Miranda Y. (Alumni-C)'s Journal

When I first signed up for this so called "Microcampus," I had imagined camping out in the woods every day, sleeping with goats, and living in a building with white-washed walls and a tiny tiny bathroom. I was wrong for all of them except the tiny tiny toilet, but who cares? I'm in Microcampus! I came to Microcampus to learn about the Bai culture and experience real Chinese living while I still could. What I ended up doing was getting to know the real China that we outsiders hardly even learn about and experience living away from the polished, big city of Shanghai. 

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One day left of Microcampus! Tomorow is a travel day so I don't even know why I'm counting it. 

Today was packing day and it was pretty hard to stuff everything inside my luggage, but this time I took out my sleeping bag and am planning on carrying it on the plane, so I have some extra space to stuff more things inside :) When I went to weigh my luggage, it said it was only 17.6 Kg which is definintley a lie! There is now way it is under 19 kg because last time my luggage was exactly 20 kg (the limit) and I bought a bunch of new things so I don't understand... 

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Only two more days until we leave Xizhou! No! I don't want to leave... 

Anyways, today we shared our Service Learning videos with everyone and Xiao Tang invited a group of kids from the local Er Zhong School to come over and watch it with us. After the movie finished viewing, we went to the Music Room and a bunch of people sang and played whatever instruments there was. Hannah played the Ukulele, Ying Yang played the piano, and a bunch of people sang. Even the Er Zhong students sang too! 

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Oh no! There's only 3 days left of Microcampus! Actually, only two if you don't count the travel day because we're spending the whole day on a bus and plane... But it seriously has felt like it has only been a week since we first got to Xizhou. Wow, has time flewn by... I hope sometime in the future I'll be able to come back and it still won't be changed too much by tourism or urbanization... that would be horrible if it just turned into a mini version of Shanghai...

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Today was a relativley normal day, the only difference other than the week before was that we had no SAS essentials because we were supposed to finish it up last friday.After dinner today, Hnnah and I played an extreme game of bananagrams but we ended up making up a lot of words like "foffs," which is that uncomfortable feeling when you are wearing shoes but NOT socks. There was also "odood," which is when an old lady pokes a doll, and many other more... haha...

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Hey Everybody!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!

Hi mom, ...  no I'm not sick, ... yes I'm doing fine in school. How's life back in Shanghai?... Do you know why I called you? ... No?... Because it's mother's day!....  Yeah, Miss you too, bye mom. What? No, I said bye. 

-Miranda

 

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AH! I can't believe there's only one week left at microcampus! Three weeks ago, I came to this place called Xizhou with fifteen other kids that for the most part I barely knew. Now it's week three and I can confidentally say that these random people are now pretty much my friends. 

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Today was our possibly last trip to Dali Old Town! I actually didn't notice that this was probably going to be the last one until I got back from it, but never mind. This trip was probably the longest because we left Xizhou at around three in the afternoon and didn't get back until 8:30 ish. 

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Tonight we had Game Night for our evening activity, but instead of playing games, a few of us helped Erin and I film our anti-drug comercial for health! It was pretty fun but the beginning was so hard to film because I kept on laughing at Aidan's super low voice. We filmed about ten minutes of photage, but we used up more than an hour because it was so hard to get the right angles and etc. with only one camera.

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Today progressed as an average day, as usual, but a few things did stand out today from usual. 

First of all, today there was a funeral just outside of our lane where I coincidentally met my service learning partner! She's this really cute old lady who works in the fields near one of the Er'si production places. Jillian wanted to talk to her about her topic, which is farming, and we kind of got some information out of her, but she was quite interested in Jillian's iPhone. It was pretty funny because she kept on messing with her apps and placing them everywhere. 

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Today was basically a typical day at Microcampus. It started out normally, as in we had a regula breakfast, and then the day progressed as normal through SAS essentials, the daily meeting, pitching in, lunch, and then WIPPIT time. I don't think anything really "WAH-POW" happened yestarday, but I did learn many things about my topic from following people around.

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As our last day of our three-day hike, as you may have guessed, the majority of the day was spent trecking down-hill towards our bus. I think it was atleast 1000 meters today, but probably less. Since it was down-hill, I thought that this hike was going to be easy, but never have I been more wrong in my life! Right after we exited our small plain, we immedieatly began following the streams downward to the base of the mountain. I may have slipped once or twice on the rocks (maybe) but luckily I was wearing my rain-proof pants so the mud stains dried super fast. 

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Today was our second day of our three-day-hike and I have to say it was MUCH better than yestarday. In the morning, I woke up to be a bit chilly, but it wasn't that bad and me and Natalie packed our tent up lightning fast because we are just awesome like that... anyways, after a breakfast of noodles, muffins, and this bread, we began our second day of hiking. 

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So today was the first day of our three day long hike and it was... interesting. The second we got off the bus I immedieatly felt extremley tired, probably just my brain, and my hiking bag seemed twice as heavy as it actually was... Day one was pretty hard. 

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Today Jillian and I went to a garlic field near the Big Tree, a very important landmark in Xizhou. First, we went to this field a bit off of the road we usually go jogging on, and found a group of workers plowing the already harvested field, looking for leftover garlic. We didn't find a lot because they were very thorough... but we did help and at the same time try not to bother them too much. Unlike a few days ago, we only managed to get a handful of garlic before we decided to move on to the next field.

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Tonight was our first microcampus TRIVIA NIGHT! Honestly, the questions were at time ridicioulsy easy or extremley hard because the game cards were made in the 1980s or something so no one really knew any of the answers about the movies and actors... Besides that, it was pretty cool. In the end, for the last round, we could bet our points and gain then back or lose them if we answered four out of six questions correctly. I, for one, wanted us to bet 31 of our 32 points, but NO. Some people (*cough cough) in the end were too scared and only bet 8 points.

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Today was pretty much "Chillax-Sunday." I spent the majority of the day sitting outside, walking around Xizhou, or eating. Things didn't actually get interesting until just a few minutes ago when our good friend Henry decided to make an appearance. I was writing my journal for yestarday (oops) when someone saw some movement near the trashcans. We huddled around it for a few minutes and then a sudden streak of brown dashed across the floor into the crack between our stairs and the elevated courtyard.

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Yestarday we went on a pretty cool camping trip to the mouth of Er' Hai lake. Apparently it was the first time in three years that they let Microcampus students camp there, so that was pretty fun. While we were getting there, my main fear was I was going to drive off of the road and into the gutter water, or flip over a rock and break a bone. Luckily, none of those happened (if they did, I don't think I would be writing this...) 

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So today was actually quite nice. It was one of those days that you would feel good about at the end of the day. Nothing bad happened to me, like yestarday, and the weather was nice... I also slept in quite a bit (maybe a few minutes) I think today was more like a normal schedule of an average day at Microcampus. We didn't have anything special to do today, but I still felt it was pretty fun. 

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So today, if you haven't guessed from the title, we went on a cycling trip through Xizhou and the surrounding villages. I actually don't remember what happened before it, seriously, almost nothing, excpet we played volleyball while we waited for the first group to come back. 

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Alright, I think I need to change something from my journal yestarday. Badminton is not the only "thing" in microcampus, so is volleyball, apparently. Before today, I could not set or bump or do anything, but after our volley circle today, and some guidance from Grace, Katie, and Hannah (thanks, guys) I can now actually DO SOMETHING when the ball comes to me! Honestly, before, all I would do is catch the ball and look terrified, but now, I will hit the ball and then look terrified.

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So here at Microcampus, Badminton is a pretty big thing. It is not competitive playing, but every second we get, we seem to spend it in the court yard playing a friendly game of this featherly sport. On one of the roofs near the courtyard, there is a dark blue vans shoe stuck inbetween the shingles... the story goes that someone hit a badminton birdy on to the roof and they tried to throw a shoe up there to get it down... very smart. You've probably guessed what happened already, but for those that still don't know, I will tell it to you. 

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So today was our first actual day of microcampus, but we still are given a lot of time to adjust to the new enviorement. We started off this morning with a group meeting and while some people went into the city, or stayed behind, for religious services, a few people including myself, toured the Xizhou village. Like I said on the post about yestarday, Xizhou was beautiful! The skies were blue, the grass was green, and we could breathe fresh air! 

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Hi, I'm Miranda, and I am 13 years old. Currently, I am in the Microcampus site, here in Xizhou, and it looks absolutely A-MAZING! The sky is blue, the grass is green, and there's clean, fresh air. What more could one want? Here in Xizhou, I am studying food. Food and Yunnan cuisine is a huge topic, so right now I think I'm going to focus more on tea and noodles (yay, noodles).