sick and I think I would rather risk throwing up than riding in in the front ever again after today. We had a 2.5 hour car ride today and the entire drive home I was either trying to remember CPR and first aid or covering my eyes with my hands. Our driver was going 105 kph, in a school zone, right when school got out!! I think he almost ran over like 15 kids! And then since you can just pass any vehicle whenever you please he would try to drive around a little trike and would pull into the opposite traffics lane and try to pass the trike, and all the while there is a huge truck coming right at us honking it's horn! It is pretty crazy! Pedestrians aren't much better...they just cross the street whenever and we basically hit some guy today who ran out in front of our van. I do believe from now on I shall be riding somewhere that aI cannot see out the front window.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Today started with an interesting morning, a mistake on my part. So we were supposed to wake up and be down in the lobby by 8am this morning to leave for church so I set my alarm on my phone fr 6:30am and this morning we get a phone call that wakes us up from Joellen asking if we are almost ready to go...we weren't we had just woken up to see whose calling so early...I then look at my phone and realize it is still on LA time and never changed so we didn't get an alarm and ended up sleeping in till 8:15am. Needless to say we were left behind this morning, which was okay cause I guess quite a few were sick. So we order french toast and mango shakes to our room for breakfast and watch Eclipse :) it was a lovely and relaxing morning. When everyone else got back we all went to the Bohol Beach Club which is so so nice! Beach hammocks, mango shakes, the ocean, and a way nice pool. We spent the entire afternoon there just relaxing and having fun, it was very nice! We then came back to the hotel and got ready for dinner and went to a place called Joe's, it's one of Pete's favorites, and had teriyaki pork skewers and chicken skewers, it was so so good! First meat I'd eaten in two weeks! Then we came back to the hotel and Joci and I watched a movie with the boys from our group...they wanted to watch Mean Girls (really big, funny, chick flick). We leave Bohol tomorrow morning and head to Cebu to this amazingly nice hotel called Plantation Bay and just shopping and relaxing for the last 2 days! Off to bed!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday and Saturday


Well it was the last day on the island and we headed up to the building site after breakfast to try and get the walls started. We got it even with where the floor will be and afterwards we got a big picture taken with all the school kids in front of the school, I am pretty sure it took almost 15 minutes to get everyone situated to take that picture, but we got it taken and made 3 big copies and had everyone sign them. We gave them to some officials in government who helped us out. We also received a folder full of letters from each of the high school kids thanking us for the supplies and for building them new classrooms and they were so sweet and grateful for all we had done! We left for dinner and then watch another movie, this time we invited the school kids to watch with us and so we watched how to train your dragon and they absolutely loved it! After walking all the kids back home, we all watched the dark knight then headed to bed. Probably the worst night sleep I'd ever had on that island, the wind was blowing so so hard and knocking all the coconuts down out of the trees, which was making all the animals wake up and start with the noise again...AH!


We Left the island this morning after getting no sleep. Packed everything up and got everything loaded on the boat just as it started to rain. It sprinkled a bit on the boat ride over and then we loaded up into the uncovered army trucks and headed up to the army camp. About 15 minutes into the ride it starts to down pour!! This down pour continues all day...but up at the camp we got to shoot some M-16 guns which are sooo loud! and then we went and watched the guys play basketball game against the army guys in the jersey that got made for us! They are sweet, the front says V4TP (vaccines for the philippines) 2011 and our number and then on the back our number again and our last names. They are sweet!! We then left to check into our hotel and eat and shower before heading across the street to watch the guys play their second game of the day against the college team and they didn't win that one but it was still fun to watch. I am very happy to be clean and sleeping in a real bed and have eaten a mango shake :)

Wednesday and Thrusday


We woke up early and were going to head back to the island but the
boat wasn't going to be able to leave till 8am so we got to have
breakfast at McDonalds again. I have pankcakes and a hot fudge sundae
Best sundae I ever tasted! So We get to the boat finally and found out
we needed gas so ended up waiting on the boat for like and hour and if
I had to venture a guess I would say it was 95 degrees, if not hotter!
Finally we start heading back and we are all putting sunscreen on before
the ride and I put it on everywhere, except places I never get
mistake. I was laying down on the boat and now have tomatoe red legs from
mid-thigh down. It looks much worse than it feels but still pretty sore.
When we got to the island we unpacked and headed up the the work site but
of course we had to supplies and had to again wait for them to come, only
they didn't come for about 5 hours later. So while waiting me and some guys
went to this place on the other side of the island called the fish sanctuary
and went snorkeling, it was so so cool! We saw just about every fish from
Finding Nemo, even the drop off and I also got stung by a jellyfish which
left a lovely mark on my shin. Afterwards we just hung out don't here for
the night and played with a puppy. At dinner time we got a movie projector
and watched Avatar on the side of the old church, it was way neat.


Well I was very stiff thursday morning from my sunburnt legs but mostly...
already...dying of heat! We headed up early this morning to work on the school
and we got all the colums filled with cement and the outside border. It was cool
we had a little assembly line going so it went by really quick, and we all
were covered in cement by the end of the morning. We all walked back down the
hill to camp and just walked right into the ocean in our cement covered clothes
to try and get it off. It came off our clothes pretty easily and it was all over
my legs and would not come off! I sat in the water and was rubbing sand on my
legs to get the cement off which killed because of my sunburn! Once finally all
clean we all were laying down reading and chatting and one girl went to get her
tank top off the clothes line and screams, so of course we all run over to see
why...yeah, I sooo wish I hadn't done that! There, half inside her tank top, is
this thick, brownish-black, hairy, spider. No lie, it was the size of an orange!
I am officially scared to go under the clothes line because we couldn't find it
after hitting it off her shirt! Well we then helped this kid with his eagle
project, he collected/raised money for sports equiptment to give to the school
here, so we pumped up all the balls then headed up the hill to the school. The
kids are still in school when we get there and they all came out and sat on the
grass and we told them what the stuff was for and then explained to them how to
play kick ball! It was so fun, we played one round with just us and ten island
kids so everyone could see and then some kids played. We then handed out all the
balls, frisbees, jump ropes, and baseball stuff and just let the kids all play
with everything and we played with them. Volleyball, some played basketball with
the older boys, we taught the girls jump rope and played with them. they were
just having a blast, it was fun to watch. Well we came back and just hung out
and watch Prince of Persia and The Blind Side while eating dinner on the
projector and then headed to bed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


So today we got up around 8 and hopped onto these 2 massive army trucks and drove 2.5 hours away to the site they built the maternal health center last year. When we got there it was a cool day, lots of cloud cover, and we painted the inside and outside of the entire center white. It is sooo hard to paint cement! Well we then went for lunch at a pavilion just next to the site and got to have PB&J, best lunch rice! We started driving home and it started to rain and I am talking like monsoon, down pour, raining! You could hardly see anything on the road. I was riding in the front seat with Maryanne because we get car sick easily and for starters I am sitting between the two seat on the most uncomfortable, small, metal, tool box and then the back of the canvas starts to leak water. Needless to say, by the time we got home my back of my shirt and shorts were DRENCHED! For dinner tonight we got Pizza Hut to deliver to the hotel so we wouldn't have to go out in the rain again which was nice. Pizza and Mango shakes...dinner of champions. Well tonight is our last night in this lovely AC hotel, we head back to the island tomorrow morning and are there Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then come back to a different hotel Saturday morning on Cebu.

Monday, June 6, 2011

10 Things I will never again take for granted

1. Flushing toilets!
2. HIGH Speed internet!
3. Real Food!
4. Running water!
5. Being able to drink out of basically anything that runs water!
6. AC!
7. Cold water!
8. My car!
9. Ice!
10. Showers!

Sunday and Monday

Well Sunday we woke for sacrament meeting at 8:30am and it was an amazing testimony meeting! We have lots of RM's in our group who speak Tagalog so they bore their testimonies to the people in their native language and it was very moving for the people to see we care that much. Their church looks almost like any other normal meeting house and there were about 45-50 people in their branch on sunday, all in white shirts and ties, thanks again to those who donated those for me to bring, the memebers really appreciated them. We then went to McDonalds for breakfast/lunch and it is a very busy place on sunday mornings so it was about 45 minutes before we finally got our food. We then went to the Bohol Tropics Hotel to swim in their pool and cool off and of course it started to rain mid way through....typical philippino fashion. Afterwards we went back to the hotel and took naps and just hung out untill we went to dinner at a members house. There seems to be some sort of stomch bug or something we ate (which is most likely) but about 5 of us were sick right during dinner, including myself. Haven't been able to keep food down since then so we'll see what happens.

Monday morning we woke up way early to go dolphin watching and saw a ton of them around Pamilacan Island, afterwards we were dropped back off on the island. We went and got all the school kits out of the bungalow and carried them up the hill to the school yard. This was the most amazing experience, we drop all the bags onto the grass out front of the school yard and all the kids start gathering around the bags with eager faces. Their teachers then organized them into lines by grade and then gender and they sang us the national anthem and did a dance to Waka Waka by Shakira, it was their way of saying thank you to us for helping them be able to learn. The head teacher (or captian), then started with the preschoolers and worked her way up to the high schoolers reading each name one by one so they were able to walk up to us and recieve a school kit. They were soooo excited to get them and I have tons of pictures and video I will post on my facebook in the next day or so. After that we headed back to the boat to go back to our hotel and everyone got ready for a dinner we were invited to by the govenor, I, along with 4 others, did not go because we aren't feeling so good. Well tomorrow we are going to see some water falls and to paint the birthing center they made last year. Hope I'm feeling better by morning!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I am putting all my pictures form this trip on my facebook page, if you are not friends with me just add me and I'll try to get to adding you as quick as I can :)

The Philippines!

Hey everyone! Well I finally was able to get somewhere with a plug and internet so let me tell you about my trip thus far. It has been so much fun so far and full of awesome memories. It is extremely hot here, it is about 85-90 degrees at 6 am with a good 75% humidity and it only gets hotter as the day goes on and then instead of cooling off in the evening it stays about the same, so basically I have been in constant state of sticky sweat since I got here! The food is not too bad, I am a picky eater but most days for breakfast we get rice (of course, you can even order rice at the mcdonalds here), eggs, some sort of sausage, bananas, mangoes, and some days bread with either blueberry or mango jam. Lunch is almost always rice with some blended up meat concoction to go on top and also steam sea weed or noodles, bananas and mangoes as well. Dinner time we, for the third time, get rice, some weird fried or dried fish thing (which stinks up the camp all day and doesn't taste much better), and Tang orange juice. The other day we got ice cream! It was so so good! A typical day for us is we wake up around 4am (mind you this isn't by choice, there is about 100 roosters on this tiny island we are on and they have consistently woken us all up with their loud "cock-a-doodle-dos" every morning starting at 3am, you can see why we all have plotted ways to shut them up), we then eat breakfast and then go up to the work site. The school we are building is at the top of the "hill" on the island so it is quite the hike up there! We work till about noon then come back down for some cooling off in the ocean and lunch. While up at the work site the boys are usually carrying heavy bags of cement and sand or cinder blocks from the beach up to the school and we have lots of help from the islanders which has made things move a lot quicker. It is improper around here for girls to do any manual labor like help carry heavy things and such so mostly we girls just keep waters filled, pour the made cement, play with the kids, and do easy odd jobs. After lunch we come back up to the work site and work some more and once we are all dying of heat we leave for the day. The sun sets real early here so usually at night we eat around 6-7pm which is already dark so lots of the time a few of us are so tired we eat a granola bar and head to bed. Sleep can be hard to come by here without some sort of medication, we've been passing around ambien's and dramamine's to people so they can stay asleep for at least 5 hours. The reason for this is that the isaldn gets electricity from 6pm-12am. so the islanders like to play music...very loudly...the whole time and then you get about 3 hours of quiet before the roosters start thinking the sun is up. It is a shock for us all going to bed at 7pm and waking up at 4am....haha I don't think I'd ever do that at home! The bathroom facilities here....well there is a toilet, but no back or seat or toilet paper, needless to say, I was very happy our hotel had a flushing toilet :)Bugs bugs and more bugs! We sleep in single mosquito netted tents so we don't get eaten alive which has been heavenly because I do not like bugs. There are the BIGGEST spiders here and make me want to scream every time I see them, red ants (I have been bitten by quite a few and they hurt, cockroaches and mosquitoes. The kids are very fun, quite a few speak english...mostly the older ones who have attended school. They always say hello when you walk by and wave. The first few days they were all pretty shy around us all being here but they have come to realize we aren't that bad and now follow us around. We usually have a crowd of about 20-30 kids up at the work site wanting to help, watch, and play games and the same at our camp site. We taught them things like hand clapping games, ring around the rosie, head shoulders knees and toes, and lots more. They taught us this funny game called "Boo-la-kla" not sure if thats how you spell it but thats how it sounds. We are spending the next few days in a hotel on the main island so we got to have mango shakes (absolutly the greatest thing I ever tasted in my life) and pizza hut last night! american food is awesome! haha. Funny story, we were all walking through the mall to get to pizza hut last night and while leaving, Pete (our fearless leader), was in front and we walked past these two little boys and they said something in tagalog and Pete just starts laughing, so I asked what they said and I guess when he walked by the little boys said "Holy crap! that guy is huge!", it gave us all a laugh. Well thats all for now, I'll try to keep this more updated but there is a bit of what been happening here so far!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Week 1

This is my first week of my new photo project :) This weeks topic is Temptation...

Probably My biggest temptation is Movies, you can ask my mother, I watch at least one a day and I have to keep my wallet in the car if I go to a store that sells them or I end up coming home with new ones! So this photo is just part of my collection, enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yes, yes I caved...

So I have been deciding for a while now as to whether or not I would join the world of bloggers. Up until recently I had nothing exciting enough to write about, SO, this new blog serves 2 purposes.

#1: I will be traveling to a few different countries this year and it will be easier to type up my adventures on a blog rather than mass emails, and I will be able to post pictures!

#2: I have decided to start a fun little project, I have recently gotten back into photography and I absolutely LOVE it. I will be taking the 52 week photo challenge and will be posting my photos on this blog. Each week has a different theme, so I take pictures based on that theme then post my favorites.

Well I hope you can follow along with me as I head out onto my world wide adventures!