It’s official. We’ve made it 90 days here in the PRC. I’m still on the fence about how I feel about living here but I’m signed up so I figure I should find ways to make the most of it. I find having something to look forward to usually helps. A week or so ago, I signed up with a volunteer organization here that services poor migrant schools around Shanghai. They train volunteers who then go to these schools to teach English. Having native English-speaking teachers is a big deal to these schools. Twice a year they send a group of volunteers out to rural China to visit schools and teach there for a week. I missed the opportunity to sign up for the schools in Shanghai but I was able to secure a spot for the rural volunteer trip. I went in to leave a deposit (for the hotel, transportation, food, etc.) and the Chinese man asked if I had been anywhere else in China. I kindly responded that I hadn’t and this would be my first time outside of Shanghai. Well, his face told me all I needed to know but he proceeded to let me know to “be prepared.” I can only imagine what that means. I already freaked myself out wondering about how the food would be and whether the hotel would have western toilets or if I would be squatting in a corner. Pushing all that business aside I decided to just go for it. Now he has my wheels spinning again. It’s only a week though and I’ve “roughed” it before slumming in hostels and living out of a backpack for 2 weeks. While I realize backpacking in Europe is WAY different from rural China, this is the reasoning I’ve decided to go with to comfort myself. Oh, and packing as though I’ll be living in the jungle for a week. That should do it. Stay tuned – my trip is in 2 weeks!