Monday, September 3, 2007

First week in Kunming

We spent the week getting familiar with the surroundings. Our apartment, which is basic and functional, is all set up. We are on the fourth floor of a five story building. There are only 2 apts. per floor and we have only seen 2 or 3 of our neighbors so far. The apt has some nice features - high ceilings, nice woodwork, large windows and the kitchen is bright and sunny. I went from a bright kitchen in Dearborn to a dark kitchen in Jackson and back to a bright kitchen here. I prefer the bright kitchen! It's on the university grounds, with a lot of greenery. Since it's university housing, our neighbors are young couples with a baby, older couples with school age children and retired employees/faculty. Outside the kitchen windows are some tall pines. There is a living room, dining room with an enclosed "porch" for hanging laundry, a bathroom and 2 bedrooms. It's not really that much smaller than the Jackson condo. At a later time, I'll post some pictures of the apt., campus and Kunming.

During our adventures of exploring Kunming we found a Walmart (yuck - it's even yuckier in China), but it's closer than the other option of a superstore - Carrefour (which is French based - I remember those from the Brazil days). I found some shoes for Elena at Carrefour. Walmart has KFC, Carrefour has McDonald's. We found two fantastic bookstores - yay!. We rode the bus several times already to get to said Carrefour and Walmart. We explored the campuses of KUST (our home), Yunnan Normal University (Teachers' College) and Yunnan University. They are all connected (along with 2 more universities.) There is a grocery store across the street. We usually eat breakfast in and have lunch/dinner in one of the 6 student cafeterias. The food is just as good, if not better, than most of the restaurants and cheaper too. The four of us can have a good size meal for about $1.50 total. On Sunday, we strolled through a tiny part of huge Green Lake park.

Classes start for me on September 10. Hopefully, the kids will be enrolled in the Kindergarten this upcoming week. The school is on campus and is only a 5-10 minute walk from the apartment.

School starts in Michigan September 4. Happy New School Year to all the teachers, parents and students! May you have a wonderful year of learning!


Anonymous said...

It is so fun to read about your new life in China. Keep the updates coming!

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys
We are thinking about you alot and it is so great to read about your adventures. Nicolas of course wants to visit Carlos and play with him and so we had to look at a map to see how far away you are. He was still not deterred and felt we could go on a plane...

Tomorrow is the first day of kindergarten for him. We are so excited about it.

Jeni, Mike, Nicolas y Alex