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Saturday, April 10, 2010

week 7

It’s my seventh week here in Beijing and it’s never been as much fun as it is now. This place is feeling like home more and more each day. I feel as if I been here for a lot longer than I actually have. The language courses are getting better and my speaking ability is pretty good if I do say so myself.

The great wall was one of my class’s latest excursions.

We went to a part that I have never been to before, the wall was a little more touristy but some parts were untouched by preservation. It was neat to see the old broken sections of the wall, my friends and I had a good time climbing the sections that were not meant for the average tourist. Didn’t get a picture of it but I found a stray cat and carried it all the way up to the wall. Probably not one of my smartest ideas but I’m sure the cat enjoyed the ride.

My mother has a friend that works at a foster home in south Beijing. It’s about 2 hours from were I live but I’m trying to visit it every so often to volunteer.

The foster home doubles as a school for adult Chinese nationals that want to learn English.

The place is a haven for children with special needs and is currently in the Chinese foster system. I had a chance to spend the day with them.

The children all wanted to play with the Lao Wai (foreigner), and tug at his eyebrow piercing, haha.

Theses kids need as much interaction with men as possible so when it comes time when they are adopted or come face to face with a man they won’t be scared. This was the case with Mina, when we first adopted her she was very fearful of my father because she had no previous interaction with an American man before.

These are some of the sweetest kids and I cant wait to come back to see them again.

Week 6

Today, my friend and I went to a hot spring with my host family. My friend is another American foreign exchange student that studies in the same classes as I.

The hot springs where very relaxing, a turn from the everyday busy Beijing. The hot pool connected from n indoor house to outside. This was very random (When I woke up I was rushed out the door by my brother with no clue where I was going) yet appreciated visit.

I have found a good church in Beijing; it’s hard to come by. The church is called Next and is quite big for a Beijing nondenominational church. I never feel more a home than here. The people are so friendly it’s almost absurd. The government limits that only non-nationals may be apart of this church so the crowd is mostly American foreigners. You'll never see more Americans in such a concentrated space in the whole city. The thing with this is that you fee like you already know everyone or have seen them somewhere before, yet you ever seen them in your life. The church itself has a great band and service. Next week for Easter, I am bringing all my American friends to church.

This week I’m starting Chinese classes.

When I say Chinese classes I mean that I’ll be in a class with regular Chinese students and learn standard subjects such as chemistry, geography, and politics in Chinese. I’m in the same class as my host brother and luckily some of the other exchange students are with me as well. Jonas and Alicia’s host siblings are also in the class.

It’s fun, but havening my international friends in the same class as me is a blessing because I need someone that I can talk to with out a language barrier. The only class I can somewhat understand at this point is the English class. I feel so smart when all the Chinese kids run up to me and ask me to help them with there English homework.