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China Dreaming

a travel blog by KatrinaB

Well I'm off to China in August to teach English to kiddies on Dongguan. I'll be leaving with my courage in one hand and my nerves in the other!

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Not quite there yet

Geelong West, Australia

Only 7 days of work to go, Hallelujah! I'm looking forward to no more 6am starts and 1 hour trips to work.

I haven't figured out the days yet til my departure, I'm taking one milestone at a time.

Starting to feel scared, WTF am I doing leaving my well paid job and heading over to a sub-tropical climate and getting paid in a month less then I get in a week here? Must be loco :)

permalink written by  KatrinaB on July 19, 2006 from Geelong West, Australia
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Nearly there

Kerang, Australia

Only 7 days til I head off to China :)

Since finishing work I've been busy moving, packing, making lists and getting over a horrible bug that's gone through my entire family.

Thanks for everyone's encourage and belief in my dream and I look forward to sharing all my experiences (good & bad) with you all.


permalink written by  KatrinaB on August 17, 2006 from Kerang, Australia
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I've arrived!

Dongguan, China


Just a quick note to let everyone know I've arrived safely in Dongguan, even if it was 2 hours late.

It's bloody hot!

Thinking of you all back home.

permalink written by  KatrinaB on August 24, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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Day 2

Dongguan, China

Hi everyone,

I've uploaded some photos onto my flikr account of my apartment.


I woke up quite early, due to time differences, so I unpacked EVERYTHING and then went back to bed for another hour or two :)

I had lunch with the foreign teachers that have landed (still a few to arrive) and spent most of this afternoon trying to figure out my digital camera (pressie from the fam) and uploading and updating 'stuff'.

The below photo was taken from my balcony and in the middle of the shot you can see a very colourful building which is a Winnerway Campus, just not sure which one! -UPDATE - this is the Winnerway Kindergarten

I'm about to get a tour of my campus and then head out for 'Brazilian' for dinner with the other foreign teachers.


permalink written by  KatrinaB on August 25, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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Day ???? Haven't got a clue!

Dongguan, China

Hey everyone!

Well I finally feel like I've settled in, though there are still moments that I feel like I'm in another universe.

There is a great bunch of teachers from all of the world who are going to be a great support network when I start feeling 'fragile' :)

I've spent the last few days getting to know the other teachers, discovering the surrounding district and buying DVDs for Au$2!

Orientation starts on Friday (which I think is the day after tomorrow) so the fun is nearly over and the hard slog starts. After 3 days of training we then go into a 5 day working week, so we're all going to be exhausted by the weekend and won't feel like going out at all!

There are a couple of nice 'foreign' restaurants and bars but they cost 3-4 times as much as chinese restaurants. One of us always seems to have a phrase book with us so it's not too bad.

I had a lovely day today with Klara, Kathryn and Olivia having our nails done at the Walmart centre (picture below). It cost about Au$8 to get a manicure and flowers painted on my nails! I think it might be a once-a-month treat.

We're going out again tonight, so I'll try and take some pictures of Nancheng (my district) Walking Street and post tonight or tomorrow on my flikr account.


PS. For some reason, my a's are being capitalised when followed by an u. Strange.

permalink written by  KatrinaB on August 30, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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Dongguan, China

Well, it's another hot night at Dongguan. Outside feels like a sauna and only air conditioned cabs, shopping centres and home make it bearable.

Most of us went to dinner and Walmart tonight for a little retail therapy. I need to buy a Mobile phone and there are so many choices in China! Walmart (below) has a great selection but some are really expensive. Decisions Decisions.

Tomorrow is the first day of work and is an 'easy' day, thank God, because I haven't used my 'working' brain for a month! I think it may hurt :)

Spoke to Michelle from work today on messenger and I started missing home, my work colleagues (hi guys!), friends and family. I'm really missing my nephew Will. I have to keep reminding myself of all the reasons why I'm here.....to have an amazing experience and spread my wings.

Need to go to bed now, early start.

Miss you all.


permalink written by  KatrinaB on August 31, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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A goodbye poem

Dongguan, China

This is a poem that Mum wrote for me while in the back seat on the way to the airport!

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  • Update: I have removed this poem because Mum thinks I'll get deported! If anyone's interested, please email me or leave a comment and I'll forward it on!
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  • Just to prove the strange things China does to you, check out the photo below....I'm now drinking ...............?



    PS. I am going to take some more photos and load them onto Flikr...just not sure when :)

    permalink written by  KatrinaB on September 1, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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    Ouch, my brain

    Dongguan, China

    My first full day of 'working' for over a month and I'm knackered even if I didn't teach.

    We spent the morning going over lesson plans, games, activities and discipline (anxious nibble of finger nails!).

    In the morning the children do their exercise out in front of the school. Photo left (taken by Olivia).

    In the afternoon Tamzin & Geno (2 teachers from last year) demonstrated lessons for Grade 4 and Grade 1 students. It was great to watch and I tried to take in as much as possible but it was hard because either I was laughing or trying not to melt in the heat.

    Tomorrow we will sit in a demonstration class for Grade 6 students (phew) which I will be taking notes in as I'm teaching Grades 5 & 6.

    The new teachers are really excited and very nervous at the same time, so I'm not alone in how I feel.

    Bring it on......gently :)

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  • I found the below item in the corner store. I've never seen this product before but damn it tastes good. I have no idea how much sugar is in it because it's written in chinese...ah well..what can i do? ;)

    permalink written by  KatrinaB on September 2, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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    First day is over, Hallelujah

    Dongguan, China

    I am knackered, my feet are killing me and my head hurts.

    I taught 3 classes of Grade 6 with varying results. I'm going to have to come up with discipline methods for one of them, man, they were hard work.

    Tomorrow I'm teaching 4 classes of Grade 5 and have yet to write the lesson plan. I might wait til after dinner.

    All the teachers are going to dinner to 'de-brief', relax and get ready for another day. I have 4 classes on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday (yikes) and 3 on Friday.

    I'm drinking my pineapple beer and thinking of lovely, familiar home.

    I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.


    Note: RIP Steve Irwin

    permalink written by  KatrinaB on September 4, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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    Dongguan, China

    Day 2 is over and I've lost feeling in my feet. I didn't get to sit down for any of my classes and I had three in a row this afternoon! I'm definitely going to have to plan lessons where I can sit down :)

    They tell me the 1st week is the hardest and they'd better be right. It can be rewarding and horrible all in the same lesson, some children make it worth putting up with the other little horrors.

    Tomorrows lesson plan is on Class Rules and it should be interesting to see how it goes down! I Hope some of them challenge me so I can get them into trouble....I don't think I should feel like that LOL.

    Hey Michelle M, did you get the poem?

    Hi to Beans and Kel, missing Thomas Street and going down Pako with you for coffee. I dream of Gloria Jean coffee!

    I'm going to put my feet up now and mentally prepare myself for tomorrow.


    permalink written by  KatrinaB on September 5, 2006 from Dongguan, China
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