Natalie Y. (Alumni-C)'s Journal

 

Hey all! Today we showcased our service learning movies!! -AFTER HANNAH, LUCAS, and I worked our butts off for 3 hours..:P For some weird reason and case of miscommunication we had some issues finishing the movie. It was a pretty scary 3 hours...BUT WE DID IT YAY ~

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Hey all, Today was my last laundry day in Xizhou. I miss fabric softener and ironed clothes...but there really isn't anything like washing your own clothes...even if Ivy left tissue in her jeans pocket one time and all my clothes had tissue bits on them xD...and even if katie, jorge, lucas, and my clothes were damp before we went on the hike because we couldn't leave them there for 3 days...:D 

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Hey everyone, today was pretty cool.. only 3 more days before we leave. It feels like 25 days WHIZZED by... can't believe we're leaving Xizhou so soon...</3 Most of the day was working on Inquiry Projects, filming Mr. Yang for Service Learning, and going on a tour of Xizhou with Mr. Linden. He brought us to try this chocolate cake, visit Mr. Dong, and walk around the soon-to-be new "linden" complex! 

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Today was great! Most of it was Inquiry work, Wellness, and Service Learning. I worked on Phase 5, went on a great run, before going with Lucas and Hannah to visit our Service Learning Partner Mr. Yang! He is a 94-year-old retired lawyer and was very kind to work with us. :) He was really friendly and calm with answering all of our questions. Yay!!

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Today started out with Jorge and Lucas's delishhh pancakes ♥ (Shoutout!)  The day was mostly filled with rushing to the laundry place to get our clothes because it was DRIZZLING and KATIE AND IVY LEFT THEM OUTSIDE ( dont worry we rescued them and I still love you guys~) SAS Essentials, having lunch indoors (YUMMY LIME CHICKEN!!), finishing Phase 4, and GOING TO DALI OLD TOWN!!

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Today we had a room inspection - where our group got FOUR POINT SEVEN. PERSONAL RECORD!!!! :) Super Proud of that ✌ yay. I then went with Vincent, Ivy, and Miranda ( My geometry crew) to the big tree and SFJ to complete a Geometry Project (the Surveyor's Project) Mr. Gould assigned us. We passed by a small cloth shoe stall where this old lady was selling shoes and I bought a really cute pair of shoes for FIFTEEN RMB. I later calculated that for one pair of Nike FreeRun 3 (which I loved) I could supply myself with a new pair of 15rmb shoes each month for almost 3 years!! (OMG)

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Today I woke up with a pounding in my head and it felt like there was a giant stepping on my brain again and again... probably just dehydration ;( but it feels better now after sleeping a little later in the morning, drinking gallons and gallons of water ( a little exaggeration)  :) I spent a good part of the day watching Ms. Shirley Hong's documentary "唤醒绿色虎" which I mentioned in my Phase 3 and making the notes also featured in phase 3 in preparation for the meeting planned with her at the Elephant Cafe in Dali Old Town tomorrow. (Excited!) 

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Today I tried to walk down the stairs from my upper bunk. And fell. Down. :P It was a great, scary, painful experience. My legs felt like jelly but the tough awesome sort. :D Today I didn't do much except bike with Colton to a TCM doctor- Only to find that he was not in and tending family business. We then decided to take a chance and find the Xizhou Hospital as someone told us there was a Chinese Docter there that could help us.

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As my title suggests. Today I had clean nails!!...After we got home. :) It was an exciting accomplishment after the previous 3 day hike. But before that, we woke up early in the morning, and tried to start up our bonfire for 1 and a half hours...until it WORKED. There was a lack of oxygen and the high high high altitude but somehow Mr. T made it work.

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Hike hike hike hike hike. Water break. Almond. Back to hiking. Luckily today's walk wasn't half as long as the day before. After waking up to a chilly morning ( I probably should have packed gloves and a beanie..eek!) and a breakfast of noodles and plain baba bread (it's like eating pita bread but thicker and bigger) we packed our tents and left the little valley. Only to set out and hike up up up... all the way to 3232m above sea level!! The mountains were like a painting. Rising and falling all around us.

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Hey all!! Today we set out (after a BIG breakfast of bacon and eggs with bananas) on a green bus towards the base of the mountain "苍山" before starting the hike up. We all had pretty HUGE backpacks on our backs (luckily the mules had the tents and water :P ) and the hike was pretty tough. We hiked over 6 hours and up over 2900 metres above sea level up and across a little valley where we were met with hail. The size of skittles and M&Ms. On our heads. I think it was the adrenaline, because somehow all of us made it across the valley at a record setting pace.

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Today was my laundry day!! Now USUALLY I would be jumping up and down for the chance to get all my clothes CLEAN; However, it wasn't very sunny, and we were leaving for a 3 day hike the next day. So after cycling over with the overflowing baskets of clothes with Katie, Jorge, and Lucas and dumping our whites and colors into different washing machines, we went back to the YZR, before heading over to SFJ for takeaway fried rice and Baba, and back to the Laundry area.. ONLY TO FIND that Jorge and Lucas already unloaded our whites to put their extra colored washing in!!

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Today room nine created a great song for room inspections :) After that, Colton had asked me for some help with an interview in Chinese with a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor. It was interesting to bike over there, and I learned a lot about his topic. I have always harbored a special interest in TCM, and getting the opportunity to learn more with Colton was really cool!

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Hi Everyone! Today was a pretty normal day until we took a bus to a tea plantation. The boys and girls split up and we went to pick tea leaves from the bushes first. The method was to pick the smaller and younger leaves. One leaf connected to one unopened leaf bud. We each had a little basket and picked leaves for about an hour. It was pretty cool :) We then got a chance to heat the tea leaves and dry them out. We then hiked up to a waterfall and played around with the pebbles, skipped stones, took pictures, and made ripples :)

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Hey everyone, IT's SATURDAYY!! WOOP WOOP WEEKENDS <3 We got to wake up at NINE which felt amazingg :) Weekends are chill. Basically the whole crew hung out - played hackey sack, volleyball, badminton, chatted, sang, etc- before doing some Service Learning Work. We learned a lot of background information surrounding the Cultural Revolution. The Evening Event Planning Committee had organized a camping trip for all of us. 

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Hey all,  Today started with a great 2-3 mile run with Colton, Jorge, Lucas, Hannah, and Ying Yang. We managed to achieve 30 minutes in HRM with just that run and a few minutes of jump rope in the courtyard. Some SUPER COOL PEOPLE MADE Blackberry pancakes which were AH-MAZINGGG :D Life was happy until... we heard that we would have to PACK A CAMPING BACKPACK and wear climbing shoes to Dali Old town and the festival! (the provided reason was "we need to get used to our backpacks and shoes.")

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The day mostly started pretty late ( compared to my previous early runs)

Hannah, Jorge, Grace, and I REARRANGED THE BIKES!!!! So now most of them match the lock numbers :) YAY!!!! Took a while, but we DID IT <33

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Hey all, The morning started with "you shoot me down, but I won't fall, I am titaniummmmmmm!!!" <- Grace's alarm. After that great start of the day a group of us went on a run. I managed to find a great HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) and got 30 min in zone (YAY!) The run was great- cool morning air, everything a different shade of grey, blue, or purple. It was pretty impressive. 

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Hey All, This morning was pretty interesting. Had a pretty creepy sudden nosebleed in the middle of yesterday night.. but it was probably because of how dry the air is here. All is well, we had our daily meeting, and decided to plan a movie night for the crew today as the evening activity :P 

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Hey all,  So this morning worked out amazingly <3 Hannah and I got up at about 6 in the morning for a 20-25 minute run. We went in the total opposite direction from areas we were more familiar with and found ourselves running all the way out into the field area. It was pretty dark but the air was clean. The high altitudes made it a harder to breathe but I'm sure our fitness levels will go up by a lot if we get used to this kind of exercise! We kept a steady pace but after going really far out, decided to turn back.

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Hey all!  Today was great, woke up naturally 3 minutes before the alarm clock rang. Took a refreshing shower before heading down for pumpkin pancakes and banana bread. Forgot to mention something pretty cool about the food yesterday- all leftovers are separated into buckets for pig slop or chicken feed. We also have 2 volunteers daily to wash the dishes. After that we just had some safety regulations and a chance to explore Yangzhouren (or "ran" not sure) which is the name of where we're staying i think..

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Hey all,  Finally got to writing this journal piece :) after the loong bus ride- (SEVEN HOURS) from Kunming Airport to our little village of Xizhou!! We’ve got about 4 more hours to go. -SO far no singing yet ( to my disappointment!) The plane ride was pretty cool, spent the time playing cards ;) Learned Hearts, BS, Egyptian Wrath, and  BlackJack. Totes fun~  After that half of us went to go buy FOOD and the other half got our baggages.

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Yesterday all 16 of us met in the library to discuss Microcampus and learn about the wellness programs. Grace, Jorge, Hannah and I had just come from a play rehearsal, and before that I was in a Model United Nations conference. It was a hectic morning and I was surprised, after bursting into the room in a suit and heels, to hear Mr. T say, " Go take a short walk and do whatever to feel comfortable, then come back." 

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I'm Natalie! 14 and Californian ✌ Love exercise, fruits, food in general, chocolate, and Xizhou! Missing microcampus so much :) The trip was amazing~! I feel like after coming home I sometimes doubted my love for the city, and craved the fresh, clean, air, delicious food, and kind people. I'm really looking forward to hearing about all the exciting things the D-group do :) I know they have a great trip and chance for personal growth ahead of them!