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
New Zealand Part One and the Virus
Shanghai School Field Trips
This past week, we took a class trip to an organic farm. Our school has a fall and spring outing and my coworkers warned me prior that it is one of the most tiring days of the year. Very accurate! This farm was about 40 minutes from the school on the Pudong side of Shanghai. We had a wonderful day and it reminded me of all the amazing field trips I had growing up!
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.
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.
Kaila in Kunming: A Visit to My Orphanage
(Touching the Dragon Gate for Prosperity)
I took a few days off from work and headed back to the province I was born in, Kunming! It was a busy few days where I didn’t get much rest and was busy from sun up to down. I was able to do a lot, met up with some connections and friends and went back to my orphanage. The night before and the whole drive going to my orphanage I was quite nervous which really surprised me.
China is such a diverse and beautiful place and I was excited to go back and explore. Yunnan has stunning nature, views and I already want to go back to spend more time hiking away from the borders of the cities.
An Adopted Chinese American in Shanghai
You would think and Chinese in China would blend in. Think again! Not everyday, but whenever I meet new people or a stranger strikes up a conversation, it is naturally brought up that I was adopted. Despite my face as they point out, I am American and don’t speak Chinese. I wasn’t an American Born Chinese (ABC) yet I look and am Chinese. Next week I will be heading back to the province, Kunming where I was born to travel and visit my orphanage and wanted to write this post about living in China as an adult adoptee.
Everyone’s reaction has been very positive and it explains why my face is Chinese but the rest of me isn’t quite. From taxi drivers where I have explained it over a translation app, most reactions are understanding or saying something like “very good” and that “I’m lucky.” A new coworker even thought I was joking at first when I said I didn’t speak Chinese and complimented me on my English accent. Shanghai is such a metropolitan city where people from all over China come to work and live.
As the hundreds of thousands of girls adopted from China grow up, I have a feeling that more will want to live in the country they were born in. Shanghai is its own world compared to the rest of China and for me the perfect hub and home base. I will be here at least two more years and there is so much more to discover.
I love China and am looking forward to exploring more of it. It is such a diverse country rich in history and stunning landscapes. I love the contrasts between polite/direct, modern/history, tradition and so on. I am nervous but mostly excited for my trip next week! I haven’t been back since I was 10 and looking forward to it a lot. I have no idea what will happen, how I will feel or what I will learn. It’s going to be an adventure and I look forward to sharing it with you when I’m back 🙂
The Shanghai Kid
Fabulous, expectation, advanced, pressure and lovely. These are all words I would associate with the “Shanghai Kid.” These past nine months teaching have given me incredible close insight into the world of kids growing up in Shanghai. There are so many sub-cultures that my anthropology degree has me constantly dissecting and categorizing daily observations. Education in Shanghai is constantly changing at a rate that I would bet is one of the highest in the world. There are shifts I have already seen in only eight months. It is an exciting industry to work in and I’m constantly looking at the differences/similarities to America and what additions I would make to strengthen different curriculums.
Showing Off Shanghai
The Olson twins have taken Shanghai these last few days! Okay so we aren’t actually twins, but I just had my friend from the states come visit and was determined to show her Shanghai’s best. We have known each other since we were wee little things, grew up in the same neighborhood in Denver and went back to China with our families in 2004! It was so much fun to have her in town and she is off for the next few days traveling before we meet in Beijing next week for more Olson twin fun. The best part about having visitors is that you get to see where you live through fresh eyes. There is no rest for the wicked and everyday she pretty much fell asleep within minutes of the head hitting the pillow. I like to keep my friends busy and on the go go go!