Week One: Training at Chientan

This is Brian. The first week at Chientan Youth Activity Center (the place all 350+ of us teen volunteers were jailed in for teaching workshops and training) he was my mini-crush. He wasn’t in my group (A2-6) as he’s going to be a college sophomore at UCDavis and would be teaching middle schoolers (so he was in C) or at my eating tables, so I never really saw him or talked to him. Later during the fourth week tour, I’d see him holding hands with Delia, this girl from his CA H.S. who’s going to college at NTU. Oh well.

If you didn’t understand any of that, it’s ok. I don’t really remember the first week, and I don’t need to. The food wasn’t great, the workshops were boring (maybe I would have learned something if I paid more attention–been inspired or something–but I was busy writing letters. to YOU. ONE DAY WHEN WE’RE OLD you better still have my letters. I want to see the pretty stamps! I want to see the 5-6 pages I wrote to you!) and I hadn’t really made friends yet.

Weeks 2-3: Teaching at Ba-Li Elementary School

This is where we lived and the Zhuo family that took care of us:

Since our house was a ten minute walk from the school, the lady next to me in pink would walk us to school at 8 every morning. we’d eat breakfast, my favorite being 蛋饼. class would start at 8:45 and i’d teach the lowest level class with eric and kamala (and elly would watch from the back)

the first week we realized the kids knew their ABCs but didn’t know phonics. since we only had 2 weeks, we just taught them vocabulary. we made ice cream by rolling the mixture in cans (“ice cream!” “booooowl” “spooooon”). we harvested rice and the media came to film us. we used spongebob a lot. we taught them ninja and they caught on quick. but then by the second week we were dead tired and kept snapping at the kids and not making lesson plans–just going with the flow. it was horrible because we had favorites and made it obvious. my favorite was eric (gray shirt on the zebra) and then jacob (in front of the zebra)

anyway. i was super proud of my kids’ performance at the closing ceremony; they sang/danced to jackson 5’s ABC and danced sorry sorry

Week 4: Tour

We did cool stuff like zipline/tightrope walk/rockclimb. We did dumb things like hike in the rain for hours. We went to a bunch of museums and slept during the 3D movies in the museums. I snuck out to the night market with some girls. I watched a bunch of movies. I love bargaining. I fell for this nerd: Raymond Liu.

oh. so i got back 10PM NYC time on 8/1. yet i haven’t slept yet because i was talking to him since 3AM