Wednesday, February 23, 2011

China Report & Expectations

Ha... Yeah.
I know, I know. You're thinking "Why do I even follow this blog?"
And, I know. You're thinking I am the worst at updating.
From now on, I will be better. I may not be your weekly or biweekly Blog Saint but I will improve upon the four (plus) months it took me to update.

This update is mainly for selfish reasons. I feel like if I don't get my story out, that what I learned would be for naught. So bear with me, or just skim through and look at the pictures.

Was it wrong of me to EXPECT China to be amazing? Not in the least. It was the best experience of my life. I learned so much about myself while living thousands of miles away from everything and everyone I knew. Who I am, what I will stand up for, and what I won't tolerate. Who my real friends are, and how much I am loved. Most importantly, I proved to myself and my Heavenly Father the kind of disciple I am.

I went into this EXPECTING it to be like every other China/Taiwan/Asian experience I've had growing up. What I didn't EXPECT was the trials that were awaiting for me.

This trip disguised itself as the opportunity to work on my Chinese, live abroad, and hang with one of my best friends. She honestly meant the world to me, and knowing that we would be experiencing this together made it less terrifying.

We embarked on our trip in Salt Lake and headed to Hong Kong for a week then to Beijing for another week. This was my favorite part of the trip. We made some really good friends and saw all the typical China sights. Though, I did hunger for independence and a little stability. Living out of a suitcase is not my ideal lifestyle.

Finally, we reached Linyi and got settled. I truly loved that city. I was teaching at Linyi Normal University. Luckily my students we english majors so I felt like they could handle what I was throwing at them.

Because of some complications with schedules and this certain friend of mine struggling with some Word of Wisdom issues, we decided to head to a different city.

We had prayed about it, and felt like it was the right move for us. After some major drama of leaving Linyi, we sat on a K Train (Which means the slowest, dirtiest, and cheapest) all the way from Shandong Province up by Korea to Yongzhou in Hunan which is down into the Southern part of China. This was scheduled to be 17 hours which turned into 21.5 hours on a K Train. Meaning, we were surrounded by Chinese people trying to speak Mandarin with me and playing with my hair. My friend and I tried sleeping to no avail, so we resorted to teaching the EXTREMELY drunk man and his buddies how to play Uno.

So we arrive pretty much dead but so happy to be in Hunan. It was so beautiful there. Yongzhou has such a soft spot in my heart. We were treated like royalty by our school administration, LOVED by every student, and encouraged by our fellow teachers. We were thriving! There was such a confirmation that this is where I was supposed to be.

Side note:In 2009 I was assigned to this city and due to Visa problems couldn't go, so when the opportunity to get my friend out of a bad situation and finally fulfill that assignment was available, I took it.

Eventually there was a third Foreign teacher that came to join our duo. His name is Seb. Because my friend had this OBNOXIOUS obsession with England and the accent (which she thought she was really good at imitating) she flocked to this guy like he was the last man on Earth.

What you have to understand is that this girl is the one who is a clinger when it comes to guys. You know the type... Laughing at everything he finds amusing, agreeing with everything he says, physically touching him at all times, compromising EVERY standard she's ever had... You know the drill. Though I feel absolutely nothing for her now, I really pitied her at the time. I felt bad that we was using her and that she in turn was losing everything.

On our first evening with Seb he found out we were Mormon. He told us that by the end of the semester that he would have slept with both of us, and that he would get us to drink. We laughed and told him there was no way that was going to happen... The very next day, in order to impress him I presume she came home intoxicated. The VERY NEXT DAY. Are you kidding me?

This was the beginning of the downfall of who I once considered a sister figure in my life. Let me just provide a mental montage for you... Drinking, Drugs, Sex, Threesomes (with Ryan his friend who came to visit), Lying, Bets (to pay off her drinking debts) Betrayal... You've got the idea I think.

Eventually I just got sick of being left home alone, and having to listen to the neighbors TWO flights above me stomp to get the drunk giggling American girl BELOW me to shut up... I felt like I had been abandoned.

During the worst of it, the Spirit was constantly prompting me to find a solution. I contacted my boss and we tried to get Seb fired. Maybe Lara would clean her act up if Seb was gone. Well turns out it was me who ended up leaving early.

Lara and Seb concocted a story to make me look like a liar. They told them my complaints about Seb doing drugs were false, and I was just jealous that Seb and Lara liked each other. ...
Really?! Like I would be jealous of someone who has annexed themselves from God and their family. Oh, and yes, I am really envious of Seb's love. He, who after sex told her if she tried to cuddle with him that he would punch her in the face. Why can't I snag a man like that? He's a keeper ladies.

You are thinking, "Well, hey, the truth always comes out, right?" Or "Good trumps Evil" Or "Eventually she'll come around"... No. No it doesn't always come out. In fact, lies are easier to believe than the truth sometimes. In all honesty, doing the right thing has never been so painful, heartbreaking, discouraging, depressing, or just plain HARD. I was reamed by my bosses for not telling the truth (Ironic) at the same time finding out my best friend sold me out (Devastating).

I have never cried or prayed so hard in my life.

As if that wasn't enough, I had to find my way home from the smallest airports to the largest in the world without an ounce of help. My bags were always overweight or, I only had forty five minutes to transfer and check my bags in the Shanghai airport... Just anything that could go wrong did. I lost my boarding pass, had to dump my bag out every security check with minutes until departure... You name it, I had to deal with it... Alone.

By the time I got back to the states, I was defeated. The flight to Salt Lake was the hardest. I knew that my Mom would be waiting for me at the terminal... I tried so hard to keep it together until then. I cannot tell you the overwhelming feeling of being back home. Right in the arms of someone who loves you.

Over the last few months I've had to deal with Lara lying to all our friends and telling them I got SENT home, seeing everyone from China on campus, getting hate email from Seb and Ryan... I feel like this chapter in my life will never close. Just as I am allowing myself to heal I hear about China and I am right back where I started.

I guess in the end I realized a lot about my expectations for life. I no longer EXPECT friends to be loyal, honest, and loving. I no longer EXPECT the truth to set me free. I no longer EXPECT people to believe me. I no longer EXPECT that people don't just change. I no longer EXPECT apologies.

I hope that after finally writing this VERY condensed version of my story that I'll find some closure. I have come to accept the solace that Heavenly Father and I know the truth, and that's all that matters. Believe what you will.

I miss China more everyday and my little students. They made that whole experience worthwhile.

*Now, like Taylor Swift, I could careless about their privacy. I'll name names and provide pictures. I guess thats the power and comfort of knowing you have the truth on your side.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chapter Three: 下个学期打算出去中国。

I have become that inconsistent blog author.
You always think that you are going to be different...
How disappointing.

So it is the end of my fourth semester here at BYU-Idaho. It's been great, but I can honestly say I would be totally okay if I never came back. Unfortunately, I am probably going to be here another semester. Anyway, it's finals week and I am blogging instead of doing my homework. This doesn't sound like me? Read chapter two for the full diagnosis.

But I'm not sacrificing my grades to blog about sacrificing my grades...
I have some monumental news!

Let's get down to business (To defeat the Huns).
Speaking of Huns, Jessica Davis--that's me--has been offered a teaching gig in Linyi, Shandong China.
I'll be teaching English at Linyi Normal University for the Fall 2010 semester.
I leave August 16th, and return sometime in December.
I'll be hitting up Hong Kong and Beijing before I head over to Shandong.
Pretty exciting, eh?

So that's basically the true reason I started these blogging shenanigans. That way, I can keep everyone updated on my trip and so my mom knows I haven't been kidnapped and/or sold into the prostitution black market.
I wonder if they would still let me blog?

Anyway, I figured that someone out there might be interested in seeing my school, the program I am going with, or even where Linyi is located. So here are some links that will satisfy the desires of your heart. Click life away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chapter Two: Ramona The Pest

I have been anxiously awaiting until I could blog again without looking too overly eager.
Yes, I am new to this.
So what if I get a little excited that I have a few followers? It's not like anyone's counting...right?

Okay. Back to me.
I have had some troubling thoughts the last few days. Some of which have kept me up all night, and some have even had the audacity to haunt my days.

Let me expose you to my worries:

1. Do I like the smell of "Rain" or is it really just the wet cement aroma?
I was walking on campus, and the sprinklers were on...and oh, did it smell amazing! It left me wishing I had a dried-popsicle-juice-mustache and an adult trike bike to ride.
But what is it?! Is it the cement? I feel like I've been lied to about being adopted. I just need to know the truth...

I'll keep you posted on my findings.

2.I truly and wholehearted hate my Religion teacher.
Now, now, I understand that is a strong word, and if my Grandma Davis were reading this I know she'd drop to her knees immediately and beg for my soul to be saved from the evil that has possessed my heart.
But, let's be honest. I'm no Enid Davis.

This guy is the most self-righteous man in the world. I'm positive of that fact. He just shares stories all period how he has done things to touch peoples lives and how amazing we should think he is, even though he keeps us five minutes late. every. single. time.
Not to mention his hair cut is ATROCIOUS!

I lost all my "points" for the day (including my quiz score) because I got up and used the bathroom during group sharing time.
What's wrong with this picture? I forgot to raise my hand and ask.
Yes, folks. I'm paying to get treated like an imbecile.

No matter! I'll keep my treacherous thoughts to myself (and post them on my blog) while I smile and think of the ways I could make his life hell.

(Sorry for the swear. I'll put a dollar in the swear jar, I swear. Swear.)

3. And finally the third most troubling concept I've been contemplating is how one week my habits will be entirely different from my habits of another.
Schizophrenia? I am beginning to wonder.

Let's have a pretend session for a minute.
Close your eyes. (Are they closed?)
You see me. (Naturally, of course)
My daily planner marked to the minute, fully prepared to take on the day.
I keep my mind on being more Christlike and kind.
I go throughout my day feeling rewarded and grateful.
My room is pristine.
My hair is brushed.

One week Later...

Close your eyes.
You see me.
I have made a trail in my room to get to the door and my closet through the clothes, shoes, papers, and purses.
I wake up ten minutes before school and rush out the door.
I'm lucky if I got a comb through my Ramona The Pest tresses.
Have I done my homework? I may or may not have.
My life is chaos.

Open your eyes.
There is no stopping it.
There is no cure.
I am forever doomed to live the life of...(climatic pause)
Jessi Davis: Schizo-Ramona-Religion-teacher-hater.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chapter One: The Girl Who Lived

Dear Reader:

I see you have stumbled upon my blog...
Why, yes! It is new. Thank you for noticing.
It was relatively cheap in the "Time Consuming" market.
(An appreciative "Thank You" to MySpace for supplying the necessary HTML experience).

Now, back to me.
I just wanted to start this entire "Blogging" habit with a disclaimer. And it is thus:
This may or may not be enjoyable to read. Digest at your own risk.

So, now that we have those silly legal formalities out of our hair, let us get to know one another...

1. Jessica Krisitne Davis
2. Avid word collector
3. Omnivore-Leo
5. Sock and #4 hater. (The Chinese can let you in on that cultural treat)

That's about all you need to know for now. Throughout the rest of this Nonfiction novellea, you will begin to make your own connections and judgements. Why should I spoil the adventure?