50 Years Later

Before I started blogging I thought to myself … how do these people have the time to sit and blog? Who is reading all these blogs?? Why are they blogging?  …. and now look at me… finding the time to blog… reading blogs… and I love it!

You find the time for what interests you.

I want to share this article that Delois Smith recently shared….

Today someone posted on their FB Wall – “What is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you?” and in true Karla fashion I responded (since im extra and dramatic) “Nothing interesting ever happens to me” – to which my friend responded “You’re living in China” …. she’s right! Living in China is every single day interesting.

….as I really thought about it many interesting things have happened in my life… it is hard to choose one to share on her post. I think one of the most interesting things that ever happened to me was meeting Tommie Smith!

I have no pictures, but I will never forget that day. 

I was overwhelmed on the inside and super chill on the outside. It was great.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/tommie-smith-1968-50-years-later/568294

Check out the above article when you get the chance and if you don’t know much about Tommie Smith here is a link to his site:

http://tommiesmith.com/

#socialjustice #humanrights #1968matters #victory #makeanimpact #olympics #politicsisineverything #fiftyyearslater #sports #tommiesmith #johncarlos #headsbowed #glovedhandsraised #sports #blacklife #culture #theworld #AuthurAsheCourageAwardWinner #ESPY #worldimpacter #influencer #BlackLivesMatter #Kap #WeStandandKneelWithCK #thestruggleisntover

I would love to hear about the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you!

Respond in the comments!!! 

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky and outdoor
The best I can do for having a picture with Tommie Smith – Karla and Althea at SJSU in 2006

I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE

…as always thanks for following my adventures abroad ….


 

 

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Months #9 and #10 Update (July/August 2018)

Months 9 and 10


Can yall believe I am actually starting to like Shanghai??? You probably think from my pictures and posts that I love it …. but it definitely has its moments being a Black Expat in China.

For about the first 9.5 months I wasn’t all the way happy here. This is the start of month 11 and its much better now. The adjustment phase was tough. I have met a lot of great people and build a beautiful expat community of folks who look like me. I have made some friends who don’t look like me too, but there is nothing like having people who are from where you from – look like you- and already understand you.

Here are a few pictures from months 9 and 10 – in no specific order from the past two months … this is month 11 wow!

Disney English Celebrated 10 years! 
My team won the team building activity first … our prize??? Getting cake before everyone else. 
Tickets to invite only Filipino Ballet

 

Black folks meet up! Picnic at the park

my running buddy left me for beijing
team building with coworkers
Karla-Joan-Sarah
Just two girls from Hooks living in Shanghai! 
Daniel and Karla – he is a great boss! #Great

 

 

skydiving … they told us indoor – it was outside – but we didn’t jump out of planes
i don’t know how im smiling- i was sooooo scared
…just two colorful chocolate girls…
we both went to Georgia State- small world! 
#BlackInChina #FuxingPark #Friends #ChocolateGirlsWhoRock

 

So happy to see one of my good friends from Dallas! 

 

fun at Disneyland with friends from America

 

 

 


Update on the goals I set in January:

Here are the goals I posted/shared in January-

  1. Complete a 5K: Run in Blue in June!!! √
  2. Read 2 books for pleasure: I have read 6 books and I am in the middle of two right now… and someone just shared another one with me! Ay Dios Mio what is a girl to do??? Read them all? Yep! √
  3. Visit 4 new countries – 3 down and 1 more to go. √
  4. Pay down some US Debt : Yea I have paid down some … totally need to pay down more – but it gets a check mark too, lol √
  5. Play in a waterfall – Le Sigh … I gotta do more research for my waterfall ): not yet yall… not yet ….
  6. BE!!! Just BE. Enjoy each day as it comes. Live. Love. Laugh. Smile. Live a life rooted and established in JOY! #EverdayJOY Yup! Everyday Joy is a thing! Its real Yall! √ – Everyday Yall …. these #BlackExpatDays don’t come without theier moments and challenges but I am managing my way through them with more grace daily!

SO I guess I am doing well with the 6 realistic goals I set for myself in January. I am usually so exxxxxtra with my goals and I have this long list and its kinda – well – ridiculous – but I work my butt off all year to complete it – I don’t complete it and it goes on the next years list … not this time …. if I can check off number 4 I will complete my 2018 list. I will be satisfied with that.


Update on my running goals:

I set a goal to run 650KM (403.9 miles) this year …currently – 87% reached of my goal …not so shabby if I do say so myself with 


….alright yall that was a long post … lots of pics… i hope you’re well!!! i am looking forward to sharing about month 11…. its been a good month so far! 


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE

…as always thanks for following my adventures abroad ….


Black Expats in Asia

Just wanted to share this article written by, DeAnna Taylor for: www.travelnoire.com 


FIND YOUR TRIBE: https://travelnoire.com/asian-locations-black-expat-communities/


…Just a few of us together for a picnic at Fuxing Park in Shanghai, China …. #BlackinShanghai

#BlackinAsia #BlackExpatInAsia #BlackInChina #BlackInShanghai #Melanin #BlackGirlMagic #BlackFolkJOy #MelanatedMoments #Travel #SeeTheWorld #YOLO #LifeFullOfAdventure #WeOutHere #Culture #MelaninMagic #Joy #Thankful #BlackInVietname #BlackInThailand #BlackInBali #BlackInIndonesia #BeUnapolegeticallyYou #TravelNoire #BlackAndAbroad #BlackFolksTravel #BlackTravel #BlackAndEducated #EducatedAndOverseas #DegreedandAbroad 



I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*

Sanya!

There are beaches in China!

Took a trip to Sanya- Hainan Island which is on the Southern end of China. There you can find many bays and beach resorts. My friend Jessi and I were close to Yalong Bay.

I was so excited to find out that there are beaches in China… and not only are there beaches but they are gorgeous! I am not sure if I would put them on the worlds top beaches list, but if you’re living in China, and want to hit the beach, Sanya is a great place to go!

One things I learned is that a lot of Russians go to China for vacation and to Sanya since there are no beaches in Russia. Okay. So I have done absolutely no research on this fact, but I trust it and it sounds pretty factual to me. I will look it up later.

My friend Jessi I decided to take a quick get away to Sanya and it was great. We went over our weekend, which is during the week, but it was totally worth it. Two days on the beach? What more could a girl ask for??? Not much!

I was so pleased with our quick weekend trip. Here are a few pics from Sanya!

 


I will edit and add later the approximate cost of this trip … I will go back and look at my booking information for flight/hotel/what we spent on food ….


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE


PJ countdown is on!

Hey Yall!!!

Living in Asia has allowed me the opportunity to travel more than I could have ever imagined. If I am honest … I traveled a lot domestically (and I traveled internationally) while living in America and I am so thankful that I was able to do that… but now I am able to travel internationally – a lot – and I absolutely love it.

I was able to go to Seoul earlier this year and I loved it. Hoped I could do more and didn’t plan on going back. When I saw the tour dates and saw Asia on the list – I was hype! I (when I say I – that means me and Althea) bought tickets the day they went on sale. Tickets were selling out fast…. I was having issues buying my tickets … because … well wifi and ish while in Shanghai … so I called Althea (yall she is amazing) and she bought the tickets while we both went step by step on ordering them over the phone. It was Friday morning here and Thursday evening in Dallas. She was in the bed and on her way to sleep and did this with me because she knows I’m a fan and that I will travel for PJ!

We got the tickets and there were just a few seats left after I got mine.

IF you can tell … this is serious… and I am so excited. My countdown app tells me I’m under 2 months until I go to Seoul!

#PJMorton #PJ #Morton #GoodMusic #RealMusic #MusicThatIsGoodForYourSeoul #Seoul #SeoulSouthKorea #HyundaiCardUNDERSTAGEGumbo #Singer #Songwriter #TheHamilTones #NOLA #FirstBegan #Claustrophobic #StickinToMyGuns #Religion #Alright #EverythingsGonnaBeAlright #TheyGonWannaCome #GoThruYourPhone #HowDeepIsYourLove #Musician #Producer #PJMorton

http://www.pjmortonmusic.com/

If you’ve never heard of PJ check out the youtube link below … And check out the link above to see when he will be in your area next!

 



I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*

….three experiences….

semi-long-ish-post here are three different recent experiences

(oops) i started this post on 7/04/18 and I am just returning to it

okay fine its not semi-long – its long … read at your leisure… i had some time to write today

 


Catching up with my friend Jai

I was at a friends birthday party and I got to catch up with my girl Jai – moreso than the birthday girl. But the brithday girl was making her rounds and having a blast. Jai said – you should really blog and share about what were talking about. Let the people know what it’s really like here.

Jai has been in China longer than me so she was asking the normal question “How is China treating you?”

I always have a long answer to this but in short – my answer this night was “They Rude and they get on my nerves” They – being Chinese folks.

Now y’all already know that these are my experiences – and of course every single Chinese person is not rude… but on this day – I had, HAD enough of the shenanigans.

Generally speaking the Chinese are rude. And they are impatient. I was in line getting my lunch. I was at the front ordering. But yall know it takes me a moment because I am still working on my Chinese … and this woman walked up in front of me and started ordering like I wasn’t standing right there… I said real loud “NOT TODAY CHINA – DO YOU SEE ME??” I WAS HOT.  livid. I just couldn’t understand how this woman felt like it was okay to walk in front of me. Like her order was more important than mine. A lot of the people here are only focused on themselves. What they need at the moment as if they are the only ones who exist. There is a whole line of people ordering dumplings and you think you deserve yours before everyone else. Not today. Nope. All the nopes that ever lived in Karlatown, Nopeville – Wakandaland …

I wasn’t having it. You Maam. Can Wait. I was grateful that the person helping me pretty much ignored her – probably because I was so loud and extra – but continued on with me.

Yall… sometimes … these folks … make me wanna scream … and then you know what I do? I scream… then I keep going on with life.

Jai and I talked about many things this evening, but I thought that I would share this…. I have so many Shanghai/China stories-experiences I could write a book – but I wont – I will just keep blogging!


Dinner with friends at “Fellas”

Nothing like folks from America coming to visit. Nothing like it.

Yall – I have been so blessed to have so many visitors from America visit in my time here. I haven’t even been here 10 months. My sister Natina – knows so many people … and her friend was coming to China with her cohort … so while the cohort was in Shanghai – with a jam packed schedule we were able to meet up for dinner.

We went to Fellas which is a great restaurant on ‘The Bund’. The Bund is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. The Bund is a super famous tourist stop in Shanghai and you can see a great skyline view, skyscrapers of Lujiazui and many other famous buildings.

While eating our dinner, enjoying our rooftop view of the city, some ladies sitting next to us overheard our conversation and asked a few questions. They are what you will label “Shanghainese” …. These are people who are natives of the central city of Shanghai. We were discussing how it is exhausting that daily people want to touch you and take your picture – when I say ‘you’ I am speaking of Black people – but this does happen to many other foreigners. When I say touch you- yea people touch you, grab you, touch your hair, all of it. When I say take your picture… it is so common that Black folks learn how to say “no pictures please” and have even had shirts made that say “no pictures please”. It’s an everyday – constant occurrence. I will say this… if you are coming from a smaller province – live way outside of large cities, it could be possible that you have never encountered a foreigner, especially a black foreigner. But, I will always believe that it is in appropriate to touch someone and take their picture without asking.

So the lady next to said, “These things really happen to you? Noooo- I don’t believe this.” – It’s crazy to me when you are sharing a real and personal experience with someone and they look you right in the face and say, “I don’t believe this.” – Maybe it sounds too crazy to be real – and I can’t make you believe me, but these words that I am speaking are very true words – it is up to you to believe them or not. She also stated, “I think it would be so cool to have someone taking my picture all day.” I agree this might be so cool if you asked to have a photographer follow you around and it was your choice. We tried to paint the picture for her. You are sitting at the park and people walk by and hold their cameras in silly positions and they take your picture. Or you are on the train and multiple people snap photos of you. Or you are drinking water… you are … or you are … you’re just living and someone is taking your picture. I promise yall… I am not exaggerating the situation. It happens all day and everyday. I am sure it happens without my knowledge but lately if I see it happens I speak on it so that they know its not okay. Once we painted the picture for her – she said, “Well maybe I wouldn’t like that so much when you put it like that.”  Ya think? Yeah we don’t like it either but it happens all the time.

She had a hard time believing the things we were saying about our experiences as black foreigners in China. So she made another comment- “Well it must be because you’re in touristy places. So there are a lot of tourists – Chinese tourists from all over the country and other tourists who have never seen a foreigner before. Even if this is to be true. It would be nice if people asked first. And maybe my friends were in touristy places but I’m not always in those places and I still experience this. I live here so I am just living life. Walking to the metro. Sitting at the park. Buying fruit in the grocery store… just doing things that everyone else does only I am doing these things as a black woman … I cant help it though yall … this is all I know to be!

If you ever hear about the picture thing- its so real. If you ever hear about the touching thing its so real. Some people don’t mind it at all. Some folks hate it.  Others kind of indifferent on the issue depending on the situation. It bothers me. I am a person. You do not have a right to me. I don’t have a right to you. Treat me as you wish to be treated – because if I treat you the way you treat me- you would not like it at all.


Run in Blue – 5K – But not really a 5K because the route was only 3.1K

Yall … this Fake 5K though …. I have so many thoughts about it!

I was so upset by this 5K. This is the first 5K I have done that was not a full 5K. The first one was organized by some work folks, but they said it would be a 5K. It was just a little over 3 kilometers.

So I saw a flyer for Run in Blue – I was excited. a 5K on a Saturday morning- early before work. Finally an event I could make. I work on weekends … this makes it tough to do most organized athletic events. Saturdays I don’t start work until 12:15 so I had this event planned perfectly. Race starts at 8:30. I should finish in under an hour. Be home by 10. Shower and change … and make it to work by noon.

Well … the race did not start at 8:30… it started … welp when it started. When I asked a volunteer when would they race start she responded “I don’t know” – I was a little frustrated because shes a volunteer, she has on a purple shirt, and she should be able to answer a basic question…. at the same time- if you don’t know – you don’t know. Maybe that’t not here in her realm of volunteer trainee information. So, I took a breath and asked another volunteer, she also didn’t know. I kept looking at my watch like every minute we don’t start is going to mess up my perfectly planned out schedule. Let’s try this again- third time is the charm right? Nope! Not in Shanghai. The third and final volunteer told me she didn’t know and that she was sorry the race wasn’t starting on time. To which I responded, well there’s a start time on the flyer and registration – for a reason, right? Or is it just a suggestion? To which she responded… ” You must be new here. I remember being like that. This is just the way things are in China. It’s the China way. Get use to it.” I was really bothered by that because even if I am new here- and you didn’t ask if I am new or not – what does that have to do with the price of beans in Iowa? Nothing at all. If the race says 8:30 it should start at 8:30 … I was calm and kind when were having this conversation but she seemed very defensive. She said, “You’re not the first foreigner to be upset by this. You must be from America.  Everyone from America expects races to start when the time says but that just doesn’t always happen. Things start late or not on time. It’s common.” I don’t think it so common. I have been to various events since I have been in China and they have started at the exact time that they said they would start. This is not to say that there are events that consistently start late ,but even as a newbie in China I beg to differ with her statements. If this event says 8:30 it should begin at 8:30. You don’t know what else people have planned for the day and to expect them to be okay with just hanging around all day for all of the extra activities you have planned is not fair. I wasn’t the only one frustrated about the start time.  There were some local (Chinese) people frustrated and foreigners. I guess I just expect events to start when they say they are going to start or to be informed that “We will start in 15-20 minutes sorry for the delay”.

At any rate… I did the race. It wasn’t a 5K. I received a medal and a certificate and I made it to work with minutes to spare before my first class!


So this is month 10…. really month 11 is starting in a few days… so I will give a months 9/10 update very soon! Hope Yall are well… Thanks for enjoying the journey with me.


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY!

I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

(one of my favorites is–Psalms 98:4-Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music) — Did you know that there are over 800 Glad Texts in the Bible?!?! More than one for each day of the year for me to live by.

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE*


Currently Jammin to ….

what do i do???

only because someone said the other day-

“what do you do? i told a friend i have a friend who works in china and when they asked what does she do i thought to myself – i don’t really know what she does.”

i chuckled!

Image result for laughing gif

^kinda like this^

 

 

 

 

 

Okay fine maybe not that hard … definitely that hard in my head!

if you’re unsure or if someone asks here is the short answer:

I am an….

ESL Teacher for Disney English! 

^as simple as i can put it^

ESL= English as a Second Language. I teach English – the language!


If you want a longer more detailed answer:

  1. I work for THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY-TWDC– (cool, right?)
  2. I work for Disney English-DE, which is a part of TWDC.
  3. I work for DE, in Shanghai-SH, China (I live in China, yall – which is in Asia) 
  4. I work for DE, in SH-China at Hongkou Center, HK Center. (DE has many centers throughout Shanghai and China)
  5. I teach young learners ages 4-12 English. Our focus is alphabet/numbers/colors/shapes and simple words/phrases for our very young learners and as they grow in our program they will continue to learn more vocabulary, phonics, grammar, and how to use the English language properly through the use of games – games which allow them to practice using the language, activities-activities which allow them to practice using the language, music, videos, reading, writing, Disney English APP, homework, simple worksheets, and flashcards to practice at home.

If learners have class during the week they come to DE twice a week for one hour each- Monday/Thursday Tuesday/Friday or Friday/Saturday/Sunday for a 2 hour class.

These English classes are something that they do on top of their regular academics at school. Parents pay for their kids to be a part of Disney Englsih.


Work has been busy . .. but when is teaching ever not busy? I guess in the summer…. but … since I don’t work at a school (I work at a language training center) I worked all summer. Kinda Sucked. I have pretty much had the same schedule all of my life. School during the year and summer off. Summer was busy but it’s closing, and fall, is approaching! I am looking forward to the fall because …..

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ummmmmmmm

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ahhhhhhhh – er uhhhhhh.

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oh shoot i still didn’t say …. it will be in the next post! monthly update coming soon.

here are some pictures from our most recent team building day

#wakandaforever

 

skydiving – not out of planes

 

work hard – play hard

 

#mimosalife

 


I am excited about life! I am filled with Hope. I am overwhelmed with JOY! I am going to do my best to live by the ‘Glad Texts’ 

#FearlessinShanghai #Thankful #joychangeslives #KMarieTakesChina #BlackGirlMagic #KarlaGirlLivingLife #BlackGirlJoy #LivingMyLifeLikeItsGolden #ChinaorBust #ChinaAintReady #BlackInShanghai #BlackInChina #BlackAmericanInChina #LookOutWorldHereComesKarla  #KarlaGirlJoy #BlackGirlInShanghai #eatsleeppartyrepeat #givingisgood #givingisfun #WakandaForever #ShuriAndNakiaAndOkoye #MelaninMagic #Blessed #FaithfulIsMyGod

“life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”  – Hellen Keller

*I choose ADVENTURE