May is already almost over – what!? It’s been a busy month with teaching, meeting with students, and enjoying the beautiful weather in Hengyang. It’s actually not deathly hot here right now (like it was at this time last year) and I’m loving it!

Here’s a little glimpse into May:

Dumplings and KTV

Some of my students from last year invited me to a dumpling-making and KTV party – two classic Chinese activities that are always fun to do.

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The Voice of Niuren

Lauren and I went to our friend’s English competition called “The Voice of Niuren” (the school’s name) and the students sang or a gave a speech. We were both judges and I was also asked to perform a song on guitar to start the show! I’m close with many of the teachers at this school and know a lot of the students so it was a special night to share together.

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Yet Another Speech Contest

Judging contests comes with the territory of being an English teacher in China. I was asked to help with another contest – the International Children’s Day is soon and these boys and girls were auditioning to be the host/hostess for the big performance they will have to celebrate. The children had to make an English introduction and perform a talent for us. It’s really quite amazing to me how well some of these kids can speak English and how seriously parents get about their children’s English education in China.

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Pete Our Crazy Irish Friend

Our Irish friend Pete (who taught at the university last year) came back to Hengyang to celebrate his birthday. Pete is one of the most charismatic and fun-loving people you’ll ever meet and it was great to see him again.

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Girls Day In Changsha

We had a short holiday at the beginning of the month for Labor Day and we took a day trip to Changsha to do some shopping, meet our friend George, and eat some good western food.

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….and yes I realize I’m holding a peace sign in every photo, I have a serious problem…

Other things this month

An athlete from China was randomly in a mall in Hengyang one night when we were eating dinner. We saw a news crew and a large crowd surrounding this girl but we couldn’t figure out who she was and were asking each other “Who is she? Is she famous? What sport does she play?” And she overheard us and answered in English, “I’m a trampolinist and I won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.” WOW SO COOL. Her name is He Wenna and she was so friendly.

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My university professor, Steve Shaner, came back to Hengyang again this year, this time for one month! It’s been fun to hang out in Hengyang together again. He also brought a student with him – he’s come to several of my classes and my students (particularly the girls) have loved it.

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I’ve been playing volleyball a lot more outside lately with Chinese and foreign friends. One day we were watching a game and got our pics snapped.

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I’ve also spent a lot of time this semester doing something really fun – but I’ll talk about that in another blog post 😉

It’s been a sweet, happy, busy month with some new and old friends. Every month I like to reflect on what’s been happening here in China and I still feel unbelievably lucky to live here – the people here, Chinese and foreign alike, are spectacular, beautiful, brilliant, one of a kind, and they love me so well.

Happy May!!!