Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Digs

Chinese word of the day:  jia.  Jia means "home," and the two radicals in the character represent a pig under a roof.  Interesting.

I chose jia as the word of the day because, after six weeks of living out of a suitcase, I finally am in my new home in China.  Hooray!  My arrival in Qufu has been a long time coming, and now that it's here I am getting a little apprehensive about starting outreach and teaching on this campus.  There is so much here that I can't do or understand on my own, which means I have to depend on the Lord and on the people He's placed in my life, especially my two teammates.  Dependency is a good thing, and it will be good for me.

I have a few pictures to share -- join me on my journey to Qufu!  This post is especially for people back home who are curious about my new place and don't mind wading through a long post.  (So basically, this is for you, Mom and Dad. :) )

On Sunday night, we took an 8.5 hour night train from Beijing to Qufu.  The train station was complete chaos: it was oppressively hot, and there was a massive, pushy crowd.  I have heard that the Chinese equivalent of "dog eat dog" is "man eat man," and after spending an hour at the train station, I can see why.  It's every man for himself!  Here are a few pictures from my perch on the top bunk:

We were stacked three high in the "hard sleeper" section.  This was my view down.

Sara got to celebrate her birthday on the middle bunk on a night train in China.  She is another new teacher who will be in my province.

Looking down the aisle from my bed.  I had a great night's sleep and we arrived in Qufu at 7:45 the next morning.

With my teammate Tarah beside our iron horse.

My other teammate, Lisa, getting some noodles with me on the day we arrived in Qufu.

Shoot, I love me some noodles.

My apartment has several big rooms and some basic furnishings.  When I first saw it, it seemed like too much space for not enough stuff.  Hopefully it will start to feel like home soon.

My kitchen.

Here's a market just outside campus.  It's streets like these that make me love China.  

We took a pedicab for a team outing to help me get acquainted with Qufu.  Tarah and I are enjoying the bumpy ride.

So there's the beginning!  The rest of this week will be devoted to settling in and doing team-building activities.  When I know my class schedule, I will start lesson planning.  Please be lifting up my students, who will be arriving on campus very soon.


  1. I'm liking my bed a little more after viewing the train accommodations! Wonder if those teaching Chinese as a second language have a "word of the day"?!

  2. Your living room chairs are awesome, as are your blue kitchen cabinets! :) I hope it will feel like home soon!

  3. I enjoyed your long post even though I'm not your parent. But maybe former roommates count...