I don’t even really know where to begin. The first week here felt like a month, and the second was gone before I could breathe. This place is amazing, but I really haven’t even scratched the surface yet. The people are amazingly friendly, like I’ve found them to be almost everywhere I’ve gone. Maybe I just choose to remember the good, but I’ll happily take that flaw.
The work is what I expected, basic TEFL training and language classes just like any other, but we’re being thrown straight into the fire, with the language and the teaching. A friend of mine said that the language training with the Peace Corps is good, and I have yet to meet even an average Chinese teacher, but a lot of it is the situation. The books are no different than others I’ve seen, but all of us know we will not be able to find the food we want if we can’t learn basic Chinese in the next six weeks.
The people here are motivated, but they are a very mixed group. I know there are a few that I have yet to speak to, and others I just don’t remember very well. Too much too fast, and today my mind was a wreck.
I have friends in the group, people my personality goes well with, and there are people that I know I grate against. I get along with most people in time, and who knows what will happen when we get to site. I can’t wait to know where I am going, to be in my new home.
I am with the host family now, awesome people with a beautiful home that I finally have my own room in. I don’t mind sharing, but after three months of never being alone in my own space, this feels great. We went to hot pot and ate everything that can reasonably be put into a boiling pot of serrano pepper soup. Organs and bamboo, onions and legs, steak and brains. It’s not that the taste really changes across the foods, its the texture. If Bourdain hadn’t pointed out the importance of texture, I would be lost when it comes to enjoying hot pot. Except for the stomach. That still tasted like menudo.
There are things I miss, but I feel at home here. This place is great, and I’m glad I got to be here now, more than any other time I might have been here. I’m exhausted, but in the best way possible.