Real World: Lixian

Summer Project has come and gone! This is a two week event that every PCV must complete between the first and second year of service. This year, all volunteers from Gansu province were sent to small-town Lixian together, to teach primary, middle, and high school teachers Oral English.

Fullscreen capture 7312017 85408 PM.bmp.jpg
Gan’Zoo Crew 2017

Continue reading


Qinghai: Canola Flower Season!

I had been hyping up this reunion for the longest time- between Ana and Monique (from Taipei) – and Monica and Fox (based in Lanzhou). We talked about this for months and months, as the girls met years ago in Thailand and hadn’t seen each other again since.

Our plan was to hangout for a weekend in Lanzhou before I took the girls from Taiwan on a trip to Qinghai

As luck would have it, the first evening Ana and Monique arrived in the city, I was about to have dinner with my relatives, Fay and Ma Qiang. They were thrilled to invite the girls to eat 涮羊肉 (thin-sliced, rapid-boiled mutton) with us, so the girls hustled into a tuk-tuk(ish) car-thing to get to the restaurant ASAP.

Fullscreen capture 7272017 123454 AM.bmp.jpg
Ana, awkwardly sequestering herself away from the rest of us. im holding a bowl of San Pai Tai tea, a Lanzhou specialty

Continue reading

Mid-Summer Goodbyes

The Peace Corps 21 cohort has finished up their service here in China. The past few weeks I’ve been running around Lanzhou bidding farewell to the gang that got here a year before me.

I’m grateful for their guidance over the past year, and the many moments of camaraderie we shared over 501 Coffee, at the clubs M2 and COLORS with horrendous DJs (“put your fucking hands up!! 1… 2… 3…!!! 你们HI了没?!?”), or under Zhong Shan Bridge on warmer nights with beer and tea gazing out to the rushing, murky waters of the Yellow River.

Fullscreen capture 7172017 92816 PM.bmp
Bobby and Susan- the best sitemate and honorary sitemate i could have ever asked for. MISS YOU both!!!

Continue reading

Nosebleed Emoji, Love and Internships

Nosebleed Emoji

weChat comes with sets of stickers to use to send to your friends. One of my favorites is this dog “Shiba Inu” and his many moods- shocked, sad, eating, embarrassed, wistful, nervous, etc. See below for the first 16 emotions of Shiba Inu:

Fullscreen capture 732017 110139 AM.bmp.jpgThe one I never understood was the nosebleed emoji- why the heck would someone send me a nosebleeding dog? (other sticker sets also contain central characters gushing blood out of their nostrils).

Continue reading