Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The First Day of school!

My classroom!

Opening Assembly

The balloons!!

School Schedule

Louis Vuitton Wallet!

Overall it was a pretty good day but by the end of it, I just couldn’t keep it together...

I woke up at 6:30 AM and got ready to go to school, but I didn't eat much because I was nervous. Mainly nervous because I’m going to a public Chinese school and also because I was going to be the only foreigner. Anyways, we got to the school and it was still pretty empty. Violet showed me around the school and I got to see where my class would be and where I would take my private Chinese classes. My schedule was like: for the first half of the day, I was going to take regular classes with all of the Chinese students. Then after lunch I would have a one on one Chinese tutor.

Then Violet and I met up with Ms. Yu (the woman that came to my birthday dinner) and we were basically walking around the school looking for other teachers because I had to get my uniform, books, and some cards ready (bus cards, lunch cards). After they finished showing me around and looking for teachers we had some time to spare. Violet had to go to her class so Ms. Yu took me to this computer area where there were big desks and computers. She told me that this area was for teachers only but she told me that the computer and desk at the very back of the room was for me! It was exciting to know that I had my own area to study and surf the internet! She also told me not to let anyone in this room except for my host sister, Violet. I felt like a VIP! Lol :P

Afterwards I was on the computer for a little while and at around 10:20 AM three girls from my class came in and said “Hello” and they told me that it was time for class! I got up and went to class. It was cool how the teacher introduced me as I walked in, and everyone was clapping for me. Then my teacher told me to introduce myself in Chinese. I got nervous but I did it! Btw. Chinese classes are around 50 students per class...pretty big!

The day was long…a lot of the Chinese were shy towards me but I knew they were pointing and looking at me (not in a bad way though!). Little do they know that I understand Chinese quite well :P 

At lunch time I met up with Violet and her two friends. Her friends were really nice, and we all went out for lunch in Xin Jie Kou. There we ate KFC and went to “fashion lady” to go buy me a new wallet! The reason why we were able to go out was because we had three hours to spare.

After lunch and shopping, we came back to the school and we had a big assembly outside. It was blazing hot outside! I didn't understand much of what they were saying…but at the end of the assembly they let go a bunch of balloons in the sky which I thought was really cool and they shot some colored powder? I don't exactly know what it was but they shot something in the air which was also pretty cool :P

Anyways, at the end of the day I just felt so overwhelmed with everything. It was so hard because a lot of people would try to talk to me and I would have to think really hard about what they were saying and I would get really frustrated because I either didn't know what they were saying or I didn't know how to say certain things (of course I didn't show my frustration). It’s all just tough for now, I know its only the first day and I tell myself it will get better…and I know it will. But for now, it just all seems so crazy. Like…too much to inhale.   

I know it will get better.
Its only the beginning.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011


This is a day overdue but here we go!
Oh and the title says "Happy Birthday!"

Waking up in the morning felt like any ordinary day...the feeling of missing home and the start of a new day. I got up and did my daily routine which was clean the bed and go to the bathroom. After getting all fixed up I went to the kitchen to eat breakfast and there they had set for me some dumplings and a birthday present! They got me a necklace :) I was surprised but it was a good way to start a day. Since I was spending my 16th with a different family it felt weird...Honestly, it didn't even feel like my birthday. Of course I had the feeling of "homesick-ness" getting to me because I knew it was my 16th and my family back home wasn't there with me to celebrate but when I checked my email I was spammed with emails from my family! (Spammed in a good way!) Anywho, after skyping my family back home Violet and I went out!

Violet had the whole day planned out for me. We took the bus to Xin Jie Kou where we met up with Violet's two friends. We went to a shopping area called "Fashion Lady" which is an underground market, where we could bargain. I got my nails done there! After shopping, we went to eat lunch. They asked me to choose where I wanted to eat but I honestly can't read half the stuff on the menu's....soooo i just asked them for their recommendation! They choose steak so thats what we had for lunch! I was a little bummed though because right after we ate and left the restaurant, we passed a Korean restaurant and i LOVE korean food....

Afterwards we headed over to a bakery! And guess what?! We baked a cake for my birthday there :) I thought it was cool how we could just go into any bakery and ask to make a cake! It turned out very nice too! After making the cake we browsed around other malls and at around 5:30 we headed back home!

By 6:30 we had arrived home and I thought this was the end of the day and that we were heading up to the house. Turns out we were having dinner at the restaurant in our community! Violet then told me to invite my friend, Hawk (who is also part of the same program as I am in AND lives in my community). It was very last minute but Hawk was able to make it! The dinner was very unexpected because the Guan family had a couple more people come to my birthday dinner! The people who came were: The Guan family, Guan family's friend (in college), Mr. Zhan (someone I go to for help), my headmaster from school Ms. Yu, Lin (a student who studied abroad in the U.S and goes to my school) and last but not least, my friend Hawk! Mr. Zhan gave me a Chinese song book for my birthday and Ms. Yu gave me a Chinese silk scarf (which was very nice)! It was a really great dinner because I got to converse with new people and try new types of foods.

Spending August 27th in China with a new family was a new experience but was also an unforgettable one!

Fashion Lady!

Putting the cream on the cake!


All of us at the dinner!

Cutting the cake!
Maria, Violet and I

Thank You for these birthday presents :D

Friday, August 26, 2011


Delicious Restaurant!

At the Lake!

"I'm on a boat"..In China

Violet and I (:

It is supposed to bring good fortune!
At around 11:30 AM, my host sister Violet and I decided to head out! We took bus # 33 to get to and from our destinations. Today Violet took me to 玄武湖和湖南路! Which translated is Xuan Wu Lake and Hu Nan Road. Both places were very interesting, Hu Nan Road was a road with many little restaurants. There was all sorts of different unique foods, some of which I've never seen before. Apparently Nanjing is famous for their duck soup...(I personally, am not a "duck" fan so I tend to avoid eating that o_O).

Violet and I had lunch at Hu Nan Road. We ate at a restaurant whose specialty was "Bao Zi" which is steamed buns with meat inside. It was delicious!!  Afterwards we walked over to Xuan Wu Lake. Xuan Wu Lake was very nice too, it was a different kind of "beautiful" than what I was used to. There were many flowers and greenery. While at the Lake, Violet and I went on a little boat that moved by pedals! That was interesting too!

That evening my host mother and I went out for a walk (after dinner) around a lake near our house and then stopped by the supermarket on our way home. The walk was very nice because I think it gave us some time to talk. It was funny because since her English isn't all that well, we try very hard to communicate to each other in Chinese. I understand what she says for the most part, which is a step!

Oh btw! Violet always has night classes and her dad works late so that's why my host mom and I get some time together! As you guys have heard the stereotype "Chinese kids study a lot" Well..its true!

"It's an undescribable feeling until experienced..."

— adj
depressed or melancholy at being away from home and family

Honestly, I don't think that definition should be in


A feeling that is absolutley undescribable until experienced by oneself.

Being homesick for the first couple of days has been...well..rough. I didn't think I would miss home, family and friends as much as I do. Its crazy how much of an impact your family has on you, but its only when your gone that you realize all of that.

A couple days have gone by and I'm starting to feel a little better day by day but honestly, I know there are going to be days that I'm feeling down and days that I'm feeling really happy!

At this point in time, I miss home!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Orientation in Beijing!

All of the AFS Americans on the Great Wall!

The Great Wall of China!

Arriving at the hotel came to almost everyone's surprise.....Let's just say American standards and expectations are a lot higher...Although it wasnt all nice and clean, everyone just got used to it after being there for two nights and three days. For some reason it felt so much longer than it actually was. 

Being with all the AFS kids was such a great chance to get to know so many people from around the world! (America, Germany, Italy, Thailand, Japan, Chile...etc) It was great because we all got so close because of this program and orientaion in Beijing. 

In Beijing we had a lot of free time but we also had a lot of orientations and we also went to the Great Wall of China! (which was "great"!). At Night, we would have some parties in each hotel room where a bunch of kids would gather in a room and we talked and played games past 12 AM! 

On the 22nd it was time for most of the kids to depart to their new homes and host families. Saying goodbye to everyone was so hard because like I said, these past couple of days made everyone so much closer but we all have each other's contact information so it wasn't too bad at all.

Finally Arriving in China!

What a long journey of travelling! Waking up at 3 in the morning to catch a plane from LA to San Fran and then catching another plane from San Fran to China! The plane ride wasn't too bad afterall because I was with a bunch of other AFS students. Though the seating arrangment was a bummer because I was seated in the middle...the middle I believe is the absolute worst seat that anyone could get. But hey, I made it!

After the 11 hour flight, I felt relieved because I thought to myself "I finally made it to China, Im actually here!" It was weird because I knew being in China was reality but it felt so unreal.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Last time with the family!
Tomorrow's the day my parents drop me off at a hotel in LA to meet up with the rest of the AFS group... Honestly I don't know how to feel but it's definitley a mixture of a bunch of emotions; happy, excited, sad, worried, nervous, scared! It's all pretty crazy when you think about it. For now, I feel it would be another regular day tomorrow :P, though I don't think it's going to hit me until the moment my family drops me off and its time to say our goodbyes.'s going to be so weird being away from family and friends for 10 months. I feel like it would be weird waking up without the loud annoying brothers. I know it will be hard to adjust at first but I know I am capable of this! I am very excited and can't wait to tell you about the rest of my experiences!

I will be living in Nanjing with two families! Also, I don't know how often I will be able to update this blog but I will definitley try to update it as often as possible! 

Good Night for now!