Here is a quick rundown of everything that has happened since I left the United States at the end of February …
I arrived early on February 28th and was greeted by Andy Mcauley, one of PSB’s partners in Chengdu.
He showed me my apartment, the office, and took me on a tour around the city.
Afterwards, he introduced my two roommates, Tyler and Zeb (both British), and one of the Pro Skills basketball coaches, Julius – an American, from Chicago.
Exploring Chengdu and engaging with Chinese culture has been an enjoyable experience thus far. I’ve joined a Chinese basketball league called the Chengdu International Basketball League (CIBL). The teams have a good mix of foreign and Chinese basketball players which makes for fun and competitive games.
Teaching the game of basketball to Chinese students has proved rewarding, but it can still be challenging at times.
What makes it easy to get through tough moments is how enthusiastic the kids are about the sport. Even when students are done with my class, they still want to grab a ball and shoot around.
This love for the game speaks volumes and bodes well for the future of Chinese basketball.
When I am not involved in some way with Chinese basketball, I am exploring Chengdu and learning more about what the city has to offer.
I have visited a number of parks sprinkled throughout the city which have provided shade and refuge from the noise of the city.
My favorites so far have been Wangjiang (望江公园) and Renmin Park (人民公园), respectively.
Aside from parks, I’ve begun taking Chinese language lessons and last weekend, had the good fortune to see a friend from Swarthmore College perform in concert.
Chengdu may be halfway around the world, but there are still a number of things here that remind me of being home.
For example, I did all my shopping for sheets, pillows, and apartment stuff at IKEA, yes that IKEA. I was even able to see the new Black Panther movie in theaters with my roommates – albeit about a month later than it was available in the States.
Overall, it has been an awesome first month and I am excited to see what’s in store for me personally and for PSB China going forward!