Kyoto: The Zen City.

There is no place like it, Kyoto is a place of ancient wisdom.  The energy here is calm and peaceful. On the first day, I headed to a couple of temples with my friend Yuka, a Kyoto native. She knows the ins and outs of the city and avoided touristy places. Yuka took me a sushi place for my first dinner. She taught to eat my sushi with my hands rather than with my chopsticks.

On the second day, Yuka and I visited the Imperial Palaces. This was Yuka’s first time too, so we were both in for a surprise. They were so magical and beautiful. It was raining on that day, but it did not bother us. I think the rain made our experience more romantic and aesthetically pleasing.

In Kyoto, I noticed the unique individuality that the people possess. It is nice to see people expressing themselves to the fullest, and Kyotians are not afraid of it. Furthermore, I noticed Japan’s working culture. Around 5 pm, I saw everyone in their beautiful work clothes walking to the subway. It’s quite cool.

I visited the Manga Museum on Thursday. I liked all of the anime art on display. I made me appreciate anime as an art style.

I particularly enjoyed watching the Japanese kids going crazy over the comic books. I thought it was cute. I also saw a couple of elderly men reading Manga books. I thought this was cute too, and I wanted to take their photo, but I did not want to be rude. I needed to ask in Japanese. Pokemon and Hayao’s Spirited Away were the only comics that I could read because they were in English.









My friend Yuka

Furishimi Inari













Well peeps, its almost a year since I came to China. Pffft! Crazy how time flies! I thought I would update you on my life here in this little corner of China. Lets begin with telling you more about my hometown. Qianjiang is a small suburb (in Chinese terms) just four hours east of Chongqing city proper. It is nestled in between the greenest and rockiest mountains I have ever seen. There are tunnels through the mountains that connect the city parts together. To get to the main center I have to take bus from school and cross the tunnel. I usually go once a week to stock up on essentials. Qiangjang is more of a ma’ and pop’ kind of town, so there aren’t many main stream stores. Oh well… I save my money that way.

Since I have been here for quite a while now, I have been making adjustments to my diet. My honeymoon phase is definitely over, so I have been cutting down on the meat to the point I just eat veggies at the cafeteria. Also I have been trying to cook more at home, making my own salad dressing, pancake mix, and flour tortillas. Besides, I find that cooking is quite therapeutic. I also plan to buy a small oven soon!

During my free time, I find myself obsessing over YouTube’s bloggers on makeup tutorials and reviews. I think it has become my hobby. I don’t think its all that bad, besides one of my favorite blogger Viviannadoesmakeup motivated me to update my blog. She writes an entry almost everyday! She also inspires me to move to England :p. I have also read a couple of books, I read the God Father, (hands down the best mobster book ever written!) The Alchemist, The Pilgrimage, and now currently reading The Hobbit on my iPad. My sister and my cousin Kelly are also reading The Hobbit, and we yet to have a discussion on it. I like to watch something at the end of my day. Kelly got me watching Orphan Black again. However my biggest vice is cartoons, I love American Dad and I have watched seasons 1-9 back to back! I’m catching up with seasons 10, 11, and 12. Gosh, I love that show, and I think I will get into Futurama (I know, its weird, but its true, I love cartoons). As for music, I have been playing The Lumineers, The Paper Kites, Kaleo, Vance Joy and some Drake. Yup, I think my Eminem days are over, but I still like his music. Sometimes, I wish I could make the most of my free time here, like practicing Reiki at a hospital, but I think that is impossible. Instead, I have been planning more activities with my students, which actually is the best human interaction I could have nowadays. They are so funny.

In a deeper level, I have been thinking about how pervious life experiences can shape you up for other things down the road. For example, my experiences with programs like Girls Inc., Girls Scouts, and SOY all geared me up to better understand my students. More specifically, on how to approach certain situations. The same goes for negative experiences too, like the one I had in Barcelona. I feel like that experience helps me to get through difficult days. Which, I feel very grateful for. So if you are experiencing something negative right now, don’t worry, the universe is preparing you something great! Animo! And I am 100 percent sure that my joys and struggles that I am experiencing right now are for something worth wild.

Sorry for no pictures, I’m working on it!


Maria Moreno is a  Peace Corps volunteer living in China. Non- of the opinions here are representative of the Peace Corps or of the US government or of Americans or of Westerners living in China or of China. These are just my own opinions told from my perspective and only mine.

meet the author: Maria Moreno

Maria De Jesus MorenoNin Hao! I am a Peace Corps Education volunteer in China, based in Chengdu. I graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2014, where I majored in Political Science/Comparative Politics. My interest of study was political economy, political institutions, and developing countries. Naturally, being selected as a Peace Corps volunteer in China was ecstatic! I’m excited to learn and experience first-hand China’s unique economy and institutions. Most importantly, I hope to completely immerse myself in China’s culture and language. Thus, gaining a new perspective of the Universe. That’s right, I said UNIVERSE!

I’m a spiritual junkie, which means that I’m a believer in the Universe’s life force energy, practice holistic healings, meditation, and yoga. I will make several spiritual references in my postings because China will contribute massively to  my spiritual growth. It is going to be a challenge, but I know the Universe will guide me follow my personal legend. The name behind my blog is quite significant. I love the moon. Fortunately, the moon has been a witness to all my travel endeavors and it will continue to be.

-Namaste Maria

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. – Mark Twain

Maria Moreno is a  Peace Corps volunteer living in China. Non- of the opinions here are representative of the Peace Corps or of the US government or of Americans or of Westerners living in China or of China. These are just my own opinions told from my perspective and only mine.