Kailee M. (Alumni-I)'s Journal

I know that throughout this month, I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. I also know that I have learned a lot about arts, photography and Xizhou itself. One of the main reasons that I came here was because of those four things. I came to learn about myself and what I am really like when I am not in my "bubble". From this experience, I have learned that I am capable of doing or completing anything as long as I keep going and I believe in myself.

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Today is our last full day in Xizhou and I know that I will continue to make the most of my last day here in Xizhou. I have made many new friends from the Pudong side and I have become better friends with people from Puxi. I have made so many new memories and it is hard to believe that once we go back to Shanghai, the Puxi and Pudong people are most likely to not see each other again. I am pretty sad that that is the case because I have made really good connections with some of the Pudong kids.

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Today we presented our service learning video to our partner, Jisheng Yang. I think that once he saw it, he realized the reason that we filmed him. I think he was pretty proud of himself for being in the video and I think he was also happy with us and the fact that we chose him to make a service learning video on. I hope that if I ever come back to Xizhou, I will be able to visit him and talk to him again. I know that I learned a lot about him and maybe he learned a little bit about us. 

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Today was another very normal day. We had our daily routine and that is about it. The service learning video was due by 2:00 pm for teacher review so we made sure that we did not have any Chinese character errors or any spelling errors. Tomorrow we will present our video to the elderlies that we interviewed and talked to. I am very excited to see how it turns out and to see if Mr. Yang, the man we interviewed, likes it. 

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We will continue to work on our inquiry projects today and also finish up our service learning project. As we look ahead, we are leaving on Friday and many of us really do not want to go. We look forward to seeing our friends and family but we also do not want to leave this beautiful place to go back to the polluted Shanghai. I will make sure that I cherish the moments that I have left and I know that I will never forget the experience that I have had. 

 

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Today will be another day filled with work but also some time to relax. Yesterday, we finally found a service learning partner so today, we will begin to record our conversations with him and put our movie together. I am pretty excited to see how the day ahead of me will turn out!

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This weekend is going to be a very busy one. My schedule is packed and I have almost no rest time in between. All 16 of us are going to be working very hard to finish up our inquiry projects and begin to record for our service learning projects. My group and I have a schedule planned out so that we can make sure we get our service learning projects and our inquiry projects done by Wednesday, for service learning and Monday, for inquiry project. This will be a very interesting weekend!

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Today we will start Phase 5, our final product. Before we start our final product, we have to finish Phase 4 in which we are putting all of our ideas together and sorting out what we are going to do for our Phase 5. I have already decided on the three hooks that I will write about in our final product. My three hooks are Before I Came to Xizhou, After a Week of Being in Xizhou and After Settling Into Xizhou.

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For the last science journal, I will be writing about the Hydrosphere. While in Xizhou, I have learned a lot about parts of the hydrosphere like the mother lake called Erhai and the water that runs down the mountains into Erhai. The lake is effected by so many different things because in our generation, many people do not care about nature, only what relates to them and what makes them happy. Some people care about he nature but that portion is very small and not big enough to make a huge difference. 

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Today was a great day but the highlight of my day was the bike ride that I went on with Yun Kei. While we were out biking, we encountered a place where there was water on both sides and straw and hay in the middle. We decided to walk our bikes through the hay so we did not end up biking into the water. While we were walking our bikes, Yun Kei stepped on straw not knowing that there was mud underneath. When she stepped on the straw, she slipped and suddenly fell into the river next to us.

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Today we will begin to finish up our Phase 3. I will begin to come up with more questions that branch off from the 10 questions that I came up with in Phase 1. While I continue to come up with more questions, I will connect more with local villagers to find the answers to my questions. My service learning group and I also have to talk to our service learning partner that one of my group mates talked to yesterday so I really look forward to having him share his experiences.

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Other than the fact that we all had sore backs, legs and really bad blisters, today was a normal day in Xizhou. We worked on our Inquiry Projects, did our work for Pitching In and finished our wellness plan. Out of all the things we did today, the highlight of my day was working on my Inquiry Project. As I worked on my inquiry project, I got closer and closer to finishing my Phase 3 and now, I am almost done.

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We finally arrived at Yang Zhuo Ran after a very long hike back home. When we got back, we all had sore backs and legs and horrible blisters. Though we were in pain and scattered across the ground, I realized that the hike we just went through was more than just for fun. We went on this hike to learn something about the group but most of all we went on this hike to learn something about ourselves. I learned that even if I am sore or tired I can still keep going as long as I tell myself that I can do it.

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Today we finally got to the highest point of our hike which was about 3232 meters above sea level. When we got up there I could see so much of the land below us and the view was just beautiful. Towards the middle of the day it began to rain so my room mate and I sat in our tent for a while. When the rain stopped we began to skip rocks and watch the sheep as they grazed and fought. Tomorrow we head down to Xizhou and I will definitely keep this hike in my memory or a long time.

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The highlight of my day today was definitely the 8 to 9 hour hike. We were all exhausted and ready to collapse about 30 minutes into the hike but we kept on going. We walked for a long time along mule trails and other roads to finally reach the place we were going to haw lunch. That lunch was probably the best meal in the world considering how hungry I was. After lunch it began to rain and the rain was on and off for the next couple of hours until we finally reached our final dinner destination.

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This week I decided to write about the Atmosphere. Through my many observations of the atmosphere, first of all I have noticed that there is almost no pollution compared to Shanghai. The skies are very blue where as the skies in Shanghai are very grey. I have been quite surprised that the pollution levels here considering in the time that we have been here, I have seen two celebrations that involved the releasing of a lot of smoke from firecrackers and burning weeds.

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Big things are accomplished only through the perfection of minor details. This quote applies to many of us but it specifically applies to me and my room mates and the messiness of our room. My room mates and I are not the most tidy people which means after about one day, there are clothes thrown on the floor and jeans that are missing but then of course after we take about 30 minutes to clean we find everything again.

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Today was another beautiful day. The highlight of my day was going to visit Ms. Li (again) to learn about the older days of arts and to talk to her about her shop that is called Happy Embroidery. She told me many things but she said that the whole reason that she opened the shop was in dedication to her mom because Ms. Li learned and began to love embroidery, through her mom. I thought that was interesting and very touching and when she told me I was very happy she shared that because Happy Embroidery is the main thing that she lives on.

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Today is the start of our first day. Yesterday I was sick probably from altitude sickness but I am better today though for wellness I am just going to rest. My day is going to be the same as usual and I will be doing WIPPIS time today. In the past I haven't had much time for still time so today I will make sure I leave 30 mintues for still time. I look forward to the day that is ahead of me. 

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Sunday is a relaxing day but my relaxation was different from the rest of the groups. I was laying in bed sick all day. Before I got sick though, I went running with a couple other friends and had a good breakfast. I plan to just relax and get better so that I am set to do more of my inquiry project tomorrow! 

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We got to learn about our service learning projects and what we were going to be expected to do. In the morning we had a two hour class on Chinese History. We learned about the different dynasties but mostly the Qing Dynasty. Then we got to go out and talk to elder people to learn about their experience in things like the cultural revolution or different incidents in the Chinese History. Later in the day we got time to rest and I went running around Sifang Jie (the main square) and other places with three other people. Over all the day was pretty good and relaxing! 

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In looking at previous Microcampus students work, I think that Sujin H.'s project from the B-4 Group was a good example of the hydrosphere and how water in Xizhou is used. I learned that in Xizhou, almost all the water used for watering the crops has come from Lake Erhai. Lake Erhai is the second biggest lake fresh water lake in the Yunnan province.

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Today I had the chance to meet some of the local villagers and communicate with them a little bit. I learned many things but the thing that I found most interesting was how much food they make for funerals and how many people they invite. I learned this because right across from the exit of Yang Zhuo Ran, there were people preparing meals for a funeral and I stopped there with Mr. Tafel to ask some questions. I also went to visit Happy Embroidery and learned how long it can take to make one piece of artwork and how complicated but fascinating it is.

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The day was a very normal day other than the thunderstorm and earthquake we had in the middle of the night. In the middle of the day it started to rain but luckily I was inside working on my inquiry project. I finally finished my Phase 2 so tomorrow I will go and start to interact with people. I think it will be very interesting to learn about the locals but it will also be a challenge because I don't know much of the Chinese language. I will finally get to venture out tomorrow! 

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Today was the first day when we had a normal schedule that included our WIPPIS time. WIPPIS means wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In and Still time. I just started my 3-to-5's and I interviewed Ms. Mai and Mr. Tafel and they gave me the names of a couple people that made baskets, did wood carvings and embroidered. Tomorrow I plan to finish my 3-to-5's and write down all the facts that I learned and also maybe starting to go out to talk to the villagers. Tomorrow will be an exciting day! 

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Today we went out to explore the village but my highlight of the day was the bike ride that Mr. Tafel took us on. We rode down to another village and stopped and talked to the farmers and then we also visited an old temple. By the time we got back, we had been out for about 3 and a half hours but we werent riding our bikes the whole time. Tomorrow is our first real full day with all the activities we will be doing for the next 26 days and I am really excited to finally start making connections. 

This is a picture of the place we are staying, Yang Zhuo Ran. 

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Today most of us got settled in and we got to know the village area a little better. We went on a tour and I had an amazing lunch. We got to know the names of some of the villagers because Mr. Tafel knew them from past years. Tomorrow we are going to get to know the village better and I believe we are going to start to look at our inquiry project topics and decide how we are going to approach it now that we are in the village. 

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We finally arrived in Xizhou today and I am really excited about it. We took about a 3 1/2 hour plane ride and then about a six hour bus ride. When we finally arrived we went to the Linden Centre and got settled in with our room mates and chose our rooms. Over all today was a pretty active day and it was quite exciting and I can't wait to see what we do tomorrow! 

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About three weeks from today we will be taking off and arriving in Xizhou. During the lock in we learned so many things about what we are going to do, what the expectations are and how everything is going to go while we are on the microcampus trip. We all bonded and I got to know a lot of new people and that was pretty fun. Getting to know everyone and learning about them was one of my highlights from the lock in. Another one of my highlights was when we went to have a local breakfast. I really like the Chinese food like some of the bread.

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Hi! I am Kailee from SAS Puxi. I am 14 years old and I was born in Korea. I lived in Korea for about four years. After that, I moved to Santiago, Chile and lived there for a while. Three years after moving to Santiago, I moved to Shanghai. I used to dance but now I am into track, cross country, basketball and swimming. Living in Xizhou for 28 days was a remarkable experience that I will never forget. I went through things that I would have never gone through if I was back in Shanghai. Going to Xizhou made me learn so much about myself and what I am capable of. If I were given the chance to go through the experience all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.