A China – America Friendship Softball Game

This past weekend was Lanzhou University of Finance and Economics’ 7th Annual “China – America Friendship Softball Game” (中美友好垒球联赛). PCVs from across Gansu gathered in Lanzhou late Friday and took an early Saturday bus down to the school’s Heping campus to play softball and engage in intercultural exchange with the Chinese students.

Gansu volunteers and our Chinese hosts

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Short Stories, May 2017


Coco has the best style out of all of my students; I sometimes wonder if she named herself after Coco Chanel but I never asked. Her hair is poofy when everyone else’s is pin-straight, her clothing is outlandish in color and texture, and her giggle is an octave or two higher than that of her peers. Coco is a welcome addition to my class when the rest of the kids pretend to be too cool to enjoy what I’m teaching.

One day she wore the craziest shirt littered with emojis and smiley faces…

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those happy faces!

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Bike Share 2.0

Like a Pikachu hit by a Thunderstone, Chinese bike shares have evolved!!!

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Pikachu, meet Thunderstone

I remember the first week I arrived in Lanzhou, I was thrilled that the city had invested in a bike share program. All along major roads, near public buildings, and some parks were the ubiquitous grey bike racks that ate up half the width of the sidewalk. By tapping my transit card against a sensor, I could unlock the bike and ride around to meet friends for dinner or just explore the city at a leisurely pace.

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standard Lanzhou bike share, also seen in Amsterdam, NYC, DC, Paris, etc

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i went to Yuzhong for a hike last week, to celebrate turning 28

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due to the colder climate there, the grass had not yet turned green, so it looked like a scene out of lord of the rings (gondor? rohan? mordor?! “one does not simply…“) the brooks were quietly babbling though, with icy snow meltwater from the peaks in the distance. Continue reading