Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 29, Part II: New country, same everyday life

Picture 1. Sydney and I working hard on our articles.
Picture 2. At lunch with our supervisor and fellow interns from the Nanjing International School
Picture 3. The Sino Connexion workspace
Picture 4. My host sister, Ariana, and I in front of their house on Sunday 
Picture 5. My host dad helps my host mom cook. She is wearing a super cute apron.
Picture 6. Scrambling eggs with chopsticks
Picture 7. Learning how to wrap the dumplings 

If you would have told me five years ago that I would intern in China for a magazine publication, I would have probably called you crazy. This dialogue gives us all a wonderful opportunity to pursue a potential career path in a country where we have no real-life experience. 

First, let's back track to my morning at my wonderful host family's home. They live close to the Nanjing Youth Olympics site, by the Yangtze River, in a gated community. The parents are both government workers and they have a 14-year-old daughter. They moved to this house last year. Yes, it is a house and everything is gorgeous: velvet curtains, beautiful fury other and even mechanized toilets. 

This morning, my host mom made a fruit soup with dried red dates and she steamed frozen red-bean buns. Normally, the parents leave at 6am, but this week, the mom is going late as she wants to still be at home when I get ready. I've told her she doesn't have to, but she is anyways. I think their daughter leaves for school just after 7am. 

To get to work, I walk about seven minutes to the bus stop. This morning, I arrived at the bus stop at the same time as yesterday, but to my dismay, my bus didn't come for 20 minutes. My ride is 20 minutes, so I knew I would be late to work. I texted my boss with my super old school cell phone. Thankfully, he is understanding and knows the buses are not dependable. I had never before been late to work, but there's always a first!

My internship is at Sino Connexion, a media and newspaper company that publishes guides for expatriates living in Nanjing. Along with Sydney M., our task is to write an article for the next Nanjinger, the monthly magazine. Today, I finished my research and wrote my first draft. The day went by very quickly as we took a longer lunch and I am enjoying getting to know the lay of the company. 

I also take the bus home - once again, my bus didn't come for 20 minutes, but at least it wasn't raining not was it cold. My host parents arrived home at the same time I did and we began to make dinner. Last night, I told my host parents we learned how to make dumplings. So, my host mom asked her friend for a recipe so that we could make them for dinner tonight. Using eggs and Chinese green beans as the filling since I don't eat pork (my family is extremely understanding of my requests), the mom and I made around 50 dumplings. As the mom and I wrapped them, the dad joked that I am his "adopted daughter." I was elated that he said this. The four of us have a group chat, titled "new family." The parents said that after I return to America, we will keep our group chat; I will not be deleted from the family. On wechat, the dad posted several pictures of me cooking and titled the album "其乐融融" or "joyous and harmonious." I really do have a great family for the week. After dinner, I continued asking the mom questions for our homestay report. Realizing I had asked too many tough questions, I asked to see family photos. The mom was very happy, looking at past memories of their family trips to America, Asia, and Europe. I'm so glad the family feels so comfortable to show me their family memories. I look forward to getting to know the family even better over the next three days. The time is flying by!

- Jessica G.

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