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My first impression of Zhuhai is miraculous. I love the people, the air, the smells, everything about the city is warm and welcoming. Our first week teaching at Zhuhai No. 9 Middle School was busy, exhausting, but overall rewarding. The students are excited to be applying their English learning outside of the classroom and use it on the Duke students. Conversational English is only really applicable when it comes to native English speakers, so it is a fun learning experience for the students. It is also fun for them to have a foreign friend.


I also moved in with my host family this past weekend and I love them to pieces. Writing this blog post, I am sitting next to my host sister Amy, who is incredibly bright, sweet, and kind. I have never had a sister before (or a brother) but now I can joyfully say that I have one. I love seeing her after school and she has so many talents. She is a remarkable drawer and guitar player. She has introduced me to many new types of foods, has introduced me to mango juice which I now can’t go a day without, and has taught me new words in Chinese as well as how to write the word for “cat”.


Speaking of cats, my host family has two big, fluffy, and fat cats. One is named Kimi and the other is named Betsy. Kimi is the friendliest cat I have ever met. He makes doing my makeup difficult in the morning because every time I do my eyeliner he jumps up on my back to check out what I am doing. He will come in my room and sprawl out all over the bed and purr and purr until he falls asleep belly up and satisfied from the large amount of petting he had just received from me. Betsy on the other hand is quite shy, but talented at catching mosquitos. Hopefully Betsy will warm up to me soon!


One of the most challenging events that encountered this week was having to turn in the names of three students who said an explicative about me and another student I had paired up with for lessons. What they had said was quite vulgar, and I wanted them to understand just how bad what they had said was, especially since I had asked them to stop several times. They apologized to me and my fellow student, but I couldn’t help but feel bad for having to get them in trouble- after all they are just kids and they didn’t fully comprehend the extreme meaning behind their statement. In the end, it all worked out and they weren’t punished too harshly.


I have had a nonstop week full of new sounds, sights, and experiences. While tiring, I am filled with excitement about the weeks to come and am invigorated with the prospects of the future here in China. Here’s to another six amazing weeks with 11 amazing people.