Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hi guys

Hope Canada's treating you well. So, I came to the conclusion that it's going to be very interesting when I come back to Canada, because I'm going to be trying to order food, shop, greet people, and ask for directions in Chinese. Not that my Chinese is all that great, in fact it's quite poor; but I'm working on learning sentences that would be useful to me such as “my name is Brodie” and “I want a hamburger”. The most recent one is “do you speak English?”............ If I was a smart person, (which evidently I'm not) I would have learned that first; but instead I waited till my fourth month  here XP. Today Kenzie sent me to find a pack of Pokemon cards for one of her students. She had promised him a while back that she would bring some and they'd play, but so far she had no luck. The reason why.. THERE ARE NO POKEMON CARDS IN GUANGZHOU!!!! I looked all morning in a dozen shops. NOTHING!! it was ridiculous. I wound up getting annoyed, frustrated and bored and broke down and bought Yu-Gi-Oh cards instead. Kenzie said those will work as well so I deem today as a success. :) 
     The school gave me my pay cheque half way through the month last month, so this month I only got half a pay cheque which came to about ¥4,000 subtract ACT tuition and other miscellaneous deductions I brought home about ¥1,700.....kind of depressing after all the trouble over the new years play. So Kenzie and I came to the conclusion that we'll be eating a lot of crepes and home made pizza pops for a while. 
      Kenzie got mine craft on the computer and she is super excited and addicted to it lol, she'll play it on the ipod when she's between classes at work, then she plays it on the computer at home. Very fun game. I hear she bought Lego Lord of the Rings, and I think I might go to Liede in my spare time to play video games lol.
      I think I'm getting a good grasp of Chinese phonetics. The “E” makes an “uhh” sound, so Liede (which looks like Lee-dee or Leed) is actually pronounced Lee-ah-duh, and Agile where my kindergarten is is pronounced Ya-jeh-la. When you see “ZH” it makes the sound of a “j” so Guangzhou instead of Go-ahn-zoo it's Gw-on-Joe. The “u” makes an ooo sound like tooth. So “Wu” is “Woo”.

Wow I totally forgot to finish that last one. Oops!

Lets see what has been happening lately. It's getting close to the spring festival (A.K.A. Chinese new year) when all the Chinese people go home to visit family. Kenzie and I thought about going to a lot of different places like seeing the great wall and the terracotta soldiers (we have single entry visas so if we leave the country we have to get new ones. So any traveling would have to be within China). Then it occurred to us that EVERYBODY will be trying to travel at the same time and its going to be a mad house in China till after the break. Plus after not getting a full paycheck last month due to some confusion and the date I got paid the month before, I'm a little reluctant to spend more money than I need to. So we're going to stock up on food and movies, buy a DVD player and a toaster oven, and spend two weeks locked in our new apartment just relaxing, which sounds glorious! We're both very excited, especially Makenzie because she's been a busy little bee lately working at the training center and subbing at Mayland kindergarten. So having two weeks of doing nothing sounds like a fantastic vacation for us. We still want to travel though so we're planning on booking time off in a few months when its not so busy, and traveling then.
 OH! And Kenzie has come to the conclusion that waking up early to teach at a kindergarten then working at the training centre has helped her enjoy her day more because she’s not bored and alone all morning. The only problem is that Mayland is so far away she's coming home very exhausted (she's basically becoming me when I worked at the night school several times a week, but she complains less lol) so we're in the process of seeing if she can work in Agile with me. 
They're a few new teachers that are going to start working at Agile next semester. One is a friend of ours named Brittany, and the other one I met is an Italian guy.
Its difficult keeping the apartment clean. I mean, of course there's the normal Kenzie and I are messy as hell problem, but on top of that, it just gets so dusty. I'm having trouble keeping up with it, I avoided going near Kenzie’s room because the floor was coated in dust. I'm also developing a paranoia with this house because it's brand new...I don't want to break it. It's not like there were previous tenants that we could blame stuff on. Anything stained or broken in this house it totally our bad XP. So I'm trying to keep it as clean as I can. I swept and mopped most of the house, but it seems to be a never ending battle. I enjoy coming home and tidying up the place when I can pick a job and chip away at the house though, so its not to bad.
I've started making a lot more home cooked meals for supper. Kenzie’s gone most of the day so I wind up watching TV shows on the internet. Lately I've been picking random stuff like some anime, I watched three hours of Ben 10 yesterday, and for whatever reason I keep feeling the need to freak myself out by watching ghost shows called “my ghost story” and quarantine; but after I scare myself I'll watch cartoons. I've been cooking some of the packages of mashed potatoes and that other potato thing that we got in your care package (thank you so much they're delicious.... kind of an acquired taste but we like them). I discovered that if you wash lettuce, chop up an apple and grate some cheese in the mix, the apple and  cheese is enough to add some flavor to the salad and you don't need any salad dressing. So I've been making some of that every night to go with the rest of supper. I noticed the other day that I like to mentally plan out little things I'm going to do that day, way before hand so I don't have to think of it on the spot. Like, what game am I going to play in class today? I noticed that I think of what I want to make for supper as I'm walking to work at 7:30 in the morning lol. It's fun. 
We bought Abraham Lincoln Vampire hunter and the new Batman movie on DVD... unfortunately our new apartment doesn't have a DVD player *sigh * oh well, we'll be buying one before the break hopefully. Till then the movies sit there on the shelf... mocking me. (-.-)
If you get a chance look up the website Youku (its the Chinese version of YouTube) and look up “Cat Mario”. Find the one with the Australian guy talking in the background. The title should have something like “part 1” or “level 1” or something. There's 4 videos and they're hilarious! (theres lots of swears though I think so make sure kids aren't there) basically its a video of this guy playing some kind of Mario Bros. Spoof with this white cat instead of Mario. The thing about the game though is that it kills you in the most ridiculous ways, and the guy talking gets so mad all the time, it's hysterical. Theres also a whole bunch of Chinese writing on the screen that I don't know what it means, but the guy who made the video figured out a whole bunch of text smileys using Chinese letters, and they just make the video so much funnier.
Kenzie and I have amassed a bunch of pictures and videos that we want to show you guys, but their too big to send. So what we're thinking of doing is burning it all on a CD and mailing it home to you guys. So we'll see if that works out.
I wonder when the construction is going to be completed in our garden. It's constant ever since we moved in. it's going to be very weird when they stop. It'll be quiet.... toooooo quiet! Lol.
I'm addicted to these weird beef buns that they sell at the 7-11 and sometimes make for breakfast at the kindergarten. They're gross and delicious and I love them so. ^.^
The people who moved into our old apartment are going through the bed bug problem. Damn those bugs! I thought we killed them all *shakes fist angrily* I suggested that they should get a steamer and steam the hell out of everything and boil their clothes in insanely hot water. That seemed to work for us. It's making me worried that maybe we brought some with us and they're just dormant until summer time.... makes me want to steam my clothes......again.....for the hundredth time......OK maybe it's only the third time..... but still.
Tomorrow the staff is going to a restaurant and putting on performances. The Chinese staff are doing some kind of Titanic play and the foreign teachers are going to do an improv show where two or three teachers know the words to a song in Chinese (supposedly its a popular Chinese song.i don't know if it'll be gungnam style,but we'll see) the rest of the foreign teachers takes turns pulling paper out of a hat and reading Chinese pinyin from the paper. The whole point is that we do very bad at it so the show will be very funny. I'm going to try to record both of them to show everybody.
I officially finished my theme board...took almost the whole month, but it looks awesome. I painted large cut out pictures of all the animals in the Chinese zodiac, and each one has a letter on them so when their lined up in the order of the zodiac years, it spells “happy new year”. And I have sentences on the board saying “what's your resolution?”, “it's the year of the snake.”, “we light fireworks on new years.” and Jenny made a plastic jar, look like a fire cracker, and she found some of those red envelopes people give on new years and we put all that up. Plus it looks extra cool because the bottom of the board is for sticker boards (A.K.A. Pieces of paper that the kids stick stickers that they earn in class, to. Every month my class gets to make new sticker boards for the new theme. Usually I get some paper, they draw stuff on it and cut it out into different shapes and we stick it to the board.This time I was confused because Jenny did a craft with the kids that looked an awful lot like the sticker boards, and hung them up on the sticker boards spot (the day before was sticker counting day when the kids count how many stickers they earned that month and get prizes) I hadn't had a chance to get the kids to make new sticker boards yet, and Jenny was worried that San the principle, would come and see that there was no sticker boards and get mad, so she disguised that fact by putting a random craft the kids made in her class, up where the sticker boards go... and it fooled me. I was planning on making sticker boards that morning, and I came into class and saw what I thought to be sticker boards already made. So I was like “ok? I guess I'll have to do a different craft in theme class”. I wasn't mad, but it totally threw off my plan for that day, so I spent the first half of the morning desperately trying to figure out some kind of new years related craft to do. And right at the last moment I found paper plates, so I made up a snake craft by cutting out the edges of the plate and coloring it so it looks like a snake curling in a circle. Jenny saw it, thought it looked cool, then asked why we weren't making sticker boards. I was like “whaa??” and she explained the situation. So then I'm standing there, holding a useless snake thing when I could have made sticker boards all along, and thinking “Jenny why do you do this to me?” lol, so Jenny had an idea of tying some paper cut into shapes like stars, squares and hearts, to the center of the snake where the rest of the plate used to be, and making this craft into the sticker boards. It's a bit less efficient then the normal sticker boards, but they're waaaaayyy cooler. So that's how I got the coolest theme board ever! XD My job is so fun, it keeps me on my toes.
Well that's all I can think of to say. If you want to Facetime or QQ with us we have two weeks that we don't have to work and can talk to our hearts content. ^.^
Bye bye, love you all. Talk to you later.
PS Thank you mom for all the random pictures you send. I always get excited when 10 or 15 random emails show up out of nowhere. it makes me laugh. :3. love you lots.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jan 7/13

(13 not 12 weird, I can see me messing up the year on my lesson plans in the near future)

Hi! This is Makenzie! :) haven't been blogging in a while because we were busy moving into a new apartment. We didn't have internet for a while and we've been busy with work. ...also I don't know if much has happened that was blog worthy besides saying "hello".

Brodie and I are working on her 'thyme board' for the kindergarten. She's making it New Years thymed with the twelve zodiac animals. I think it's looking pretty good, I'll send pictures when it's done.

We had to make a sudden trip to Hong Kong to renew our visas. Kelly reminded me because he had to renew his and didn't want to go alone. I thought I had an alarm set on my phone's calendar to warn me when we needed to go but apparently I didn't so we had to rush. It was kind of stressful and we were a bit low on money because of the move. We were going to get payed on Sunday but we had to go on Friday.. dang! When we were at the train in Guangzhou waiting to go to Hong Kong we ran into Allayna (Two more people and ACT group will be complete!! bwahahaha). Everything worked out just fine though. I discovered that there are two parts to Hong Kong, the main land (kowloon) and the island. The mainland is where we get the visa stuff done and the island likes to think of themselves as separate from China. they don't really like China too much.

the only issue we had was after we picked up our visas and went back to the train station. the visas were finished at 6pm and the next train left at 6:44pm. After grabbing our visas we hurried back to the train station and discovered that the 6:44 train and the one following it were completely sold out.. AHHH!!! we ended up taking the metro to another city called Shenjen and taking a train from there home. It was late when we finally got home but i was happy we made it at all that night. If we had to stay in Hong Kong Paul told Allayna that he had friends who lived there that the group of us could stay with instead of renting a hotel room.

Well I have been running around near constantly this week and last so I am tired and ready to sleep.

I love  and miss you all and will be blogging really soon.
Thanks for being so patient with my lack-of-blog =S

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blog update

Hi everyone. I'd like to apologize for the irregularity of our blog updates. It's hard to not get into forgetful habits when your schedule is so busy. I'll do my best to send a blog entry in at least once every other week.

So lets see, what's been happening lately? Oh! I had my first open class at the kindergarten, which basically consisted of me teaching the first class for half an hour, then everyone goes to morning exercise, then Jenny (my Chinese teacher) teaches her half an hour class, then the parents went to the dance room to have a meeting with the Chinese teachers, and I stayed in the classroom as the kids drew pictures.
I was really happy about the time of my open class, because the school broke the open classes up into groups so we didn't have a hundred parents tripping over each other all day. Big class and pre-school were Monday, no one Tuesday because all the foreign teachers had a meeting, middle class was Wednesday, small class was Thursday and mini class was Friday. So my class got it over with right away, and I didn't have to be concerned about that for the rest of the week..The downside to this week being Open class week is that it's been raining every day. Normally I love the rain. It smells so nice, cleans the air and gives us free water to give to the animals. Not in China. The water here is gross and acidic and I constantly want to have a shower every time I get wet. >.< it's not as pleasant as Canadian rain, and it's been causing our garden to flood, so getting to work has been uncomfortable. On the plus side, the hill that the kindergarten was built on that I have to walk up every day, kept the water from pooling so much, so it was way better there than Louxi.

Every Tuesday all the foreign staff have a meeting to discus anything that is coming up or if there are problems or questions that the teachers have; and on Friday I have a class meeting, which basically means my T.A. Bobo, Jenny and I sit on the students tiny chairs and discuss things. Mostly Jenny will let me know about things in my class that are working well or that I need to improve (which I am so happy she does because my class has gotten waaaay better since she started doing that); and I'll use the meeting to ask about the status of certain things, like if Jenny had scheduled any parent meetings, or if she'd heard any new information about upcoming events, and we swap information.
Today's meeting made me very, very happy. Basically Jenny told me that none of the parents had any negative feedback about the Open Class, and that they wanted to meet me, and I’m managing to get every student to participate, and the quiet ones are significantly improving with their English (usually she'll let me know what's going well in my class before suggesting improvements, but today apparently there was nothing that needed improving, so I was like “SWEET!!!”). She also told me that I was doing really good with getting my weekly lesson plan and parent letters submitted on time (I've been doing them on the weekend and bringing them in Monday so I don't forget) she said that a lot of the other Chinese teachers complain that their foreign teachers don't hand in the paper on time, and she's like “my Foreign teacher is good, she hands it in on time” haha. (I felt bad though and apologized in the meeting, because I got the weekly plan for this week done like two weeks ago, but I didn't do the parent letter and forgot about it till Friday, and that doesn't give the Chinese staff very long to translate it for the parents. The deadline for the weekly plans and parent letters in Wednesday for that reason. Jenny didn't seem to mind me being late with the letter this week though.) so I basically I got to go to a class meeting where they told me I was awesome! Best meeting ever! Hahaha.

It's been raining like crazy this week and so Kenzie and I bought these Pj’s that are pants and a hoody, and they are extremely fluffy and warm.... it's the most comfortable sweater ever! I am starting to have trouble leaving the house without the fluffy sweater. In this chilly wet weather in a house that's built for heat and not cold, these pj's are fantastic. I even started wearing the sweater to work and Jenny really liked how fuzzy it was so I think I want to get one for her, Bobo and Dora for Christmas (Dora is the life teacher – she basically keeps the place clean and gets food and milk for the kids. Like a nanny) I just have to figure out what colours they like without being suspicious. I'd like to send presents home to everybody, but I haven't quite got the mailing system in China figured out so you may get a bunch of presents when we get back home.

Lately my Chinese has been getting much better. I was told that if you were going to learn different languages, the most useful would be: English, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic. If you learned those you'd pretty much be set to go almost anywhere in the world and be able to communicate. So Kenzie and I have started trying to learn them. We got apps on our phones and theIPod for learning languages, and I've managed to find people who are helping me learn them. Nick is from Florida and apparently there's a lot of Latino people there, so his Spanish is quite good, and he's lived in China for four years so he can speak Chinese as well (not fluent in either one, but he knows a lot), and then there's Li, my boss from the night school I've been working at. He worked in Japan at Honda for years, so he knows Chinese and Japanese. The school takes a while to get to and so he drives me home so I don't take the bus or metro. His English isn't very good and my Chinese isn't very good, so we've been teaching each other the languages on the drives home. So far we've been covering numbers and things you can do with numbers, like say the date on a calender and say the time. I now know how to count up to 999, but my record is about 350, I haven't learned the word for thousand so I can't count higher yet. We're starting to move into colours. And lastly my T.A. Bobo taught me some words, and she got me to practice sounding out the vowels and doing the tones. Yesterday in class I was able to pick out at least every fifth word that the Chinese teacher said to the kids. All in all not that impressive that I can slightly understand kindergarten Chinese, but at least I know I'm improving.

Over the weekend I hung out with a new friend we made named Danny. He's very adventurous and will wander aimlessly in Guangzhou and find the most random things; and he invites me along sometime. So we headed out to this stop on the metro that neither of us had been to before (we picked it because Danny's map showed a lot of green and we figured there must be a forest there). Once we got there it was so quiet my ears popped. I'm serious, I'm not sure how, but lack of sound made them pop. You don't realize how much sound gets blasted at you on a regular basis until there isn't any. It was also very empty. Where in Guangzhou and Panyu you will see at least fifteen people at all times, this stop we didn't run across someone till we got a little ways away from the metro, and even then it wasn't any more than two or three people at a time. That was very strange.
The rest of the day involved us looking for odd shaped buildings to investigate and finding the coolest stuff. At one point we were on this big island, and saw a building across the river that had a roof that looks like a sting ray, or some kind of shell. So we found a bridge and it took us awhile to get across because we got side tracked by random things like we saw a family fishing with a huge net, and an art studio/display building that was very hidden by trees and was under a bridge. We crouched and climbed under a different bridge to continue walking and found two dead fish. We came across University City, which is basically a bunch of universities clustered together, and there were students practicing opera, and they were really good. Although, being outside and next to a small forest, they sounded like wailing ghosts. We also found three snakes. One ran away, one was dead and the last one was too tired to get out of the middle of the walking path. We walked down a deer path in the bush and found small gardens and sad houses that people had made out of scraps of metal and wood. There was a baby rat in the trees as well, he looked like he had been attacked by an animal but got away. It was the cutest little thing, and it appeared to be either a baby rat, or a huge mouse; but it's face was rat-like so I'm pretty sure it was a rat. And I totally wanted to bring it home because it was cold, hungry, scared and alone, but we couldn't because of the potential diseases it could have had. So that was sad.
We found a school called “The China Normal University”, that was pretty funny, and we also found a science center. It's like the space science center back home, so I hear, but we only got to see some of the Da Vinci exhibit which was awesome. On the outside of the building there was a giant army of panda statues, that we had trouble figuring out what they were for because they were all wearing different clothes. Once we got close we figured out that they were for the different countries in the world. America was fine, their panda looked like a cowboy (but they obviously used Woody from toy story as a reference), but Canada's was extremely lame. Most of the countries seemed to have some sort of traditional clothing..... Canada's was wearing red overalls with maple leaves all over the place, creating the dorkiest panda that ever existed.... seriously, how hard is it to paint a Mountie? You Google Canada and get like 64 pictures of mounties!

I hope you are all having a great time in Canada. We miss you so much and can't wait to see you again.

Love Brodie

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hello! Bwahahahahhaahhaa!! Ever since the blog started Brodie and I have been unable to actually access it in China. So once we wrote a new blog entry we would email it to our parents, who in turn, would post it to the blog. Not any more HAHAHA!!! my co-workers and i have purchased a VPN which will allow Brodie and I to see blocked web sites!!

So what has happened in my blogging absence? Well, i had to dance Gangnam style to hundreds of people for a fun outdoor...thing? i'm not sure what to call it; Advertisement, Promotional activity, BS? No idea (just kidding about the BS, though most the the foreign staff was very unhappy to be there. I had fun).
Brodie a few friends and I decided to try and find the famed  'Statue of the Five Goats' that Guangzhou is so proud of. It's location is Yuexiu Park. That place is crazy. It was a jungle and super quiet. then you turn the corner and BAM! amusement park! There were old walls, fable statues (made of plastic but meant to look like stone) and a grave yard. We walked around until the sun went down but found so statue. We're planning to try again sometime, but we haven't yet.
We had a lovely Chinese Birthday (the day before the Canadian one :P). Brodie had people from the kindergarten give her  flowers and Chocolate. I fed the chocolate to kids and coworkers at Liede (not all of it but a good portion). Kelly and Danny bought us a cake and and we ended up playing that Pass the Pigs game and card games with them. The morning of our Canadian birthday, Friday, I discovered that the electricity was out in our building, kelly's building (he has his own now) and the other ACT building (with Allayna and Tomi). We were told to wait until after we were back from work (training centre people. those of us that actually noticed the power was out because we weren't at work yet), then tell Eve if the power was back on or not. Kelly had no problems at all because he hadn't lived in the new house long enough for the power company to rightfully bill him and cut the power. Allayna had no issues either and I'm told it's because she works in the same building as the ACT managers and nagged until they got the power back. I hope thats not true because that would mean they were able to get the power back and just didn't for Brodie and I. Brodie and I didn't get electricity until after the weekend. Being without electricity  for three days wasn't all that bad. The only issues I had was not being able to take a warm shower (theres a heater that you turn of before the water heats up) and the food in the fridge was going to go bad.
 Turns out that the reason our power went out was because our land lord forgot to give us the power bill and the electric company is vicious. Can't wait to move...

Any way! hmmm new things that have happened. OH! I am now teaching four classes of my own at Liede. I have my Golden class (the kids go straight from the school next door and take a class at the training centre), a VIP class (one of one lessons with a kid who is planning to move to Canada next year. Super cool!), a beginner class of little kids (I can honestly say this class scares me the most) and a second beginner class with older kids. The little kid class scares me because I am not good at keeping little kids entertain and I have to teach them for 90 minutes. So far I am semi good at it but I had one parent say she wanted to pull her kid out after the second class. That sucked to hear but Dog figures her expectations are too high if she thinks her kid (who is 2 or 3 by the way) is going to be great at speaking english after two classes. Though he gave me a mission. Do whatever I can to keep that kid in the class. I did my best but I don't know if it worked. There is a little girl in that class Yi Yi (EE EE like a monkey :D) who I know from make-up class. She's 2 years old and one of the cutest kids at the school. She is now in my class and i made her cry almost every time i saw her. I yelled to loud or  I looked scary or some other kid ran into her and knocked her over, but either way she would get upset and cry. She also doesn't say even two words to me. In the last class, though, i pulled out some colourful blocks and had the kids say "I want red" or "I want blue" then i'd give them the block. She was so excited that i think she shoved kids twice her size over in order to get to the blocks. She also said the whole sentence perfectly!!! such a cute kid.

Brodie's buddy from work (Nick) is a huge nerd like us and has gotten us into D&D. Thats right, Dungeons and Dragons. If we didn't sound nerdy before, Think again! We also have a few other friends here who want to play as well. We're gonna start a different version of D&D that is set in a zombie apocalypse reality and our characters are trying to survive it. sounds fun, right!! i think i am becoming zombie/monster obsessed. I watch The Walking Dead and read the comic, I read vampire books, I have an app on my ipod that is like Farm Town but with zombies and I Have another app that is for jogging. Its this whole story line with a few towns in a zombie apocalypse. But the way the app kind of works is if you don't run fast enough the zombies will catch you. Isn't that AWESOME! so any way, zombie, zombie, school, zombies.

The weather has been really foggy lately and its always smoggy so we usually have  hard time seeing the buildings in the distance. Yesterday It rained the entire day and it freaked us out when we could see the lights in the far off buildings and colour of everything was sharper... Can't wait to go back to clean air Canada (or at least the Edmonton area).

Thats all for now,
Love you all

Saturday, November 24, 2012

One more pic & Makenzies dance

It's hard to see but those lights are hanging from the tree. They keep changing so it looks like rain. Very cool. They also come in rainbow.

Here is Makenzie's gangnan style dancing debut in China!  If you look REALLY close you can see her in the back row between the two guys who look like they actually know the dance. She has on a cowboy hat and white skirt. This is the end of the dance and shows the fireworks that the dancers weren't expecting.

Super late blog update!

Heres my super late blog update. my laziness is getting unbearable lol

I’m sooo sleeeeepppyyyy ZZzzzz….

Brodie and I had to leave our house for ACT all day, every day, so we would get stir-crazy on our days off so we ended up wandering around the city or going out to get food. Because of that neither of us have spent a whole 24 hours without leaving our house since we came to China. That doesn’t sound to bad because we get to see more of the city, but I’m tired and sore and our house is a wreck... was a wreck, I just cleaned it.
            TODAY on my day off I am determined to not take one foot outside, and relax (after I finished cleaning and steam cleaning my blankets again).
            I thought for a while that my training center job had the worst schedule because I only get one day off a week (Kelly had two days off, lucky), but I discovered recently that Allayna and Ollie only get one day off a week as well (I think) so I’m not alone!
            Tomi has a really good kindergarten to work at because it's such a small school, they're a lot more relaxed with meetings and paperwork and stuff; where as Brodie’s kindergarten is bigger and busier and likes to keep things in order. They're both good jobs but Tomi’s is easier to work at.
            Allayna and Ollie’s work seems to be similar to Brodies.

Nov 6, 2012.

Wow I have really let this blog go. Sorry about that. I have gotten very unorganized lately and, to be honest, my laziness level spiked as soon as we got the internet.. Again sorry. But I’m back now and will be blogging more! Hopefully!

So for some reason all of the training centers are having a festival/party/meet and greet.. thing. I actually have no idea what it is, or why we’re doing it. No one has really given me a clear answer besides all the training centers staff are going to be there (… I hear something that sound like someone dropping a lot of stuff for a long time, or a machine gun firing from far away. The sound is continuous rapid bangs, but it sounds like an echo or something. I think it has something to do with the garbage truck? I don’t know). We were also told that the foreign staff has to do a dance (no!). The dance is Gundam Style (NOO!!)  and I suck at that dance (NOOO!!!!). the good news is I’m not alone. My friend Karl is planning on walking through the dance (literally walking) instead of actually dancing.
On my way to the park it was scary. I’m used to riding the metro at 8am on the weekends... weekdays its crazy. The train was so full that you actually feel crushed and can’t move. I stood in a line of about twenty people and had to watch two trains stop, pack people in, and then drive off without me before I was close enough to jump on.
A little old lady and her daughter (I’m guessing) were right in front of me and the passengers boarding the train pushed me uncomfortably close to them. I had my arm twisted funny between two people when I first boarded so after that I was hugging my book and trying to be a small as possible. Everytime the train stopped more people crushed into the train. At one point the sweet old lady elbowed me back and started angrily yelling at me (because obviously I had run into her because I’m a jerk and not because I literally had no room to breath as people behind me pushed forward. * sigh * some people can be so mean… or dumb, I don’t know). I’m assuming she was telling me to back up, but trust me, if I had a choice I would not have been squashed near any old Chinese lady (they are mean when it comes to lines and trains! ).
When the train got to my stop I tried to get out of the crowd (and almost dropped my vampire book in the process). I was actually shaking when I got to the next train, but this one was way less crowded. So I have been avoiding being within two feet of everyone ever since then.
After I was off the metro I met up with the Chinese staff and we walked to the park. Most of them don't speak English, but a few can and they were chatting in Chinese and goofy off the whole time I saw them. Even though I could only understand every other word they said, it was still fun to watch because you can tell when they made a joke by the other person’s facial expression. I had fun :o).
            It was hilarious. All the staff from all the training centers (Chinese and foreign) have to do a dance (another one) where we’re lined up and marching while waving our hands or jumping around all at the same time (the music is an Aqua song but I forget what it's called. I think it was Cartoon heroes but I could be wrong). The principle of Tianhe walked up to everyone and started talking to us with a microphone. Her name is Sunny (I think ) and she’s really nice but her English is not perfect. She honestly said to everyone, “Okay, good job, but the song is happy so when you dance you have to smell (smile), okay. Make sure you smell.” Every single native English speaker burst out laughing and started joking around (she had finished talking so it was fine). I heard Karl joke that he hadn’t showered in three days, just for this dance lol.
            Also we need to play a carnival-like game as well as the dance. My school’s thing was they had three pumpkins and the kids threw a hoop and got it on the pumpkin. I don’t know where they got it but the pumpkins they found were actually gourds that looked like pumpkins. The funnier part of this fact is that none of the Chinese staff knew what a gourd was and had no clue for the longest time. So awesome!
            So I’m back home now. I had to bring in a book I got from the doctor’s office and see if the school would pay for my medical bill.. I don't know if I told you about that? Whoops. Well long story short. I woke up one morning and my eyes were red and swollen and oozing puss (it looked like I was crying green goo). Veeeerry gross. So when I went into work that day, my eyes scared the Chinese staff and a girl named Christy took me to a pharmacy to get meds (and I got out of doing some work. YAY lol ). The meds didn’t work and my eyes were almost closed because they were so swollen. So I called into work and Christine (the lady who organizes my schedule) took me to the hospital. They gave me a book and a credit card looking hospital card. Then I saw the doctor, she gave me Japanese medicine (ooooo) and it was eye drops, eye cream and a small bottle of something I was supposed to drink with a straw. There were no pills so I was very happy. The next day my eyes were waaay better and by the end of the week I looked normal :o) 
 I was supposed to bring that book in today and forgot it so I came back home. This morning I took a bus and the train (went one stop passed Liede) and that's where the park was. Then I went all the way back home (I could have went one stop and just stayed at work, if it was open … hmm) but yeah now I’m at home waiting till 4 when I have to go to work again. Such a fun day :P.  
Well that's all that's been happening lately. I’ll see if Brodie can get a video of my super embarrassing dance and put it on the blog. :P.

We had to go to Hong Kong to renew our visa and we took these pictures on the train.

Chinese farmland

The people sitting across from us laughed when we took this photo lol

Hidden house

Cool picture at the bus stop.

This is more of what we saw on the way to Hong Kong. It's a farm and there're mountains in the background!

In Guangzhou there's a whole place with comic stuff everywhere! It's like the animethon lol

It's the I pee zone!!

My office (Makenzie) - It's small but I like it :o) 

This is the foreign staff office- Can you see the Xbox in the background!

Spiderman's in China too!

There are statues like this everywhere. This place had the same statue doing different poses all the way down the hallway. There's been lions that are bigger that me and elephants and lots of things

See ya later.

love you :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oct 22, 2012 

Yay, my (our) birthday is one month away exactly!!

So I hear we’ve been making some heads spin because of our lack of blogging. I am really sorry about that. Even if I wrote out a blog entry everyday I would have to go to a restaurant in order to post it and, though I could do that, my lap top is heavy and its a lot of walking to do that, so we try to post it when we have days off. So I feel like a jerk and I’m gonna try harder to get this blogged so you can see what’s up.

Round one: Bugs

            The Bed Bugs: Captain Glitches report. We have laid our first assault on the bedroom territory. We had some trouble with Commander Germ, of the 42nd air force, mosquito division. He sent in his best pilot, Aeronautics, to compete with us to fight the humans. Commander Germ over looked one thing, though. His pilot’s wings make so much noise that the humans’ wake up almost instantly. Luckily for us, this effect caused the humans to feel under attack from the flyers, so they hid under the blankets, which made it much easier for us to strike. This was a great success for us bijou bugs. Regrettably, the humans have seen a few of our numbers and they, in turn, have fled the area. Rest assured, they’ll be back.
The Humans: Makenzie’s audio recording (written version). “Yeah I don’t know how they’ve been getting into the house but those stupid mosquitoes are driving my crazy. I mean, look at this bug bites I have!... Look!... see, the bite is huge! Why are you getting out of your chair?... Come on, sit down and finish this interview, its not that gross.  These bites have been hurting constantly. Did you know I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night with shooting pain because my hand is so covered in bug bites and I accidentally scratched it in my sleep? It feels like ten mosquitoes attacking all at once or something. Hey, what’s that? That thing right there…. I’m pointing at it! It looks like a tiny beetle… What do you mean bed bug?!”

You all remember the fly and the bed bugs. I have a cold now and I blame that fly (even though I think its from being around sick kids and eating cheap greasy food).
I read that steam kills bed bugs so we bought a steamer for 499 kuah. I know that's expensive (its like $80 Canadian) but I was honestly going crazy with the problem of mosquitoes biting me if I slept on the couch without a blanket, bed bugs biting me if I hid under your covers (they hurt more then mosquitoes) and cockroaches running across me if I slept on the floor (again I think I hate bugs, I used to have nightmares about crap like this *eye twitch*). So the bed bugs have to leave. My plan is to attack until I am sure their gone. So I steamed my entire bed and I actually put my blankets, sheets and pillowcases in a plastic bag and hung it up on the deck so the sun would heat it up and kill the bed bugs, but this takes like two weeks to work. Once I figure out how to get a hold of the landlord they are hearing about this!!!
            Also I’m gonna write out a list of things that aren’t up to snuff in our house, such as, we have two doors at the front door. One is wooden door that looks like normal doors, the other is a gate that stops people from trying to bust down the wooden door (I guess) or its just a strong screen door. Anyway the wooden door never had a closing mechanism (it broke before we moved in) so in order to keep the door closed we had to lock it.  Then the school gave our roommate Sarah a new key and it broke the lock. Now when you lock doesn’t turn unless you use the key (which is good if your leaving but we have to prop a chair on the door to keep it from opening all the time)
            I don’t know if it’s because I’m sick and grouchy or tired or what it is but I keep getting mad at stuff and ranting about it (as you have seen in this blog entry). I’m tired of bugs, I’m tired of the door not closing, I’m tired of people around me acting rude (not the strangers I pass on the street, but the people I know... well one person I know in particular is very hypocritical and ticking me off), I’m tired of not being able to hang out with Brodie because our schedules are completely different. …. I’m just tired of it and no matter what I say it doesn’t change. The worst part about me being at a training center and Brodie at a kindergarten is we both freaking LOVE our jobs. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing but I want to eventually get a kindergarten job and that means I can’t work at Liede any more. Stupid awesome coworkers making my job fun and not making me want to leave.

            So they said we’re getting Internet again, but I’ll believe it when I see it at this point. We have to find the administration building in the garden in order to pay bills. We need a key to open the mailbox in order to get the bill that says what we own. Eve needs to talk to the management people in order to get them to send us a key. And in the mean time we’re just sitting here nervously waiting.

I’m guessing I’m irritable because I don’t see Brodie very much and I’m by myself most of the day until I go to work.  Hopefully this isn’t how its going to continue for the whole year or I’m gonna have to start growing up and dealing with my problems :P.

I am soooo excited that everyone got our new email!! It’s great hearing from you and I miss you all.

My life isn’t as bad here as I’m making it out to be but I just decided to group all of the stuff that was bugging me and tossing it into one blog entry (Bwahahaha!!)

thats all for now.
Love Makenzie