en mass 2014-2015

First Week in Hong Kong

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This is a brief post brought to you from a mega mall (Festival Walk) in Hong Kong. This mall is the mall of malls, including mirrored escalators, ten floors, and an ice skating rink. It’s not even the biggest mall by far. We were just excited a place with free Wifi and A/C was available just two short metro transfers away from us.

Hong Kong is lovely. It’s a peninsula consisting of 200 some islands, with only a handful actually habitable. We’re just a metro ride away from China, which feels weird to have a massive looming country so close to this Western/Eastern paradise. Because of the British colonialism, English and Western practice are very prevalent but it just has its own personality and culture unique in the world. From the Dragon Boat Festival to the Light Show, from Lady’s Market in Mong Kok miles long of street vendors, to overwhelming meat and fish markets, to the temples spotted around the city centers, Hong Kong is such a unique blend of lush mountainous island and futuristic city. It’s indescribable (as well as its humidity!).

We’ve had a good long orientation, in which I probably got too confidant about teaching and inter-cultural communication. I can’t wait until tomorrow when we’ll actually get to form our classrooms, meet our students, and start English! Our school, Ning Po #2, serves one of the poorest areas of Hong Kong. Our students mostly live in government housing and are very passionate about their education. The school officials we’re working with are so sweet and truly care about their students. Because college entrance exams are what they live their lives around, with ELIC teaching in their schools, for the first time, their students get to have an advantage. To learn English from real American teachers helps give them a real edge- but for us it’s so much more. It’s an opportunity to love them, to get to truly know them, to pour into them, to help them realize their true worth separate from the pressure of their society. For 13 and 14 year olds, this is a big deal. It may be the first time they get true one-on-one attention and love in which they don’t have to impress or work hard. They get to have fun and be encouraged. How amazing that I get the opportunity to be a part of that?

As always, thank you so much for supporting and encouraging me during this time! Please keep my students and fellow teachers in your thoughts.

Much love,

Maggie

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