Published December 17th, 2006 by Mliesie

Wrapping up……

I can’t believe the first term is almost over…….

Christmas is only one week from today and New Year’s Eve only two weeks away! Many shops around the campus and in town have Christmas trees, big Santa Clause pictures and many other Christmas decorations. It doesn’t fit the image I had of China, before I got here. But I guess as China is a developing country, this is one of the things that comes with it. Especially as people can make money out of it. Forget about the Chritmas thoughts, it’s all about gifts (spending money), music (singing, performing), and having fun! The students are also very keen on celebrating Christmas. I’ve been invited to my class 1 Christmas party; they’ll be making dumplings, give each other gifts, have some performances and listen to Christmas music. I had to say which day would suit me best and that would be the day they would have their party. How can I refuse such an offer? It’s just that I am SO busy…….

The last couple of weeks I’ve been preparing my classes for Oral exams and CET exams, I’ve worked out schedules for the Oral exams, practiced Christmas songs for the Christmas party, and Friday Kate and I worked out our last two lessons(!!) for our Writing classes for this term, which I have been working on today. As of January 1st it’s all kind of done and over for us….for this term ofcourse. Exept for filling out all the forms with the marks for the students (which according to Kate is a very challenging task), making lists of things to buy for the library when in Kunming or Beijing, cleaning up the chatroom, saying goodbye to the students and packing up to go on holiday. 

Most of my Spring Festival is booked by now. I will be going to Kunming for 2,5 weeks for a crashcourse Putonghua. Yu Shi Chao is a great teacher, but I keep on disappointing him (which he would ofcourse never admit) and myself with my lack of progress. As I had set my mind on learning Chinese during my stay here, this seems the only way to properly do it. No excuses of being too busy preparing lessons or marking homework or people unexpectedly needing help or whatever else comes up. NO!!! Just me, the teacher and the books! I’m very much looking forward to it and I do hope to make progress there.

Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year, I will celebrate in Yulin (my new home now) together with Marcel (yes! he’s finally coming!), Kate, Ellie and her parents and perhaps some students who cannot afford to go home. From there on it will be a countdown to the next term. Perhaps a week or so in Beijing, seeing Marcel off to the airport, getting my booster and saying hello to the new (last?) group of VSO volunteers. It feels like I just got here, and now the new group is almost arriving!

Time does fly!


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