Diego P. (Alumni-J)'s Journal

Todays journal entry will be on the topic of the Hydrosphere in Xizhou, specifically rain shadowing. As mentioned in a previous post of mine the weather in Xizhou is amazing, there is a reason why.

Rain shadowing is when the mountains blocked the rain from coming. The mountains in Xizhou have perpetual clouds on top of them, however these clouds never seem to make it over the mountains. (To be continued)

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Tonight was a fairly regular night. The moon was out, the stars where shining, the wind was blowing. Everything was very nice. Normally we would be allowed to use our computers, because it was downtime. The thing is the group as a whole had lost the trust of Mr.T and  Mrs.Mai, so understandably we where not allowed to use our computers. Honestly this is not a very big deal and most everyone can survive with out their computers for a couple hours. The only problem was that after 7:00pm we are not allowed to be in a group larger than two people.

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As you all know and have heard in ever so many journal post's, Xizhou has great weather. The sun is out, the air is clean and everybody feeling good. Not only that but the weather has been like this the entire trip, no joke. From Day 1 till now the days have been perfect, unless you consider 10 clouds instead of the regular 0 a bad day. On top of that the temperature perfect all the time, not to cold not to warm. Sometimes though it can get a little uncomfortable though because of the fact that it is so sunny here (I know, its just terrible isn't it (not really, at all).

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Today's Journal entry will be the second installment of my earth journals. This one will be on the topic of the biosphere in Xizhou, specifically in the mountains. To see my previous installment click here.

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Today as the second day of the three day hike.Today was an early start at 6:00. This did not help considering the fact that sleeping in a small tent with two other people makes it quite hard to sleep. After we packed up camp and moved all of our bags to the main area of the temple, we ate breakfast. After a quick break fast we packed out lunches and our bags and headed up the mountain. 

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Today was the day, the day that the 3 day hike started. The day that the torture started, the day that really tested our physical ability. None of us fully knew what we where getting in to when we all piled into the bus. The words of the Alumni students in the back of our heads, the warnings. At first the hike did not seem all that terrible, and it really wasn't. We started out by walking through a constriction site to get the the base of the mountain, and from there it was nothing but up. The first 40 minuets of anything the hike where the wort.

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Today was Thursday, today was a special day because it was the first time I could wellness since I fell on my knee and cut it open. Since it was wellness time Caleb, Isaac, Noam, and I headed down to the basket ball court. When we got there I found out that I had barely gotten any TZ from the bike ride I decided I had to go all out during the game to get TZ.

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Today, during the daily meeting, Mr.T told us all a quote. 

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, in not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle 

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Today was the day, the day that we had all been waiting for. Mr.T All Star Wizbang Trivia night. This of course was Mr.T's favorite night, because as you know Mr.T loves game shows. On this day we all had to pick names for our teams (our work groups) and get together a costume. Our group ended up being the Overachieving Underachievers (I do not know why). The actual event was very entertaining and had some very difficult questions. There where three sections regular, double, and final Jeopardy.

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Today not much occurred, however there was much excitement at the antique shop. For inquiry time that day I decided that Mr.T and I would go to the casket shop across the street. Once we arrived we found out via Mr.Yang's (the casket maker) wife, that he was not there. Fortunately though I always have a back up plan (or at least most times), so I decided that we should go to an antique shop. On the way to the shop Mr.T showed me a chart of grain production that was used in the 70s. Once we finally made to the store and Mr.T introduced me I asked a couple question.

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This mourning was very rushed. We woke up, saw the Hubble Telescope  and packed up our tents. As I was putting away my clothes i noticed that a weird smell was coming from my bag. After further investigation i noticed that the sauce that I had put on my food had leaked out all over my bag."Crap"! I stuffed my clothes in and headed to the bikes. As everyone is unlocking the bikes Noam says. "Where are my keys". What ended up happening is that Noam stayed with Ms.Mai and Everyone else headed back to Yang Zhuo Ran.

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Being just a week away from the three day hike, today was our introduction to camping. As a result we had to bring many things. This included a change of clothing, PJ's, plenty of layers, and a tent. On top of having to carry all of this we had to ride bikes to get there, not a good combo. Quite a few people had a lot of trouble and fell multiple times. Regardless of all that I was still very excited, because I really enjoy camping, and anyway I took this trip to get out of my comfort zone, not to complain.

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Today was my first day of laundry. Being the sixth day in our trip much of my clothing was very dirty, as was my roommates. Due to the fact that  much of our clothing was dirty we decided to make a plan for maximum efficiency, and it went like this. We would all go in the mourning and put in our first load during pitching in time, we would wait till it finished. Once it finished we hung up our clothing and put in a second load, then we left.

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Today was a normal day, everything was going as planned and I was happy, or so I thought. The day started out as normal as any, I woke up, went to breakfast, did my pitching in work and ate lunch. After lunch I worked on my Inquiry project, then I had wellness. For wellness my two friends and I decided to work out together for wellness. After a few minutes of sitting there we and got started to get ready. After we discussed what our plan was we strapped in checked out our bikes and headed out. To get TZ (time in zone) we went as fast as we could on our bikes.

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Today was the first real day we have had so far. This included Wippis and our first daily meting to be lead by one of my peers. during the daily meeting I announce for my food comity that we would be conducting a survey on what foods every one liked the most. Afterworlds we had some pitching in time, before lunch. After lunch every ones Wippis started. Wippis stands for wellness, Inquiry project, pitching in, and  still time. For my wellness time I took a 30min jog with Caleb around the village. For Inquiry project I added 3 more 3-5's to my 3-5's.

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The day started early morning with a quick shower, some breakfast and the daily meeting. After a lunch in the village the students where split up into two groups. One that stayed with Ms.Mai and one that went with Mr.T. I was happened to be in the group with Mr.T, the biking group. We first learned the process of how to check out a bike and what the bike must have for you to use it. Then we headed out, well almost. The path that we took to get out of the village central had many people and rendered riding quite difficult for many people.

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I woke up at 6:30 to my blaring alarm clock. As I stood up and rubbed my closed eyelids and yawned. I showered got dressed and headed to breakfast. After breakfast we had a quick tour around Yang zhuo ran. After the tour I took a 30 minute car ride with Ms.Mai, to a local church in Da Li. During the sermon I realized that there was a large amount of of westerners their. I was a bit curios about this so I asked Ms.Mai why this was. She was not quite sure but I assumed that they where maybe tourists in that area.

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Today we traveled 2,350 kilometers from Shanghai to Xizhou. The day started out early as 3:30 am. I crawled out of bed and put on some clothes, got some breakfast and headed out the door. The 45 minute drive was the beginning of a long day of sitting. At the airport (having arrived early) I just sat down and waited. After much searching I saw Mr.T and Ms.Mai's smiling (or rather half asleep) faces. While Mr.Mai checked all of our luggage in the group sat together in a circle and learned some stuff about each other.

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My full name is Diego. I was born in Mexico 14 years ago in a state by the name of Chihuahua. I lived there for the next five years of my life, I have moved to three countries since then including China. I have lived here for the past four years. Even after all that time I would not consider my Chinese fluent, however I can get by. Some of my interests include reading, watching animated films, and sports. Interests aside, I have a passion for animals and someday hope to be a renowned Zoologist (The scientific study of the behavior, structure, physiology, classification, and distribution of animals). I am extremely grateful and excited to be able to take part in the Jailbreak trip. I am greatly enjoying studying the culture and people of Xi Zhou. My inquiry project is Woodcarving. I looking forward to studying it for the duration of my time that I have left in Xizhou