Adeena L. (Alumni-I)'s Journal

I came to Microcampus because I wanted to learn. I really wanted to learn about the culture of Xizhou, the locals here in Xizhou, and basically, just more about myself and how I would do in a not so bubble-like environment. So about Xizhou, I managed to learn many things. Like I may have mentioned in all of my other reflections, I learnt a lot about the history of Xizhou and the pasts of the people here. Since I did Local Recreation/Hobbies, this gave me a chance to speak to many, many, many different locals.

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Like it says in the title, today was our last normal day in Microcampus. We woke up at 7AM, did our morning stuff, and went to eat our second last breakfast. Unfortunately, the breakfast was not very special, because every plate of food was exactly the same as the last month. We had pancakes, muffins, banana bread, some fruits, and orange juice. It was good, but it was not very special, which made me feel a little bit disappointed. I really hope that tomorrow would be a very special breakfast that contains lots and lots of bacon. 

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When my Service Learning group finally shared our video with everyone, which included the Ignite group, the chaperones, and the Service Learning partners, it was slightly nerve-wracking. At the start, we had to introduce ourselves in our English and Chinese names. After that, we all sat down in our seats when the video began. The video started out okay, and nobody really had any reactions. As the video kept playing, people were occassionally laughing, which I think was because the camera kept on shaking and zooming in and out.

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Today I was the notes person for Daily Meeting. Fortunately for me, there were not a lot of things reported, which made my job a lot easier. Also, there were barely any comments, which also contributed to the fact that I did not have to type a lot. The notes taking job is quite easy, but the job after notes taking is quite difficult. Being in charge of a whole meeting that has about 19 people seems very frightening. Even though I am nearly a hundred percent sure that I will mess up at least once during the meeting, I am fairly confident that the meeting will go on fairly smoothly.

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Tonight's evening activity was cards night. But, unfortunately only a few people attended the event so it was not that much fun. I think that some people did not come because they had work to do but others did not come because they were not interested. As a group of five or so, we played ERS and BS. Half our original group left as time went on so it got even more boring. In the end, the rest of the card players went to do chill and chat. I think that the evening activities people could be a bit more creative with their ideas.

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Today all of the girls went out at night to Si Fang Jie. Some people went to watch the locals dance but most of the girls went shopping for souvenirs. I went in a group with Claire, Evian, and Kailee to buy things. Claire and Kailee went on a massive shopping spree whilst I only bought a pair of pants for my mother and a yo-yo for myself. Afterwards, all four of us went to the cafe place and got something. In the end, we were all happy with our purchases and walked back together to Yang Zhuo Ran.

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Yesterday Justin and I found our group's Service Learning partner! His name is Mr. Yin and he is very cooperative and open with our group. Mr. Yin used to be a farmer, but now he is retired. He likes to share his thoughts on the Old China, and he has a lot of opinions on them. Sometime during the first few days, Nickie and I had an hour long chat with him during our Wellness time. He shared many of his ideas on Mao Zedong and Ling Bo with us. Overall, I think Mr.

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Today instead of writing a normal journal, I will be writing one about the hydrosphere for my Science class.  In Xizhou, the main and biggest source of water is Lake Erhai. The people of Xizhou use the lake to do a lot of fishing, which is one of their main food source. The local people, the Bai minority, are quite famous for their fishing methods, which includes using birds to catch fish for them. Also, the water from Lake Erhai along with mountain run-off is used for growing crops.

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Farming is a big part of most people's lives here in Xizhou. Xizhou has two main seasons, Da Chun and Xiao Chun. In Da Chun, they all plant this crop called Shui Dao, which literally translates to water crop. In Xiao Chun, they plant either long beans or garlic. But recently, the farmers of Xizhou have stopped planting long beans because no one would buy it. So now, they only plant garlic during Xiao Chun.

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Today I had my first very spicy Ma La Tang here in Xizhou. When we got there, we went to the big refrigerator and picked out all of the foods we wanted in our Ma La Tang. For me, I had two large bundles of cabbage, two sticks of meatballs, two sticks of sausage, and a bundle of noodles. Charlotte and Nickie chose to get plain tasting Ma La Tang, which kind of goes against the whole idea of it. Annie and I decided to be brave and got the normal Ma La Tang, which later on proved to be a terrible idea. When we were eating it, everything was so spicy that I could not even feel my own face.

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Today Claire, Nickie, and I went to the cheese maker's place. Claire and Nickie each bought a piece of baked cheese whilst I sat there and watched them happily shove it in their mouths. According to them, the cheese tastes extremely good, especially with a lot of sugar. After Claire got her cheese, a group of people from Harbin started chatting to us about where we were from and why we were here in Xizhou. This was during my Wellness time, which was decided by me as a social wellness time for me.

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Today I woke up sore all over. It took me a lot of energy and power of will to crawl out of the bed and get into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Afterwards, I slowly and painfully walked into the dining area and retrieved a few items of food. Even though the food was amazing compared to the food on the hike, I didn't feel like eating a lot because I was really exhausted. Still, I knew that I had to function like it was any other day so I ate some stuff.

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Today we finally finished the hike. By the time we got to Yang Zhuo Ran, everyone dumped their bags on the floor and collapsed on the ground. Most people lay on the ground and stayed there whilst a few people went to take their first shower in three days. When I finally got to shower, it felt amazing. After I finished my extremely relaxing shower, I went to the dining area and had a nice and nutritious dinner. But, after the delightfulness from the shower and the dinner passed, all of us were sore and tired all over.

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Today we finally reached the peak. The hike today was super relaxing compared to the hike we did yesterday, which was absolutely exhausting. After only a few hours of doing a not so challenging hike, we got to the bottom of the tallest point, which was about 50 metres up. I managed to conquer my extreme fear of heights and get halfway to the peak before I started to wobble. So, I sat down and enjoyed the view whilst eating my comfort food, which made me feel very accomplished. After we got off the peak, the Ignite group hiked onto a small plateau that had one large house on it.

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Today was the first day of our three day hike. When we got off the bus, the mountain didn't look all that bad, but as we were climbing it, the mountain seemed to get more and more steep. Also, our extremely heavy backpacks that were stuffed to the maximum with our clothes and sleeping bags and such didn't really help with the hike very much either. Within the first ten minutes, everyone was already exhausted. About an hour in the hike, everyone was in pain somewhere in their body. For me it was my lower back and knees, but for other people it was their shoulders or their legs.

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Today we learnt three quotes, every instruction we give is an attempt to solve a problem before it becomes one, discipline yourself and others will not need to, and big things are accomplished only through the perfection of minor details. The quote that was the most important to me was the third quote. Even though I don't like to work step by step very much, I really enjoy perfecting the little details after I finish a 'draft' of the first big thing. Also, the idea that little things will stack up into big things kind of correlates with this, and I am really fascinated by that idea.

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Today I ran with Annie and Charlotte for Wellness today. After we reached the outside of the Linden Centre, we stopped for a water break. The three of us put all of our things in Charlotte's bag, but, what we didn't know was Charlotte decided to bring herself a little 'treat'. As Annie reached into Charlotte's bag for her water bottle, it was covered in sticky, gooey, yellowish banana mush. We quickly put the bag on a stone slab and took all of the stuff out, including but not limited to, phones, wallets, lip balms, and USBs.

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Today, we had yet another room inspection. But unfortunately for the Room Three girls, namely me, we did not have enough time to clean anything up. When Mr. T slowly trudged into our room, Rena's clothes looked like her suitcase had a massive avalanche. Also, half of our room also happened to have laundry day, so there were clothes all over the floor. Everyone else but me also happened to not close their suitcases, and it was a huge mess in every single one of them. Overall, we got negative nineteen point five, which equals to a nuclear wasteland.

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Today the Ignite group had their first Service Learning experience. My group consists of 4 people, Aniketh, Justin, Nickie, and I. We interviewed 3 people, but one of them was only 58 years old, therefore not meeting the age limit and not being able to be our Service Learning partner. She was actually really interesting so I was kind of disappointed that she could not be our Service Learning partner. Another person we met was 82 years old! I learnt that to politely ask them about their age, we first had to share some information about us, like where we were from and how old we were.

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For our journal today, we have to write something about Science instead of our usual daily journal. Our assignment for our journal entry one was to write about the hydrosphere and another sphere of our own choice. Between the atmosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere, I chose the atmosphere because it was the only sphere that I actually kind of already understand a bit about. The project I decided to focus on was Natalie Y. from the Cookie Monsters group.

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Today there were showers. Like rain showers, not actual showers because the water was too cold. Since all of the warm tap and shower water is heated by the electricity from solar power, the shower water was super cold yesterday and today because there was no sunshine these 2 days. Normally there isn't much rain in Xizhou since most of the clouds move to the mountains, but these two days are different. Very recently, there was a typhoon in Vietnam that was very close to Xizhou. So, the typhoon eventually split up, which caused thunderstorms in places that were nearby the original typhoon.

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Today I had to do Wellness along with 3 other people. In the start, we split up into two groups, Justin with Marcus and Annie with me. Annie and I sprinted from Yang Zhuo Ran to Ran Yi Xiang to the construction road to a street parallel to Ran Yi Xiang. After we got onto that big and nearly empty street, Annie started to do her workout plan whilst I did 200m-ish sprints. It started to drizzle so Annie and I ran back to Yang Zhou Ran. The moment we got there, I got a football and threw it around until the rain completely stopped, which was about 3 minutes after.

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Normally at breakfast, we have small muffins, bread, pancakes, orange juice, and a few other things. But, today was a very special day. The whole Ignite group got to try out this rice noodle called Er Si in the morning. We had four types of Er Si to choose from, plain without meat, plain with meat, spicy without meat, or spicy with meat. I choose the plain with meat and it was okay. Even though the noodles were slightly bland, the soup was quite oily, and the rice noodles stuck to your teeth, it wasn't all that bad.

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Today the Ignite group explored and learnt about YZR and Xizhou. As we were walking out and about Xizhou, Mr. Tafel pointed out lots of government graffiti to us. When we finally arrived at SFJ at sometime around twelve, there were great smells wafting out from the many restaurants that were all around us. My Service Learning group decided to eat at the Golden Flower. We all had a plate of really nice fried rice for only eight yuan and got some drinks afterwards. The food at Xizhou is really good and I simply cannot wait to try all of the local dishes!

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Today the Ignite group rode a bus for about six hours. The journey wasn't half bad, since we had our group members and electronics to keep us company. The hardest part of the bus trip was getting on at the start and getting off in the end, which is mainly because we had to load and unload all of our baggage. Since everyone had two huge bags and one normal sized backpack, it was a completely nuisance to move the baggage conveyor belt style on and off. Even though we went through many tedious events today, it was still an excellent day for all of us.

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As I was happily munching on some cookies while watching funny Youtube videos, my mother came into my room and started to initiate a conversation with me. About a few minutes into the chat, she off-handedly mentioned something about a Microcampus project that was due sometime tomorrow. After hearing the words "project" and "due tomorrow" together, I immediately had a tiny panic attack that people get when they suddenly get loaded with tons of stress. Quickly, I logged onto my school email and found the project. Then I scanned the word document that I downloaded from the email Mr.

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Hi! My name is Adeena L. and I am 13 years old. I was born in Portland, Oregon but I have lived in Shanghai for about 10 years now. I travel a lot with my family so I have been to many different places. I enjoy learning about various civilizations, which can also lead to understanding more about different cultures. During my time in Xizhou, I managed to learn a lot of different things about the rich culture and the local people of Xizhou.