Honeymoon in Shangrila…

So it has been two months here, and the honeymoon is still not over.  In fact, the smile I have plastered on my face is bordering crazy.

I have only been at my current center for a month, but things are going extremely well!  They kept telling me that if I could ride out the bumps it would turn out great, and it has!  I have had excellent evaluations from my supervisors and my students, and this month they have evaluated me around 8 times or something.  I had one supervisor leave and say it was the best class he had ever seen and he learned a lot.  Color me very happy!

To make things even better, one of my co-workers and I have birthdays a day apart, so they decided next Sunday, we are having a big party with all of the teachers to go to a Texas Barbeque place and then bowling.  (Oh, and ice cream cake!)  They came up with this because I am American and they thought the girls would love it.  I never had anyone throw me a birthday party before.  My co-worker, Henk, is from South Africa, and didn’t even want to celebrate his, but he was totally game with anything.   I love being able to walk to work and walk home every day.  I love the view from every room.  I love being able to work with people from England, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and Columbus!  I love my really awesome students too.

I found out that teachers are second only to doctors in their feeling of respect.  I so feel that.  Also, I’ve been given a lot leeway for projects; like I am having a resume writing workshop every Saturday afternoon.  They even make big posters around the school advertising it.  I also have a series on American sub-cultures going on Fridays.  We are almost done with native Americans and are going to start Amish soon.

I have a student who is a model.  She must be about 6’2” –for real.  And she wears heels all the time.  Anyway, she asked me to send her digital photos of the girls, because H&M and another place I can’t think of, are look for models for “back to school” stuff.  She gave them to her agent with my phone number, so we’ll see what happens.  And on that note by the way, I can’t get over how big Chinese people are.  They tower over me, which is a HUGE switch from Thailand where I was taller than most men.  The women are Amazonian, and they all wear crazy heels on top of that.  I realize this is Yao Ming’s home town, but I didn’t realize he was the norm.

Now on to my true love! –My amazing nanny, Karen!  Five times is a charm, but man did I make out well by finding her!  Yesterday was my early day, so she comes at 9:30 and leaves at 6:30 –well, not really.  She comes at 9 and leaves at 7 because she loves us so much.  But she wanted to show me on-line shopping on her iPad, and how much cheaper everything is, and how it can be delivered.  And then she stayed and stayed…and forgot that that her end time WASN’T 9:30.  It was so funny!  She makes the most amazing food, as I have said.  Yesterday was a pork and vegetable stew and another stir-fry of all of my favorite vegetables.  She let’s Rumi help her cook in the kitchen.  She downloads movies and games for the girls on her iPod.  I often come home, the girls are in the bathtub watching a movie she set up on her iPad!  And she leaves her iPad, slippers and apron here.  I love that!  But it’s funny because I thought she forgot her iPad last night because it was our weekend so at least she would want it for the 2 days.  I texted her, and she said “let the girls play with it.”  I love this woman.  She manages to get groceries for ¼ or half the cost I’ve been paying –AND have them delivered to our home!  She lives very close, so she knows everything around here too.  She even helps me with home-schooling.  There are no words for how much I appreciate her, but I have to say, if you think Thai people are so friendly, times that by 10 and you get Chinese people.  And she is an angel above them all.

As you have seen, on the weekends I try to take the girls to some new touristy kind of place, and the list is endless, so there is no worry about running out of new things.  This week we are probably going to take it a bit easier.  It’s supposed to be in the 90’s, so maybe just indoor bungee jumping , some walking around, and an afternoon tea –Oh and maybe burgers and a milkshake.  Our burger place has the best fried zucchini.  Next week is the party and bowling and I think the week after that will be the Shanghai Museum.  Unfortunately,   swimming isn’t so easy.  I heard the pools are so crowded you can barely move in them.  We could spend the weekend in a hotel to go swimming –that’s what most of my students do, but it wouldn’t be for a while.

On the health front, my neck nerves are reconnecting, so the constant pain I used to have is starting to go away.  It is lessening in some places and I have some weaknesses in others, that I think could be helped by a good massage, I just haven’t been able to go.  I drool every once in a while when I am about to fall asleep which tells me my saliva is coming back.  My headaches are few and far between with no medication.  And as bad as the air is, I never need my inhaler.

Well, once again, I am not sure how all this happened that I am here, but this could very well be the best decision I ever made in my life!


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