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Back to China :)

After a summer holiday in the UK...

sunny 28 °C

So... after having been in China for 10 months, and then spending 5 weeks in the UK to catch up with old friends over the summer, I find myself back on my home soil - China.

It's strange to go from living somewhere so familiar for a such a long time, to move to somewhere so different in so many ways, only to feel more at home and at peace with yourself in your new surroundings rather than your old ones.

China is so incredible and has been the best decision I think I've ever made. Asia is so beautiful and so are the people, their cultures and how they treat people. I feel so at home here and welcome. When I finally returned, people welcomed me with love and open arms and I've never been so happy to be anywhere in the world.

Obviously the proximity to other Asian countries is ideal for travelling and allowing me to see other wonderful cultures on this side of the world, but more so than that, it allows me to continue soaking up the atmosphere and really emerge myself in the culture and customs and especially the language of this amazing country.

Ay, there's the rub! The language! It still eludes me but everyday I feel as though another word or the correct pronunciation sticks in my brain a little longer. It's so unfamiliar having to use tones and intonation to change a word rather than provide emphasis as we do in the English language. However, I welcome the challenge and will hopefully reap the rewards in due time.

People tell me I am an inspiration - I enjoy this idea but don't believe it. I feel very blessed to have found the strength to do what I have done but it was inspiration that drew me to this place; I can only hope that my story helps others find the inspiration to do something they will truly love with their whole heart as I do now.

At the minute however, I feel very disconnected from myself which is making me feel disconnected from China so this needs to be rectified immediately! I think my brief time in the UK has reset me somehow, so I feel like I have to re-tune myself to my surroundings and rejoice in them once again. A brief moment in time showed me that although I love it here, and I do, when something happens and I cannot find a friend here to console me, I still have people in my life, albeit in a different country, that can still bestow good wishes and vibes on me which is reassuring and gives me hope that even though rivers and oceans separate me from the most important people in my life, they are never truly that far away.

This new school year promises to be a fruitful one - my kids from last year are my kids this year so I get to enjoy their growth from the beginning until the end, which will be very rewarding. The plan for Chinese New Year is Cambodia, Vietnam and possibly Malaysia so watch this space for another look at the Asian world through the eyes of a soon to be once again optimistic western traveller :)

Posted by Lady Mantle 05:52 Archived in China Tagged cambodia malaysia vietnam work chinese_food travelling students teaching teachers foreigners tefl new_beginnings chinese_games starting_again Comments (0)

Chinese school and a cheeky photo of me and Mish

sunny 24 °C

Chinese school days are looooong!

The kids start at 7:10 and don't finish until 9pm!

Today I had a morning session and I have an afternoon and evening session! Luckily for me there is a 3-4 hour gap between each so I can come back to the apartment and nap!

I had my first evening session with them last night and hadn't done anything work with them previously so had nothing to go over, so essentially, we played games for 2 hours...!

Best. Teacher. Ever!

Started the morning session today with a ball game as half the kids were asleep - they were confused at first then excited to be playing a game before class!
Then I hit them with the Past Simple.
Boosh.

It's annoying though, because there are triers and achievers in my class.
The triers answer questions, incorrectly most of the time, but they still try and the achievers do the written work but then there's a smaller group of students who just aren't at the same level because they just aren't. It's not their fault; they are simply not as advanced as the others.

But having marked the work they did this morning, I can see a lot more attention is needed before we can move on to the next thing.

We shall see what this afternoon brings!

Anyway, as requested by my Yiayia - here is a picture of me and Mish at the Great Wall :)

DSC_2102.jpg

Posted by Lady Mantle 19:52 Archived in China Tagged students teaching lessons tefl chinese_school Comments (2)

Arrival at new home, Chinese school and new friends

sunny 25 °C

So I have finally arrived in Xinxiang!

Been super busy so haven't had time to update anything on here yet!

It's currently 00:19 and I don't have school tomorrow so don't need to worry about getting up early, which is nice.

I can't really sleep anyway as I'm still sick and the beds are so hard it's like sleeping on a park bench! :(
I think the aircon, the air pollution, and just the fact that everything is so dusty here, really isn't help me get any better, but just have to carry on!

The apartment is great, big living room and spacious kitchen - will upload pics when I take them!
We've got good sized rooms and a spare room for any crap we have no where to put!
I've emptied my suitcase and done my washing and I even managed to put the TV menu into English so wins all round!
We (Michelle and I!) live opposite the other English guys on the 5th floor of our apartment block.
From the outside it looks horrendous and the stairwell is dusty as sin, but inside everything is peachy.
At least it is now, as Michelle and I went to the supermarket and bought cleaning products and went to town on this place!
The guys say it smells clean and girly, which I hope and presume is a good thing!
It inspired them to tidy their own places so I guess it must be good!

We've got a massive sofa and a 42 inch flatscreen TV so movie nights tend to happen a lot - today after Michelle's class we snuggled up on the sofa under a blanket and watched Monster's Inc. with Ricky, one of the other English teachers and another homo to add to my ever expanding collection!

Still haven't met the class yet as Michelle and I are splitting them at the minute and she's has them for the first half of the week and I have them for the second half :)

We've been hard at the books today though, planning lessons and schedules for the students, just need to get everything down on paper and put some work sheets together - they're not the brightest bunch so everything is pretty simple at this point, it's just the case of trying to get some kind of structure together.

We were judges at the talent contest put on by the students this evening, and Ricky even got coersed into getting up in front of everyone to perform the dance to Gangnam Style! It was priceless and luckily Matt filmed it on his phone so we have a treasured memory of the moment for the future!

Everything is just a bit bare in here at the minute so need to put some personal homeliness into the place but it's already feeling very much like home and we have our multitude of overpriced tea on the now clean counter by the kettle!

Lesson planning tomorrow then another movie afternoon with Michelle when she gets back from school!

Ahh the life of foreign teachers who only have 10 hours teaching time a week at the minute!

When there's more to tell, you'll be the first to know!

Night all xxx

Posted by Lady Mantle 09:18 Archived in China Tagged work school chinese_students teachers foreigners tefl Comments (3)

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