The following is a description of things in the city of Pingguolu, Guangxi, PR. China. I will try to make the following as detailed without being mundane.

The accommodations are very good. Its reported that Owen gets the best available in Guangxi. IE- the rooms usually have American like toilets so that you won't have to squat. In my apartment they provided me with a computer (Pentium II), printer, Internet access using DSL Cable, a TV with DVD, VCD, MP3 capabilities, water heater, kitchen with gas stove, a sterilization device for dishes (it does the job).
Mosquitoes, and flying cockroaches can sometimes be a pain. I've only had contact with about 3-4 cockroaches since moving here. They have some bug and mosquito repellents that you can purchase at the supermarket, that work pretty well.

My overall opinion of the school is good. They always pay you on time. Sometimes they pay you a little extra for holidays, or for helping with special projectsĄ­. i.e. - English festival. The teachers always try to work with you and help you. They like it when we discuss different ideas and teaching methods with them.
If you are going to be sick, its best to call the school. Although you should try and be careful on how many times you call in. They are not as lenient as companies in the US. Most Chinese teachers go to work ill, unless they are very sick.
Also you have to be aware that they don't always inform you of their plans ahead of time. So you might get last minute notices.

The food here is greatĄ­ They have food from all over China in Pingguolu, because of the Aluminum Factory. Especially spicy foods, although you can avoid them if you choose. Plenty of different dishes ranging from the following: Fish, Pork, Chicken, Beef, Corn, Green Beans, Herbal Chicken Soups, and Potatoes (one of my favorites). They have various ways of preparing each dish, so you may have a certain kind of potatoes on night, and another completely different version of potatoes later in the week.

English Festival
Once a year the school will put on a festival. Where they ask the English teachers to be the Masters of Ceremonies. You have to teach your classes English songs, and incorporate movements for the song. It's a little bit of work but well worth it. They will probably ask you to sing one English song or a Chinese song with one of the classes. The week of the festival you must get the songs from the teachers and come up with a program. IE- you introduce the classes to the audience on stage. The show is semi-professional. Experience is not required, and the school staff will work with you. You must remember to ask questions about things, otherwise you might not find out till the last minute.
The school also puts on a Chinese show, but to my knowledge you are not required to participate.
The nearby Pingguolu hospital has everything including vaccinations for Herpes A & B. Rabies, Polio, etc. It also carries Western Drugs, and Pharmaceuticals. I prefer using Acupuncture and Cupping methods that the hospital also provides. The medicines are very affordable with the salary you'll be receiving. So you should not worry about it.
When you first get here you may have a few stomach issues. Especially the first 2 weeks. They have very good pills for this, or you can bring your own medications. The reason for this is because the body has to adapt to a new climate and food. Getting lots of rest should help. J
The city of Pingguolu is fairly small. The food market is great. You can purchase food, get haircuts, and facials at a reasonable price. There are also small shops where you can by additional housing materials, plants, cd's and vcd's. Sometimes the streets smell a little, but not that often.

Ryan Arts


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