It’s been a week since I last posted, and what a busy week it’s been! I just had a 6 day break from teaching because of the holiday here in China. The past few days have been full of new friends, amazinggg food, and seeing more of the city!

Last Friday Lauren and I spent the day lesson planning at Starbucks, then decided to try the McD’s in town and see how it compared to the U.S. (you can always count on McDonald’s to be about the same around the world). We met up with my new friend Leo that afternoon – I thought he wanted to practice his English, but he wanted to help us with our Chinese instead! He was so kind – a strange little girl tagged along with us to our lesson and then followed us to dinner afterwards, and he bought our dinner and hers.

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On Saturday afternoon we met our upstairs neighbor Jenny! She is a very sweet lady with a daughter in the 6th grade and she is also a sister. That night we went to dinner with Minnie and her friend Sheryl and Sheryl’s daughter. We went to a food street north of campus and had the MOST DELICIOUS Chinese food I’ve had the whole time here.

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We shared dishes of fried rice noodles, eggplant, spicy beef (the closest thing to beef and broccoli I’ve found here), this pork that tasted like barbeque, steamed buns filled with sweet meat, and dumplings. This is what people meant when they said real Chinese food is amazing.

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On Sunday morning, we had a meeting and then went out to lunch with Jenny’s family and friends of hers who are also brothers and sisters. It was so great meeting more people in the city (and they bought our lunch and drove us home so we wouldn’t have to walk home in the rain! So kind.)

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That evening Lauren and I hunted around for dinner and found ourselves back at our new favorite restaurant from the night before. I’d say I’m sorry but I’m not, that food is so good.

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Drew, Brittany, and Lauren went back to teaching on Monday, and I spent the day walking around, lesson planning, and holding sweet little puppies (I was so tempted to buy one).

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Monday evening we went out to dinner with Minnie and Max, an English teacher from England we just met. He taught in Hengyang last year at the technology school across town. We went to a Korean style restaurant, grabbed icecream, and then played Mao afterwards. Playing Mao with people who have never played before is funny by itself, but playing with two people from different countries was hilarious. Poor Minnie had no idea what was going on half the game haha.

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Tuesday morning I was hoping to try out this adorable little coffee shop on the second floor of a shopping building, but it was closed sadly! Instead I got some cool shots of the markets.

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Later that afternoon I set off searching for the river that runs through town. It’s so beautiful, and just a mile and a half away!

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The walks goes quickly when you have such interesting things and people to look at on the way. I went up to the bridge over the river, and a group of old guys said hello to me excitedly and then took turns taking pictures with me. It was a little bazaar, but it happened again on the way back from the river too.

It was so lovely to have an extra 6 days to plan lessons and see more of the city. It feels like I’ve been here for months now and not just two weeks!

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facetiming my lil doggie & mom