Skip to main content

It’s been a couple days since my last post and a lot has happened with my Host Family, at Zhu Hai No. 9, and in our free time.

Settling in with my host family was a lot easier than I expected, as I write this I’m sitting in the living room with my host family talking, shooting the breeze, talking about Canada and the danger of bears in my hometown. They’re all really interested in what I have to say just because I’ve had such different experiences than them in terms of schooling, daily life, where I live, and just about any other category I can think of. Without a doubt, I’m learning a lot with them too. Sure I can see how life is at school and how strict the teachers are with their kids but I think the real immersion happens at home. I see how they raise their kids, treat their guests and friends. With my parents I live a western life mixed with Chinese traditions so everything was a little familiar, but here it was Chinese culture 24/7. At first that was a bit difficult to handle and to be honest I found myself sitting in my room a lot. Today I decided to sit in the living room more and talk and drink tea with them which was a common hobby for us. I have to say I have a feeling they were just waiting for me the entire time. It wasn’t that they needed to warm up to me; perhaps it was the other way around.

At No. 9 School, things have already settled into a rhythm and I feel that it’s a good one. There are kids I like, and there are those I like a bit less. My WeChat ID (the popular mode of communication here) has been circulated enough so that the opening sentence I hear from kids has changed from “Can I have your WeChat” to “Can I take a picture with you”. Usually I’ll oblige with a smile I’ve used what feels like a thousand times before. On another note, I finished my second guitar class on Thursday and I have to say I can see that the rest of the time here will be fun. I’ve found a good balance of teaching the kids and playing with the ones who already play. I gave the better players a challenging piece which they quickly discovered would take some time to perfect, and I’ve been teaching the new players some basics so we could jam together next week.

Last night we went together for KTV with some of the No. 9 teachers, and I got to talk to them a bunch. Although there was a clear generation gap between us, nothing gets a sense of community going better than getting up in front of everybody and trying to rap Eminem and mumbling through parts you don’t know.

That’s all for now, hopefully next week I’ll get some photos up.