We're an ordinary Kiwi family of five doing something a little bit different.
We've taken six months off work and school to live in the largest city in central China: Wuhan.
The weird and wonderful city of Wuhan is made up of three large cities combined into one enormous central powerhouse.
Wuhan has more than 8 million people living, working and playing in this heady hub of business, transport, industry and education. We are here for the latter.
I have brought my husband and three boys under 13 to live in a Chinese university for one semester so that I can improve my language skills for my job as a Chinese teacher at a Christchurch high school.
So why Wuhan?
As Christchurch's sister city, a relationship exists between this university and Canterbury University.
Through various cultural exchanges it's a place I've had the pleasure of visiting many times and I've come to understand its charms.
We arrived in the summer about six weeks ago and the weather is starting to cool, however changeable weather patterns mean that one day can be a muggy 30 degrees celsius (real feel 39 degrees according to my Chinese forecast) and the next is an almost chilly 14 degrees celsius!
The autumn weather is settling in and the days are getting shorter, which means that my husband leaves the apartment at dusk to teach his English language classes and returns home after dark.
This is the arrangement so that I can go to my classes during the day while he looks after the kids and teaches them New Zealand school work and Chinese language.
We also have many "cultural" outings ranging from simply going to the market to buy bananas to visiting some of Wuhan's many beautiful tourist sites like Yellow Crane Tower and East Lake. Our favourite outings are less well known to foreign tourists, like an evening boat cruise on the Yangtze, having a picnic in a forest park with wild monkeys, and visiting Wuhan's famous "snack street" with all kinds of amazing street food.
Another highlight of our time here was a short trip to Beijing by bullet train. We enjoyed an acrobatic performance, ate our fill of Peking duck and had an incredible time climbing the Great Wall. The boys loved being able to experience a piece of history more than 2000 years old. (Hint: the Mutianyu section of the wall is a bit more expensive than the Badaling section but much less crowded and noisy).
On the surface Wuhan is a gritty, bustling city but in the local streets and the university avenues you meet genuinely friendly people with a curious and humorous nature.
China is a stunning and fascinating place where modern sits comfortably with traditional, and Wuhan is a perfect city to experience that interesting paradox.