Quick update on the scooter front: my sweet roomie Catherine actually got into an accident while practicing a couple days ago and so that shook everyone up. She ended up going to a clinic and has some serious scrapes that need monitoring and cleaning. She is on the mend but hasn’t been able to shower since. So, yesterday we had an incredible bonding experience when we washed her hair in our kitchen sink.
Needless to say, our friendship is on another level now. It really has been a quite sobering experience though. It is certainly giving us a vivid picture of how difficult life would be here without mobility because we walk SO much and Catherine is going to be struggling to do that for a little while.
Several times over the last few days I’ve heard my dad’s warning in the back of my head “a vehicle is a loaded weapon.” Thus far scootering has been sort of a fun part of the day that allows us to unwind and giggle at our own inadequacies. However, in a mere 3 weeks we will be driving on streets that look like this:
and that is no joke.
Related to driving in three weeks:
We are officially in the process of getting our schools, but let me start from the beginning. Last Friday we visited six schools that spanned across the city. Yesterday we saw an additional six. There are only ten of us so two of us will be teaching at two schools! If we don’t teach in two schools we teach english at an english camp on Tuesdays. The schools generally greeted us with big smiles, group photographs, and much to our delight, coffee, tea, and treats.
Currently there are two apartments established and furnished that host three ETA’s. The apartments that were used last year for the remaining four ETA’s were deemed unfit so our coordinator is still in the process of finding new ones. There are schools for apartment “A” and apartment “C,” Feng Yuan, and “The Mountains.” Apartment A and C are the one’s that are already furnished and you don’t necessarily need to buy a scooter to be able to commute to school. On the other hand, in Feng Yuan and “The Mountains,” both of which are suburbs of the city and not that far away, there aren’t already established apartments and you need to be good at scootering to work at these schools.
The schools ranged in size, amount of students, resources, and location. Some schools projected that the ETA would have a lot of independence while teaching, and some projected that the ETA would be fitting into a really established program.
After taking notes and visiting all of these schools, we were given a preff sheet, which is when this got INCREDIBLY like sorority rush. Almost everyone’s emotions are high and people generally feel a strong alignment with their preferences. Also, like sorority rush not everyone gets what they want. We actually find out Friday so I will be updating with results this weekend. While I did initially feel a bit of anxiety towards the entire process, after submitting the form I immediately felt a sense of peace. It honestly doesn’t matter where I am placed. I came here to do my absolute best teaching these kids English and work on my Chinese. I can do literally do that at any of the schools.
On a last note, I started working on posters that I can use in my classrooms in order to help establish rules and incorporate english regularly. The bunny is supposed to be a character from a popular app here. Who knew I would get to color so much as a “teacher?”
So, this past weekend the weather rained all over our plans. We went to a Night Market, it poured. We were going to go play ultimate in a park, there was a small monsoon. On Sunday we were going to go on a scenic bike ride but it was STILL raining so we opted to go karaoke instead. Karaoke here is no joke. See “Party World” below.
So, these places are HUGE with dozens of floors with dozens of rooms of grade “A” karaoke equipment, 3 microphones, and a sick buffet if you want to purchase that “plan.” We did, and we ended up paying around $18 USD for the whole time. So stuffed our faces and sang our hearts out. For four hours. Somehow, we didn’t get sick of doing it. Believe me, I was as surprised as you are. From classic Britney songs to good ol’ Avril we belted out every note we could rack our brains for.
Hyper active selfie.
Iris (above), our coordinator was an angel and tolerated the madness the entire time. One of the other ETA’s was the director of an a capella group at his university so he schooled us all, and there were definitely a few more stand outs but it was mostly us just howling at the top of our lungs. Quite the experience.
That’s all for now!