The language barrier has certainly been more prominent than at other times when I've traveled, but it hasn't been impossible to get a little help in English either. As far as the local cuisine goes, I am definitely getting my fill of spicy food. I think I'm handling it well. It helps that I like spicy foods but I have noticed that I am sweating by the end of every meal so maybe I shouldn't be consuming all the peppers that cover a lot of the dishes I've seen thus far. The humidity is incredible too, when it rained today the water was warm. Very different from dry California right now.
I admit, that at times this transition seemed too fast and I was still questioning this decision up until I left. Now that I'm here and with so many others (most of whom have recently graduated from college though some have come returned after working with this program before and others have left their jobs for this) I think I can do this. After all, part of the reason I chose to do this was because I really felt that this was an opportunity for mutual exchange: I wanted somewhere to use my education and experiences as well as practice the public speaking skills and other intercultural skills I picked up at school and China will certainly teach me a lot in turn.