Colin R. (Alumni-R)'s Journal

I was one of ten students  chosen to go on a 4 week trip to Xizhou China, This trip was called Microcampus. While I have been here I studied the local games and recreation. I also Learned about the culture here and some information about myself. Going on this trip was a great adventure and I am glad that I got to go. I have had an amazing time here and I will be sad when I have to leave very soon. although I will be sad to leave I will also be happy to see my family (and dogs) once I get back .

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My Service Learning project was completed this morning. It took a lot of effort from our team and especially from Hillary and Kevin who had to translate and edit and edit the Chinese footage. Now it is all done. Later into the day we watched our partner for the project as she watched our video. She was very impressed with our video.  She admitted that she did not tell us about her past because she thought that we were spies from the Chinese government. 

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Today is our last day to work on Service Learning, Hillary has been editing during all of our available time to work on it. I have written my pre-showing reflection wich is currently on my Service Learning page. I have been meaning to get more gifts for my family since I currently only have the ones for my mom and my dad. I have been helping out Hillary and Kevin with what they need to get done while they are editing.

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I have finished my Inquiry Project, I still need  to upload it to the website though. I have been busy with my Service Learning all day and I haven't had time. I have been working all day on my Service Learning project. I have not had much happen today other than working. Today is the end of our last weekend of the trip and I am surprised how fast it has all gone by. I am busy now so my journal will be really short today.

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Today we have been working on our inquiry project, it is due tomorrow and everyone has been trying to finish quickly. I am working on my video for the project as of when I am writing this. Also tomorrow we need to have our storyboard for our service learning project done. This weekend is very busy and we have to get a lot done. 

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Yesterday, we finally found our service learning partner and we started filming this morning. Our partner is the wife of an antique dealer, her name is Mrs. Yang. She doesn't remember many historical events but she is nice and willing to answer our questions. Tonight for evening activity we are going to be finishing Now You See Me 2. Other than that not much has happened other than working on my final project.

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Today we continued looking for a Service Learning partner, we have asked many people around the town if they will be our partner for the service learning partner but no one has been able to do it. Later we will continue looking for someone who will be our partner. A while ago we found someone who we thought could be our partner but he had already been a partner in the past. I'm sure we will find a partner but we need to find one and be done filming by Sunday. 

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Today we went on a trip to Dali Old Town, it was by invitation only so only half of the group got to go. While we were there I got a nice pendant for my mom and a knitted hat that I like. After we walked around for a while we got to eat at a pizza place called Stella's (which is coincidentally the name of one of the people that got to go to Dali Old Town [Stella]), the pizza and fries there were really good. 

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Today Phase 3 of our Inquiry Project is due. WIPPIS Time today has been very stressful in the rush to get steps 7-9 done. Tonight's evening activity will be a scavenger hunt around Yang Zhuo Ran. Tomorrow will be our first trip to Dali old town, only people that are invited by Mr. T and Ms. Mai will be able to go. I hope that I am invited to go so I can see Dali old town.

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Today we had our second room inspection of the trip. He always warns us about 30 minutes ahead of time, as soon as he said that me and my roommate Jerry ran down to our room to make sure it was clean. When Mr. T inspects our rooms he always pretends to be The Phantom of the Room Inspection (as a reference to Phantom of the Opera), instead of turning on the lights he brings in a big flashlight and looks around.

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Today is the start of week 3 of Microcampus. We have been out here for more than 2 weeks already. It has all gone by so fast and I cannot believe how fast everything is going. By the end of this week, we will have completed our inquiry project, by next week we will be showing our service learning videos.

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Today we went out to look for a Service Learning partner for our project. First, we looked at a person's house who Kevin knew, when we found out they weren't home we walked across a garlic field to the Linden Centre. Once we got there we couldn't find any people who could help us so we walked down to the house of an antique dealer that we knew, he also wasn't home though. We talked to a few more people but not all of them spoke Mandarin.

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Today was the hike, we had an early lunch and went out to the mountain. At the start of the hike, we went to a few temples then kept hiking up the hill. Later on, we saw a lot of traditional graves and we walked over a little stream. Near the end, we climbed up a steep rocky hill and saw some cacti. once we got to the top, I ate some snickers bars. After we walked down, we stopped to look at a mosk, we didn't go inside or take any pictures but we did learn about a massacre of muslims in the area hundreds of years ago. The hike was a nice break from work and I enjoyed it.

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Today is the day before the hike, instead of taking the Jade Belt trail and camping like all of the other trips we will be hiking to Jin An Temple and hiking back down. This is because our group has not done that well on the trip so far and Mr. T doesn't think we are ready to hike on the Jade Belt. Also tomorrow we will officially be at the halfway point of our trip. I cannot believe how far we have come in what feels like such a short time. The only majorly interesting thing that has happened today is that I got to know a nice antique dealer named Mr.

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Today, for the most part, had been an average day. The only major things that I have done so far has been the star test and putting out my laundry. But yesterday I met a lot of people when I went out for my inquiry project. I met Peter who owns a cafe nearby the Linden Centre, the security guard at the Linden Centre and a group that works at the front desk there. Also Last night I watched the one and a half hours of Now You See Me, it was ok but I don't get why everyone here seems to love it.

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Today is the 11th day of Microcampus and not much has happened so far. In my last journal I talked about what I had done so far in the day, after I had written the journal We did a fun quiz game called Mr. T's All-Star Whiz-Bang Super-Duper Trivia Night. It was a lot of fun but our team lost by 1 point, also yesterday Mr. T did a magic trick for us with a 1 RMB bill. The only thing that I am doing later today is going to the Linden Centre to learn to play Mahjong.

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Here in Xizhou, the food is great. I have been eating at different restaurants near Yang Zuo Ran. Today I ate lunch at a Muslim place down the road, The other day I ate out with Jerry, Ethan, and Kevin at this great restaurant a short walk from here. The food in the Muslim place was good but spicy, and the food in the other restaurant was really good but barely fit within our budget.

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Today was the end of week 1 of our trip. The only major thing that happened today is that we did our week 1 wellness reflection. It was fairly simple and I finished it easily. I cannot beleive that tommorrow we will be over 1/3 of our way through the trip. The days have gone by so quickly and the end of the trip is approaching fast.

I can't beleive how far I already am into the trip. I wonder what else will happen on our adventure that hasn't yet, I am excited to go home but once I do I am sure I will miss Xizhou.

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Today we had a history lesson on the past 150 years of China. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it, I thought that I wouldn't be able to participate but I was wrong. I didn't get all 10 of my required connections done but I was still allowed to be a part of the lesson. The lesson helped us to understand the history of china and this area.

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Today we went on a field trip, we could choose between a tie dye factory and a wind farm. I went to the Tie dye factory (yes, I took lots of pictures mom), I saw lots of interesting things there. One of my favorite things I saw was a large tie dye of lions. There was also a cool tie dye bag that I saw.

I had a lot of fun, I also tried this dried fruit that was really good. I am having fun here but I miss home alot. I am excited to see what else I will do on my trip.

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Today was Thanksgiving, We'll eat dinner soon. Not much has happened yet today. The only main things are starting a new math unit (yes I have lots of notes) and eating at a muslem resteraunt. The new unit is quite easy, we watched a powerpoint that Claire was given by Mr. Drayton and worked on some questions.  The muslem resteraunt was good but the food was pretty spicy. 

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Today me and a few others biked out to lake Erhai and skipped stones on the lake(I forgot to bring my camera though). I only managed to skip a few but I still had fun. On the way back we didn't kow which way to go so we asked people which way it was to the Linden Centre only a couple of people were helpful though. Later tonight we will finish watching Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief (or as the messed up subtitles called it, Posey ? Jackson and the Pirates of Shenduo).

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Today was our first day on a normal schedule, it was ok but not much really happened other then a bike ride, choosing the movies and our math test. I think I did well on the test and the bike ride was tiring. We also got a movies for tonight's evening activity, we got E.T. (It wasn't in the case though), Percy Jackson and Brave.

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Today we went on a bike ride around the area, there was lots of construction areas we had to go through and around. The construction was there because during the great leap foreward water was artificially taken from the lake to make more farmland, now they are letting the water reclaim the land and making the area into a national park. Overall the biking trip was fun and educational, I am glad I am caught up so I could go. I wanted to go to the Linden Centre for my inquiry project but I didn't have time today.

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Today we got to see around the village, it was great to see how all of the people live here. We also got to look around the Linden Centre and look up at the stars, This was nice and relaxing but also really cold. Overall the best thing today was getting to see the village and all of the people around it.

Overall I think that today went really well and I enjoyed getting to go around the village. I am excited to see what we will do next on this trip and I am ready for whatever comes my way.

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Today we left Shanghai and began our Microcampus journey. A lot happened today, we left Shanghai, and we came to Yang Zhuo Ran and learned about Xizhou. I am up to date on work so I am writing this in work time. 

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I am 13. I went on a trip to Xizhou in November/December of 2016. This was my first time being outside of a major city in China. It also was the longest time I had been away from my family at that point. I had a great month out in Xizhou and I was sad when I had to leave. Microcampus was a once in a lifetime experience and I am glad that I went.