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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Site Visit

Chongqing- China's interior Hong Kong.

Those spots- that would be the smog that is constantly breathed in by the inhabitants of Chongqing city. 

I however, will not be living in Chongqing City. That fact makes me a very very happy panda. I was able to see my campus yesterday, in the Yubei district. It is green. Yes, the airport is less than 10 k away. Yes there are a few car factories, but the majority of the landscape is composed of farmland and as one native put it "undeveloped" land. I was in love. :) All I could see was the lush green covering the hills and how the smog became more and more scarce the closer we got to the campus.

The campus is brand new, only a year old. The school itself puts a lot of work into making their foreign teachers (ie myself and my site mate) very comfortable. My waiban is fantastic and I can tell is doing everything he can to make sure I'm happy there.  As I am only teaching freshmen, I don't start teaching till October (all Chinese freshmen undergo military training their first month of uni/college). K, my foreign affairs officer has offered to organize trips around Chongqing and surrounding provinces for myself and my site mate. He also asked if I would be interested in participating in different teacher workshops during the month. I mentioned wanting to travel to Western Sichuan and T i b e t and he immediately suggested helping me organize a trip to the region.  I already have my teaching schedule for the semester, they have reserved two classrooms for us that are ours alone. That means that if I want to organize movie nights/ English bookclubs/ whatever, I have a classroom that is at my disposal. As in verboten for other teachers to use.
I met my coutnerpart, L, who is awesome. She spent the day with us, and we immediately got along which is great. She's really even-keeled, and open to working together and developing further teacher workshops.

My  apartment are located in the same building as the office that I share with my sitemate, which also houses the offices for the main administrative staff. It's all very very convenient.
My apartment has one of the biggest bedrooms I have ever seen, simultaneously with the smallest kitchen I have ever seen. But I scored the motherload- a toaster oven AND a microwave. For those of you not in China, you may not recognize the significance of this. Ovens do not exist in China. At all. Unless you are mega-rich. Peace Corps volunteers do not fall into that category.

More updates to follow- the next two weeks in Chengdu are going to be some intense language training, then my Language Proficiency Interview (LPI), counterpart conference, and then swearing in!!!!

Some photos of site visit:

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Very cool, Megan. It is especially good to read that you'll be working with terrific people in excellent facilities and in a relatively green zone. Thanks for the many pics... keep them coming! Love, Dad