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Well, I’ve made it to China in one piece, and here I am in my host family’s apartment in Suzhou! I’m not jet lagged, exactly, but I am still pretty exhausted; we had a LONG trip over here.

Anyway, I’m writing this at the end of my first full day in China. So far, I’ve experienced all three meals, the welcome ceremony, my placement test, driving, and a park full of dancing people. Even though I’ve been to China before, this is a completely new experience for me. Everything is different, even things like fruit, which you’d probably never think would be so different in another place, even if that place is on the other side of the world. But, it is; because of the tap water situation, you have to peel EVERYTHING, including grapes… Which is why (as I’m trying to figure out how to explain to my host parents) I’m not eating them, lol. It takes me about 7 minutes to eat one grape; too much work for a lazy teenager who doesn’t even like grapes that much anyway, hahaha.

And, my host parents don’t speak any English at all, so I’ve been pretty much dumped into the center of the Olympic-sized swimming pool that is China. I can’t understand them, and for the most part, they can’t understand me, either. Slowly but surely, I’ll pick things up as I live here, but right now I’m just trying to stay afloat. I’m staying optimistic, though, because this program is about learning as much as possible in the six weeks I’m here, which I can’t do if I shut down and block everything out. My host family is awesome and really sweet, so I know I’ll learn a lot from them and be able to get comfortable here soon.

Not bad, just different. 🙂