"There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign" - Robert Louis Stevenson
Our last blog entry was written over a week ago, from our apartment in Foshan. Well, much has changed since then. For starters, we no longer live in Foshan...
We now reside in Zhuhai, the seaside garden city of China. Nestled among such cities as Macau, Zhongshan, and Hong Kong, Zhuhai is a multicultural haven for tourists. Its name, which means "Pearl Sea," derives from its location at the mouth of the Pearl River.
Our new apartment, supplied by our employer, is ridiculously comfortable and greatly exceeds our prior expectations. It is a four bedroom "dormitory," with kitchen, living room, and two bathrooms. Though Jake and I are currently the only foreign teachers, the dormitory is meant to house any future foreign teachers as well. The dormitory was completely renovated before we moved in and everything is brand new - from the bathroom mirrors and sinks to the furniture in all the rooms. There are also two balconies, the first is off the living room and the second is accessible by a sliding glass door in our bedroom.
Though we have been in Zhuhai for only a week, each day has been packed with activities. The school we work for, Yien Kindergarten, is as new as our apartment. In fact, it is still under construction and won't be completed until September, when the fall semester begins. Until then, our work consists of promotional activities, which makes for a hectic schedule. We work from 9am to 5:30pm Wednesday through Sunday; but, we work an additional 3 hours every Saturday and Sunday evening.
Upon our arrival, we learned that the school has been prepping for a promotional performance on August 14 - so, as the two foreign teachers, we'll of course have starring roles. The event consists of various segments, and is meant to promote the school and its teachers to parents and potential students. The segements generally consist of dancing, music and English games. Jake will play a piano solo for the opening act, and I am involved in a singing/dancing act of various children's songs (including 3 songs I'd never heard of until now: "Ding Dong Bell," "Froggie, Froggie," and "I Had a Little Nut Tree). Also, Jake and I will perform a segment of English games (which are still under construction while we brainstorm ideas).
During Saturday and Sunday evenings, everyone (us and all of 15 or so coworkers) set up tables at public areas (such as Vanguard, the local supermarket) and hand out balloons (with the Kindergarten's logo) to children and brochures to parents. As the foreign teachers, our unfamiliar faces are like blazing neon lights against the nighttime sky.
Needless to say, we have been very busy adjusting to our new lives. But, this unique and exciting opportunity is worth it.
Speaking of being busy, this blog must come to a close - Jake and I must be off (we have to work on our English games).
- *We had planned on including several photos of our apartment/Zhuhai, but we forgot our external hard drive at home! So, we'll add them tomorrow! Stay tuned.