Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yes it's been a long time!

I am soooo sorry it's been so long since my last post. My friends (Mainly Becca Carpenter) were making fun of me because it's been so long. But don't worry, I am alive and well.

If you have an iphone you have to download the "instagram" app and follow me. My user name is "taytaybartlett". It's just a fun way to take pics with your phone.

Any-who, let me give you some highlights from the last few months!

Chinese class was great this semester. I learned a ton! I always want to study the language more but I just don't have the time.

Teaching has also been good. But doing both was definitely getting tiring towards the end of the semester

Thanksgiving was great. We went to a family's house with about 150 other people. We ate turkey and all the thanksgiving classics and then we played good ole' american football.

(A month later...)Christmas was busy but great. We had a performance at the school (We all sang a Chinese Song!) and then we went to Mr. Mai's to celebrate with some of our chinese friends. The next day we went over to our friends house to open gifts and hang out.

We finished school the last week of December and the school is giving us a 5-6 weeks paid vacation! I love it. I am pretty exhausted from the semester so I didn't really want to travel anywhere. I just wanted to hand out with some of my Chinese friends that I haven't seen for awhile and relax.

I just had a birthday too. We had a great time. My friends took me out to a steak dinner and then we saw the movie "The Flowers of War" Christian Bale is in the movie about the Japanese occupation in Nanking during WWII. It's great. You have to see it. I think it is in the theaters in the States. So go see it!

Also, as a little birthday gift to myself, I bought an electric guitar! haha Random, I know but I am excited!

Enjoy the pictures! There are explanations on my facebook page here

And the video of our Christmas performance is here

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The End of September

So much has happened since my last post. I started to teach English at the High School. I have 11 different classes this year. I am really enjoying it. Since I am at one of the best High Schools in the country, most of my students English level is very high. They can, almost always, understand everything I am saying. There is about 50-60 students in every class. This year I have 3 "special classes". 2 of the 3 classes are filled with students who didn't have good enough test results to get into the school but have super-rich parents who paid a lot of money to get into the school. They will ALL study abroad. Almost all of their classes are taught in English, but some of their English levels are not that high. It takes a lot to get these kids motivated to learn because everything has been given to them their entire lives. I am slowly learning what motivates them and adapting my teaching style. There are 4 German students in these classes. They are a little older but they are enjoying China so far.

The other foreign teachers and I are participating in a Kung-Fu class at the High School. It's all in Chinese and we are learning with the Germans (we call the German exchange students "the Germans" or "Zee Germans", they think it's funny) and about 50 Chinese Students. It's really fun! So don't mess with me anymore!

I am taking one Chinese class at a local university named "HUST University". It's a top-10 University in China. I have the class for 2 hours 4 days a week. My Chinese language is really improving. I try to use it as much as possible. It's a very fun class. All the students are super motivated to learn. There are 6 older gentlemen from NORTH-Korea in my class! They all dress in business casual and they all have a pin on their shirt of their "leader/dictator" Kim-Jong-Ill. They keep to themselves most of the time but I try to make conversation with them as much as possible. I know one of them is a mechanical-engineer! They are all learning the language very quickly because they are the most motivated in the class! So Step-It-Up America!!!!

We had one holiday weekend in the middle of September and David, my old Chinese Roommate invited me to his hometown in Tang Shan (Near Beijing). He lives in a simple house in the countryside. I had a great time. Despite not being able to understand their spoken dialect, his parents loved me. In 1979 this city was destroyed by an earthquake. Hundreds-of-thousands of people died, mostly the rich who lived in high-rises. Both of David's parents were near the area. His father was a little further from the city and was not in any danger. His mother was a factory worker at the time and was very poor. She said most of the factory workers would sleep outside when the weather was good. The earthquake was in the middle of the night and she said the buildings around her came down and woke everyone up.

We went to a memorial site and museum but they didn't allow us to take any pictures.

On our way back to Beijing, we stopped at the Ming Tombs. During the Ming Dynasty the kings believed that they could do things to protect them in the afterlife. They would build turtle statues to represent a long life because turtles lived a long time. They would put treasure in and near their coffin so they would be wealthy in the afterlife. So we went to these tombs built for the emperors and their wives. Most of the tombs were underground. The temperature dropped 15 degrees because it was pretty far down. It was, overall, an interesting place.

Well thanks for reading. Check out the pictures!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back in China for a Couple of Weeks

Well I have been back in China for a couple of weeks and I have already hit the ground running. My flight landed in Wuhan without any problems and I spent the first couple of days getting the apartment set up.

Then I went to meet a Chinese friend, Shane, in a city called Chang Sha before he went to study business in Arizona. Stew, an old roommate from college and one of the people who came out to China with me the first year, also met me in Chang Sha.

We stayed in Chang Sha for one day and then we went to a city called Yang Shuo for a little vacation.

We had an amazing time. The city was beautiful. There are pictures under the picture tab or on my facebook page. I have been there once before but the scenery is still breath-taking.

The first night we watched a performance by the local minority people. This show had 500 performers and was all performed on a lake surrounded by mountains. I couldn't take pictures because it was dark and I was too far away. But it was amazing. It was directed by the same guy who directed the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. It was a really great show.

The next day we went on a boat ride down the river. It was a fun time. We had water guns and we would have water wars with the other boats on the river.

The third day we rented bikes and we rode around the surrounding villages and through the local farms. It was another great day with amazing scenery.

Stew is an avid rock climber. He is from Seattle and is a true mountain man. So he convinced me to go rock climbing with him. It was quite the adventure. The chinese guide said to me, "If you fall, I am not sure if I can hold you because your belly is not so small!" hahaha That made me feel real safe. Everything was o.k. I had a good time but it's a sport that uses a lot of physical and mental strength. So it was tough for me.

We had a great time on the trip. Then we trained back to Wuhan where we had a little time to rest. Since our time back in Wuhan we have been spending a lot of time visiting friends and places. It's been great, but very busy.

School will start around the first week of September. I will teach about 20 hours a week and I will go to a local university to learn Chinese for a few hours a week.

Well that's about all that's been happening here. Thank you for your prayers.

Check out the pictures from my trip and my time back in Wuhan.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Almost Ready to Leave

Well I am almost all packed and ready to go. I leave tomorrow night out of LAX. I had a wonderful last week with the students at the Church. We all went to camp at Green Valley. Middle School the first 4 days and High School the next 4 days. I am tiered but I had a great time hanging out. I will miss them all very much. The chrch also prayed for me during all three services. It was a special time for me knowing that so many people are interested in my life.

It has been hard saying goodbye the past few days but I know that wonderful things will be in-store for me as soon as I arrive late Tuesday afternoon.

Thank you all so much for your support. It means a lot.

If you wanted to be added to the email updates send me your email address and I will be sure to add you.

I love you all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

August 8th 2011

Well it's been a couple of years since my last post and a lot has happened.

From September 2009-May 2010 I worked with the Coffee House, Mr. Mai's, where I frequently volunteered the previous 2 years. I also studied Chinese at a local University. I would call myself conversational. I can speak to people around town, buy a train ticket, ask questions and of course joke around! I am also able to read and write about 1,000 Chinese Characters! Crazy, I know. I never thought I would be capable of something that seems impossible to most people. But I enjoy learning the language and putting it to use.

In January 2010 I came home to the states for a visit, and during that time made an alarming discovery that I had skin cancer. I had small surgery and have since been cancer free. I returned to China to finish my contract and school but then decided to come back home to rest and think about my next step in life.

It was rough at first. I was unemployed for 6 months. During this time I was really missing China. I had a lot of time to think about what my future holds. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to continue learning Mandarin so that I can use that to find a job. I am not too sure what I want to do, but I want Chinese to be apart of it. So the only logical decision was to return to China.

I will go back to the school I was at during the first two years in China. They treat me very good. They are always concerned with my health and safety. Back to the same school in the same city with many of the same friends. They pay is really good for China, and pretty good compared with the U.S. Economy right now to tell the truth!

I leave on August 8th from LAX. Stew Bowerman, an old college roommate who went with me the first year, will meet me there and we will travel around China for a few weeks before school starts around the first of September.

I am very excited for what lies ahead. I am also sad to go. Since December 2010 I started working at my home church, The Bridge Calvary Chapel, leading worship and helping in the youth any way I can. I have become very close to many students and people at the Bridge. It will be sad to leave them, but I am confident where the Lord is leading me.

Thanks for reading! I will keep on top of the blog this year! Check out some of my pictures from my last year in China. Comment, tell your friends.

If you are interested in Teaching English in China or know someone who is, check out the company I went with.

Monday, April 27, 2009

2 More Months of School

Well the sun is shinning and there are only 7 more weeks left in the semester. It is always a long winter but we got through it.

If you haven't already heard I am staying another year in China. I will no longer be teaching at the school. I am sad to go but also excited for this change in my life. I am going to be working at Mr. Mai's (the coffee shop I go to) and I will also enroll in a nearby university to study Chinese! I am really excited. It's going to keep me busy but I know I can handle it. At Mr. Mai's I will be helping with expansion of the company. We have already had a couple of meetings with people who want to work with us.

So because of this I will not be coming home in the summer :( BUT I am going to be back for 6 weeks in December and January! I am excited because I get to go home for Christmas!

Last week Our students had mid-terms so we went to two cities Called Zhang Jia Jie and Phoenix Town.
Here are some pics from the trip.

Getting Ready for our long Hike!

If you are can pay these guys to carry you up the mountain!

The Guys

And the Girls

Beautiful View! We met that lady in the Blue Jacket on the Hike and it turns out she is also a Sister. She is also the director of the most famous TV game show in China! I told her I wanted my own TV Show....she laughed.

Phoenix Town at night.

Traditional Chinese Fishermen wear these hats.

We dressed up like the Miao minority people!

The city was on the was really cool.

There are more pictures of my trip on my is the link!

Thank you all for reading and your continual support

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2nd Semester

Well the 5 week paid vacation is finally over and it's back to the real world of teaching Chinese High School! haha

I went to Russia to see my mom and to travel around. It was a great time. Cold but great. We traveled in Moscow, Volgograd and St. Petersburg. It was quite a shock sometimes coming from China where people would stare at me just because I was a foreigner to a place where I was unnoticed and sometimes thought a local person.

It's good to be back. Some of my Chinese College friends are still on Winter break and will come back at the beginning of March.

Check out my photos on facebook at: