Day 28: Why I Came To Microcampus
Before I arrived to XiZhou, I believed that I came to Microcampus for one simple reason: to escape my bubble and try something new. But once I got here, I've learned that escaping your comfort zone was only one part of many different reasons.
I came to Microcampus to experience a new culture that I have never been part of before. XiZhou is definitely unlike Shanghai. Looking at everyone's faces, I've realized that these villagers, even though they live a poor life in a rural village, they seem a lot happier than people back in the city of Shanghai. They walk around with a smile on their faces. Everyone are friends, and connected to each other. Communicating with locals was definitely a challenge. Bai dialect is a culture here, and it was difficult to talk to elders when they didn't speak Mandarin.
I came to Microcampus to look towards the good side of things. It was also an emotional challenge, but also a mental challenge. I remember the first few days I've got here. "What's so good about this place? It's just a village." I started to dig in deeper. I really had to look to the good side, and everything just blasted out like soda in a can. This is so much more than just a village. Everything about this place is different: the blue sky, the stars, the moon, and even the air. The daily life here might seem like the usual routine for the locals, but in my eyes, the horse carts passing by, the farmers gathering crops, and even a street dog wandering around looks beautiful here in XiZhou.
After 28 days of experiencing this culture, I do not feel like I've experienced enough. I regret not being out there every single moment, but I think that is what makes us appreciate this town more than anyone else. This experience changed my ways of seeing things and my mind-set.
If you haven't been to XiZhou and haven't joined to participate in Microcampus for this remarkable experience, this might not make any sense to you and you may not understand. But all of us 16 Microcampus students believe in the one same thing: this place is different, and we will be visiting this place again. 喜洲 (XiZhou translated to "happy place"), is truly a happy place.