Pepijn V. (Alumni-W)'s Journal

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. 

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Yesterday was the second trip to Dali Old Town. Luckily this time all the Microcampus students got to go and see the amazing experience them selfs. I had an amazing dinner with Xander, Emily Z, Dora we went to an amazing Sushi restaurant and later a small treat at Sweet Tooth. On the way back we had there was a misunderstanding and Mr. Tafel was disappointed in our decisions from what we had done tonight. He mentioned a few harsh things but luckily later he said sorry for what he said and did not mean it.

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Today we had our service learning sharing with the community, It was really fun to have an audience of fifty plus guest. I am glad that all the people that came to watch where entertained and surprised by what was being said in the videos. Our task as the creators of the video was not to sit in the audience to look at the final product with our partner, but what we had the chance to do was try something new.

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Today was the first day that I am fourteen. Turning fourteen in Microcamous is a really nice experience. Walking out of my room in the morning and everyone in the morning said happy birthday for me. Walking to breakfast I got two amazing cards from my Microcampus family. The cards I got showed how close I have become with all the Microcampus students. Especially a few students that I barely knew before I now consider as really good friends.

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Last night just before I went to bed looking up seeing the huge variety of stars. Sitting next to Jake and Alan thinking about how great Micrcampus has been so far. I can not believe the trip is almost already over and having to go back to Shanghai. We have done so much over the past weeks, making connections, doing our field research, service learning project. I believe that we have done great this trip and have made it a fun and interesting one for all of us.

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Today was a day without any power throughout the day, from 7am-11pm there will be no power at Yang Zhou Ran. This has caused some minor problems/delays in our work. This morning waking up late was an issue and a huge mistake, waking up at eight thirty and having a freezing cold shower is not the best feeling ever but I got over that. Later in the morning, everyone did there Mr. T's Pearls of Wisdom, this is when Mr. T gives us feedback on our final product.

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Today has been a long day so far. This morning was a late wake up for me, trying to sleep till 8:30 was not possible with fifteen loud microcampus students talking during breakfast, but I made it work. After breakfast, everyone started to work on the inquiry project again. I started immediately and tried to finish my final video, lucky I finished today so that tomorrow I can easily finish Mr. T's Pearls of Wisdom. This is where Mr. T gives you constructive feedback on your work, which then later you can edit your video to make it even better.

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Firstly to start of the day, my group and I had a great time at Mr. Yang's house. We visited Mr. Yang for the second time and third time today. In the early morning, we visited and started recording for our final service learning product, this was quite boring for me because I had no idea what Mr. Yang was answering to the questions, due to the language barrier. But later when we were walking back to Yang Zhou Ran and my group told me what type of interesting things he had to say, it seemed like my time sitting and listening was worth it.

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Yesterday, I along 9 other students were lucky enough to be able to attend the first trip to Dali Old Town. I really enjoy visiting Dali Old Town. Even though it was not with the whole group it was still fun but missed the others that stayed back. I hope that next week all of us will be lucky and fortunate enough to visit Dali Old Town and have a great ending to Microcampus. I along 3 other students ate at an amazing sushi restaurant, the food was really good. It was different than what we are used to here in Xizhou it was nice to eat something different.

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Today we had a huge amount of work to do. Today was the start of Phase 4 and also the end of Phase 4. We started to think about the outline and what our final product would look like. If you are interested to see what I and 15 other Microcamous students have accomplished click: Here. Before we had our hours to work on Phase 4 I went out and found an amazing service-learning partner.

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Today was my final day of inquiry project field research. Even though this was my last day doing inquiry work it was indeed the most frustrating. At the beginning when I started to look for someone I could have a good conversation with, I was getting rejected continuously by preoccupied restaurant owners. But in the end, I had a really interesting conversation with Mr. Ma, a noodle shop owner. He was very nice and willing to talk to me. Which showed me no matter if some people don't want to talk to you, there are always people that want to talk to you. Mr.

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During our daily meeting this morning Mr. T explained to about the upcoming last two weeks of Microcampus. He let us know what is due when and how to make sure it is done properly and succeed in that way for our final product. I now know that my final Inquiry Project is due the upcoming Sunday and so is the last time we can film for our service learning video, which we will be creating and will be posted on Wednesday 3rd of April. The whole week now until the end of our inquiry project we have 7 hours or more to create the final product.

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Today was a late wake up for me. We woke up around eight this morning having a good ten hours of sleep. This was a great night compared to yesterday where we had rocked up in our back and the cold weather keeping us awake. In the morning we had a great breakfast with lots of amazing food. Later we took out our tents again to let them dry, this was quite a long process. Everyone had to set up their tents again in the courtyard. During this process letting them dry, we all did our week two wellness reflection.

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The early morning we all came out of our tents either freezing cold or with no sleep. In my case, it was both, the place where my tentmates and I slept was full of spiky rocks which were impossible to sleep on. This was definitely the worst sleep I had in the past weeks. After our freezing cold night, we took down our tents and started to walk to breakfast on the other side of the lake. After our breakfast, we were ready to go on our hike to Sha Xi. Mr. T said that this hike could take anything between three to seven hours, which shocked a few people.

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Today we took a few hours to get to the main campsite with the bus. Then we set up our tents which weren't the hardest thing ever but we did have a few challenges on the way. When we had settled in we went on a short one hour and thirty minutes hike up the hill from our campsite. This was not challenging for most of us. There was a clear path up to the village at the top of the hill. At the village at the top, it was a very deserted place with many empty buildings but there were still some people that live there.

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This is a Spanish requirements part of my SAS essentials. 

El tiempo en Microcampus pasó muy rapido. Hoy es la dia de trece. Xizhou es muy differente para Shanghai. Shanghai es un ciudad muy grande pero en Xizhou es un ciudad muy peceño. La comida en Xizhou es muy deliciouso. El comida en shanghai es un poco differente porque aqui yo como mas carne. En Microcampus yo estudio la comida en Xizhou. Es muy intresante. Nosotros estamos divirtiedo mucho. 

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Today after our daily meeting we had a great conversation about what the future Microcampus would look like for us. I finally now know what I can look forward to and enjoy about the prosses and know what's coming my way. I for example now know that with my working group we need create a service learning video by the last week of Microcampus. The service learning video is basically when we ask a elderly person about how the child hood was so we can get a better and more clear unerstanding about how everything has changed and what many people in this town have lived through.

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Today was our first rainy day at Microcamous. This made us face a few challenges that we were not aware of before but now we learned from them. Apart from that this morning when I did my Inquiry Project I visited many nice new people at the wet market. I met a really nice guy name Mr. Peng. First when I tried to talk to him he seemed very hesitant but later he seemed more open in answering the questions I was asking him. Mr. Peng has been doing what he is doing for over 10 years and really dislikes what he does. The only reason he does what he does is to make money for him and his family.

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I have enjoyed many meals here with the teachers that came to visit. Today I had dinner with Mr. Mark, Mr. Warren and Ms. Kelsey. We had fun and many interesting conversations. I went out today for wellness time and played volleyball with a few microcamous students. It was fun getting my mind off of things, I really enjoyed the time playing with them in the huge parking lot. Today when I did my inquiry project I met a few new locals that own many different stores. I learned how she made the sweat and savory sushi.

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This morning during my SAS essentails time I was interruoted by the expected guests. When I walked out of classroom 1 along a few other students, looking down from the second floor hallway in the main courtyard there were fifteen adults from both SAS Puxi and SAS Pudong campus. This meant that this morning during our daily meeting there was a huge group of "spectators". These adults will be joining us on our journey in Microcampus for the next few days.

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Today I created the second daily video shouted with Alan and Audrey. Today was another chill day at Microcampus, during the weekends, we have lots of time to walk around in the community and make many new connections. I cannot wait for all the future connections to keep coming. Connections are very important because it shows the community that we care about them, want to learn about their culture, and ultimately be included as a part of this community. Connections do not necessarily have to developed with strangers, even with the people closest to us, like our teachers and group members.

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After out late wake up today we had a super interesting lesson. We learned about the Chinese history. The lesson was called 150 years in 150 minutes. This taught me a lot of information about the Chinese history. Today, Dora, Claire, Becky and I went out for lunch, and later we walked around Xizhou and met a really nice lady. Grandma has been through a lot during her life. She got married at the age of 20. It was interesting to hear her talk about her life everyday. You could see how all the flash backs made her kind of sad.

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Today was another great day at microcampus. This was my second day having conversations with the locals. It is very fun inteviewing the locals and asking them many questions. After our inquiry project time me along half of the group visited the wind farms. The farms we had a very long history of how they got there. It was really interesting to see a wind mil in real life we had lots of fun visiting the wind mil, and saw many things on the way. This was just a perfect end to our first week at microcamous. Having so muhc fun!

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Today was my first expiernce creating one of the daily video shout outs. Sejin, Alan and I have been working on a video which we pkanned the days before. We filmed it just a few streets away from Yang Zhuo Ran. We went to an amazing field full of rape seeds. These are bright yellow flowers also known as Canola flowers. These flowers are used to make Canola oil. We had a lot of fun creating the video and hope we can teach the rest of the group to do the same. After our morning Pitching In we had lunch here at Yang Zhuo Ran. The food was absolutly amazing.

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Today was our first normal day at microcampus. The morning was the same as before, but today was the first day where we actually started on a WIPPIS schedule. WIPPIS time stands for: Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In and finally Still TIme. These are the 4 things we do every afternoon. The first thing that I had as a part of the WIPPIS time was my Inquiry project. Which was quite relaxing becuase we had more than enough time to finish our Phase 2 work. The Phase 2 work did not take me the given two hours to finish, so after I finished my 3-5 with Mr.

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Today we went on an amazing bike ride around Xizhou. This was a whole new experience. It is so truly such a different experience compared to bike riding in Shanghai. The enviroment and the nature here is so inspiring and interest. When we went for our bike ride today there was a huge amount of bright yellow rape seeds flowers. This view was absolutely amazing. The ride that my group took went down to the lake which was a very peaceful place where we spent a few minutes of still time. Still time is where we sit or lay down in a location and just look and listen to the surroundings.

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Today was a really important day for me and the whole group. We learned many new things about our daily routine and the village. We spent today exploring the village and finding our way around Xizhou, which is full of many small but interesting alley ways. Some huge challenges that I and along a few others have faced was always being with a buddy and doing a Microcampus look-back.

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As the first day of our trip, we of course had to travel to Xizhou. It was a long trip to get here but after all we all made it in one piece. We first traveled on a long plane ride, having to be reminded we could not talk outside our rows of three. After our arrival at the Dali airport we faced our first challenge. This was to fit all 18 suitcases in the bus. The bus driver told Mr. T that we would not be able to fit it in the bus and he said watch and they will do it.

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I have just recently during this Chinese New Year I visited Yunnan. I did not go to Dali neither Xizhou. I went to Kunming and stayed the for a few days. From what I know I know that Yunnan is a beautiful place which has many nice people. But I did realize there is a huge difference between Yunnan and Shanghai. Here in Shanghai there are many more shops and a much larger population. There was barely any traffic when I traveled in Kunming and here in Shanghai there is always a large amount of trafic. Yunnan has a amazing amount of nature and culture.

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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