Peyton Y. (Alumni-B)'s Journal

I am here, in Microcampus, to learn, to explore all life has to offer, and to understand myself better. The learning we did here is so much greater than what can be offered in school. To genuinely learn about myself, the community, and the world around me is something a textbook cannot teach. I keep on saying this, but every day I felt I am learning new things, from architecture to local life to TCM to myself. Everything I do here, I learn from it. In Microcampus, I also stepped out of my comfort zone many times.

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On April 3 at around 2:35, Mark, Armin and I went to Mr. Li's restaurant to pick him up. When we arrived, he wasn't there so we asked his daughter to call him up for us. She said he was taking his afternoon nap. After 5 minutes of patient waiting, Mr. Li came running towards us saying "Oh you guys came! Ok. Ok. Let's go to the party!"

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Today was our third and final visit to Dali OldTown. I am going to miss this place because it is really cool. Just now, I did a little calculation and I spent an approximate total of 268.5 RMB on stuff. I brought many items for my family, friends, and myself.

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Today I worked on my service learning for most of the day. I spent only 1 hour or so on my inquiry work, but that's alright because I already wrote my first draft. :D *be sure to check it out on my final product page*

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I am a silly goose.

You know, school is actually very very important, especially kindergarten and first grade. Why? Because in kindergarten they teach you how to read the analog clock, ride a bike and to tell your left from right. So my problem here is that I can't do them, or well, it just takes me longer than usual. Those things are just simple things children learn when they are young like tying shoelaces, but if they don't learn it, they would still survive in the world, they just have to find some time to learn it later on.

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Today Armin, Mark and I went to Dr. Zhao's pharmacy and while I talked to Dr. Zhao, they talked to Mr. Zhao for our Service Learning. Dr. Zhao answered my questions and then he invited me to his house to see his cows, dogs and granddaughter.

Once we arrived, he first showed me the cows. He told me that they milk the cows in the morning and bring the milk to the market to sell. The cows were really big and cute. Then he showed me his dogs, I only saw one dog and it was a german shepard. He was sleeping, so I didn't wake him. Then he told his granddaughter to come out.

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Yes. IASSBFA is a real thing. Believe it. This game and association federation association was invented on Friday March 29 around 6:00pm. Of course, T was the one who started this outrageous game. I won't go into details of how the game is played because it is just way too complex for the simple minded and unskilled to handle. It took us all many years to become this skilled at star shaped badminton.

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Today I felt horrible. In the morning I didn't feel so well, but I still got up and went to breakfast. At breakfast, I didn't eat as much as I usually do, which is a sign that says something is wrong. After breakfast, I decided to take a nap, I ended up sleeping for 2 hours or so. It was wondrous. Then I went to our daily meeting and I started to feel dizzy.

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Today was a day of relaxation and fun. In the morning, we woke up at 9:00, then we did some work, and after lunch we went to Dali OldTown.

Dali OldTown is super fun. When we arrived, we separated into smaller groups and headed off. Alex, Nike, Cass, and I were together, and we decided to go to The Sweet Tooth. The Sweet Tooth is an amazing dessert/coffee shop with the best cakes I have ever tasted (which means they are indeed very good).

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The three-day hike was intense. And by intense I mean, really intense.
On friday, we woke up at 7:30, and ate a delicious meal of bacon and eggs. It was very scrumptious because bacon and eggs was a delicacy we didn't have before. After breakfast, we left YZR and started our hike. The moment we arrived at the foot of the mountain, I saw these gigantic mountains in front of our tiny green bus, I thought to myself, "This is going to take a longgg time."

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Today during WIPPI time, I think I was extremely productive. Nike and I left YZR at 1:30, we biked to an elementary school first, then to Lake ErHai, then to SJF (the square), then back home to YZR. When we got back, my butt was very sore from biking for so long.

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Today was pretty chill, in the morning around 9:20, we left YZR and headed to Sha Ping for some shopping. The local market was not what I expected. I pictured the stereotypical kind of market- you know, with stands for vegetables, fruits, and meat. What I saw, though, was stone carvers, plant sellers, animal transporters, Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs sellers, and 1 yuan household items sellers.

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Today was a day of adventure. Mark, Jason, Chris, and I decided to go biking to Lake ErHai, despite the fact that there was a drizzle. We put on our helmets and our beautiful bright orange vests, and hopped onto our bikes.

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Today morning the six brave souls woke up around 7:00AM and we went to watch the sunrise. It was absolutely amazing, watching the sun rise over the mountain, reflecting onto the lake, glistening in the light. After our "terrace time", we went back to our campsite and packed our tents and bags. Then we hopped onto our bus and headed back.

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This morning I woke up and went to the bathroom to relieve myself, and what I found was most outrageous. Our toilet was clogged and it was gross. T had to come and plunge it for us. He warned that if it ever happened again, we would have to fix it. The experience itself was gross and weird.

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Today we went to ZhouCheng (I think..) to a Tie-Dye production centre. We got to try our own hand at making a tie-dye fabric. It is actually a lot harder than it seems; we had to sew it with string, then tie it. I was doing such a horrible job that the grandma there took the fabric from my hands and finished it herself. I didn't really mind because she made it look pretty once more.

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During WIPPI time today, I biked to the Linden Centre with Nike and Ashley, and I got to do my 3-5's (interview with locals for resources for my topic) and it went really great. I now know where to find three possible sources for my topic- one guy in the market, one guy in Dali OldTown and another guy in XiaGuan. After when I was working on my wellness plan, I did some situps with Nike, then went for a jog with Armin. We jogged to the fields and on our way back, Armin and I had a little race to see who can sprint the fastest to a place. I beat him two times.

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Today we hiked for 25 minutes up to a mountain with a little pool. Then we went to the tea plantation and made tea!! :D It was exciting; first we collected the tea leaves then we put it in a big pot and "fried" it so it became dry. After we mushed it into little balls, and finally we "refried" it to make it into that dry tea leaves we find in tea bags. After the visit to the tea plantation, we went to Dali OldTown and ate dinner and looked around. Dali OldTown was full of tourists, western restaurants, and clothing and bag stores.

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During WIPPI (wellness plan, inquiry project, pitching in) time, Nike and I went for a jog. The moment we stepped out of our room, we saw that the sky had darkened and it started to drizzle. We grabbed our waterproof jackets and headed out. We jogged out of the village and after two minutes or so we were already tired. The high altitude really tires us down. Pretty soon we were out of the village and we were on the fields. All around us was beautiful, lush green fields of crops. I asked the farmers there and they said the crops were brassica rapa plants (used to make oil) and leek.

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Today during down time, Nike and I decided to bike around Xizhou and explore the village a little. We walked to the Linden Centre and borrowed some bikes, and headed out. We decided to bike to Lake ErHai, but things didn't go exactly as planned. As we were biking along on the trail to ErHai, I realized that we didn't have much time left and that ErHai is too far away, so we agreed to head back. However, on the trail there were two scary dogs who kept on barking at us, so we took a different route back. We were both pretty sure it would bring us back to the Linden Centre.

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The view from the terrace of the Linden centre is just absolutely amazing. Even on a not so perfect day (according to several locals), the sky is still much clearer than Shanghai's. We sat up there for 15 minutes or so, all very quiet and peaceful, just observing and taking in our surroundings. I sat and watched as the sun went down and the stars came out. It was just too beautiful to be real. T pointed out Jupitar, Sirius, Orion's belt, and many other stars. It was amazing to see so many bright stars in the sky, I just couldn't help but gaze upwards and take it in as much as I can.

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Today we woke up at 4:20AM and hopped onto the plane and landed in Yunnan at around 8:30AM. Then we spent 6 hours on the bus, then finally we arrived at our home at around 8:30PM. My favorite part of the day was the bus ride. I slept for 2 hours on the bus and the rest of the time I was looking out the window observing the world around me. The view was just beautiful and just so amazing. There was mountains all around us. Just amazing. Xizhou is really amazing and I am having a great time.

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Hi I'm Peyton, and I was part of the B4 Microcampus group (March-April 2013). The Microcampus experience was really amazing and I was so glad that I was a part of the B4 Microcampus group. My Inquiry project wason Traditional Chinese Medicine. Please feel free to look at my blog posts anytime!