Blog of a Peace Corps Volunteer. Hello, my name is Kasey and I am in China for 27 months as an English Education Volunteer with the Peace Corps. You can read my blog to know more about me, the Peace Corps, or China. Feel free to ask me any questions you have. Enjoy! The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

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These kids were walking across campus today. They were in line and holding each other’s shirts. Too cute.

These kids were walking across campus today. They were in line and holding each other’s shirts. Too cute.

Interesting Student Names

I have now met all my Chinese students. I have about 250 college freshmen and sophomores this semester that I teach oral English to, most of whom are female. I normally have 2-3 boys in each class and 35-45 girls. The students choose an English name, or use one they’ve already had for a while. Here are some of my most interesting student names:

  • Holiday (I really like how cheerful a name this is)
  • Seven (I have about 3-4 students with this name)
  • Few
  • Rainbow
  • Snail
  • Jeans
  • Rosy
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Smile
  • Icey (I have a couple of students with this name)
  • Lime
  • Candy
  • Orange
  • Deer
  • Lord
  • Flower
  • Garky (this is the only guy name on this list, all the rest are girls)
  • Snowy
  • Echobaby (I think this is the most unique name of all my students)
  • Water
  • Cream
  • Roly
  • Sunshine
  • Lanjeer
  • Yoyo

I gave my students movie genres and told them to create a movie and perform it for the class. The action group had a policewoman stopping and killing a bank robber. The romance group just acted out Titanic, but it was pretty funny. The other groups were horror and comedy, and all of the “movies” were really funny.

We had our first English corner tonight and over 200 students came! English corner is just a place where students come once a week to talk to foreign teachers for an hour about different topics. I felt like a superstar and I took at least 50 selfies with the students. The foreign teachers (there are 7 of us) had to stand in front of the students and introduce ourselves. Many of my students that I have came to English corner. When it was my turn to introduce myself they started chanting “kasey kasey kasey” before I started talking, and soon all 200+ students started to chant my name. It was crazy, exciting, and something I’ll never forget. I wish I had videoed it. I spent the next hour answering random questions (do you have a boyfriend, do you like Chinese food, why did you come to china…) in English. Overall it was a lot of fun and I felt like a celebrity for a night.

Chinese Yoga

I attended my first Chinese yoga class today. It’s free for the teachers at my school and I went with one other foreign teacher, but everyone else in the class was Chinese. The instructions were given in Chinese, so I had to pay attention to what everyone was doing because I couldn’t understand the instructions. This made it a little less relaxing than I was hoping for, but halfway through the class I became more comfortable. The music was really nice and peaceful. I’ll probably go back again next week, and who knows, maybe this will improve my Chinese…

One of my favorite vegetables in china, the lotus root. I bought it from the street market for 1.5 kuai, which is like 25 cents

One of my favorite vegetables in china, the lotus root. I bought it from the street market for 1.5 kuai, which is like 25 cents

I bought some vegetables today from the local street market. It’s bigger than it looks and everything is pretty cheap. There are live fish, chicken, and ducks that people will kill for you if you buy them.

Kasey, we have an emergency

I was sitting in my room after just getting out of a meeting where we talked about what I would be teaching. I found out that I was going to start teaching on Monday, September 15th. Then my phone rang at like 3:15 pm and my supervisor told me “Kasey, we have an emergency.” I was immediately worried that someone was hurt, but she said that there was a mistake in the schedule and I was supposed to be teaching today. My 2 pm class was waiting for me and I had to teach a 3:45 class today as well. I felt relieved that no one was injured, but then panic because I did not have any material ready for class.

I quickly walked to my class and found all my students waiting for me. They had been there since 2 pm and it was now 3:25. I apologized and introduced myself, and when I had finished, class was over at 3:35. I was so surprised that students had waited over an hour for me, and I felt really bad for them. Then my next class started at 3:45 pm. It went okay for the most part, but it was a little chaotic since I did not have much planned. I did enjoy meeting my students and almost all the girls wanted individual selfies with me after class. Two girls even said I love you to me as they walked out of class. It was pretty funny, though I wasn’t quite sure how to respond, so I just smiled. Even though today was unexpectedly stressful, it was also amusing. Only in China would you be told that you are supposed to be teaching right now.  

Address

I updated my blog with my permanent mailing address, so if you want to send me some mail just click the link that says mail me on the left side of my blog under my photo. Also make sure you put both the Chinese and English address on the mail. Thanks!

Spiders, Spiders Everywhere

I had two more giant spiders in my room today. I saw the first one crawling across my ceiling and I didn’t freak out. Then I went to try and find something to kill it with and found another spider. That’s when I freaked out. It took about two hours, but I managed to kill them both by myself, which I’m pretty proud of. These spiders are the size of my hand, and I’ve heard from other people that apparently they bite. I just hope that there aren’t any more crawling around my apartment. Especially while I’m sleeping…

I was closing the curtains in my bathroom and this jumped out at me. It is literally the size of my fist and I’ve never seen a spider this big in my life. First time I’ve ever screamed because of a spider. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy.

I am now an official Peace Corps Volunteer and I moved into my apartment yesterday. It’s pretty bare, but I’m sure in a couple of months I will have more stuff in it. The pros: it has good AC and heated water. The cons: it doesn’t have a kitchen, a western toilet, or mosquito screens.

Pond and temple near my new apartment. The kids love feeding the fish.