Hillary C. (Alumni-R)'s Journal

Today is the last Tuesday we have here in XiZhou. My Service Learning group finished the video and shopped with me in SiFangJie. I have gotten ten hairclips, a pair of earrings and a tie-dyed cloth for my friends back in Shanghai. I got my parents rose black sugar and rose jam. 

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Today is the last Monday we have here in XiZhou, it feels like I came to this beautiful town just yesterday. We are allowed to go to the Linden Centre for the shower today! Stella and I went there, we were the first ones to try the warm showers. It was a nice experience. On the walk back to our house, it reminded me of the first night or second night's experience to find my way back to the house all by myself.

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Today is the last Sunday we have in XiZhou and also one of the most stressed out days of the whole trip. I am 100% finished with all my Inquiry Project work and halfway through the Service Learning work. I spend some time going out with the camera and taking pictures of the beautiful XiZhou with Colin and Kevin.

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Today was a hardcore working and cleaning up day, I cleaned my room for an hour and filmed my Service Learning video with my partner. I finished my inquiry project video and the pearls of wisdom from Mr. T. I took many pictures in-house and out of the house

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Yesterday Colin and I spent 4 hours biking all around XiZhou to find our Service Learning partner, after biking for 2 hours we found our partner in Mr. Du's house. Our partner is his wife! She is extremely nice to us and even though she doesn't speak fluent Mandarin but she is 63 years old and understandable. We spent some time today to film our video with her and the interview.

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Today was another typical day but with a lot of stress. My service learning group hasn't found our partner yet and we are all using our time to try and go into the village to find it as fast as possible. Our goal is to find one by today hopefully. We watched Now You See Me 2 for evening activity on my computer, this is the first time that I took advantage of a Chinese paid app account to watch movies. We watched the first movie during week 2, and the first week we watched Percy Jackson. I always wanted to watch Nerve but I don't think it's PG 13 or under.

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Today Imani and I went to find our Service Learning partner. It was very difficult. We couldn't find the right partner, so we will go and find one tomorrow. Service Learning partner is very hard to find since people are always so busy with their work and only want to sell things to you but not to chat.

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Today is the last day for us to work on Phase 3 of my Inquiry Project. I biked to the temple with Ms. Mai to reconfirm some information about my topic and take some more pictures. I was pretty scared at first about the biking part since I got injured before. I went to this Benju temple and met this little boy with his grandma who's taking care of the temple for around a month already.

 

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Today I went to a Benju temple to study about the locals' stories and myths. I didn't learn much today but I will be biking to the furthest temple in the village tomorrow with Ms. Mai. I took a lot of pictures there, the caretaker there likes to put chili pepper near the entrance. I assume it has something to do with the local legends. I didn't get a chance to learn much about this temple but hopefully, I will tomorrow.

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Today I got to play and teach people to play Majiang at the Linden Centre. I went there with three other people, we walked on the fields to go there. The garlic field is so beautiful and smells funny.

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Today is the mid way of Microcampus, meaning that there are only 14 days left on the trip. We were allowed to camp and hike at first, but then due to some issues we can no longer camp outside with our green sleeping bag. It was a bit dissappointing but I was worried that I would die because of how high the mountain is.

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Today we packed for the hike that we are all excited for, we won't be camping out due to some issues. The breakfast was great. There are many statues on the side of the alley where we usually walk out into the village. Lmao~

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Today we didn't clean up rooms as we should, we didn't meet the expectations for a lot of things individually and as a group. We learned that anytime anywhere during microcampus, we will need to have microcampus lookback which means that we have to look back on things and places before we leave a place. I forgot to put in a revision log for my Inquiry Project work from yesterday, and didn't add pictures which I added today. 

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I signed up for Teacher Support for Inquiry Project, today was the most exciting one by far. I went to the temple called 大慈寺, the lady who takes care of the temple is 李奶奶 (Lee Grandma). She told me that she is 玉皇大帝 "The Jade Emperor" (the supreme deity of Taoism)'s daughter. I also tried the 1 RMB sausage today, it taste okay but the texture is a bit plastic.

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The second Monday! Days are counting very quickly, I don't want to leave XiZhou yet but I really miss my family friends back in Shanghai. The food here is amazing, I tried my first ever 砂锅米线 (hot pot rice noodle). It was very hot, not as spicy as I thought it was. The potatoes are very nice, I did my wellness today with Colin. I only got 20 minutes tz from the granny leg exercise thing. Evening Activity was so intense, even though I didn't win but it was still fun.

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I'll love you for a thousand more~ Today is a chill day for everyone, I woke up by my roommate again but today wasn't as tiring as yesterday. The breakfast was great, bacon, eggs but they don't have apple juice today. I played the song "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri on the piano and a collab with Stella on the guitar. We practiced a few times and decided to have a mini star gazing concert someday.  

 

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The first Saturday in Microcampus! I woke up because my roommate has her laundry day today and her partner knocked on the door. I wish I have gotten more sleep since last night wasn't a great night. I couldn't sleep until 11 since the heater was too loud and my roommate complained about how cold it is. It wasn't cold at all. The breakfast was amazing, bacon and eggs, Arsi and banana muffin. I finished my breakfast earlier than I used to, went to the music room and praticed a song that I have been working on with Stella.

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Puffed eyes, loud alarm clocks, clogged bathroom, not a great start. I woke way too early, I noticed that I have gone into a pattern of waking early which does not make me relaxed. I went to check on people's laundry for I am the Laundry committees. Breakfast was not cool, the banana muffins were finished by the people who are in front of the line. I took the carrot bread instead, it wasn't good at all. I did my humanities work and also collected data for the Science lab. I reported my committee work to the group and made sure that everybody knows what they should do.

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Today is Thanksgiving and this morning wasn't really great for me, I woke up early and found out that the bathroom inside my room is a bit clogged. I went into the bathroom after I woke up, I saw something that is pretty unpleasant to me and I tried to flush it. Then everything from the past few days visits me again, I almost threw up. I walked into the dining area and had my daily breakfast (Arsi and banana muffin with apple juice) when I put down my cup of apple juice, it spilled all over the table.

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XiZhou at NightToday was not a great day for anyone in the trip, I woke up earlier than ever because it's my laundry day. Stella is my laundry partner, and also my best friend in the trip since we are both Asians. Then I put in the Arsi order for the group and ate breakfast. The breakfast is always the same for me every day, Arsi and a banana muffin along with a cup of Apple juice.

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Today was not a great day for me. I woke up way too early because I set the alarm at 6. Breakfast started at 7:30. I am the dish duty people today, meaning that I will have to clean the dishes for our whole group including the teachers. Ethan, Jerry and I washed the dishes together, we were rushed by the committees and felt so stressed out. We then have our 75 minutes of SAS Essentials time for us to do our daily SAS schoolwork. I studied a bit for my math test yesterday, so I have to take the test today. I am 100% sure that I will be getting a beginning which is not a very good sign.

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Today I woke up extra early because I thought I would have a chance to watch the sunrise in the terrace. I woke at 6, once I reached the terrace, the sun is blocked. T^T I luckily, had a chance to see some chickens on the roof. The morning was really misty and chilly, I had my jacket on for the whole day. This morning we had our first day on the SAS Essentials time. This is where we do our daily SAS classwork. I believe that I have a math test tomorrow, so I studied for my test a bit.

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 Today I woke at around 7 and went to the dining room for breakfast. We had a tour around the village after our breakfast and went to one of the biggest local markets in XiZhou. We walked around and stopped at a snack store for lunch. I ordered Tafel fried rice with my other friends, Tafel as in Mr. Tafel. I tasted just like the other fried rice I have eaten before.

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I woke up pretty early today to reach the airport on time. Everyone was sleepy today. After we arrived, we waved goodbyes to our parents and went on the plane ride. Then the plane ride was about 4 hours long, the lunch on the plane isn't that appealing to me. It was a bowl of tasteless congee, nobody ate it. We starved ourselves and arrived at Dali Airport after 4 hours. We had a quick Yunnan style lunch at the airport. We took a short bus ride to XiZhou from the airport and learned about the 3 main industry of Dali during that time.

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I'm 13 years old and I was part of the Microcampus Revival Group. I was born in Singapore and lived in Hong Kong for 10 years and also I came to Shanghai last year in 7th grade. Living in China made my life more interesting, I learned much more about my Chinese part of culture. I hoped to learn more about China and not just about some big cities like Shanghai.