Day 2: Navigating Xizhou

It's nice to wake up at six in the morning sometimes, sometimes being the operative word. Waking up at six to the sound of crinkling plastic bags while unpacking is definitely not pleasant.

But I'll get used to it sometime soon. After a hearty breakfast with plenty of ersi, breakfast noodles, and plenty of time to unpack and chill out, we headed out either in the morning or in the afternoon on a tour of Xizhou while trying to get a map of the town (and all the must-eats) imprinted into our minds. The other group was able to work on some inquiry work with good ol' Uncle T while the other group was in town, and after all the tours and work was done, it was time for laundry at the dormitory in town. After minutes of careful instruction from Ms. Mai, we finally learned how to press a few buttons to get the washing machines started with a super-duper game of Star-Shaped Badminton afterwards.

With our bellies full from dinner, we settled into the TV room to watch a documentary on the impacts of hydropower on Chinese villages in Yunnan. The pair responsible for producing the film were in there to clarify some points about their documentary, which I found to be thoughtful and provocative. It made me think about how "clean" energy is not necessarily socially responsible nor "renewable" in the sense that land is precious and cannot be easily replaced. The film pointed out a few valid solutions to our energy issues today but leaves us questions of how. I guess that these questions may never be truly answered during our generation, but recognizing these problems is a step in the right direction.

I am fourteen years old and I was born in Mountain View, California but have since then moved to Shanghai in fourth grade. Xizhou was an awesome place to discover more about myself and the "real" China. I still miss the clean air, delicious food, and friendly people of Xizhou. All active and future Microcampus students can feel free to ask me for advice!