asiamericana:

During our pre-service training, I somehow got the idea that my teaching experience would involve eager female students who craved friendship and meaningful connections.

When I was placed at a small vocational school for construction and engineering, my little bubble popped. My students were almost exclusively male, and really they couldn’t give two flying farts about English. Hanging out with their strange, gawky foreign teacher wasn’t really high on their list of priorities.

The one exception to this was the English majors—a group of 25 bright and quirky students taught by my husband. They became my surrogate students last year. There would be days when I felt like a complete failure, unable to connect with my students. I would pour all my energy into my lessons, only to receive dull responses from boys who’d been up all night in internet bars playing League of Legends. It was Jeff’s English majors who came to my parties, who attended our English corner. It was these kids who made me feel like I wasn’t the problem.

In May, the class will graduate. Many are moving on to other cities—Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, where they will translate or do HR work for construction companies. Many students have gotten positions in Africa, since Chinese companies are doing loads of construction work in places like Algeria and Tanzania.

Soon, their close group will scatter…but right now is a magical time when they are all filled with opportunity and dreams. Life is a gigantic possibility, and no limits have been set.

Last night we had a goodbye dinner for the class, since they will spend next semester interning at various locations away from campus. The students cooked up a storm, hammed it up for the camera and went crazy when I brought out my nail polish collection.

Youth is such a gorgeous, infectious thing. This beautiful group of girls have been an amazing part of my time in China, and I will always remember them.

china teaching tefl esl asia volunteer cooking peace corps

"The photo shows the owner of the home we stayed in for the two years of our Peace Corps service. My parents sent me the Mad magazine and I shared it with him. I don’t know that he understood the humor of Mad, but he seemed interested. The photo was taken in the yard of the home we lived in looking north toward the volcano Kanlaon from which the town gets its name." - Peace Corps Volunteer Richard Johnsen (Philippines - 1964) #madmagazine #funny #Asia #Philippines #peacecorps #culture #culturalexchange #throwbackthursday #tbt #1960s

"The photo shows the owner of the home we stayed in for the two years of our Peace Corps service. My parents sent me the Mad magazine and I shared it with him. I don’t know that he understood the humor of Mad, but he seemed interested. The photo was taken in the yard of the home we lived in looking north toward the volcano Kanlaon from which the town gets its name." - Peace Corps Volunteer Richard Johnsen (Philippines - 1964) #madmagazine #funny #Asia #Philippines #peacecorps #culture #culturalexchange #throwbackthursday #tbt #1960s

funny culturalexchange throwbackthursday madmagazine philippines tbt asia culture 1960s peacecorps

asiamericana:

This is Joanna, one of our favorite students.  She works insanely hard at the things she wants to accomplish.  She wants to be an English translator when she graduates, and she’s also a student assistant in our department.

Last night she came over and taught me how to cook some simple, traditional Sichuan dishes.  

Someone once mistakenly taught her that Americans say “howdy!” after they finish eating.  The first time she did this, we had to gently explain that this isn’t quite true.  But it’s blossomed into a running joke for us.  When we finished our meal, she sat back, rubbed her stomach and proclaimed  “Howdy!” 

It was the perfect sentiment!

asiamericana:

This is Joanna, one of our favorite students. She works insanely hard at the things she wants to accomplish. She wants to be an English translator when she graduates, and she’s also a student assistant in our department.

Last night she came over and taught me how to cook some simple, traditional Sichuan dishes.

Someone once mistakenly taught her that Americans say “howdy!” after they finish eating. The first time she did this, we had to gently explain that this isn’t quite true. But it’s blossomed into a running joke for us. When we finished our meal, she sat back, rubbed her stomach and proclaimed “Howdy!”

It was the perfect sentiment!

reblogs China Sichuan cooking language learning TEFL ESL education Asia


Taken after a week long training on HIV/AIDS and behavior change communication, this photo features all participants and facilitators, both Peace Corps Volunteers and Filipino counterparts.
Those attending the training organized themselves in the shape of ribbon, with a red glow from the candles and sent a framed copy as a gift of thanks to Jake, the person living with AIDS who gave his testimonial during the training.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Blake Van Fleteren 

Taken after a week long training on HIV/AIDS and behavior change communication, this photo features all participants and facilitators, both Peace Corps Volunteers and Filipino counterparts.

Those attending the training organized themselves in the shape of ribbon, with a red glow from the candles and sent a framed copy as a gift of thanks to Jake, the person living with AIDS who gave his testimonial during the training.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Blake Van Fleteren 

Philippines Asia World AIDS Day HIV AIDS PLWH behavior change red ribbon

This photo was taken after a week-long training of trainers on the topic of HIV/AIDS and behavior change communication in the Philippines, which included interviews of local sex workers, and a testimonial from a person living with HIV.  
Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Blake Van Fleteren, one of the facilitators of the training, lighting the last candle to complete the red ribbon. 

This photo was taken after a week-long training of trainers on the topic of HIV/AIDS and behavior change communication in the Philippines, which included interviews of local sex workers, and a testimonial from a person living with HIV.  

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Blake Van Fleteren, one of the facilitators of the training, lighting the last candle to complete the red ribbon. 

Philippines Asia World AIDS Day PLWH sex workers red ribbon HIV AIDS

Practice Makes Perfect! 

Two students demonstrate proper condom usage on a realistic model at a “Love Your Body, Empower The Mind” gender empowerment and sexual health camp in Thailand. The local hospital graciously lent us these models to use as well as their time. An HIV/AIDS nurse came to my camp to help educate the students about HIV/AIDS, proper contraception utilization, as well as to destigmatize using a condom. The students each had a chance to practice their newfound skills.  

Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Kyle Livingston 

Practice Makes Perfect! 

Two students demonstrate proper condom usage on a realistic model at a “Love Your Body, Empower The Mind” gender empowerment and sexual health camp in Thailand. The local hospital graciously lent us these models to use as well as their time. An HIV/AIDS nurse came to my camp to help educate the students about HIV/AIDS, proper contraception utilization, as well as to destigmatize using a condom. The students each had a chance to practice their newfound skills.  

Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Kyle Livingston 

AIDS Asia Gender empowerment HIV HIV/AIDS World AIDS Day condoms education health safe sex sexual health Thailand


Here are some of our students playing a game centered on myths and facts about AIDS/HIV. This took place at a nursing school in Mongolia during the school’s first Worlds AIDS Awareness Day on December 2, 2009.

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Katherine Talton  

Here are some of our students playing a game centered on myths and facts about AIDS/HIV. This took place at a nursing school in Mongolia during the school’s first Worlds AIDS Awareness Day on December 2, 2009.

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Katherine Talton  

World AIDS Day Asia Mongolia education nursing health