Kirstie and I have had to overcome many obstacles while preparing for this trip to Chengdu, China, but we’re slowly but surely taking steps towards our departure. We’ve got our passports already and filled out a lot of paperwork for both them and our visas. You’d be surprised how many forms there are to complete. We’re waiting on the visas and our plane tickets, but we should get them any day. Neither of us have ever flown before, so that along may be kind of nerve-wrecking, especially because it is a 24 hour flight. It’s kind of like learning to swim by being chucked into the deep end, but overall I think it will be an amazing trip.
The last few weeks, we have driven to the Jamestown Campus to meet with Jon O’Brian, the professor who’s been instrumental in setting up this internship opportunity, to talk about what we should expect once we arrive in China. While we’re there, we’ll be expected to teach English to people of all ages, which will take place in the YMCA/YWCA in China as well as the orphanage in Jintong.We’ll also be expected to read some books for our history course and write several essays, as well as keep a journal detailing our experiences for Prof. O’Brian. We’re also going to try and post to this blog each week on how our trip is going and what we’ve been doing so that the folks back home can follow along. Kirstie and I are also taking an additional online course while we’re visiting China, which may be tough but I think we can manage.
We will be staying in a furnished apartment on the 21st floor of a building in Chengdu most of the time we’re there. The other part of the time we’re staying at the orphanage. I feel very safe being sent to China knowing that there are so many people that are only a phone call away if something were to go wrong. It’s great to know that even when we’re there, we’ll have Chenzong Song watching over us and helping us get to where we need to go. Song works for the YMCA in Chengdu, and he’s in charge of organizing the Chinese end of our internship. We’re really looking forward to meeting him, and we can’t wait to start our China adventure!