Saturday, February 7, 2015

A day with the pandas

Chengdu is known for being the home of China's national treasure... the pandas.  There are two types of pandas... the Giant Pandas which are big black and white and then there are the red pandas which look like a mix between a fox and a raccoon.

A coworker and his family invited a few of us from work to go to the panda sanctuary.  It was about a 2 hour ride on the bus system and then a fun filled day.  We left Hongpailou at 8am aswe wanted to get to the pandas before they ate and went to sleep.  Rubens children were so excited for the excursion that they were literally bouncing the entire bus ride.    Seeing the excitement from the eyes of the children brought a new excitement to the entire outing andit reminded me how muchI enjoy travelling with children.

An added perk of the day was when one of the red pandas came out of its enclosed area and came walking right up to us allowing us the opportunity to pet it.

Heading to Harbin

After my last post on being so frozen... I am headed to a place today where the temperatures are well below zero... I am talking -29 degrees cold.  Ayeyayah!

Before I moved to China a friend said that I must go see the ice and snow sculptures in Harbin in January.  With trying to live intententionally and not put off things... a friend and I at work were talking about this and we decided to use one of our weekends and head to Harbin on an adventure.

So the weekend has arrived.  With the current job my weekend schedule is Tuesday and Wednesday which makes travel and almost anything else easier with being the middle of the week and not having to fight with 14 million other people on the typical weekend to get anything done. 

Met up with Helen at 5:30am outside of our apartments and caught a taxi to the airport.  At this time of the morning there were few people on the road but quite a few at the airport.  Currently I am sitting in the holding area catching up on my blog and clearing pictures from my camera.

Stay tuned on more adventures from Harbin...


"The cold never bothered me anyway"... I would be lying if I said that the cold never bothered me as I really enjoy the warm weather. 

It is in the single digits here in Chengdu and that is probably the same inside my apartment as well as outside.  As I sit here blogging... I am under two blankets with two layers of clothing... plus my heavy coat and ear muffs watching my breath make little white puffs every time I exhale. 

Ok... it is freezing and this Hawaii girl is not a big fan of the cold.  It is winter in China... understandable... but having the power out makes for a very cold day/evening when you live in an apartment where the only allowed fire is on the cook stove.

I woke up a little before 9 this morning to the sound of the heater going off which is startling because it is set on a temperature that it will never reach (the only way I can get warm air blowing out.)  Anyway... I thought maybe the electricity card that Chris left had less money on it than he thought so I got dressed and went down to the local convenient store to add money to only find that they were out of power as well.

Went back up to my apartment to get ready for work.  Walked the 5 minutes to work to find that the entire block was out of electricity.  The staff at work decorated theclubhouse for chinese new year but classes had to be cancelled as there are no windows in the classrooms for natural light and all of our curriculum is based on the computer and the interactive whiteboard.  So instead of working until 9pm... I was back in my freezing apartment by 5pm with classes rescheduled for Sunday evening.

The electricity did come back on around 11:30pm so life was back to normal but it got me thinking about being self sustainable and living in an apartment. 

No more excuses

Finally had enough with excuses today and I did something about it...

one of my 6 year old boys ran across the classroom not once... not twice... but three times in a 2 hour class and started punching another child. Each time I separated them and talked to the child about hitting.

After class I talk to the dad about the child's behavior and asked that he talk to the child at home about his behavior because if it happens again, it is a threat to the other children... and he will be removed from my classroom. 

Dad's first excuse... the child doesn't understand... so I calmly explain that he was told in his 1st and 2nd language to be kind and hitting is not kind. 

Dad then says... the child wouldn't have acted that way in class if mom was picking him up... to which I responded... I don't want excuses!  I want you to tell your child he can't hit because if it happens again I will be calling you to come and get him and he will not be welcome back in my class. 

At this point it looks like another excuse is about to pop out... so I very sternly told the dad... No excuses... talk to your son and take responsibility!

I am living in a society where no one takes responsibility and it is always someone else's fault.