Day 28: Why I Came to Microcampus
Before I actually arrived at XiZhou, I wanted to come to Microcampus because after living in Shanghai for 10 years, I wanted to see China outside of the protective, modern, and adapted cities. I had originally assumed that Xizhou would be a very quiet peaceful place that was hidden from tourists. Needless to say, I received quite a shock when I found that XiZhou was also modern with quite a few tourists walking around.
The first two weeks I arrived in XiZhou, I learned that Xizhou was much more than just stepping out of the bubble. The first thing that caught my attention was the friendliness of locals. All of them were very willing to interact with us and share their insights. I learned to make connections and step out of my comfort zone. In the beginning, I was not comfortable talking to locals at all, despite their willingness and warmth. However, by the end of the second week, I started growing more comfortable and realized that XiZhou was much more than just another place in China. I realized that XiZhou's people required more than just one month to get to know. Every single one of them has a story of their own that deserves to be known and shared.
Now I am nearing the end of the last week here in XiZhou. I have learned that every place we visit is the home of another, and that only by making connections and interacting with them can we show proper respect and thanks for the people there. I have learned to recognize my mistakes, trust others, and be willing to talk to them. I have learned to not shut out others and grow warmer to them instead. I have learned to not only identify my mistakes, but also learn from them and make the most out of them.
XiZhou, and the Microcampus experience has made me grow as a student, a person, and a learner. I will treasure this experience forever, and I know that it is something that will remain with me for the rest of my life. Thank you to everyone who has made my Microcampus experience so wonderful and unforgettable. Thank you XiZhou for changing me for the better!