Thursday, July 7, 2016

Home Sweet Home

I have been in Hangzhou for nearly a week already, which is hard to believe as the time has flown by.  Upon arrival in China, I was able to meet up with the other teachers from SABEH and it was like meeting up with family.  We were all so excited to finally be in China!  For me, after having already adjusted to the time change in Japan, I was amped up and ready to begin my new adventure.  As for the other teachers, though, they were almost immediately asleep once we got into the shuttle bus to the school.  I stayed awake for the ride replaying memories of last summer in my mind.  I was just thrilled to be back.

Upon arrival to the school, we were told we would be spending the night in a hotel.  The initial reasons for this were 'unclear', which instantly brought back our catchphrase to describe the inevitable confusion that comes with living and working in China.  The clarity was eventually worked out and we learned that the endless construction behind the school had caused a blackout.  Much to our dismay, we prepared ourselves for a night in an unknown last minute hotel.  Our expectations were set very low.  Upon entering the hotel and seeing a nice lobby, we were a little more at ease.  After receiving our room keys, I went up to mine and was absolutely shocked......the room was clean and modern, and one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in.  It was designed around a theme of wood, which made for some pretty spectacular rooms.


  


It was funny, though.  Our Chinese hosts apologized more times than I could count about the hotel stay.  They didn't realize we were really quite happy in the modern, Western style hotel.  Our stint at the hotel ended up lasting two days, at which point the power was fixed at the school.  It was sad to say goodbye to such a nice place, but I have to admit, I was quite excited to get back to the campus, which felt like home.

Upon my arrival at the school, I was in absolute shock when I saw a massive sky rise highway soaring through the air around the school.  In the 11 months I was gone, they managed to build a major highway....on stilts.....in the air as well as a completely finished underground tunnel!!  I guess it makes sense though, since their construction workers come from outlying provinces and are here only to work.  They even live at the worksite.  Work is completed nearly around the clock.  I could only imagine how long it would take the US to build up their infrastructure the way they are here in China.

All in all, it is really nice to be back.  The Chinese teachers from last year welcomed us so warmly and were excited for our return.  I have been working hard with the Chinese teachers this week, but will save some of those stories for later posts.  Right now, I need to get ready for dinner, since the school is taking us out tonight.  If it is even half as nice as our dinner the first night here, it will be wonderful!

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