August 21, 2014

I found China at the county fair!

This “Peking Acrobatic” troupe put on an impeccable show, despite the brisk Western New York wind.

The Made in America Store was less exciting…unless you want to buy cotton t-shirts that say “Made in America” on the front!

August 21, 2014

America feels really comforting.

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August 14, 2014
Things I’ve Noticed in America…

Massive blue skies, with rolling clouds—the clouds seem almost pompous, the way they inhabit the air, I can’t stop staring at the sky…even though it’s been almost a month…

Hundreds of feet up, the sharp outline of a hawk cuts the sunlight. It weaves and scouts ominously. A chink in one wing tells of past encounters.

At night, the darkness feels bluer, deeper and the stars wink down. I always missed the stars.

In the shops, people say “sorry” and “excuse me” whenever they come within a 5-foot radius of you.

People smile and chat with strangers. This probably happened in China as well, but I often perceived myself as the only stranger in most situations…

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Filed under: RPCV china america 
August 9, 2014
This is a former student of ours, who is now volunteering as an English teacher in a rural area of Sichuan province.

I’m so proud of him, and the spirit of volunteerism he carries.

This is a former student of ours, who is now volunteering as an English teacher in a rural area of Sichuan province.

I’m so proud of him, and the spirit of volunteerism he carries.

August 8, 2014
Homesick?

Currently at a rest stop outside Syracuse, on our way to Vermont for my sister’s wedding shower.

The restroom was filled with a group of Chinese-speaking women. It filled my heart with something like homesickness.

August 6, 2014

Life has been washing by these past few weeks.

I can’t lie, it feels uncomfortable to be without the drive and purpose that surrounded me these past two years.

Every day I peek around for jobs. I’ve been poring through a copy of the AP Style Manual to bump up my prospects.

I cook, clean, check the mail. Exercise. See friends. Watch the nephews.

I’m really ready for a new purpose! I’m antsy.

August 2, 2014
Finally cut off my waist-length China hair.  It feels so amazing!  Hooray for summer cuts.

Finally cut off my waist-length China hair. It feels so amazing! Hooray for summer cuts.

August 1, 2014

Today we drove out to the Chinese supermarket, about half an hour away from our house.

I didn’t expect to feel such a rush of emotions upon entering the little shop. People were chatting in Chinese, clear and Beijingy…no Sichuanhua.

There were so many familiar items, like this shop was just a tiny chunk of China set down to exist in Buffalo. I wanted to cry, suddenly missing China in a way I had yet to experience. I’m really gone, I’m really not going back.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been really averse to even picking up a textbook and studying my Chinese. Today I realized that the culture shock is over, I’m ready to jump back in.

July 31, 2014
Hi!

1.  You don’t need a credential to teach with Peace Corps, they will provide you with the required training.

2.  Desirable qualities on an application:  strong community volunteerism, outside interests/skills, good grades doesn’t hurt!  Commitment is key, so if you’ve been floundering with jobs/extracurriculars, that might look bad.

3.  Safety is a tough one.  In some ways, China felt safer than my city in America.  As a woman, I felt safer walking around alone.  Other factors were always on my mind, however.  I was terrified of earthquakes the entire time (whether this is a valid fear is up for debate, but after being taken to so many earthquake memorial museums and seeing the carnage, I was freaked).  I also feared where health was concerned—small things become big ordeals quickly, and food safety is subpar.  But that’s Peace Corps right now, and it’s a decision only you can make for yourself.  

4.  Many fellow volunteers were fresh outta college, babes in the woods and barely older than their new students.  So go for it!

5.  Thanks for your questions, and good luck in your future, climbing-the-well!

Hi!

1. You don’t need a credential to teach with Peace Corps, they will provide you with the required training.

2. Desirable qualities on an application: strong community volunteerism, outside interests/skills, good grades doesn’t hurt! Commitment is key, so if you’ve been floundering with jobs/extracurriculars, that might look bad.

3. Safety is a tough one. In some ways, China felt safer than my city in America. As a woman, I felt safer walking around alone. Other factors were always on my mind, however. I was terrified of earthquakes the entire time (whether this is a valid fear is up for debate, but after being taken to so many earthquake memorial museums and seeing the carnage, I was freaked). I also feared where health was concerned—small things become big ordeals quickly, and food safety is subpar. But that’s Peace Corps right now, and it’s a decision only you can make for yourself.

4. Many fellow volunteers were fresh outta college, babes in the woods and barely older than their new students. So go for it!

5. Thanks for your questions, and good luck in your future, climbing-the-well!

July 29, 2014

Dealing with a lot of feelings being home. They ran the article about Nick Castle’s death and the issues with health care for Peace Corps China.

I know many of us are feeling so many things, and if you haven’t read the article I suggest that you do.

I don’t want to write about it any more than that, but I always want his story to be heard.

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