Day 28: Why I Came To Microcampus
Why did I come to Microcampus? I signed up for this 28 day trip to Xizhou for many reasons. I applied for Microcampus because I wanted a challenge and I wanted to experience something more than just sitting in a class and listening to a teacher talk about different things. I wanted to learn outside the “bubble” of Shanghai and to experience and learn new things that I could not learn back home. I wanted to get to experience a new lifestyle other than the wake-up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to school, come home, eat dinner, do homework, and go to sleep. Now looking back on my experience of Microcampus, I feel that now I have different reasons for coming on Microcampus.
Before leaving Shanghai, I would have never imagined how incredible Xizhou would be. I could never guess how blue the skies are during the day and how at night the stars are visible even though they are so far away. I would never have imagined how much love and gratitude I have for this village, and how everyone here has impacted me so much.
I will never forget all of the wonderful people I have met throughout my time in Xizhou. Before coming to Xizhou I did not think much about making connections, I did not realize how important the connections were. In Shanghai, I never would have said Hi to people as they pass by, but in after living in Xizhou this has become part of my daily routine. Saying these simple Hi's has allowed me to meet a wide variety of people. By saying Hi to Li Nai Nai, I have gotten to know her and even gotten to know about her past. Just a simple Hi turned into a conversation and then turned in to her being our service-learning partner. At the beginning of the trip, it seemed really awkward to start talking to a stranger, but now on my last day in Xizhou, it will be these simple conversations that I will miss. By saying Hi, I have gotten to know the Zhang Family who makes Xizhou Baba. They have invited me to eat lunch and dinner with them, they have taught me how to do their jobs. Saying hi to Nai Nai and Jie Jie has allowed me to get to know them and learn to make tie-dye.
I will always remember the connections that I have made, I will remember modeling the tie-dye scarfs that Nai Nai and Jie Jie made to help them get a customer to buy them. I will remember how when I was making Baba with Zhang Ayi, how a tourist came up to ask why I was making Baba, and Zhang Ayi could explain the entire reason why I was in Xizhou. She told them that I had come from Shanghai to live in Xizhou for 28 days and how my inquiry topic was bamboo weaving. I will always remember each and every incredible person that I have met throughout this trip.
Being in Xizhou has really been a phenomenal experience that I will never ever forget.