Hi, my name is Anna, I am from Germany and I have been a volunteer on Chong Ming Island for about 4 weeks. It is a great island and not small at all. It is the third biggest island in china, so you can expect a city centre, which is also busy with traffic and a lot of people! There are quite a few shops; you can find many supermarkets, little bakeries and restaurants. 

I really enjoyed the island and the possibility to see the countryside as well. If you are interested you can take a walk to a nice temple, where you can see how people live outside the city centre and how they plant their vegetables. On the island there are no other foreigners than the volunteers, so people are very surprised and excited to see you. For me, it felt a little funny, to be looked at so much, even more than in Shanghai, but one get used to it and the people are really friendly! Most of the people cannot speak English so one should remember some Mandarin from the lessons or use your gestures and body language to communicate! :-)

The primary school is beautiful! It also has a big sport court behind it and a nice cafeteria, where one eats lunch. Your office might be in the English office next to the other teachers, who are so helpful and great people!

The students are crazy about the volunteers :-) They fall in love with each of you, they run behind you, scream: "Hello!! Hello! Or Good Afternoon!" They are really excited to see a foreigner and want to be your friend. In the classrooms it can get a little loud, especially in the lower grades, but teachers will help in the beginning and assist you, as well as translating sometimes.

Finally I can just say, I had 4 great weeks and miss all of it already. It was a fantastic experience and an adventure as well, especially because I was alone on the island for the first two weeks, so I needed to get used to be the only foreigner on the whole island and learn how to spend my free time there. Another nice side effect of the island is, it is close to Shanghai so I could get there every weekend and meet with the other volunteers or plan a weekend trip somewhere else.

Hope my little report helps some of you! Wish you all a good time, wherever you go!