This blog does not, nor will it ever represent the views of the United States or Chinese government or the Peace Corps.. Because that's how I do what I do.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Almost halfway through training!

Hey all,
First apologies to my family and friends that it took so long to get this back up. We are required to have administrative approval and various technical issues prevented that, but our Country Director is awesome and we were finally able to sort it all out.

Training so far is insane. The PC has definitely set the pace, but all in all, I feel like they are really equipping me with invaluable information. Most of my days have been divided between language and TEFL training, however all last week and all this week we are conducting Model School. Model school you co-teach for 2 weeks with a partner and the PC staff observes you. The main purpose of this is to get us comfortable in a classroom, however it is also used as an evaluation tool in site selection.
This Wednesday we have site placement interviews, a lot of people in my group do not want to be near big cities and I definitely agree with them. The pollution here in Chengdu is wreaking havoc on my sinuses.

The host family: I live with a wonderful family, Mom, Dad and little Sister. The family is very well to do, the apartment is in a beautiful section of Chengdu and I HAVE AIR CONDITIONING IN MY ROOM. You may not realise the importance of this. Chengdu is hot. and muggy. It literally puts Florida and Georgia to shame. I know all my family there are thinking "Nah Megan you're totally off base", but seriously. After a short 20 min bike ride I am literally drenched in sweat. There is absolutely no respite. Except in my wondrous room. Some of our language classrooms have air conditioners, and luckily my teacher is not down with the Chinese belief that air conditioning is bad for you.

Besides training I have been exploring Chengdu/ surrounding area with the host family and fellow trainees.
My first weekend we went to see the pandas at the panda reserve: abso-freaking-lutely adorable.
Weekend numero dos: We went to these old streets that have been recreated, very very touristy. But cute and some great photo ops.

This weekend: Saturday we had class. Saturday night I went out with friends. I get home around 12:30. Early Sunday morning the family takes off for a 12 hour adventure. First the Shu embroidery museum. We not only got to see examples of the different Shu styles, but even got to see some women making it. Then we started off in search of the Sichuan Cuisine Museum. We got lost. Now mind you there are 6 of us in one car. Luckily I was told they couldn't fit four people in the back if I sat there (yay for being called fat here) so I got frontsies with the air con blasting in my face. Unluckily I was also near the window that Baba would roll down every 10 minutes to yell at some poor schmuck to ask for directions.So trying to sleep in the car was not so successful.  At one point we were on some back road with everyone yelling at Baba to buy a GPS so we wouldn't be lost in the middle of nowhere. Eventually we got there and had some AMAZING food. It was all typical Sichuan fare, but we could watch them cook everything, as the kitchen was surrounded by massive windows. Now what is typical Sichuan food? A lot of spice, a lot of oil and a whole lot of pork. Post gorge-fest 2011, we bundled back up into the car and headed for Mt.Qingcheng.  This mountain is very famous as it is the birthplace of Daoism.
We get there and the place is packed! Baba decided to bail and go have a nap at their mountain home, so it was myself, my Bao Ma (host mum) and A'Bao (Host sister).  I'm very excited as I believe this is hiking. It is not. First, the place has half of Chengdu there trying to escape the heat. Second, one does not hike up stairs. One walks up stairs. I saw several chicks going up in heels and mini-skirts, and I now have a "Oh China"" sigh that comes out every so often. But this is not to say it's not strenuous. Dripping in sweat would be an understatement. But the views were gorgeous and totally worth it. I spend the whole way up and down, plus the car ride imagining a shower as soon as we got home. This was not to be. First we went out to dinner, normally I'm not too fussed about how I look, but seriously. We were all crusty with sweat. The funny thing was, we weren't out of place, so I just did my "Oh China" and ate dinner. Of course as soon as I got home I jumped in the shower, then collapsed in bed.... with the glorious air con blasting away. :)


  1. Megannnn!
    this is so exciting!!! :D glad ur enjoying it!

  2. Aw thanks Flavietta! Are you still in London>

  3. Everything sounds great, Megan! Thanks for posting these updates and please pass along a big hug and "谢谢!" to your host family! Love, Dad

  4. How Awesome it all sounds ! What I think is the most amazing, is that you are just bowling through it all. Bless you-Mei Ting !
    Always, Anti-Beth

  5. yes still in London - less than 2 weeks left then off to Roma. I find it hilarious we're talking on ur
    hope to see another post soon! xxx