Day 28: Why I came to Microcampus

I came on a fantastic journey to Xizhou along with 15 other students and of course Mr. Tafel, Ms. Mai, and Sofia. We came out here to work on our Inquiry Project and Service Learning. Being here after 28 days in Xizhou has changed me as a person in both positive and negative ways. Microcampus is now coming to an end during our time here we have worked through many challenges and created amazing relationships with the other Microcampus students and the external community. 

The first reason that I wanted to become a part of Microcampus was to overcome challenges and be a part of this new experience. When we got the first meeting about what Microcampus was, I immediately knew that this was a trip for people that wanted to be faced with challenges and overcome them. Seeing the first presentation of what Microcampus was, I knew that this was something I was interested in. To be able to come out to a new place and leave the Shanghai bubble and visit this thing called China is fantastic. I knew coming here had consequences and sacrifices, but I was really to be a part of this new experience. Knowing that there were so many challenges gave me the enthusiasm to go and learn/enjoy those challenges we would face as groups and personal difficulties. 

The second main reason why I wanted to come out to Xizhou for 28 days was being part of a new community. The work that would be done in Microcamous involved getting out into the community and talking to professionals about your topic. This is a great thing to be able to do and made me want to come here. I also knew with this there were significant number challenges I would be facing against, due to everyone in the town talking Chinese and I not knowing any Chinese there would be a huge language barrier between the person I was having a conversation with and me. Luckily this did not stop me from wanting to be part of this experience. After the first meeting having seen a picture, I had only seen Chinese people that were part of this experience. What I did was asked Mr. Tafel if you had to know Chinese to be a part of this experience and springing he said: "Knowing Chinese is not mandatory, but it is helpful because you will be connecting with the community." This answer was just what I needed there was more enthusiasm for me to go trying to still connect with the community even though I didn't know any Chinese. Due to many interactions like this knowing that there would be many challenges there kept on being more and more reasons for me to go.

The final reason that I wished to be a part of this experience was coming to actual China. A fantastic person that I met during my time in Xizhou told me that: " When I come to visit Shanghai I feel like I need to spend money to feel accomplished." He said this to me, and it hit that this was another reason why it was great to be out of the city of Shanghai for a while. But I mostly felt like I wanted to come to Microcampus and live the experience. 

Having spent 28 days here in Xizhou has been a great experience, and I am thrilled I got to be apart of the Wildfires group. Without all the students supporting me and helping me through the process, I do not think I would have made it. All the fifteen students that have been with me for 28 days I now consider my best friends. These people have made my days here in Microcampus better and more fun. 

My name is Pepijn. I am 13 years old and have lived in many different countries. I am originally from Holland and I now live in Shanghai. During the time I had spent Xizhou I was learning about Local Food/Cuisine. It has been really interesting to get to know the people in the community here in Xizhou. Learning about there culture everyday expands my intercultural understanding. I really enjoy spending time with the other 15 students that were lucky enough to came along on this trip with me. I am glad that I got to know more people and build stronger relationships with the people that I may not have reached out to in Shanghai. I also enjoy the lifestyle that Microcampus has provided for me. The food here is honestly really good. I have spent a great amazing 28 days here in Xizhou