This summer I was very fortunate to be able to visit family back home for a whole month AND more importantly, successfully returned back to China. Going home this summer was definitely a risk considering the strict border policies that China has kept in place. Considering I hadn’t been home since March 2020, I weighed the risks and went for it! I had a great month back home spending time with family, having days of doing nothing in the crisp Colorado air, seeing my goddaughter baptized, spending 4th of July in Wyoming, and so much more. But in the back of my mind was always the stress of completing the journey back to China. The travel policies and regulations of China have been the strictest in the world starting at the end of March 2020 when they completely shut down the border to all non-citizens. In the past 2 years they have “loosened” them somewhat with lots of caveats of qualifying visas allowed, testing procedures/policies to be approved for entry, and variations of quarantine after arriving. No tourists have been allowed into China since March of 2020.Continue reading
Graduation: The Class of 2020
And just like that the school year finished! It doesn’t feel like it in many ways with the changes because of the virus, but it’s over and my little zebras are off to primary school! We have started summer camp right away with a mix of my students and another class and and have finished a week about Albert Einstein and Tu You You. I was so happy when kindergartens in Shanghai were given the clear to open at the start of June. I really had missed my students, a sense of routine, and being in the classroom. We did online classes for two months and I was ready to be done with that! Online teaching is a lot of work also and required a different type of energy and innovation compared to the classroom. I learned a lot from it but was super glad we didn’t have to continue it any longer. I thought I would share memories from graduation night as it was spectacular and what we had practiced for 5 weeks. Nobody does a kindergarten graduation like China!Continue reading
Shanghai, Covid-19 and Returning to “Normal.”
After returning to Shanghai at the end of March (a week before the borders closed to foreigners), I spent two weeks in a hotel being quarantined. Truth be told it wasn’t that bad and I felt lucky to have had the privilege of mandatory quarantine given the state of the world right now. Life has slowly transitioned back to a new “normal” in Shanghai with the opening of Kindergartens at the beginning of June. Other grades had resumed prior and they slowly phased in lower grades. So what does life in Shanghai look like now? When I look at the rest of the world, I know I’m one of the lucky ones who has returned to work and able to go out and about.Continue reading
Manila, Cebu, Siargao, and Boracay: Winter Holiday in the Philippines
I returned from the Philippines a few weeks ago, and have been crazy busy getting ready to go on my Chinese New Year Holiday. I know, not real life problems. The trip was not what I expected in any way, but I wanted to share some beautiful photos and some of the experiences I had. Pictures above is Kawasan Falls right outside of Cebu!
Christmas Season Abroad
The Christmas season is here and I am on vacation in Philippines as I write! It was a crazy first two weeks of December that involved an unexpected move! I loved my past apartment, but after deliberation with my roommates and landlord we decided not to re-sign. It was an amazing place to call home for a little over a year and I’ll miss that place a lot! However, I am super excited and loving my new place. I have my own apartment in the Former French Concession. It is in a lane house with creaky stairs and only a block away from my yoga studio and gym! Amidst moving I also was working like an energizer bunny on work for the students while I’m on holiday and preparing for our Christmas party. The foreign teachers go on holiday in December and our school hosts Chinese science week! The kids love it. So here’s our super fun holiday party!
25 Memories for Turning 25
Surprise I’m 25! On my birthday, my coworkers totally surprised and pranked me! They had a decoy cake on the morning followed by a prank in the afternoon where they told me our December holiday was canceled. I actually was fine and said I would be gone no matter what. Ha! Needless to say, I had a great day and wonderful dinners with friends. 25 feels so good and I’ve had an amazing year. Here are 25 memories that I have loved and will cherish forever. And I truly believe the best is yet to come! Cheers to 25.
Still Raining Sunshine
Yes it is still raining rainbows and sunshine in Shanghai! It’s been a while since I’ve posted so there’s no time like the present going to work on the metro! I am still loving life here and so many exciting (and exhausting) things have been happening! This picture above is our class picture. Look how cute they all are in their white polos.
Zebra Class: Life in Shanghai
The school year is in motion and I am loving my class of 20 interesting, funny, smart, and energetic students! We are the Zebra class and are settling into our daily routines and having so much fun getting to know each other. Here we are at circle time playing a guess the word game with one kid acting it out. We have a lot to do everyday and these kids are just so amazing. They all know each other and have been coming to the school for 2-3 years since they were little babies! This really is such an incredible age.
The Rainbow Mountains of China in Zhangye, Gansu Province (and Xi’an)
I took an incredible three day trip to see the Rainbow Mountains which are a geological phenomenon! I planned this trip Sunday night and left Tuesday morning. I’ve had this past week off post-summer camp and pre-school year. My passport is currently at the bureau to transfer my work visas which means I can only travel within China! If I had my passport I would’ve left the country, but I’m so glad I had this opportunity to visit another corner of China! I stayed in a yurt for two nights, gazed at stars and decompressed from the insanity of city life in Shanghai. Currently I am in Xi’an for the day before I head back to Shanghai.
Summer Camp Creativity!
Whew! Our six weeks of summer camp is over and I am on vacation mode for a week before we have some preparation before the school year starts! I’ve had so much fun getting to know amazing kids. Some of them will be in my class next year which I am so excited for. Summer camp sessions were in 2 week increments. Some students were there for the whole 6 weeks while others came for 2 weeks. I did the theme “Travel Agency” twice and “School Cafe” once. The best and difficult part of summer camp is that the curriculum is so flexible and you can be really creative! I thought I would share some of my ideas for other teachers out there or families who want to craft with their kids!