Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dreams and a life update

Not dreams as in my hopes and plans for the future (you WISH I had any of those!), but dreams as in dreams I have and wake up from and feel confused about. I generally have really intense dreams all the time, but in the past week they have pretty much all been about Canada, which ISN'T COOL! Homesickness isn't generally a thing I experience either, but when you spend all damn night dreaming about hanging out with your friends, and then you wake up and you're on the other side of the world, it just ISN'T COOL. I'm worried my brain is going to break in half! I think the biggest reason I find this so upsetting is that I really do love it here. Like, I have no desire to feel homesick or to want to leave or anything like that. Which is all good and fine when I'm awake...but then I fall asleep and my brain is like CA NAAA DUHHHH! I'm hoping it only lasts another week or so at the most, because I'm totally excited to start dreaming in Chinese, which bring me to actual updates about my actual life (for those of you who feel uncomfortable hearing about my feelings and stuff -cough-Robert-cough hehe).

Yeah, so, tomorrow (Monday), I start Mandarin lessons, which is exciting. What I'm not excited about is that they run from 8:30-10:30 AM EVERY DAY, Monday-Friday. I realize this is fully just whining, and that I should really just suck it up, but that is SO EARLY. And EVERY DAY. And it's across town. It's kind of like having to make it to Scarborough for 9am...and a few of you know how great I was at that (awful). But there are only 3 people in the class, so I'mma get there on time if it kills me (it might). And I think I'm going to spend a solid chunk of today brushing up on the little Mandarin skill I have, just in case I'm totally screwed and start to cry in the middle of class.

I had my first real day at the museum yesterday. And just to rub it in Abby's face (again), it's a Museum of Tibetan Medicine (totally badass). I'm helping them improve the english translations they have for basically everything. Tibetans talk in a very elaborate, drawn out fashion, so some of their english translations are increadibly complicated to make out. I really am doing any future english speaking visitors (everyone come to visit me) a HUGE favour haha. Also I am learning a tonnnne about Tibetan culture. Like, overload haha.

What else...I edited a funding proposal for a development NGO trying to get a health clinic better equipped, and in the process, discovered that hardly any Tibetan NGOs use measurement indicators. They just go in, do their stuff and never really check back to see how things are going. And they still get money. I am waiting to see if maybe the reason they don't check back is is because they are so close to the communities they would hear if something was wrong with it through sources, without it having to be an official failure? Because that might be pretty disrespectful to the NGO, if they think they're doing the community a favour. I don't know. I fully admit to not yet understanding the subtleties of the culture, so I'm not going to make a final judgement yet.

I met with the guys who make the documentaries and stuff. They're cool. The professor wants me to help the one guy go through ALL of his footage that he took in his village and to catalogue it and make a list of what he has. I spent 3 hours on friday going through footage of a woman collecting mushrooms. YEAH. The worst part is, is that I'm not even bored, because it's actually pretty interesting. It's awful. Awfully interesting. Also, in that same office, I ended up teaching a bunch of Tibetan university students how to use a Mac. Basically, the guy who usually teaches them stuff, forgot they were coming and asked if I could do it because he couldn't about 30 minutes before they were coming. THAT was fun. I hope they learned at least a little bit. Also, in this office, since I'm the 'hot foreigner' by default, I make the two younger guys quite nervous, which is cute, but makes it hard to work efficiently with them. They just automatically say yes to everything I suggest, and I can't tell what they actually think. Due to I'm an ass, I'm sure it won't be like that for the whole year...I will just have to belch in front of them a few times and keep spilling food on myself on a regular basis and dropping things for no reason.

OH- and I am volunteering to teach an english class to people who want to take the TOEFL exam. I read them Anne of Green Gables and asked them questions about it. I need to find better stories haha. Also, the call me teacher, which makes me feel an interesting combination of awkward and special.

Also, if anyone can think of a good word to use instead of 'auspicious' let me know. They freaking love that word. It shows up 3 times a paragraph, and it's driving me crazy because I hate it but don't know what else to use, and the thesaurus failed me. So if anyone has any ideas let me know.

And I've been told that the people want pictures, which means I need to start taking some. Which I will do. Eventually. I don't want to be the annoying whitey who's always sticking her camera in everyone's faces. Think about it.

K- breakfast time. I can no longer think clearly because my stomach hurts.


  1. auspicious = lucky, felicitous, propitious

    And your work sounds freakin' awesome. It rules my world.

  2. Oooh thanks Josh! Some of those could definitely work!

  3. uhh i did the toefl!! it would really help them like reading texts from newspapers and textbooks, cuz most questions are taken from those sources! :)
    Also, i want to know what kind of food u can find there :)