The last couple days have been filled with bus rides, getting lost, a hostel stay, a gross dorm room, and meetings with fancy resorts.
Emma (another intern) and I went to Sanya to talk to the people at the Ritz-Carlton about some programs we are trying to start. Emma and I don't speak Chinese; our Chinese actually makes people concerned. I have no idea what they think we are saying, but occasionally they get a look on their face that suggests that we have said something wrong. The first night we stayed in a dorm room. We had only been there once before, and it was at like 4 in the morning so my memory of it was vague. We knew it was down a dirty, muddy alley, with lots of bamboo scaffolding and construction. We went down the first alley, it had a muddy alley and bamboo scaffolding so I thought, "YA! We're almost there." At the end of the alley, we realized it was the wrong alley. Next alley: muddy..check, bamboo scaffolding..check. hostel. No check. It only took us 6 alleys to check. The dorm room isn't that bad.. but the bathroom….ohhhh jeez… the bathroom gives me the chills every time I go in there. I never would have thought I would choose a squat toilet over a western toilet, but the time has come. I would gladly accept it. This toilet is disgusting. And that is the understatement of the year. I'll just leave it at that.
It was interesting getting places on the bus because we couldn't read the Chinese symbols saying where each bus was headed. We would get on the bus, ask one word questions like, "Sanya?" and if they looked as if they were saying yes, we would sit down. The resorts were amazing as expected, but I was surprised by how much damage the typhoon did there. There were many trees that had fell over. (Side note. A tree fell on our sea turtles 911 van at the Ritz) The resorts also have many fancy malls, and at one point, me and Emma were walking through this outdoor mall, and we saw this sign. It was a beautiful sign. It had a picture of strawberry waffles, and a little sign underneath saying "Free WiFi." There was no way we were turning it down, so we went in. I got to go on facebook for a couple minutes, it was super!! The waffles were okay.. kinda a let down, because the strawberries were more like syrup.. but still it was pretty awesome. We tried to eat as slowly as we could so that we could stay in there for the longest possible time, I think it worked because we were in there for like 2 hours.
Later in the day we were meeting one of the volunteers in Sanya at the bus station. We knew we needed to get to the Sanya bus station, but we had no idea where that actually was…we didn't know.. We got on a bus headed to a general direction, and at some point realized we had made it to Sanya. So we got off the bus, and started walking. We had a map that had some of the popular places to visit on it, so luckily, we identified one of the buildings and were able to find our way.. it took us awhile and a lot of walking but we made it and were able to meet up with one of our friends. We walked around Sanya and stayed in a hostel that night. The hostel was soo nice and the people working were funny and extremely helpful. I forgot my passport, but they found a way around it! The next morning we got to go to the beach, which was not as clean as the beaches on Yalong Bay, but it was still pretty. Some motorbike taxi man drove up on the beach to try and convince us that we wanted to take a ride with him. Thanks to Shannon, I knew he was yelling "I love you!!!" in Chinese even before he started yelling it in English. He was an interesting character…
We headed back to Sanya that day and we made it in once piece!! It's great being back, but the only issue is the cockroaches. I swear these giant, mutant things are getting everywhere.. I almost got nailed in the head by a flying cockroach…I had no idea they flew!! Last night, before falling asleep, one was spotted running under the bed. The whole night I kept waking up envisioning this monster cockroach sitting on my chest about to eat me.. or at least tickle me with its disgusting antennae. Or it could nibble my toes off. Or bite my eyes. Or crawl in my clothes. The list goes on and on.
Anyway! In non-cockroach related news, we got 26 new turtle hatchlings. They are tiny!! A couple have already died, but it's to be expected. They are so cute though, you can hold like 5 at a time!! Very nifty.
Take care everybody.