Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wo shi Guizhou-ren!

Today is was one of the pivotal days in a Peace Corps China Trainee's experience:

Site Announcements!!!

We all gathered at Sichuan University this morning for a health session (how not to get avian flu, schistosomiasis, dengue fever, and malaria).

I'm guessing there will be a few cases of schisto this year among the group. The excitement sparked by the impending site announcements dulled our usual bear-trap attentions.

Announcements came next.

Peace Corps China works in three provinces and one independent municipality: Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, and Chongqing. All China volunteers teach English and other subjects at Chinese universities. The site managers were all waiting to hand out colored folders containing our site information. Yellow for Sichaun, Green for Chongqing, Blue for Guizhou, and Pink for Gansu.

The trainees from Sichuan Normal East got the excitement going with a dance routine to the Jackson Five's "ABC."

Alyssa gave the go ahead and the site managers handed out the folders. 

Mine...dun, dun, dun...Guizhou!  Zunyi, Guizhou! Zunyi Teacher's College.

My site mate is Becky from Ohio.

There will be the only two volunteers at the university. Two China 16s (a married couple) just left.

After some serious sharing with our friends, we headed to a session orienting us to the new site.

Guizhou is southeast of Sichuan, and is a fairly mountainous province. Many rivers and caves. The population is, on average, quite poor. It is the third poorest province in China. Because of this, it can be difficult to attract foreign teachers, so it is heartening to know that what we will do at our universities is work that really needs to be done and that can have a lasting impact. The region contains very large minority populations. My students will be struggling to speak English.

Overall, it is a politically conservative region. Mao Zedung took control of the Communist Party in Zunyi (my city!), Guizhou. 

The climate is more mild there, with cool-ish summers and warm winters. The largest waterfall in China is in Guizhou. Most importantly, the food is excellent. Less oily and slightly less spicy than in Sichuan. I will miss the hua jiao! Lots of fresh vegetables and bean, pork, beef, chicken, and, yes, dog. 

Besides Becky, my province mates include: Rachel, Maria and Nick in Tongren, Jason K and Kateri in Bijie, Morgan and Claire in Duyun, Shree in Kaili, Alex and Trevor in Lupanshui, and Russ, Melissa, Dan, Aaron, McKinley, Mike, and Kelly in Guiyang. 

1 comment:

  1. I told Buzzy you were looking forward to eating dog. He said he was looking forward to eating Peace Corps volunteer.