Since moving to Wenshan in Yunnan province, we have met really good people who have been super welcoming and helped us settle in. Some are locals and others are from the US.
In the first few days in Wenshan I had to organise mobile phones, internet access, bank accounts and learn how to arrange all the things we need. It is very difficult when you don’t speak the language, and very few people in Wenshan speak any English.
We spent the first few weeks finding our way around town, walking, catching taxis and buses.
It took us a few weeks to get used to the 1300m altitude, to start with just walking up stairs made us tired.
The Chinese drive crazy. Most of them don’t seem to follow road rules, with trucks, cars, motorbikes and pedestrians swerving in and out of each other, driving on the wrong side of the road, on the footpath and everywhere you least expect it. You have to be constantly looking in every direction when you’re out on the street.
In the first two weeks we were really busy with water project work, we visited lots of villages trying to understand their water issues and how we might be able to help them, meeting government officials, meeting contractors and investigating what materials we can access. The main water team is about 6 of us, including expats and two locals guys from nearby villages.
There will be plenty of water work for us to do this year, but the work pace is pretty chilled, we're working from home when it suits us and it's nice to have a lot of family time. We are hoping to be able to offer some structured project management process, hopefully deliver water projects, train local staff and make sure everything is well documented and translated so it can be passed on and used by local people for future water projects.
We went to Zhe Wu She village to look at their water tank and pipes, and see what we could do to fix them. It was a very bumpy ride to the village.
Our favourite thing about China so far is food. Lots of great restaurants everywhere and delicious cheap fresh fruit and veg on every street corner. Plums, peaches, tomatoes and bananas only 20c per kilo!
We have been eating so much fresh fruit, bananas, apples, plums, peaches, mangoes, we’ve never eaten so much fruit before.