Weekly update & our first time to Shanghai

We are just about at our halfway mark for our time spent here in China. Time is going by so fast, because we are having so much fun. We get homesick some nights, but we are still very happy to be here! It is bittersweet how fast time is going by. Our wifi has been down all week, so I haven’t been able to update the blog much. We have been so busy the last couple of weeks. We have been traveling all over China, and when we are not traveling, we are planning our next travel plans. In the last couple weeks, we have been to 4 different new cities; Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Leshan. I have about seven blog posts to catch up on so since our wifi is back up, be prepared for an overload.

Our weeks are filled with teaching, lesson planning, planning our travel plans for the next week, and attempting to find wifi for blogging, Netflix, social media etc…If our wifi is down, we read books, go out to the night markets, and spend time with the other volunteers.

Last week, our school had a field trip day. The whole school went to an amusement park called Joyland. We got out of teaching for the day, had the chance to spend all day with the other volunteers, and got to experience a Chinese amusement park. It was pretty similar to the ones in the states, except for the park was also extremely clean, and their rides were way over the top with their architecture and decorations. Also, the water rides get you soaked from head to toe. Most locals wear ponchos on those rides, but we decided to be brave, so by the end of the day, we all looked like we jumped into a swimming pool in our clothes. Last weekend, our volunteer group was heading to Shanghai for church conference. There was about six of us who weren’t going to conference, but decided to tag along to Shanghai. Shanghai is about a hour train ride from our home, and we hadn’t been yet, so we figured since nobody would be at the school all weekend, it was the perfect time to go.On Friday night, we met up with around 10 other volunteers and went to a Mexican restaurant. To say the least, it was the BEST food we’ve all had since we arrived in China. Mexican food is not a thing here. Salsa doesn’t exist. And trying to find cheese is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So to say we were ecstatic and satisfied would be an understatement.
On Saturday, Derek and I and our friend Corbon explored the city while all of the other volunteers attended a church tour. We went to an aquarium, the oriental pearl tower, and ate the best dumplings. Later, we met up with a few other volunteers and went shopping in an underground market. Shanghai is one of the best cities in the world to bargain for cheap stuff. So, in less than three hours and for very cheap, we had all of our Christmas shopping done!

That night we went out with a few other volunteers. We ate dinner at a mom & pop noodle shop and went to see the city lights at the Bund. It was cold, but it was so beautiful. Even though I remember taking them, and know that these pictures are real, they still look like a fake green screen to me.China is filled with unreal beauty, and everywhere we go, I am just amazed. Also, Shanghai was just as clean as Beijing for those of you who read my last post and are wondering. This weekend, we are heading back to Shanghai to go to Disneyland and a wild animal park. We just decided to do this on Monday and I am so excited! Our experience in China has taught me a lot of things, but being spontaneous and going with the flow is the main lesson I have learned. I hope our wifi works well for a while and that I am able to update more blog posts, but until then…

Onto the next adventure, Wren

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