Summer Travels

Following summer project I went to Chengdu for a few days for Mid Service Training (MST) mainly medical checkups and some administrative meetings, but it was good to see all the other China 22 volunteers again. Afterwards, I waited for my dad, aunt Ann, and her husband Rob to arrive in Chengdu, we tracked China together for about a week. First stop was Chengdu to visit my host family. The Chinese family I lived with for three months during training and also to see the pandas!

Then we went to Chongqing for a couple days. This is the mega city where my University is located, because my dad and aunt wanted to see my apartment and school. For more pictures on Chongqing please look at earlier posts. After Chongqing we went to Xi’an see the Terracotta Warriors, drum tower, pagodas, and city wall. They say there is over 5 thousand years of history in Xi’an. 

Because he could afford it my dad paid for us to travel via business class fast/bullet trains. Here’s some photos of us traveling in luxury. 

Following Xi’an we went to Beijing to hike the Great Wall, go to the great palace or forbidden city, Tiananmen Square, and more.

The Great Wall truly is a site to see. 

The pictures don’t really do the forbidden city justice, the size and scope was massive. The amount of people at Tiananmen Square was also massive.

After Beijing my family returned to America. I went to the seaside and Olympic sailing venue of Qingdao to visit some students. Peace Corps gives us cultural leave that doesn’t count against vacation time if we learn about Chinese culture and visit with local Chinese. I just happened to have some students from the former German colony, with a very unique architecture, culture, history, and nice weather! Thanks to my students Echo and Vita for being my tour guides. d

A wonderful trip now time to get ready for the fall semester teaching. Thanks for visiting.


Summer Project

This summer the Chongqing Peace Corps volunteers conducted a two training project to help primary and secondary English teachers alter and improving thier communicative and interacting teaching techniques. Below are some pictures of the experience.

End of Spring semester 2017

Well I am almost finished with my second semester at Southwest University (西南大学) in Chongqing China. This semester I taught Oral English and English Pronunciation classes. My wonderful students made it a great experience. Also I think I improved and have became a better teacher this year. I hope my students learned half as much from me as I learned from them.

English Teaching majors class 10

English Teaching majors class 7

English teaching majors class 9

English teaching majors class 8

Now some more silly photos, beacause what’s the point of a photo op in China if you can’t take silly pictures.

Some picture from my birthday celebration with some students.

The foreign teaches of the College of International Studies 2016-2017

End of the school year banquet with some colleauges.

Sports weekend at SWU

Southwest University like most universities in China had a sports competition this weekend. The various colleges freshman competed against each other, my students represented the college of international studies. We are one of the largest colleges in the university but maybe not the most athletic. Classes were canceled on Friday for the opening ceremony and day 1 on the competition. Fun was had by all…well most.

My students practiced two hours every day after class for a month to prepare for the opening ceremony

Aerobics team

Latin dance team

Now some photos from the competitions. These are my freshman students either English majors or English teaching majors.

I was talking to Allen about his races and Rata decided to join us. My college has so few boys, I think 30 freshen boys they all had to compete

3/4 of the women’s relay team from English teachers class 1, my oral English students.

Bella from class 8 doing some kind of fire extinguisher race

The day 2 competitors from the college of international studies

Drum used to lead the chats to cheer on the athletes

The student union members from my college they were in charge of the games

Now some from the closing ceremony

Universities in China view sports differently than America. While physical education classes are required many of my students do not like sports. Most are women who don’t like going outside let alone competing in sports. I’m proud of all those who competed and tried their bests.

Spring is here 

My second semester at Southwest University is in full swing. This semester I am teaching oral English, English pronunciation, and western culture. I also paricioate in what is called “English Corner” on campus where students of all majors can practice English and ask me random questions. The Peace Corps wants us to do secondary projects apart from teaching, so I have created an American music and movie club that meets twice a month. One meeting we listen to and discuss a genre of music, the other meeting we watch and discuss a movie. When I have time later in the semester I will also be volunteer teaching English at what is the Chinese equivalent of a middle school, which should be a lot of fun.

The weather has been steadily approving and spring has arrived. My students tell me it doesn’t last long and the blistering heat that is a Chongqing summer is soon to follow. However, until then enjoy some photos I took around campus and of dinner with some students.

I also go to dinner with students regularly to give them a chance to practice English in a more relaxed atmosphere, my sitemate CC joins sometimes as well.

The food was very tasty. Most of it was spicy as the people of Chingqing love spicy food. 

We had a few days off class for the Tomb Sweeping festival. Where Chinese people go visit and care for the resting places of their ancestors. I went and explored downtown Chingqing, about and hour away by subway. Chongqing really is beautiful at night.

Thanks for reading.

Spring festival break a Southeast Asia vacation 

Following the fall semester and in service training two other volunteers and I went on a Southeast Asia vacation to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Below are some pictures in the order of the trip. Some highlights include the grand palace in Bangkok, Angkor Wat complex in Siem Reap Cambodia, the killing fields near Phnom  Phen, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Above are some photos of Bangkok 


Above are some photos from the Angkor world heritage site near Siem Reap Cambodia. It was amazing to see the mix of Hindu and Buddhist influences. Don’t think my photos do it justice.

Boat ride from Siem Reap to Phnom Phen  Cambodia. Also went to the killing fields and genocide museum of the killing under Pol Pot a very moving experience.

Photos of Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City and the beach town Vung Tau. The people of Vietnam were amazing I can’t wait to return.

My next post will either be more photos my trip or picture around my site and the city of Chongqing. Thanks for reading.

Finishing my first semester at site, 6 months in China 

Well my first semester teaching at Southwest University in China is winding down. I have started my finals with my junior grade classes and my Freshman oral English begin their finals next week. Time has flown by hard to believe I’ve already been in China 6 months.  For the most part it was been a challenging, rewarding, and overall prey great experience. 

This is also my first Christmas and holiday season outside the United States. However, my friends and student have made a nice time here in China. 

Many of my students gave me Christmas cards and candies which was very nice. In many of my classes we watched the movie Elf which all the students said they enjoyed.

The International College of Southwest University also held their student led end of the semester gala last night which was fun and enjoyable. The students of each language performed plays, skits, songs, and dance routines. The languages studied at my school and on display last night include English, Russian, Spanish, German, Korean, and Japanese. The English students performed some Shakespeare, parts of the musical Singing in the Rain, the play Waterloo Bridge, and some English song dance medleys 
Some of the foreign teachers also performed. The American teachers me included sang Rudolph to help everyone get in the Christmas spirit.

So far my site and the people I have met especially my students have helped make the my first sit months in China great. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next semester and year will bring.

Happy holidays and New Year.