Saturday, November 06, 2004

This Crazy Week

This week has been full of meetings and visits! Almost every day we have visited a different school where we will be teaching once a week. On Tuesday night, we visited three reading stations which are places set up kinda by the church programs that kids can go for help with homework and activities. There are 12 in the area, and are held in homes, churches, schools, and even a police station! The most memorable one was the second one we visited which had about 15 kids from age 8-12 I think. They were sooo cute and some were really shy, but most were eager to talk to us. Many of them pulled out their English school books and were reading stuff to us, and asking us to read things/sing songs from them. It was really cute! It was also probably the most excited they’ve ever been about their English books ;) The funniest moment for me was when one of the girls noticed my blue eyes. She looked at me and then her eyes got really wide and she told the other kids (in Chinese, but I soon figured it out) to look at my eyes, and then they all started trying to look at my eyes… it was really funny, especially seeing some of their expressions!These kids made a lasting impression on both of us for some reason, maybe because it was a smaller centre, but I know we both really want to continue to visit this centre in particular. We have been given a lot of information, and things have changed a hundred times! Also we have been trying to get unpacked and settled and orient ourselves in Yuli. I think I’m still in danger of getting lost, although there are some places I can find easily now. On Thursday, we got lost twice…. my fault both times! It made me very thankful for my cell phone! The situation was compounded even more when as we were trying to phone Libeck this advertising truck stopped right in front of us and was blasting music so loud that she couldn’t hear us talking. Anyways, we did eventually find the right place (though we ended up going in a huge circle when it was actually really close to us…Anyways, our schedule is sort of decided… we teach at schools during their study halls 3 days a week (at a different school each day), every evening except Monday (our day off) we are doing either church programs, into the schools and observe, which will really help us to prepare some of our first lessons. afterschool study programs, or English Bible studies. Tuesday and Thursday morning we have Chinese lessons. Saturdays we do youth group activites, and Sundays are church. Throw in prep time and trying to make contact with some of the English teachers in the area, and having some English fellowship, and we are rather busy! But it will be fun… I’m really glad we’re kind of easing into things because as evidenced by our getting lost today, we still need time to get our bearings. Next week we get to go to visit the schools we will be teaching at and observe some classes, which I think will really help us! We also went to visit an Aboriginal village, which was really cool! It was not too far from here and was really a village that was built into the side of the mountain! The roads were winding and narrow (sometimes seeming like there was only one lane) and we could tell that the area was poorer even than Yuli. We visited a church and met the pastor and his wife! They were so nice to us! They have known Libeck for a really long time! At the end of the visit they gave us each a handmade aboriginal blanket from their tribe (the Taroko tribe). They blankets are beautiful! What other exciting things have happened? Well there was us chasing after the garbage truck…. The garbage trucks collect garbage every night between 6:30 and 7… they drive around town with a little song playing (it actually sounds like an ice cream truck, which amuses me), and you have to go throw your garbage in! Well we had just missed the truck the other day, but could still hear it, so we ran after it with our bags of garbage, and actually had to follow it for a few blocks before we caught up… I’m sure it was quite an amusing site for the locals… Today another random truck thing is happening… it sounds like there is a parade outside our window, but it is like 3 trucks playing music and shooting off fireworks… I’m not quite sure what it is for… but it is rather distracting.. thankfully they didn’t start until around 10:30.
One more day to write about and then you will be up to date! Today had two major events, the bike ride, and the clothes rack....

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