Banner C. (Alumni-H)'s Journal

Today was our last day in Xizhou, I am thankful for every experience I have had here. It is hard to describe Xizhou in way that people understand, you have to come here and experience it for you self. Evan picture do not give it justice. The apposing mountains in the background, the green farmland, the lake that stretches for mile and miles and the people who call this spectacular place home.

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When Mr. Ma saw our video he was very happy. He was ecstatic when we showed it to him. He kept complementing us about how good the video was. He said we did a good job capturing he life and was very grateful to be part of the project. When we gave him the fruit he did not want to take it because he felt as if he had not done any thing.

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Before I came to Microcampus I wanted to go because I wanted a different experience. I wanted to do something completely different. I thought the experience sounded cool and because this is my last year in China I thought I should go. When I heard Alumina talking about their experiences it sounded like an adventure that I might like.

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Today's I worked on my Service Learning project it is coming along pretty nicely. Our Service Lerning partned was really open except when we alsked him about the cultural revalution and  Mao. Unfortunately tomorrow our Service Lerning partner cannot come so we will be showing the video to the group with out him. Our group is not completely done with your video but I think I will turn out well.

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Today I got my final project done. I am very happy with what I have created. It was hard to convay my journy though my project because the story I was trying to tell is very complicated. There are two ideas  the people who want to be sustainable and be able to be here in the future and this other side of people want to make the most money as possible and develop this area. I am not sure exactly what will happen in the future like but I hope it will be well because it is a very nice place. 

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This is the last week at Microcampus. I am a little sad to leave. This last week we are preparing to leave. This week we will be finishing up our Service Learning and Inquiry Project. Today I got most of my Final Project done and I will finish the rest of it tomorrow. I feel proud of what I have achived so far. 

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Today was the last day we could work on SAS Essentials. This is every thing that has to do with normal school such as Math, Science and Humanities. I got all of my work done so next week I will not have to worry about this. It feels like a weight has been lifted off me because I feel a lot more relaxed. When I get back I will have to take a few tests and assessments that I have missed while in Xizhou. 

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Today I started and finished my Phase 4. In this phase I look at previous students' final projects to see what they did and to get ideas. I have decided to make a movie to show my journey. I am not shore exactly what I am going to do and show but know I have a rough idea of what I am going to do. What I show will be closer to a journal than a fact book because it is about the experience not just the facts. 

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Today we found our Service Learning partner. He is the owner of a cafe and antique shop. He is originally from Dali but lived in many places when he was a kid. He is currently 70 years old. When he was little he had to move to the city to fix wachtes so he could earn money for his family.

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Today I found a place that Xizhou used to look like about 15 years ago. There is an all day market where people can by what every they want. Elders in the village sit on the edge of the square watching people go about there day. Most of them are wearing blue Mao era clothing and smoking on long jade pipes. 

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Tonight was the famous Microcampus tradition, Trivia Night. Mr.T was using a trivia set from 1987 that was also made on Canada. Some of the questions where a little irrelevant because of this but it was still really funny to hear some of the questions Mr. T skipped. One of the questions he skipped was " what kind of candy is supposed to last you all day? An all day sucker." All so some of the questions had extremely obvious answer now but would not of in 1987.

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Today we got back into out routine after the hike. I used most of my stuff on the hike so I need to wash them in the next few days. Every thing that I brought on the hike is very dusty. When I shook my bag a cloud of dust come off it. The jacket I wore on the hike also has a layer of dust on it that make it look like it had been laying in the dirt for a long time. 

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Today I spent most of my day hiking down from the valley. We didn't go out the same way we came, instead we went out the north east side of the valley. It took us about two hours to get out of the valley. After we got out of the valley we hiked down for about 5 hours. We left early from the valley because a storm was supposed to be coming behind us. At the bottom I was extremely exited to see the green bus that meant we where done. 

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Today we climbed up higher to about 3200 meters. he's been three hours coming up not to talk to at the top of the hike has a small that you put down our packs and went to a peak that was 3232 meters. It has been a Microcampus tradition to go to the top. Yuval and I hiked another peak that was 3260 meters in the afternoon and took photos. 

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Today we embarked on the three day hike. We spent the first half of the day traversing up the mountain, after lunch we continue along a flatter section. We eventually got to large valley with a lot of yaks, we walked down the valley for about three hours until we got to the farmhouse, where we had dinner. We then hiked another about 60 more meters up to setup camp.

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Today I want to the fields outside of the Linden Center. This was my third time going out to the garlic feilds. It is alwaly fun because I always learn sonthing new and learn more about them. The people are always realy nice and willing to let us help. They are very interesting subjects to take photo of because you feel like you are taking pictures for a magizine. They work extreamly fast compaired to me. 

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Today I went to the water treatment plant near the Linden Center. I was a very interesting trip because I leanred alot about my topic. I learned that the plant uses chemicals to clean the water as well as plants and bactiria. The most interesting part of the prosec was main cleaning phase. I this step they add chemicals to the water as well as filtering the water. The system they used was called MBR.

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Today we came back from camping at the lake tung. We watched the fisermen coming in and then we watched sun rise. Because it was alittle smokey because of the fires to the north the whole sky was bright orange. I was realy bright so after about two minuets of looking a the sun rise I had to close my eyes and look away. It was one of the best sun rises I have ever seen. 

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Today we had a three hour lecture on modern China. Mr.t Talked about China from 1850 to Today. It was interstiong because I learned alot of the resons people have specific ideas about issues. I also learned more about China before 1950, which was very importend part of China post 1950. In the future I want to learn about the what happened between 1959-1962, because this was when China begain many large public works projects. 

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To day we took a mini hike to get a taste of what it will be like next weekend. The first half of the hike was pretty easy, but the second half was allot harder. We started up the mountain for about 20 minutes and then headed back down. I think the first day will be easy for me but by the third I think I will be really tired.

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The sky is extremely clear, it has been bluer than the best days in Shanghai. It reminds me of the "blue bird" days in Wyoming. Some days there is a slight haze, when the field are being burned, but most of the time it is a rich blue. My favorite part is at night, because it is very clear and you can see most of the stars in the sky.

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Today for wellness I went biking. As we where unlocking the bike we hear firecrackers, we didn't know what they where for. When we got on t the street, a large funeral procession. It was very loud and extravagant. I have never seen a funeral in China before and thought it was interesting that it was such a public event.

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To day was laundry day for our room. Niko took charge because he knew the most. We machine washed all the dark clothes and hand washed the lights. We haven't mastered  the washing machine but I think by next week we will. It was fun to hand wash the clothes because it wasn't that hard and it was  fun to do with my group.  

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This morning I woke up early with a bunch of friends and we went running. The village is creepy when it is dark. We woke up at about 5:40 in the morning and started running at 6:00. We took a few wrong turns because we couldn't see. The other running group got really lost trying to find the square but eventually found it. 

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Today Mr. T gave us a tour of Xizhou. He showed us where the main square is and some of the restaurants. He showed us Mr. Yang's Golden Flower Restaurants. We ended up eating the. The food was extremely good. We had a simple fried rice but is was extremely good. We also an egg omelet that was very, very good. Over the next month I want to eat allot there. Mr. Yang was very nice and he might be a good service leaning partner.

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Today we took a flight from Shanghai to Kunming. The flight got delayed so we got in about half an hour late. To get to Xizhou we then had to take a six hour bus ride. I have never been in a car trip for that long. I reminded me of flying to the US, where you do the same thing three time and forget it is boring . On the bus it was cool to see how the terrain changed from Kunming to Xizhou. In Kunming it was really fault and open. When we got closer to Xizhou it was narrow and steep on either side of the road. 

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I am 14 years old and from Washington, DC. I am currently a Microcampus Alumni. I studied water treatment and pollution. Over the course of the trip I gained a better understanding of Xizhou and China