Amy K. (Alumni-E)'s Journal

After the long usual day we were ready to head back to our rooms and get ready to sleep. But then Mr.T and Ms.Mai had prepared a cake for Benji without any of us knowing. As we headed into the kitchen and towards the cake with the candles burning we sang Happy Birthday. After the song finished Benji leaned in and blew out the candles. We took out the candles and Benji started to cut the cake up making sure that everybody gets a piece of chocolate cake. It was DELICIOUS! Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENJI!

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Tiny pieces of white snow flew down from the sky as I headed out to dinner from my nap. I woke up from Julia screaming, "OMG! THERE IS NO POWER! NO WIFI" I went into the dining room to Yang Zhuo Ran lit of with four candles, two on each table. Mr.T told us that is was the first time it snowed in 18 years in Xizhou, first time it snowed in Microcampus, and first time Ynag Zhuo Ran had a power outage. After I finished dinner, I walked out of the dining room and stood in the open looking at the roof that was covered in white.

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After we showed Jacob and Julia the video of her singing we marched out of Yang Zhuo Ran headed for Ms.Huo almost positive that she is our service learning partner. "Sit, sit, sit." She said again as usual. Then we sat down and asked if she wanted to be our service learning partner and let us film. Surprisingly, she said no. Dissapointed and running out of time we told her that we had to go. So we headed for Mr.Ma's handicraft store. When we reached the store it turns out that he is not there. So now all we can do is look for some of the other service learning partners that might say yes.

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Today Vanessa and I went out to Si Fang Jie to visit Ms. Huo our potential service learning partner. "Sit, sit, sit." She repeated over and over again just as usual. We went into her house and grabbed two stools to sit with her in the sun. After a while of chit-chatting we asked if she could be our service learning partner. She refused but we were able to get her to sing a song and let us record it. The song she sang for us was during Chairman Mao. The start of the lyrics was stuck in my head for the rest of the day. The world is yours, but it is also ours.

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The different flavors of Si Fang Jie lurks in many different corners and has a vareity of it. They have salty in the noodles, fried rice, baba, and potatoes. Sweet in the after dinner or lunch dessert of mi xia   trickled with rose sauce that resembles caramel. The sweet is also in the fridge of where it is filled with ice cream and popsicle. The spicy is everywhere. Starting from the side stands of potatoes and sausages to the stores such as old town snacks you always have the choice to add chilli.

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With the phase 3 of my inquiry project due today, I needed a little more information then I have. So, Vanessa and I rushed out of Yand Zhuo Ran right after lunch and headed for Sean who is the son of Mr.Yang the antique shop owner. As we make our turn out of Ran Yi Xiang and headed for Si Fang Jie we saw three girls in front of us eating sausages. I started asking Vanessa if I should ask them questions and Vanessa said, "YES! Get everyone you can." But instead of asking them I jsut walked right past them and continued for the search of Sean.

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Today at 3 o'clock my study group, Julia, Jacob, Vanessa, headed to a service learning partner together. Her name is Ms.Huo and she is A-MA-ZING. After a 10 minute walk we reached where she live and saw her sitting on a wooden stool right outside of her house in the warm sun. She was thrilled when she saw us and invited us to sit on the stools with her in the sun. She was really open to us and also extremely positive. We asked a lot of questions about her and found out some really interesting stories. We stayed there and just chatted with her for more than 40 minutes.

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Instead of waking up in the blue tent I woke up on a soft yellow bed with a pillow under my neck. I have not felt so good since the day before the hike. When I got out of my bed and started walking down from my bunk bed I realized that my leg was still in a lot of pain. Since there was nothing I could do about that I just ignored the pain. As usual I went and asked who wanted ersi for breakfast and told the kitchen staff. After breakfast, we had our SAS Essentials time where we focused on math again since there is a math test on exponents and scientific notation.

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I woke up staring at the blue tent Marisa and I built again. But today was different because it is our last day here. Right after we woke up we packed our hiking backpack again clearing everything inside the tent, then took the flyer off to let the tent dry off. After that, we put the heavy backpack on to our shoulders and dragged our feet down the stairs where we had noodle as breakfast. When we finished our breakfast we went and packed our tents and played hacky sack which is a game that I now declare Extreme Team is obsessed with.

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I woke up in the morning inside the blue tent wanting to go to the bathroom. Since we are not allowed to go anywhere alone I had no choice but to wake Marisa up from her deep sleep. After she agreed to bring me to the bathroom I still had to wait for 30 minutes. By the time we reached the bathroom I felt like my bladder was about to explode. Such a great start to the day. After that we were introduced to a new game called Hacky Sack. After a while we ate our breakfast which is peanut butter with bread.

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We woke up nice and early and got a nice and hearty breakfast. After breakfast, everyone got their very own container and filled it up with cold noodles and chicken for our lunch. I took a pair of chopsticks and put it into the red plastic bag along with my lunch and tied the plastic bag shut. I stuffed by lunch into the top of my huge backpack where there were only a little space left. When everyone was ready we started to walk towards th big tree where we will get on the bus. The bus was pretty stuffed and crowded especially when everyone has their huge hiking backpacks.

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Today for WIPPIT time Kara and I signed up with Annaliese to go to Xizhou Middle School since we heard how they were having their sports day today. When we got to the school and stood in front of the locked gate the guard wounld not let us in. So Annaliese called a teacher and told her that the guard would let her in if a teacher said yes. In the end we got in. Since it was sports day only a few of them were competing and most of them were just fooling around doing nothing.

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The morning and the afternoon was relatively normal today, but during WIPPIT time I signed up with Annaliese to go to Xizhou Middle School (喜洲二中) to talk to some of the eighth graders there. When I went to the school it turns out that the gate was locked and we could not get in. Dissappointed, Annaliese and I headed back to Si Fang Jie and went around looking for some parents that has kids from 12-14 years old. Turns out that there wasn't any 12-14 years old kids in the area except for Sean.

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After dinner, most of us stuffed our backpack with our huge sleeping bag, clothes, and some other stuff that we need for the camping trip to Lake Erhai. When all of us signed out a bike, one by one we pushed the bike out of Yang Zhuo Ran and waited by the big tree for everyone else to get there. After a count-off we hopped onto our bikes with our heavy backpacks and headed for Lake Erhai in the dark. When we finally reach the neck of Lake Erhai we learned how to set up our tents with a buddy, which in my case is Marisa.

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Near the end of WIPPIT time at around 5:00 pm I went on to the star terrace to do my terrace time. I sat at the end of the terrace where the warm sun still shined on. When I settled down and closed my eyes, I started to pay attention to the sounds around me. The first thing I heard was Shane and a few other girls in the music room playing guitar and singing. But when I listened closely I could hear the sweet voices of the birds singing a melodic song and the wind rustling and whirling through the trees.

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Today is the second Sunday of Microcampus and we are finally allowed to sleep in because breakfast starts at 8:15 and ends at 9:30 and you can get food anytime in between. We don't have anything on our schedule other than breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening activity. When we finished our breakfast we had to do our week 1 wellness reflection but after that it was all free time. I went out to Si Fang Jie occasionally to get food and to take a walk outside. 

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Today at 4 we left for Dali Old Town where we will be eating dinner. Marisa and I ate at Yunnan Café where I ordered Spaghetti and Marisa ordered Hawaiian Pizza. When the food came Marisa and I were straving. Without thinking we dug into our food. When we took a bite of our food we turned our head slowly and looked at each other knowing that there was something wrong with our food. For the first time ever I ate spaghetti with vinegar and Marisa for the first time ate pizza not made out of bread.

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Today at breakfast there were a few people that were late for breakfast. But overall the breakfast was good. At 8:30 we had SAS essentials even though there was no school back in Shanghai. After that, we had our daily meeting 7 which was held by Bejamin. For pitching in I checked all sixteen watches one by one to make sure that they are in good condition. After lunch it was time for wellness. For wellness I danced in the courtyard for around 30 minutes and for the other 30 mins I sat on terrace looking at the clouds dispersing.

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After a completely normal morning and afternoon it's finally time for dinner. This dinner is not just some normal dinner because today is Thanksgiving. Thanks to Vanessa we got to eat Coca-Cola chicken wings which were really tasty. While everyone was enjoying their dinner we also did a lot of think-link, think-it-link-it, and think-it-y-link-it-y. Near the end of the dinner, thanks to Fay we got a lot of delicious and appetizing cookies. After dinner Risa, Catherine, Marisa, and I started singing a variety of songs in the middle of the courtyard.

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Tie-Dye

Right after breakfast early in the morning stacks of dirty plates, bowls and cups sat on the rack. Jacob, Catherine, and I are the dishwashers of the day. We formed an assembly line where I was the rinser and dryer. Then stack by stack Jacob carried the dishes to Catherine where she soaped and bubbled the dishes and passes it on to me. Now dish by dish I rinsed the soap on of the dish using bitterly cold water which made my hand turn purple and numb. Even so, we endured the process of washing the greasy dishes and finished it. 

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Today after SAS essentials and daily meeting we had two hours of pitching in, also today is the day that room three has to do their laundry. Since Ms. Mai told us that it takes quite a long time to do the laundry we decided to leave right after the daily meeting.  When we reached the house of where we do our laundry we had to wait because there was another group that was using the washing machines. After the group finished using the washing machines Vanessa and I divided our laundry in a pile of dark and light and threw them into the washing machines.

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Today we were introduced to SAS Essentials and WIPPIT Time which stands for Wellness, Inquiry Project, Pitching In, and Terrace Time. For SAS Essentials we were in classroom one going over the expectations and curriculum of our four cores and after that we were focusing on math for the rest of the time. Today we ate lunch in Si Fang Jie again but instead of eating Tafel Fried Rice I ate cold noodles from a stand in the street. The cold noodle was a little spicy for me but I really liked it. During WIPPIT time of my Inquiry project I worked on my 3-5's where I interviewed Mr.

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Today we had a tour of Yang Zuo Ran and the area around it. We live on a street called Ran Yi Xiang. But my favorite part of the tour is when we were in Si Fang Jie. During the tour in Si Fang Jie we ate rice cake with sasuage in it, I thought that it was really creative and unique since the rice cake was sweet. Me and three other classmates ate Tafel Fried Rice in Old Town Snacks in Si Fang Jie and the food was amazing. For evening program we got to watch a 78 minutes documentary about protecting the rivers in China by preventing the government from building damns in the rivers.

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After the two hours fifty minutes plane ride and the six hours of bus ride we finally arrived in Xizhou. Unlike Shanghai the air here is fresh and not polluted. During our bus ride we were able to see mountains and lake Erhai and we learned today is that the mountains are always the west and the lake is always the east. Something else that we learned is that the people in the village of Xizhou uses up and down other than north, south, east, and west. Right now we are living in Linden Centre (喜林苑)and the place is great especially the terrace.

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At the lock in we talked about the four pillars of microcampus and they are experiential learning, personal growth, expanding intercultural understanding, and having a positive impact. Through the lock in we experienced a little of each which helped me understand more about the microcampus trip that I am headed.

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Only one month left, one month before I am out of Shanghai and in the mountains of XiZhou! I am little nervous about this trip but at the same time I can't wait any longer! I am really glad that I get to hang out with the awesome people in extream team for a month and I hope to have a great time with the villagers there too. Only a month away! XD

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I am really happy that I have the chance to go to XiZhou for a month. Right now, I am really excited to the new experience and knowledge I am going to get out of the trip.

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Hi I'm Amy and I'm 13. I am from Hong Kong and I have lived in three different places. I am really enjoyed my time in XiZhou because I love to travel and I have never had the chance to actually communicate and live the life that most people in China do. I took away a lot of things from this experience. I look forward to coming back to Xizhou with my family.