Jessica A. (Alumni-H)'s Journal

Today I woke up early. Really early. I quickly changed, and retrieved my Heart Rate Monitor, Lena and I were going to go on an early morning bike ride. First we went to the terrace to try and spot venus, as it is a morning star right now. There were a few clouds over in the direction it was supposed to be in, so we didn't get to see it. We put on our bike gear, checked out a bike, and started riding. We rode along Erhai Lake until we reached the first Aquaduct. We always wanted to see it, so we locked our bikes, and climbed the stairs to the aquaduct.

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Before this trip even started, I applied to come on it, so that I could learn about myself, and this small Chinese village. People encouraged me to sign up, they said it was a once in a lifetime experience. So I did. When I came on this trip, after all of the background research, my perspective had changed. I really wanted to experience all that I had heard about this trip, all that I had learnt about through my background research. After the first week, or maybe even the first day, I knew that all everybody had said was right. I was going to learn a lot.

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Today we woke up to a pretty nice day. We ate breakfast, then we all hurridley edited, then uploaded our inquiry projects before the due date. I re-recorded some parts in the movie, then started exporting it. Then I had to upload it to the SAS video portal. It loaded very slowly, then eventually reached 100%. It then said "Failed to Upload". I tried again... and again. By the fourth time it had done this, I realized that my video was to large of a file. I then put it into video monkey, and eventually uploaded it succsessfully.

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Today we woke up to an overcast day. We went through our usual morning routine, and then it was time for morning pitching in. It was time for my last laundry block! We headed to the Laundry place, and half way there we realised that we didn't have the key. So we returned, retrieved the key, then started back over to the Laundry place. Lena had come with us to use the WIFI there. We started emptied all of our clothing into the washing machine, then left for lunch. On the way back to hang up our clothing, the second time we went, there was a dog trotting along behind its owner up ahead.

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Today was a nice day, we woke up to generally clear skies. The morning passed pretty quickly, and then it was time for lunch. Everybody was schedualed to be out today for dinner, because there was a possible trip to Dali Old Town, that got cancelled. We all knew that there were only so many resteraunts that everybody liked, and went to on a regular basis, and there were a lot of us. We all started running as soon as we got out of the Linden Centre. We were the second people, just after John and Brandon. Lena and I ran for a minute or so, then decided that we were to tired.

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Today was a pretty relaxed, but still productive day. In the morning I completed half of my script for my final product, and my group got some service learning work done. In the afternoon I was going to go on a bike ride to Zhou Cheng, the next village over from here, with Lena. We were going so that she could reconfirm some of the facts that she had collected earlier. We started out well, taking our usual route for wellness. When we got to our usual turnaround point, Butterfly Spring, we turned left, and made our way uphill towards Zhou Cheng.

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Today was a nice day. We woke up to the sound of birds chirping as the sun rose. I triedly got out of bed and prepared for the day ahead. The morning passed by pretty quickly and soon it was lunch time. I was eating out, so Lena and I headed over to Sifang Jie. We quickly realised that all of the usual restaraunts were taken , so we decided to try something new. We slowly approched the Muslim restaurant wondering what kind of food they had.

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Today we woke up to a nice day, and after the cloudy day yesterday it was very welcome. Today was the last day for our phase 3 work. After this we could no longer research our topics, it is time to start working on our final products. I went with Ye Ling to the temple to ask my final questions. Afterwards, I got the good news that we had found a service learning parner while I was at the temple! We were all very happy until we got a call from Kelly, they had he same service learning partner as us.

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Today was an interesting day of learning, laundry, and well, life. It was a usual morning, and after lunch I had inquiry time with Ye Ling. We went to the local temple, which seemed to be much more active than usual today. We walked inside, and looked around to see what was going on. The temple was the busiest I've ever seen it, and I was interested to know why. People where all praying to a certain god, we found out that it was this god's birthday. There were many offerings to all of the gods, and a large bread, with sweet filling.

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Today was a pretty stormy day. We had our usual morning activities, and lunch time. During WIPPIT time my service learning group, decided to go and get some footage of a partner. We had somebody in mind, but sadly they were to young, so we looked around at some other places. We went to the temple, and other areas where we knew some people, but sadly had no luck. After some pointless walking around for about an hour, we decided to go back to the Linden Centre, and try again tomorrow. Hopefully we find somebody soon! 

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Today was a wonderful morning, I woke up in a bed. After a morning of slight normality here at Microcampus, I got to my Inquiry Project work time. I went with Ye Ling to the local Mosque, but it was closed... So we went to the local mixed-religion temple. I learned a whole lot about the temple, and got very caught up. 2:00 pm was prayer time, so we went back to the Mosque, and saw the end of the prayer session. Afterwards I got to talk to the Mosque's Imam, and I learnt a lot from him aswell. It was a great day of learning!

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Today was our final day of hiking, and it started off with some rain. We hiked up for a couple of minutes, then it was all downhill from there. We slipped, slid, skidded, and S'ed down the mountain, until after around 6 hours, we arrived at civilization. It was a long journey of puns, and bad jokes. We arrived at a green bus, we were overjoyed! Some threw away their walking sticks. Then we were told, that this was (plot twist!) infact not our bus. Everybody slumped at this interesting news.

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Today we woke up to nice sunny days, as the previous day. We all tiredly got up, and prepared for our second day of the hike. Today seemed like the easiest day of hiking. When we reached the top of our hike, we were all immensely overjoyed at seeing the peak, the famous Microcampus Point. 3232 meters above sea level. We all volunteered to hike up to the point, and when we were at the peak, we all jumped for joy. We then had a long period of rest time, near a local farm. It was great! 

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Today we woke up to a nice sunny blue skied day. This was very encouraging, as today is the first day of our three day hike.  We did some last minute packing, ate breakfast, packed lunch, then headed out for the mountain. It was a nerve-racking bus ride to the starting point of our three day hike, and we all willed the bus ride to last forever.  When we arrived at the starting point we were all wishing that we weren't there yet, then we hiked for eight hours.

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We all woke up to a really nice day. At least at the beginning. It was pattering lightly down here, but in Dali old town, It was pouring! As we were all walking home from our lunch, we were looking around, and somebody pointed out that there was some snow on the mountain! This was not very encouraging as tomorrow is our three day hike. With this in mind, we continued with our day, and our final evening activity was packing. Everybody was running around like crazy, it was sort of entertaining.

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Today we all woke up to a slightly chilly day. We went through our usuall morning routine, then during WIPPIT time, I went with Lena to a local embroidery shop called Happy Embroidery. I brought a beautiful piece of embroidery, and Lena recieved some silk for her to embroider onto. As we were walking home, we decided to walk through the garlic fields, and watch the harvest. It was so nice, and beautiful we decided to have our terrace time out there. I saw a ton of ladybugs, and a couple even landed on me.

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Today I woke to a slightly chilly, but pretty nice day. I spent my day making new discoveries, and trying new things. At dinner we were all then presented with a wonderful meal of yellow curry. Mrs. Linden had taught the kitchen staff how to make the curry, and it was delicious! We went through multiple bowls full each, making sure that everybody at least got to try some. None was left over of this special treat, and we all savoured the taste. Ending my day on a high note I left the dining room feeling very fulfilled, and ready for tomorrow.

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A rattling sound came from outside, then there were voices. I sleepily awoke to see the white inside of our tent. Sasha and Lena groaned as they continued to speak and shake us from outside. I firmly wrapped my sleeping bag around me as I slowly sat up, unwilling to leave our warm tent. Finnaly willing myself to get out and see the sunset I pulled on a jumper, and kneeled to open our tent door, Sasha and Lena following me. It was so cold outside compared to the tent, but I collected my camera and went to the gathering of my peers on the lake edge.

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Today was a wonderful day of learning about Service Learning, and camping. It all started as we rode precariously to the toungue of the lake (our campsite) with our heavy hiking backpacks, and tents. We were all in very serious danger of overbalancing and falling onto the road. Once we got to the campsite we set up our tents, then headed over to the farthest spot from the lights, without falling into the lake. As the sun set we all waited excitedly for the first stars to show. By the time the sun had sunk well below the mountains, we could see a star speckled velvety black sky.

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This morning, we woke up to a slightly hazy- for Xizhou- day, due to forest fires on the mountains.  After a wonderful breakfast, I headed to do my work for the morning. Then it was time for lunch at Sifang Jie. I walked with Lena to the square and ate at Old Town Snacks. I decided to try the milk popsicle. Served to me by Lena, I bit into the milk popsicle. It was amazing! Once done with lunch, we headed back out into the square to start the search for the flowy pants that Hugh, and Niko had bought the other day. It was becoming a trend amongst the Microcampus students.

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This afternoon, I was sitting outside my room which looks over the second courtyard. I was doing some inquiry work, when Mr. T steps out onto the balcony. He opens his mouth, and sings, "room inspection," several times, in the most beautiful opratic voice any of us had ever heard. It reduced a few to tears, as we scrambled into our rooms, panicking and cleaning multitudes of items in and around our space. We hastily ordered everything according to advice from previous groups. We fluffed pillows, straightened shoes, and smoothed wrinkles in our bedsheets. Mr.

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The morning was a bit of a rush, but really fun all the same. For lunch I went to Si Fang Jie, and tried the famous Tafel Fried Rice at Old Town Snacks. It was really good! I was walking home with Lena and Maggie, when a funeral parade went past. At first I thought it was some sort of celebration, there was music and drums, and a lot of lanterns. When we reached home I was told that it was infact a funeral, as everybody was wearing white. While sitting upstairs outside my room, I heard a lot of fire crackers go off.

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Today was a pretty regular day, if there is such a thing at Microcampus. Today we had WIPPIT time, and the best moment was during SAS essentials. I was sitting on the terrace doing my work, just listening to my surroundings. It was a truly amazing way to spend an hour, sitting in the very warm air, looking at astounding beauty to find a muse for my Humanities poetry. As you may imagine time flew by, and I completed one of my required poems. 

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Another beautiful day in Xizhou, blue sky, nice weather, amazing views. Today was a transition in to a 'normal' day at Microcampus. We started with SAS essentials, then it was time for pitching in. It was Kelly and I's time for laundry. We walked to the laundry place with our dirty clothes, and computers to work on our other pitching in requirements. The first challenge was opening the door. With a sticky lock, it took us around five minutes to get into the courtyard. With occasional troubles, we finally got everything clean.

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Happy Easter! This morning, I woke to birds chirping, and a beautiful blue sky outside. While digging through my bag to find clothing, I discovered a red box, with an envelope attatched to the top. I read the message inside the card, and excitedly opened the box. It contained a multitude of yummy-looking easter chocolate! My day already brightened, I continued down to breakfast already planning my thanks to my mother. The day was mainly orientation directed, with a tour of the Linden Centre, a walking tour of Xizhou, an introduction to pitching in, and lunch in Si Fang Jie.

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Today was a day mostly made up of traveling by taxi, airplane, and bus. There was a rough start in the morning when my family and I woke to pouring rain, and a late taxi. We somehow made it to the airport almost on time, then parted with hugs and kisses. As I woke up very early, I slept for most of the plane ride. When we arrived in Kunming we all took a trip to the bathroom, where the "incident" occurred. Sasha had dropped her phone in the toilet. There was quite a bit of laughter, as Sasha explained what had happened to the group.

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Hi everybody, 

My name is Jessica and I am in the April (H) group. I wanted to wish my fellow classmates in the fearless group farewell, and good luck, I'm excited to follow your journey online, and can't wait until it's my turn! Be fearless and have fun! 

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Hi my name is Jessica, and I am 13 years old. I am from Sydney, Australia, and I lived there for the first six years of my life. After that I moved to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I lived in Vietnam for five years, and it is like a second home to me. Then I moved here to Shanghai, and I have been living here for two and a half years. I have five people in my family: two older sisters, my father, my mother, and me. Living, and learning in Xizhou has been a wonderful experience! I learnt so much, and have grown a lot from this trip. Slowly narrowing my topic down to the temple, was fun, and exciting. I loved researching the Multi-Cultural temple, and I hope to return to Xizhou one day, and see how it develops.