Location: Fuzhou and Jian’ou, Fujian Province, China
Well, we’re settling in here. School begins tomorrow, and we’re up to our knees in lesson plans, so we thought we’d bring you a brief synopsis of what this move to the Middle Kingdom has been like thus far. We’ve seen some pretty unique, terrifying and humbling things. This place hums with people, and resonates with the sound of car horns.
Though the language barrier is incredibly real and is sometimes both humiliating and lonely, we’ve already made some great friends and met tons of understanding and accommodating people. We’ve quickly become local celebrities, and the folks in this (reasonably small) city for China will often come up and take our pictures or follow us around or speak all the incomprehensible English that they know. With some major coaching from our cultural liaison Davi, we are going to do our best to do brief introductions in Chinese for our students tomorrow, which will surly bring them a good laugh.
We are even learning a little bit of Mandarin, and can by now successfully order a local breakfast of rice noodles and tea-boiled eggs, as well as do our grocery shopping in the downstairs vegetable market. We have tried all the local delicacies, ate more hotpot than we can handle, and learned how to brew tea indigenous to this region right here in our apartment.
We walk nearly everywhere, except for when we squeeze ourselves into rickshaws and sometimes take a local taxi with the help of our faithful guide. Live chickens, fish, and ducks line the streets as fresh as they can possibly be, and we still plug our noses and gawk a little. The heat is sweltering and we’ve taken to getting up early and having a rest midday to avoid the heat. At night, we take our laundry off the clotheslines because we are afraid the clothes will be inhabited by spirits, and our wooden couch pillows are filled with herbs. It’s a new world.
Here are some snapshots.
We are official Aliens. We also miss our homes and families terribly.