Fancy airplane slippers
China friendship bracelets
Free culture event
We made it to China in 2 ½ hours and boy were we excited. When we arrived it was quite chaotic. We had to get our luggage (3 bags each) and go through customs. When we passed through the gate there she was! Mary, our native coordinator. What would we do without her! Immediately Mary took us into her arms and welcomed us to China. She is so sweet and she has made our stay in China so much more enjoyable. She’s sure taking good care of us. Another director from the school and two 2 drivers were with her. They directed us to our bus we would be driving in for the next 6 hours to get to our school. It took us about a half hour to actually find the bus, for some reason they couldn’t remember where they parked and couldn’t figure out how to get each of us and our 3 bags of luggage to the bus. When we finally found it we realized it was not a bus, it was a Chinese 12 passenger van (they’re skinnier and smaller than American 12 passenger vans. At this point I felt so disgusting. All I wanted was a shower. One of the drivers was super creepy and loved all the attention that he was receiving from leading us American’s around the airport. At this point all seven of us girls were staring at this van wondering how they were going to fit us 7, our 21 pieces of luggage, Mary, the other director and the two drivers. Somehow we did it! After we got our luggage into the van we went to get some lunch back in the airport. Rachel and I ordered some dumplings to share and instead we got some egg rolls…we learned that when communicating with Chinese people that don’t know our language things don’t always turn out right. I did get my light coke that I ordered and boy did that taste yummy to my tummy. When we loaded back into the van it was quite squishy. My legs were on top of one of my bags and I was holding my backpack on my lap. Our 6 hour drive turned into 8 because of all the traffic coming out of Shanghai. There are lanes but you don’t have to stay in them if you don’t want to. As long as you honk your horn you’re good to go anywhere you want, even if it is on the wrong side of the road. Just honk lots and the car coming head on will move out of your way. I finally had to quit looking out the window :)
Sweet Mary and I
Our crowded van
The Chinese people take a lot of rests. We had many rests on our way to Bengbu. At each rest stop they made all of us get out of the van.
Rest stop #1
We had the driver take our picture and he TOTALLY cut out Cami :(Sometimes we were sound asleep and yes, the creepy driver in the yellow shirt always made us get out. He took a smoke break at every stop and even while we were driving he'd smoke. We all coughed and hoped that he'd understand we didn't like that. I think he thought we were attracted to that. Gross! At the first rest stop Mr. Lou bought us all a snack. It was so kind of him. The package said French bread on it, but it tasted more like a muffin. It wasn’t too bad. After many more miserable hours all squished in a van we made it to our school!
First Chinese Snack - French Bread
Anhui Mayflora International School is actually about 30 minutes away from Bengbu. So I’m out in the middle of nowhere but it’s beautiful. There are lots of green fields and a river that runs right along side the road. China is very different than home, but I’m starting to get used to things. It was really hard but now that I’ve pounded it into my head that I’m not going home for 4 months and have to get used to things here I’m feeling much better.
Mayflora International School Campus