Day 27: Why I Came to Microcampus
Before I came to Xizhou, I knew I needed a break from the bustling crowds, crazy traffic, and unclear air. I orginally thought that Xizou was going to be a quiet, non-tourists communitiy. As it turns out, tourism is Xizhou's number one industry. Needless to say, I recieved the nonpolluted, crazy crowded village that I wished for from the beginning. The mountains on each side of XIzhou are breath taking and Lake Erhai is easily one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. Although, Shanghai and Xizhou have some connections, the difference between the two places are amazing and make each towns' identidy.
During my first week in Xizhou, I realized that Xizhou was going to create more than an "out of the bubble" effect. I knew from the moment we landed in Xizhou, that I was going to learn about a new piece of me and create some new pieces. Interacting with the locals took some adjusting to, considering that I had been in a "do not talk to strangers" place before getting this opportunity. The locals of Xizou have been very open to us and letting us explore their home. After the first week, I had adjusted to the kind locals and the change from Shanghai.
During the second week, we struggled more with keeping rules. Although we had adjusted to Xizhou, we now had to adjust to their expectations and the expectations of Mr. T. We started seeing and experiencing the punishments of our old and bad hobbies of Shanghai. Not respecting some regulations such as talking and walking quietly really effected us. We were not used to being disciplined and our reactions were trying. And trying, and trying. But we just kept messing up, and messing up, and messing up. Finally, by the end of the second week, we started getting the hang of the expectations.
Now being the last day of Microcampus, I regret not using my time in Xizhou wisley. The experience was amazing and getting to understand and learn from my mistakes is what made this experience help me grow. Stepping out of my comfort zone has helped me understand a communtity and culture more than ever. The expectations that we could not reach stayed just as high as they were from the beginning. The 10 foot rim did not adjust according to our abilities. The only thing that would change, would be our abilities. Mr. T, knowing this from the beginning, understood that we had to experience the punishment, because the only thing that woudl end up teaching us a lesson in the end will be the punishments. The process of Microcampus is generally like this: Mess up, learn, grow. Looking back, I understand that my growth happened because of discipline, reaching out of my comfort zone and trying to set a positive impact everywhere we go. Thank you Microcampus, for making me realize that growth needed to talk place and thank you for helping that growth occur.