Day 6: A Day of Exploration and Investigation

It's an amazing experience to learn of someone's life story, to walk in their shoes, to live their life. You can never fully comprehend the nuances and complexities of another human's mind. Nevertheless, it's still a very valuable experience. Today I spoke to my first local contact, Mr. Duan, a textile artist that sells embroidery and fabric within the local market. My meeting with her was extremely helpful, as I learned many new things and made many new discoveries. As a part of my work in Phase 3, I interviewed Ms. Duan with the guidance of Ms. Mai, Mr. Chen, and Ms. Braverman. It was so interesting to hear all about her story, long life lessons, and hopes/dreams. I was planning on speaking to her about the role she plays in the textile industry, but as the conversation progressed, I learned much more than I could've ever asked for. She spoke of her hardships and struggles throughout the life she had grown up in. To read a more thorough summary of my interview with Mr. Duan, click here (My thorough summary will be posted before the date of November 25th.) In addition to providing helpful information, Ms. Duan also showed me chemically made and handmade textiles. It truly was remarkable to see how our world has evolved from handmade artwork to a work where everything is overlooked by machinery. Ms. Duan went into detail on how her shop and industry is being affected by the constant competition that is putting her life in danger. Even with the minimal profit she is earning, Ms. Duan has been taught to rely on both the tourists and locals to purchase the many textiles from her little corner shop. I have learned so much history today from a reliable primary source and contact, I hope to visit Ms. Duan again! Overall, today was a great day, and I cannot wait until tomorrow where I will explore another village to meet the famous Mr. Wang. I have heard and research so much about this amazing bamboo artist, and wish to uncover the secrets and history that he knows about his long life passion, bamboo basket weaving.


Hi Holly

Hi Holly

what an amazing day it sounds like you had.

I watched Filipina ladies on a tiny island cut grass and then weave it into beautiful baskets which I then bought from them.  Truly humbling to see how much work goes into producing something.  It's good to have a reality check isn't it.


I hope you aren't missing home too much.

I hear there was frost in your garden this morning.

Happy Friday, Holly.

Tracey x

Hi Holly, this is Sue,

Hi Holly, this is Sue, grandmas sister. I am loving reading about your adventures and
meeting the locals. Do you have an interpreter? Please keep writing your journals. What.
Wonderfulexperience . Love Sue x

Great experiences.

Great write up of your day Holly. We have so much to learn from other people, but rarely get the opportunity outside of the bubble we live in. Good for you! And its wonderful that you are studying Chinese to make this unique opportunity even more valuable.

Hi Everyone! My name is Holly and I am so grateful to say that I am part of the "Ultimate" Microcampus Group. I am learning so much and am so lucky to experience life outside the Shanghai bubble. Not only am I focusing on a topic that I greatly enjoy, but I am able to make connections with the many locals I will soon get to know. This trip I am part of is an unforgettable experience and will "ultimately" be an amazing trip. See you guys in a month!