Sujin H. (Alumni-B)'s Journal

Why did I come to Microcampus? This reminds me of the journal I wrote "a week and 3 days B4" departure. I applied to join Microcampus for various reasons. First, I wanted to break out of my bubble. Second, I wanted to be more independent. Third, I wanted to see a sky full of stars. Forth, I thought it would be a good experience. Fifth, I don't remember that well, but the list goes on and on. I had countless things I wanted to gain from Microcampus, and I gained that countless things. I got out of my bubble for a month by living in Xizhou. I became more independent.

6 Comments

Today is the last full day of Microcampus, and soon we will be having our last night in YZR. Saying goodbye is the hardest part for me, and I think it is the same for many people. I will miss the people, the place, and the sky. I said goodbye to people in Shi Fang Jie, our YZR family, and our service learning partner, Mr. Zhao. Mr. Zhao took Cass and me on a small tour to his house, which is right next to YZR. That was the place where the funeral was held. Mr. Zhao also offered us some tea and fruits at his house.

5 Comments

Today 2:00AM, my roommates and I woke up to see the shooting stars. Few other memebrs in Microcampus also woke up, as well as Mr. Tafel. This was my first time to wake up in the middle of the night to see stars, so the scene was just fascinating to me. There were totally different constellations on the sky that we can't see during our normal star gazing time, and there were shooting stars! I saw two of them after about one hour of star gazing. I was just so fascinated by the scene that I had to say "wow" or "what??" everytime I see it.

2 Comments

I love Dali old town!! They have Civilized Orangutan that have the best burgers in the world, and they also have Sweet tooth that have the best Mint Cookies and Cream Pie in the world. I usually don't like burgers, but the burgers in Civilized Orangutan is just too good. It has juicy meat, bacon, cheese, and other vegetables with bread that is soft inside and crunchy outside. The burger was really the best burger that I've ever eaten in my whole entire life. I really recommend the people to go eat the burgers of this place.

1 Comments

Today few of the Microcampus members went over to the Linden Centre to watch the Dongjin music concert. I don't know much about the Dongjin music, but it was really cool. It looked like a mini orchestra. I think there are many similarities between the Dongjin music and the western music (orchestra). First of all the instruments look alike. There were instruments that look like cello, and there were instruments that look like guitar. The percussions were at the back of the group like orchestra. The people used similar techniques such as vibrato and tremolo.

1 Comments

Today, we made dumplings for dinner. I've made many dumplings in home before, and it was not that much different. However, it was more fun to make it with friends, and eat it with friends. Also, the taste was totally different. The dumplings in home are less salty and oily than the ones here. I don't think any oil goes into dumpling in home. The Linden family came to Yang Zuo Ran. Mr. Linden was not there, but Mrs. Linden and their kids came. We made dumplings together, and played games together. It was very fun. When the sky turned dark, someone started playing the guitar.

0 Comments

I just can't believe its already day 22. I can still clearly remember the first day we came to Xi Zhou. In less than a week, we will be back in Shanghai. When I was in Shanghai, I always thought I would be a different person at the end of the Microcampus experience. Now looking back, I am questioning myself whether I changed much or not. Now I am more aware of the real China, not China in Shanghai bubble. I went to the most extreme hike, the Hua Dian Ba hike. I ate the local food for one month. I really miss my home and friends back in Shanghai. I realized how comfortable that bubble was.

0 Comments

Today was the last day (for me) to gather information for my inquiry project. I went to the tap water company with Amy, who also went to the wastewater treatment centre and aqueducts with me. She showed my an ice cream store at Shi Fang Jie on the way to the tap water company and also bought be a chocolate ice cream. I didn't know there was an ice cream store in Shi Fang Jie. However, it tasted quite good. It wasn't like Baskin Robbins or Haagen Daz, but it was still good. When we reached the tap water company, the door was closed and only a dog was there to greet us.

0 Comments

During the last 20 days, I learned a lot about my inquiry project, but I did not only learn those. I also learned to play badminton. Vicky first helped me to play, and I got better and better. It was very fun. Now I am planning to do my 20minutes in zone by playing badminton.

2 Comments

Today, there was a little tiny happening that made me feel like I am part of the Xi Zhou society. My friends and I were eating at the usual spot for lunch, the stone table, and I was eating Spicy Rice Noodle (Mi Xian). When I was paying the shop owner, the shop owner was dealing with a group of tourists who wants to bargain down the price of noodles. I thought it was really not necessary because it was really cheap. However, the shop owner said that even this girl who eats at my place every day pays 8 kuai in Chinese.

4 Comments

Today was the first normal day after the hike. For my inquiry project, I visited to wastewater treatment place located next to the Linden Centre with Amy. There was a map of the place and diagram of the water treatment process. I could not understand it, but Amy explained it to me. It was a big step for my inquiry project. As I walked around the place, I saw a lot of pools containing waters of different purification stages. That place looked quite small for a water treatment centre for the whole Xi Zhou village.

0 Comments

Today was a resting day. We woke up at 9, and only had little work to do compare to normal days in Microcampus. At 3:30, we went to Dali Old Town. It was our second trip to the town, but it was still really good. We went to the restaurant that last year's people recommended. The food was really good that Clara said that they have the best burgers. We also went to Sweet Tooth like we always do and met other Microcampus people. I tried a peanut butter pie this time, and it was really good.

1 Comments

Last night, we slept at the inn place at Hua Dian Ba instead of camping, since the weather was not fit for camping. We were the only kids at that place, and I felt pretty proud of myself for finishing the hike. Today, we went hiking to the Xiao Hua Dian Ba, which looked like african moon. The highest point we went to was 3232m. It was really could that we were on 3232m above sea level at 23rd of March. It was really windy that yesterday's wind will feel like breeze compare to this one. It was once again the Venturi effect.

1 Comments

I woke up 20 times at the middle of the night because it was so cold at night. It was freezing cold that me and clara had to snuggle into one sleeping bag in the middle of the night to survive the night. It was so cold. In the morning, I found the tents all covered in frost and Mr. Tafel's writing. Getting down the tent was really hard. My fingers were frozen overnight, and it was just painful to touch that frozen tent with those hands. This again reminded of how comfortable my home is. I feel this every time I go camping somewhere.

0 Comments

Today's hike was the most toughest hike I've ever done in my life. It was worth all the bacon and eggs we ate for breakfast. We experienced all four seasons in less than half a day. It was hot like summer for the first few hours of hike. We saw the white house on the middle of the mountain that we saw during terrace time. As a fun fact, the house looks like star at night. Then it turned very dry and windy because of the Venturi effect, which is when all the winds are going through a small valley due to certain geographical reasons.

1 Comments

Today Clara told me an amazing discovery. She said that the word Da Li Shi, which is the Chinese name for marble, come from Dali. Da Li Shi in Korean is 대리석, which has extremely similar pronunciation. Many Chinese words have similar pronunciation as Korean words, but it came more special to me today since I was in Dali. This is one amazing discovery by Clara's mom.

 

2 Comments

Today we went to Sha Ba to do some shopping. The market was right in front of the mountains and was really big. The market had various things: trees, flowers, pots, dishes, water bottles, baskets, clothes, aprons, Bai minority headdresses, shoes, Buddhism objects, antiques, pets, food…etc. I really liked the snack there. There was a spicy peanut roll that Mr. Tafel bought, and it tasted really good. I really liked that. They also had some ding ding tang (white candy), which I was finding in Shi Fang Jie for days.

0 Comments

Today was a chill day, but for me it was a huge day. I was feeling little homesick, but I got better after texting my friends in Shanghai at night. In Microcampus, you can group your friends in to two groups: friends you are with right now (Microcampus members), and friends back in Shanghai. Even if you don't know a person in Microcampus very well, soon you will become close friends with him/her. If you know that person very well, then you will get to know that person even better.

1 Comments

 

 

Today was a normal day. I just can't believe how fast the time goes. It's already day 10. Ten days of seeing mountains during day and stars at night. Ten days of breathing in fresh air. Favorite part of my day usually riding bike along the Erhai lake. The view's really pretty. Green and red mountains behind fresh blue water. It is really amazing view. I think I am going to miss this a lot when I go back to Shanghai. 

 

4 Comments

There are a lot of things that we can figure out without seeing them for real. For example, in few of my past journals, I wrote that the villagers in Xi Zhou sleep early because of two reasons. First, the stores close relatively early at night and they didn't know about the forest fire that happened around 10PM. This one is a bad example, but I think a lot of astronomy is based on these kind of thinking. Nobody, even Galileo Galilei, didn't see the earth orbiting the sun for real.

0 Comments

A week before today was the day we first arrived at Xi Zhou. I can't believe that one week's already over! Now we only have 21 days left. Yesterday night, there was a forest fire across the lake, so it really didn't have any effect on us. Also, fortunately, no one got harm across the lake, too. However, many homes have been destroyed in that fire. We could see the burning woods near the Linden Centre. It was really sad. Today we first started our service learning project, and I meet several villagers.

4 Comments

Today, we went to the tie-dye factory in Zhou Cheng, and there were Bai minority headpieces. Everyone got curious and some tried wearing them. I actually got to learn about those. There are four special things that Dali is famous about. It is feng hua xue yue. In English, it is wind, flower, snow, and moon. Wind stands for wind coming down the mountains. Flower stands for beautiful flowers. Snow stands for the snow on the top of the mountain.

2 Comments

Today, I went on bike riding to the Erhai lake for the first time. I went bike riding with Vicky, Clara, Nick, and Yi Fei. Yi Fei led the road to Erhai lake, but almost got lost on the way back. We went to a different village, and even saw a sign leading to Lijiang, the place I went last year for China Alive. However, it was really cool riding bike next to the Erhai lake and exploring new places. The sad part is that my heart rate monitor didn't work, and I had to jog around YZR to get my time in zone.

5 Comments

Today, we went to the tea plantation and Dali old town. Before going to the tea plantation, we went hiking to a small pool in the mountains. I was surprised by how clean the water is and how the rocks changed it's shape as the water ran down for hundreds of years. It was really hard to get up there, but I think it was worth it. At the the tea plantation, we got to pick our own tea leaves and make our own green tea. If we had more time, we could have made black tea. I didn't know that black tea and green tea are made from the same leaves.

2 Comments

Today, we had another of our regular Microcampus day, and I think I am getting used to this routine. At the meeting today, Mr. Tafel said that we are going to the Dali old town tomorrow. I am so excited!! Our bikes also came, and they were all new and fancy. One of the bikes were small compared to others, and I rode that to the Yang's guesthouse, where the last year's group stayed. Yang's guesthouse had amazing architecture. It was colorful and curved in extreme detail. I really liked the place. I also liked Ms.

0 Comments

Today was quite relaxing compare to yesterday. Mr. Tafel is giving us more responsibility and freedom each day. Being independent is one of the reason why I joined Microcampus, so I think this is a good challenge for me. During the independent time, I worked on my inquiry project, played volleyball, and took a 30 minute nap. I think this is a good start. One other fascinating thing that I learned about the village is that the stores close pretty early. When we went out for dinner, at around 6:30, more stores were closed than open.

4 Comments

          We went on a tour around the village today. Some local peopl remembered last year's group and asked us if they are coming again. I think the last year's group left a good impression on the local people, and I just hope that I can carry on with that. The market was really busy and crowded. There were a lot of interesting things, and I hope to freely walk around that place with less people and more free time. The highlight of today was the horse ride. Mr.

2 Comments

Today, I really could not focus at school. In less than 24hours, I would be on a plane to KunMing. I am so excited and also little nervous. Last five days, I was squishing in all the tests and projects in school just like how I squished in all of my snacks in the zip-lock bag. I think other Microcampus members also "squished in" these things in last five days. I cleaned my room and my closet is quite empty now from packing. I said good-bye to my friends and teachers in school, and they all wished me good luck. My math teacher, Mr.

0 Comments

I just can't believe that the Microcampus trip is just a week and 3 days away. I knew that someday I will be just "a week and 3 days away" from departure, but I still can not believe it. Now, I am working on building more background knowledge about inquiry project I will be working on in Xi Zhou, and turning in some forms related to Microcampus. 

1 Comments
Hi. My name is Sujin. I am currently a Microcampus Alumni. :) I miss Xizhou a lot. I really had a great time there and it has been a month that I will never forget for rest of my life. I really hope and want to go to Xizhou again.