Two Steps Forward One Step Back!

China has been WONDEEERFUL! Which is why, I have so much to share with you all! So let’s take a step back to recap.
Living in a different country overseas offer several life changing experiences, yet eye opening at the same time. When I first arrived in China I was greeted by one of the R.A’s from the University, whose name was Sing. She was very sweet and along the way she briefly explained some important facts about the city, like watching your purse well riding the bus or taking the subway (which was something that I already knew…lol.) But by the time I arrived at my apartment I was so tried that I took a shower and crashed immediately.
Our apartment is very small and resembles nothing like that photos that were shown prior to our arrival, but we have managed to make it like home. The enlightening thing about study abroad is that, we are able to realize how spoiled and how blessed we are to live in the United States.
In China, they pay for everything and spare nothing. The cold water in our apartment is free, but we pay for the hot water which has 380 liters placed on a card. There is a box located inside of the shower where you place the card and when turned on hot the liters decline by the amount of time you’ve have spent.
The other interesting thing about living in China are the restrooms, most of places that you’ll visit have the toilets built into floor where you have to squat over to use. The majority of the restrooms lack toilet paper, which is why I always bring some just in case of emergency. They also charge for plastic bags at the grocery and convenient store. We’ve bought reusable shopping bags, to cut down on future cost.
I am really trying to get adjusted and adapted to the food as well, which seems to be one of my biggest challenges, yet to overcome. I’ve been eating or fasten on fruits and vegetables. I was able to locate a pizza hut in one of the malls, but the Chinese food here in Shanghai, is nothing like the sweet and sour chicken that we order in the states. But I’m trying to embrace it as it comes. I tried to broaden my mindset and prepare it as best as I could before I left but, the mind over what is seen and smelt on a daily bases is quite difficult to task.. lol.
Now that we have recapped about a few prior events, let’s take two steps forward! I recently found a non-profit organization called BEAN. That hosts several activities varying from volunteering at the local food bank to playing softball. Members are able to devote their time to two over-arching annual initiatives: Think Global Act Local (TGAL) and the Scholarship campaign.
They want to bring young people together—young people who care about making a positive difference in the world. So that they can give them an easy and fun way to enact positive change through local volunteering and global charity initiatives.
I had been dying to put my hands to work since I arrived, mainly because I understand that I have so much to offer. So I started volunteering at a homeless shelter, an elder’s care home. But last week there was an event where I had intended to knit quilts together for children in South Africa who have AIDS, until I woke up and we didn’t have any water…lol.
I strongly encourage everyone to lend a helping hand, wherever needed. It is more than just our social responsibility, it is our obligation! Until next time loves, but in the meantime enjoy a few of these photos!! Smooches!

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