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 Disneyland...it 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 Baby...so 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!