First Impressions - Irene Greaves
extremely happy in China. Most people interested in working in China
want to live in the big cities, which have so much to offer of course,
but I must say that living in a small city is the best way to actually
experience genuine Chinese culture. I live in a small city called
Gaoming, which is growing at an incredibly fast pace.
Everything is within walking distance and we are surrounded by
mountains and fields. Sometimes I go hiking and strawberry-picking
on Sundays. The people are so nice and welcoming. Everyone is so
happy and curious to see a foreigner living here- there are virtually
no foreigners- Since I've been here (2 months) I've only met five
other foreigners. Obviously this means that hardly anyone speaks
English- which I love because it 'forces' me to learn Chinese rather
I've been making friends and meeting a lot of people. Some speak
a little bit of English and are thrilled to practice. I've become
part of the community and I feel at home here. Every night I'm involved
in a different type of activity, dancing/aerobics at the park, or
playing badminton with friends. What is great about China is that
you can enjoy so many different activities for free or for a very
low cost. And, if you ever feel the urge to go to the city, Guangzhou,
the capital of Guangdong province is only one hour away by bus.
I've already gone there twice.
Hong Kong is less than four hours away from Gaoming, and there
are many ways of getting there. Two weeks ago we had two days off,
and so I spent four days in Hong Kong, it was amazing. I also love
my job. I work in a beautiful kindergarten, recently opened, a true
masterpiece of architecture and engineering. There is nothing like
it in Gaoming or even in the big cities. It's truly one of a kind.
The staff is so friendly and helpful, everyone is always looking
after me and making sure I'm happy. The children are absolutely
lovely- they learn very quickly and they all love me very much.
I enjoy teaching more than anything, and I love children, so it's
the perfect combination.
I'm so grateful to Professor Thomas and Nancy who have always
kept track of me and made sure I was ok. Through TEIC I'm making
one of my dreams a reality: experiencing Chinese culture, learning
Mandarin and teaching. Thank you!
Attached are some pictures of my classes and the kindergarten.