Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Welcome to my 'Hood, Y'all...

I have arrived in Shenzhen! After 3 days in a hotel I have moved to my new home! I will be living and teaching at Zhuo Ya Xiao Xue, a primary school in the north portion of the Nanshan District of Shenzhen. I will teach grades 4-6 (roughly 10-13 year olds) in 16 40-minute classes per week. This is the CTLC placement map, showing where we all are throughout Shenzhen, so you can find my name on the side bar and click on it and it will show you my school:


The location is wonderful. I live in the center of the largest organized neighborhood in Shenzhen, Tao Yuan Cun. It really feels like an actual neighborhood, with all the great neighborhood qualities you would find in the States, except it is 50,000 people and all high rises. The reisdential section is all elevated into high rise apartments, which frees the street to become a bustling movement of people. There are parks with children playing, people excercising, and old men arguing. There are grocery stores, and food stands, and tea shops everywhere. There is even a neighborhood book store with plenty of English books available. People are constantly out and about no matter what time of day it is. I got home at 2:30 AM the other night, and there were still old men sitting in the park!

Tao Yuan Cun, my home sweet home!  50,000+ people.

Zhuo Ya Xiao Xue, where I am a laoshi!

The school seems like it will be a great place to work. It is the primary school for the entire neighborhood, and about 900 kids attend. This is relatively small by Chinese school standards. I live on the campus, which consists of a large class and living building, athletic buildings, and outdoor sports areas. Right outside my door is a large courtyad with a garden and palm trees at the bottom. My contact teacher, Mary, has been wonderful in helping me get accustomed to the new surroundings. I have also begun playing badminton with the other teachers. Badminton is the favorite sport in China, and the teachers play every day after class.

My room is fairly standard to U.S. dorm rooms in size and quality, but its all I really need. I have a good sized bed, 20-something inch TV (with 2 English channels!), fridge, "kitchen", porch area, and bathroom. The porch area is where I hang my clothes to dry, and also where my kitchen is. I have a hot plate, Chinese microwave, and rice cooker, all 3 of which I need some practice with. My bathroom has a western toilet with no toilet seat. The shower is just in the corner of the room and sprays all over everything, so you have to stategically arrange everything that can't get wet. Overall, a pretty awesome place!

Mi casa.
My toilet has no seat.  That circular thing on the wall is my shower, it just sprays all over the room.

I have been living here a little over a week, and I think I will really like it.


  1. Dude! Glad to see your all settled in. Hopefully you got some rest since arriving there. Your trip looks like a hell of a lot of fun. Hit me up whenever you get the chance, I'd love to hear more details.

  2. Hi Andy, just checking in to see how things are...I will be forwarding all your information to my kiddos. I know Em and Thomas will love to see China through your eyes!
    Love to you! DJ Wanko