We’re proud to announce that we will begin accepting applications from same-sex domestic partners who want to serve together as Volunteers overseas!
Same-sex couples may begin the application process starting Monday, June 3.
Happy to see that a federal program acknowledges same-sex partnerships.
Good times at Eagle Rock
This morning I found out that my 9th grade High School teacher will be coming to visit me along with her husband next Friday. Although I am a little nervous, I must say that I am very excited. She has, up until now been a huge supporter not only of me but of all my siblings. I am glad that she is a great family friend and that we have kept in touch this whole time. Can’t wait to show her and her husband Chongqing City!
Also, I came across a blog that I wrote for a Cross-Cultural English Literature class I took my senior year of college if anyone is interested in reading it here is the link:
Last night I had an intense encounter with mosquitoes, I have never been fond of the creatures yet I was never really around them. Back in San Jose, California I maybe dealt with a few here and there but man does China have mosquitoes of all varieties. Last night it had been raining for most of the day, yet it was a good 80 degrees and let me tell you sweating in humidity is not the best of smells. Humidity seems to amplify ones’ BO and it does not help that I recently ran out of deodorant. That was my bad so now I have to wait until I get some from home since I cannot seem to find it anywhere around Chongqing.
Well, back to my intense encounter. I was teaching my evening class that goes from 7:30-9:30pm and I decided that it would be a good idea to open up all the windows in my classroom to let some air in. Well about an hour into the class I was getting really sweaty and for some reason I suppose mosquitoes get attracted to sweat. At one point I had mosquitoes falling from my hair and all around my face. Students were swinging their arms in attempts to get the away from their face and from time to time I would hear random screams from some of the girls. I assume that like me they had become the latest victim of a mosquito attack. This morning I counted 48 casualties that unfortunately did not make it back home and unfortunately perished all around my desk area.
Long story short, humidity, sweat and attacks by mosquitoes are something that I was not used to and up until last night it was not a problem.However, it seems like I will have to better prepare myself for tonight’s class. I thought that a sky mask would help but maybe just some mosquito repellent might do the trick.
Did someone say guitar club!? I sure did, yesterday was the second day that I met with the students who I am teaching how to play guitar and it has been the highlight of my week. A couple of weeks ago I purchased a guitar here in China and began announcing it to all my classes that I wanted to teach anyone who wanted to learn. Students began showing up with the guitars in hand willing to learn more. The great thing about music is that it is universal, therefore a C chord will be a C chord anywhere in the world and not much talking is needed when getting together to play. All that is needed is the gentle strums on those six strings to make an empty quiet classroom into a vibrant and colorful place.
I will be sure to keep you guys updated on anything new that occurs with this club. I will also be posting pictures in the coming weeks.
Inspiration is right around the corner, literally I am not too far from this path I recently found that leads to a beautiful mountain side. This week alone I have been to this particular rock three times. It has allowed me to escape from the city life and become one with nature. Just the adventure aspect of it gets me excited.
Yesterday, I was feeling a bit more adventurous than usual and decided to explore some paths that I had never been through. I encountered a good amount of crops; from blueberries to corn and some that I had no idea what they were but seemed to fit is this diverse environment. Among the new things I found was a small lake on the opposite side of my usual route as well as a small village with about ten houses. These houses looked really isolated and out of place but seemed quite peaceful. I stood at what appeared to be the entrance to the small village and pondered on whether or not to continue onward but decided to take another path.
I plan on going back and further exploring the small village as well as enjoying the sounds of nature. From the birds flying through the breeze to the plants swaying back and forth and clashing with one another. I am truly lucky to have an escape from the big city life.
I came across a very interesting idea or more a different way at looking at the food we eat. I was speaking to another Peace Corps volunteer that shared this with me from a reading she had done; the food we ingest is not solely for me, rather it is fueling my next action. My next positive interaction.
This became internalized while I was sitting on the bus, waiting for it to take off (sometimes it takes as long as 40 minutes and sometimes we have to switch to another bus for no apparent reason) and an old man walked towards a pile of trash. Initially I thought he was looking for plastic or aluminum to recycle and make ends meet but when he got closer to the pile of trash he bent down on both knees, picked up a container of left over noodles and proceeded to eat them right down to drinking the liquid. Once finished, he dropped the container and went on to look for some more. At this point the bus driver had turned on the engine in preparation to take off and I just reflected on my situation.
I am a Peace Corps volunteer in China and even though thing can get chaotic from time to time, who am I kidding most of the time, I have never wondered when I will have my next meal? I actually have it really good, the school provides lunch if I choose to go to the dinning hall (not a spelling mistake, that is exactly how it is spelled on the building) and I have ample food in my fridge. It brought things into perspective and it is not like I never appreciated my situation but rather, it gave me a reality check. A reason to use all my energy in positive ways, which I have but there is always room to grow and improve. At the end of the day I am very fortunate to be where I am and I cherish every single second of this unpredictable yet enjoyable experience.
I have always considered myself a pretty indecisive individual because I don’t like to get put on the spot. It has been something that I have always done, even as a kid I can recall instances where I had to make a choice and I would always hesitate only t make a brazen decision just so I wouldn’t be the guy that everyone was waiting on. While I have considered it a good quality it is most definitely a bad quality.
Being out in uncomfortable situations is part of living in China and I pride myself with doing great in those type of situations mainly because I find obscure humor in them. However, it has also shed some light into tendencies that were once mindless into situations that should be addressed. Making decisions has always included the future for me, the “what if?” and that is not how it should be. Decisions should be made on the idea that they are occurring at that very instance and there is full control of the situation. This avoids stress and uncomfortable situations. Another learning experience and self-exploration into the intricacies of my mind :)
Another weekend in good ol’ Chongqing!