Hey Kuna! A lot has happened since I last wrote. Just a few days ago, the United States Ambassador of China swore in our Peace Corps team and The Peace Corps celebrated their 20th anniversary in China this year!
I just moved into my beautiful 3rd story apartment in Chongqing , which is where I will be living for the next two years! Chongqing is rated one of the top 3 hottest provinces in China as well as one of the most populated. Chongqing has 30 million residents. Although that number sounds scary, the majority of Chongqing ren (people) are farmers. The city proper consists of between 3-4 million people. Luckily, I live on the mountain and it’s very green and cozy.
The city itself reminds me a lot of San Francisco with its steep streets and apartments. Chongqing is also very distinct because everywhere you go you can see Bang Bangs who sell their labor by helping you carry things with bamboo sticks up and down the hilly city. Bang Bangs have been around
for a long while and no other city has them.
I will be teaching at Chongqing Business and Technology University and will have over 200 students in 7 different classes. I start September 9th. I have been exploring, lesson planning and getting to know my way around. I have already made friends with an 86-year-old woman with a beautiful white dog that follows her everywhere. Part of the Peace Corp’s mission is for its volunteers to integrate into their communities and learn the language.
In China we are known as the US- China friendship volunteers. Many Chinese don’t understand the idea of volunteerism like we do. It’s not as important when looking for a job.
The one thing that matters most to every high school student
in China is the Gaokao! This
is the test of all tests that decides their fate. Depending on their scores they can go to a University or not. The Gaokao is 10 times more intense and grueling then the ACT and SAT. I suggest watching the documentary called China Gate if you’re interested in learning more about the life of a Chinese student. Personally I feel it’s a terrible system but it’s a
reality for China because there
are just too many people and too few jobs.