Aakshi C. (Alumni-C)'s Journal

Hi everyone! It's Aakshi, for the last time on this website :( Today I was thinking about why I came to Microcampus. There are many reasons why I was initially interested in having this experience. I wanted to have the freedom, and the independence to see whether I'm responsible enough to live without my parents for a month, in a place in the middle of nowhere in China. I also wanted to experience living out of the "bubble," because I've been living in a similar bubble in different countries for almost my whole life. I wanted to get out of the bubble and experience the real China.

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Hey everyone! Today is our last day at Yang Zhuo Ran. I'm speechless at how fast this trip has gone, and how much I'm going to miss this place, miss the people, and miss everything about XiZhou. When I first arrived in Xizhou, I was surprised at how friendly the people were, at how many stars are visible in the night sky, at how relaxed the pace of life is here, and how everyone who came with me is so accepting. Now that it's all become normal to me, I realize how much I'm going to miss it.

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Hi everyone! Today we had our Service Learning Sharing! It was really fun, but a bit disappointing because only my group's service learning partner came, which was good, but I felt bad for the other people. We also had a lot of students come in from the Local School, which was really cool. All the Service Learning videos were really good, and I enjoyed watching all of them. Afterwards, all of us went to the Music room and performed for the other kids, and they sang us a Chinese song, and it was really cool.

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Hi everyone! Today was a pretty productive day again, and we got a lot done. Katie, Natalie, and I had laundry today, and Katie wanted to get home early to finish up some work, so she pushed us until we got home till 11 :) Lunch was at Sifang Jie, and I tried the wonton soup, which was actually really good! After lunch, and some quick inquiry project work, we went on a wellness run, and the scenery was so beautiful, which made me realize that it was something I'm going to miss terribly. After some quick recuperating, I had an Inquiry Project session with Mr.

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Hey everyone! Today was a really productive day, and we all got a lot done. So, after breakfast, we did have SAS Essentials, but it was just math, because we all needed a bit of reinforcement of the concepts :) The rest of the time we worked on Inquiry Project and Service Learning Projects, which are due tomorrow. Katie and I also went on a speedwalk, to get some Wellness. I'm going to miss walking around this place, through the garlic fields and having the mountains in the background. It's just amazing.

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Happy Mother's Day! Today is Mother's Day, and unfortunately, here at Microcampus, we don't get to be with our mums. However, we all wish you a Happy Mother's Day, and we love all of you! Today, we made jiaozi (dumplings), filled with either pork, carrots or a mix of pork and cabbage. They were so delicious, and if it's possible, they were even better just because we made them :) Ms. Mai also taught us how to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls, and there was Coke and Fanta on the table.

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Greetings everyone! Today was a really fun day, mixed in with some hard work. We got to sleep in late today (YAY!) and my roommates and I woke up at 9:15. It was heavenly :) :) After breakfast, and working an hour on our inquiry projects, Katie, Hannah, Natalie and I went on a jog/fast walking trip across the garlic fields and then did a core ab workout once we were back at Yang Zhuo Ran.  After eating the lunch we earned, we had service learning. This was definitely the hardest part of the day, possibly even the whole trip. We kept on getting rejected and it was really hard....

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Hello world! Today was a very productive day for me, because I had my last visit to the school, and got some final information. Unfortunately, it rained while Xiaotang and I were on our way back, so we got drenched. However, a quick shower later, I was all dry and ready to go :) I also went Service Learning again today, which went semi-well... She didn't have any reaction to when we asked her if we could film her. In some cases, no news is good news, but in this case? We don't know :) My favourite part of the day was the Evening Programming, which was supposed to be Karaoke Night.

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Hey everyone! Today was a really cool day :) :) We hit it off with Jorge and Lucas making us pancakes for breakfast in the morning, and then, we continued our day as normal. After a completely confusing maths class, which all of us were totally flabbergasted in, we went to the daily meeting. No fear, Mr. Tafel was here, and re-explained the topics until we could probably recite them in our sleep :) Today we started AND finished Phase 4! YIPPEE! It was really great :) Now it's just the final product left, and we've all decided what media we'll use for it.

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Hello everyone! Today was rather a chillax day, but it was still super cool. Katie, Grace, Hannah and I went to one of the several supermarkets here to buy some more "comfort" food. Even though the food here is delicious, I still wanted a bit of a change, and eating the chocolate was heavenly :) We went during Pitching In time, so by the time we came back it was time for lunch. Later however, it was really cool because Vincent and I went Service Learning and it was great, because we met a really nice lady, who I feel is going to be our official service learning partner. Her name is Mrs.

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Hi everyone! Today was a cool day! My favourite part was probably my visit to the mosque. Mr. Tafel, Lucas, Katie and I visited one of the local mosques here, right before one of the 5 prayer times. It was really interesting, especially for me, since I lived in Cairo. It was interesting to compare the two mosques, their architecture, their prayer style and basically their attitude towards the religion itself. Hannah, Miranda and I also had laundry, which is always a different experience every time. This time, we forgot the key while we were walking.

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Hi everyone! Today was a very helpful day for my inquiry project! I, along with Katie, Hannah and Aidan, went to the local school in Xizhou, Xizhou Er Zhong, or Xizhou Middle School. I even got to attend class there! I attended an 8th grade Chinese Literature class, which was realy cool, even though I didn't understand anything. After the class finished, I talked to He Laoshi, the Director of Administration at Xizhou Er Zhong. He gave me a lot of information and I feel a lot better about my topic.

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Hey everyone! My day today started out a bit tired, due to the fact that it took me a while to fall asleep in the tent. However, it only got better from there :) We lit the bonfire right before breakfast and it was great! Our hands got all toasty and warm! After some breakfast and a bit of hackeysack, we departed the mountains for good. The hike was a bit hard at first, due to the rain the day before.

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Hi everyone! Today was just amazing. The exhausting hike yesterday and the steep uphill climb today were all justified with the view of the whole valley. Even though it took a lot of huffing and puffing, we got up to the mountain at 3232 metres, 1232 meters above from where we were yesterday in Xizhou. Even though I lost a glove on the way above, the view of the valley was absolutely stunning. The rest of the day was spent setting up our tents and chilling out. I felt a bit tired, so I took a nap in the tent, while it rained outside.

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Words cannot describe the day I had today. Officially speechless! I feel like today was that day where I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience that I wanted to come to Microcampus for initially. I have learnt so much, but today, was something totally different. Today was the first day of the hike, and it was exhausting, but the journey was worth it. We survived a storm that came with just a bit of hail, and then we walked for what seemed like ages before dinner time.

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Hey everyone! Today was a normal day, just according to schedule, nothing new! It's just our HUGE HIKE is tomorrow!!! Super excited, but rather nervous as well :) So we started the day with a dream sharing session. Katie and Hannah's dreams were quite weird, Grace and I didn't dream, and Natalie was just listening :) It was pretty cool. So here's just a outline of what our usual schedule looks like: Breakfast is at 7:30 as usual, and after that we had SAS Essentials till 10:00. We start our Daily Meeting at that point of time, and that lasts till 10:30.

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Hi everyone! Today was just a normal day at Microcampus, nothing special. We woke up to our 7:30 breakfast, and we were all a bit late, trying to catch up on the sleep that we missed in during our day in Dali. We had another Room Inspection, which gave us our best score yet, 3.5! It was awesome! I was eating lunch in-house today, which was very delicious. The main part of the day was wellness with Katie and Grace.

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Hey everyone! Today was a day full of discoveries! The day started out normally, with us eating breakfast and other normal routines, like laundry and cleaning up our room. However, at 1:30, we went to Dali to a tea plantation to learn how to make green tea! The view was stunning. Opening my eyes, I soaked in the incredibly blue Lake Erhai, the green Dali, and smelt the fresh tea growing just in front of me. Picking tea leaves is a very careful process. You must pick the finest green leaves, with a small green bud right beside it, in order to make the best green tea possible.

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Hey everyone! Today was a pretty normal day, nothing too new, but we learnt a lot, as usual. Xizhou is just a 24/7 learning environment I guess :) We had Service Learning time today, which was pretty cool. Vincent, Erin and I met a lady named Mrs. Yang, who used to be a Red Guard! I can't wait for us to go talk to her again tomorrow or anytime this week. My favourite part of the day was stargazing, however. It was amazing. The stars were extremely bright, and I even saw a shooting star! The coolest part by far though, was seeing the ISS (The International Space Station).

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Hey everyone! Today was a busy day where I learnt a lot. After waking up to a beautiful sunrise at Lake Erhai, we had a quick packup of our tents and rode back to Yang Zhou Ran in time for breakfast. Soon afterwards, the van leaving for the Catholic Church in Dali left. Not being Catholic myself, but wanting to see what it was like, I went along. Personally, I found it really interesting, even though the Mass was in Chinese, and not English. When we got back, it was time for lunch, and we went to Sifang Jie.

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Hi everyone! Today was the day we finally got to wake up late :) Even though I could have woken up at 9 AM, I naturally woke up at 8 AM and went to down to breakfast (which on weekends is open till 10:00 AM). We were just hanging out in Yang Zhuo Ran, playing hackeysack, volleyball and just generally being outside till lunch time, where we all went to Sifang Jie for lunch. The highlight of the day though, was when we biked to Lake Erhai with all of our camping equipment. Yesterday was the first time a Microcampus group was allowed to camp out there, as we were told by Mr. Tafel.

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Hi everyone! Today was a really cool day because we went to San Yue Jie in Dali. It was really crowded, and it reminded me of Dilli Haat in New Delhi, India, which is an open air market that sells souvenirs and all sorts of interesting things. There were a lot of people, but the festival was really cool and the whole atmosphere was very lively. We ate dinner at a Chinese resteraunt... which was quite different. However, the chocolate mousse I had at the Vanilla Spice Bakery made up for it, and it was amazing!

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Hey everyone! Today was amazing! Katie, Ying Yang, Aidan and I had our first laundry day, and even though it took up almost all of our day, we had a lot of fun with it :) The most exciting part of the day was probably when the traditional Bai Minority dancers came and performed for us, and then taught us their dances! It was really fun because it was a type of dance that was completely different from anything I've ever learnt before.

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Hi everyone! Today was probably the best day so far, because we went to Lake Erhai and it was so amazing that I was speechless. Imagine the bluest of blue lakes and then make it blue by 5 more times. That's Lake Erhai. Even though it took about an hour of biking to get there, it was worth it because we took a stop at a temple halfway there about, which was very interesting. It wasn't a temple for a specific religion, but sort of a lot of religions combined together. It was really different and interesting.

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Today was such a great day! We did a lot of things, including our first WIPPET (Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, Terrace Time) time. My favorite part was probably my jog with Natalie, because we discovered parts of Xizhou that we hadn't seen before, and also found super cool stores (with coloured laces!) Halfway through, we bought a very refreshing lemonade, which helped us get back into the "running mode." Ms. Mai also took Aidan and I to one of the local schools, where we got a lot of our questions answered by Mrs. Yang, one of the teachers there.

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Hi everyone! Today was a fun day, but a bit tiring. My favourite part would probably be a walk I took with Hannah and Natalie during terrace time. It was really nice because we kind of went around the whole town and had some nice quiet time just looking at the farm. We also paid attention to the different plants we passed, and Hannah was able to guess a lot of them! It was just relaxing and I enjoyed it a lot. I really liked our dinner too, we had some nice fried rice and then we walked home.

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Hey everyone! Today we got to explore Xizhou, have some downtime, and see amazing stars at night. We had an early morning wake up call at 7:30 AM, and after that we took a quick tour of the facility we stay in, the Yang Zhuo Ran. Some of us went to religoius services, but I was one of the ones who went on a walking tour throughout the village. It was full of interesting discoveries, but also tiring. We also explored the Linden Centre, which was really nice. I loved the library there, and our trip there in the evening was very enjoyable.

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Hey everyone! After a 3 hour flight and a 6 and a half hour bus ride, reaching Xizhou was heavenly. My first impression of the town was "This is old, but it's new too!" We then carried our suitcases to the Yang Zhuo Ren, our home for the next month. I can't wait to just settle in here and wake up every morning to the sound of the birds (as well to the sound of my alarm :D) My roommates are Hannah, Grace, Katie and Natalie, and we got unpacked and settled right away. Dinner was amazing, and all my worries about food disappeared! I can't wait to see more of Xizhou tomorrow!

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Hey everyone! I just thought I would write down my thoughts right now, 5 days before our departure! Personally, I'm really excited and a little nervous. I'm very excited to go and be in a completely different environment (schoolwise and naturewise!), be independent, have a bit more freedom and basically experience something completely new! However, as the day of departure gets closer, I'm getting a bit more nervous about leaving my friends and family behind, and just going to a place completely different than all the places I've lived in or visited!

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Today, everything really sunk in. Xizhou is just a month and a fortnight away. The Lock-In was a really fun experience, even though I had to leave early. I learnt a lot about the actual trip through the night and it was fun to plan our own dinner out and be more independent. It felt like the perfect opener to Microcampus. With talking about our Wellness Plans with Nurse Chen, Mr. Monteith and Mr. Tafel, discussing a typical day at Microcampus, and learning more about the Service Learning, the Lock-In has successfully made me much more excited about Microcampus than I was two days ago. 

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Hey Everyone! I'm Aakshi, and I was born in India :) Unfortunately, Xizhou is now just a memory, but an amazing one at that. I miss the blue skies, the conversations of the birds, the slow pace of life and the people! Microcampus will be something I will never forget. Cookie Monsters in Xizhou '13 was definitely a success, and I wish we had the chance to go again! I hope the next groups that go have as much fun as we did :)