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Sunday, March 14, 2010

week 4

Since so much has gone by and I have no way of posting blogs frequently, this will be one of the most random blog posts yet. I normally like things to be formal and organized when I post information but I think it will be fun just to share chunk of my experience so far.

These are some of my dorm buddies. They are always fun to talk to and spend time with on the weekends. We are all like one big family that can hardly speak the same language. We mostly speak (or try to speak) Chinese and English to each other but we can understand each other most of the time.

Sharing hard drives, bread, peanut butter, nutella, movies, are just some of the benefits of our dysfunctional family.

We had a class trip to the Beijing culture museum; this place was a huge monument in itself. Some of the artifacts there were very interesting.

Others were kind of strange as it depicted the rise of the People’s Republic as a communist superpower. Videos of Chairman Mao, and tanks, soldiers, and missiles being displayed on Tiananmen Square were quite frightening to a westerner.

Last night I went to a karaoke place with a few of my classmates. We had a lot of fun and I found that I am a horrible singer. “Killing in the name of” by Rage Against the Machine, sung by Jonas and I.

See the Kazak kid with the busted eye.

He tried to show me some Kazak Greco-Roman wrestling and I reacted with American wrestling. Thus he was sent to the hospital overnight to receive six stitches in his eye. The worst part was that it was his birthday, be proud Chad and Nathan you created a monster.

Having so much fun over here. Hope everyone back home is doing well.

week 3

So I have met my host family. They are the sweetest people and I am the center of attention. I am lucky enough to have received a host family that owns and operates two traditional Chinese restaurants (food is a big aspect of my life). My host brother, Kun (pronounced Qwin) is very friendly but communicating with him is a challenge. He’s been studying English for roughly 12 years and still his English is somewhat broken. English is one of the hardest languages to learn and I respect that he has made it such a big part of his life to study it.

Here I am at a tea house that the family has a membership to.

I live in one of the two apartments my host family owns. Me, Kun, and his grandparents live in one and my host mother and father live in a separate apartment. Both are absolutely beautiful and I count my blessings that I have such a kind and loving family. As an added bonus the grandma cooks exceptionally well and I can never expect to ever go hungry in this household.

School life is becoming more and more normal every day. Time to time I still marvel at how beautiful my school is. Classes are getting more difficult but my language abilities are growing exponentially. I can see this as my vocabulary and understanding of the language becomes broader week by week. Traveling the city is a hurdle that I have yet to fully understand but for only being here for two weeks I'm proud to say that I've covered some serious ground as I have traveled to the center of Beijing myself. Blogposts are hard to put up as the government blocks the site I use to post these directly. I’m emailing the posts to my mom so she can do it from the U.S.. Please, bear with me as new blog posts can be expected every week or every other.