Josie C. (Alumni-V)'s Journal

Today was again, an amazing day. I had to say goodbye to a lot of the people I had met. This includes Ms. He, the tea brewer, Ms. Wang, the basket weaver, and Mr. Li, our Service Learning partner. There are a lot more people that I had met for sure, and I said goodbye to all of them. I said goodbye to the lady who sells me boba milk tea and the woman who sells baskets and other souvenirs. Saying goodbye is very hard, and I truly will miss them. I promised each and every one of them that when I come back to Xizhou, I will visit them.

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When I first got the email saying that I had gotten into Microcampus, I was very very happy. This is because not a lot of people got into Microcampus. I was very excited to live in Xizhou for a month studying the culture. I had imagined myself on a hill studying. However, when I came to Xizhou, there was actually no hills in where we live. Although we are up in the mountains, it is very hard to tell because, in the neighborhood that we lived in, the ground was flat. You can also see an amazing view of the mountains, anywhere you go (as long as you are in Xizhou, of course.)

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During the presentation, I was very excited. My group invited Mr. Li, our Service Learning partner. We also planned to invite our old potential service-learning partner at that time, Mr. Yang. We started by walking to Mr. Li's house, holding a basket of fruits. He was very pleased and told us not to spend money on these fruits. Anyway, later on, Mr. Li gave us a basket of his chicken eggs. He told us to boil them with hot water first and then eat them when we are hungry at the airport when we are about to leave Xizhou. Mr. Li was very nice. We then went to Mr.

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Today was a great day. There was one Alumni from the Microcampus Alumni-S that came to visit us. His name is Barton C. and he showed me a weird device. This device is very exotic. It was black, but when you turn it on, it showed different colors. This thing also has a high-quality camera and many high-tech games. You can also call with this thing. He claimed it was a phone, but I did not believe him. Phones are bricks, like my Motorola and other people's Nokia. His "phone" is very flat.

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I did my Service Learning work with my partners. They are Sonia Z., Anders L., and Sunny Q. However, Sonia was not feeling good, so she was resting. All of a sudden, I hear a lot of voices behind me, and Sunny suddenly stood up. I was very confused. I did not know what was going on. Everyone went behind me. Because of my curiosity, I turned around. Then, I saw someone that I had seen, a month ago.

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Today was a different day, compared to my other days. I am sick, so I had to go to the treatment room. However, one person already occupied the treatment room, meaning that I had to go to another room, Room 6. When I first came into the room last night, it was very big and beautiful. There were two beds and a wide desk for myself. The bathroom is also big, fitting the shower, the sink, the toilet, and the laundry machine. Room 6 is very big, and I am grateful to stay in here. All of today, I could not come out of the room, because I have to rest. I did a lot of sleeping, which I enjoyed.

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Today was great. I had from 1:00 to 5:45 in the afternoon having my choice in whatever I needed to do in order to complete my Inquiry Project, Service Learning, Wellness, and my Pitching In. I spend my time more on focusing on my Inquiry Project. Overall, I feel more independent because I do not have a schedule everyone is following. Instead, I had a choice in what I want to do, whenever in that time period.

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The day comes when the bright yellow flowers start to disappear. What is only left are green healthy canola beans. The day comes that the canola fields nearby the highway are empty. No tourists are in the fields taking a selfie. I am very grateful that the canola flowers bloomed right when we arrived at Xizhou. Now that these bright yellow flowers are starting to disappear, I wave them a goodbye. I do not miss these flowers, nor do I want to get rid of them. The time has come and it has come at the right time. I can imagine when we leave Xizhou that all of these flowers are gone.

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Today Sarah R. and I went to Mr. and Ms. Wang's house. We wanted to watch them make baskets. We biked there and we watched Ms. Wang make the bottom of the basket. It was really pretty. When I saw Old Ms. Wang, I asked her if I could buy a basket. There were only two people in the house bought a small basket, which only costs 8RMB. After that, we continue to watch Ms. Wang weave the base of the basket. She offered us to help. We did a little bit of a basket weaving for the sides. As we do, Ms.

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Today, Sunny Q. and I went back to the tea shop I came yesterday. There is the same lady that I met the day before. She is Ms. He. She poured us some Puer tea, which is well-known in Yunnan. We asked he questions, and she responded to us. The questions we asked were mainly about our Inquiry Projects. Since my Inquiry Project is about the connection between people and plants, I asked Ms. He about where the tea comes from and where are these plants located it.

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Today, Mr. Chen and I went to a tea shop for my Inquiry Project, Insect Life, and Plants. When we first came in, I find it very professional and quite beautiful. There was a lady introducing not only us but for other young women about the tea they are selling. She guided us to a bench, where we went tea tasting. The first tea we had to try is a Chinese medicine tea. It is quite bitter, and it is part of a culture that you must smile through the bitterness in front of the people to show how mentally strong you are. She said that is what most men do to find their future wives.

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Sonia Z., Sunny Q., and I went to visit Mr. and Ms. Yang. They are one of our potential service-learning partners. They were selling fruits. We bought one type of fruit that we loved yesterday: The Elderberries. In fact, we all did not know what these berries are. At first, I thought this was huckleberries because I had never tried one. It actually, wasn't, so I assumed it might be elderberries.They were very sweet and not tart at all.

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Yesterday, we went hiking. You can go check out the Day 14 journal post. Anyway, after we went hiking, we went to another area to go camping. This area is super big, and it is just a field of grass. There is a beautiful sunset that time that was about to get covered from the peaks of the mountain. There was also a small island in the same direction of the mountains. There was a house right next to the campsite that looked like a hotel, however, it was actually an animal farm.

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Today we went hiking on a large mountain for 6 and a half hours. It was definitely very tiring, but in the end, I felt accomplished. When we first went hiking, we were dropped off from the bus in a place that is just right next to the mountains, however, there were a lot of construction workers building buildings. When we reached out first checkpoint, it was very close to where we first started out with. However, everyone was tired from carrying their heavy hiking backpack. When climbed the mountain, following the trail that was actually meant for water to flow down.

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Today Sonia Z., and I chose to do yoga for our wellness today. We brought our yoga mats and went out of Yangzhuoran. We chose to do yoga near the ficus trees right next to the canola fields. It was beautiful. We did a lot of yoga and a lot of people passing back looked at us weird. When I was doing the bridge, a man came over and watched how long I could hold. There were a lot of tourists on the horse carts, so a lot of tourists also looked at us. When I was doing yoga, Sonia's Time Zone was going, however, mine was not.

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Today, my Service Learning group, Sonia Z., Anders L., Sunny Q., and I went to the photoshop to print out the picture of us and Mr. Li. Mr. Li is the elder who we spent tea with at his house. He is very nice and we took a picture together. We promise to give one copy of the picture to him because he keeps photographs, with some that were taken in 1995 and others in 2007.

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During my Inquiry Project, Mr. Chen and I went to the tie-dye workshop to learn more about what types of plants the people used for as coloring. It is quite fascinating, such as the people used salt to stabilize the coloring. Some of the dye changes color when you put it on your skin (because of the heat) and some of them change color from touching soap because of the chemical reaction. Not only what I learned was fascinating but the workshop was also very pretty and ascetic. Mr. Chen said they this place was renovated a couple months ago.

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Alex K., Shirley X., and I went biking to Lake Erhai. It was beautiful. There were the high mountains in the sky and the blue waters underneath. There were also green plants on the side. We wanted to spend our time near the water for Still Time. We parked our bikes, took off our vests and our helmets, and went down near the water, passed the rocks. Shirley went first, then me, and then Alex.

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Today, Sonia Z., Anders L., Sunny Q., and I went to Mr. Li's place to have tea. At first, he wasn't expecting us to come because it was during his lunchtime, so he told us to go out for 30 minutes. Thus, we spent our still time there, looking at the street. Once it was about 30 minutes, we came back and Mr. Li made tea for us.

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Today, we will be heading to different areas depending on our choice. There are two choices: The Wind Farm and the Tie Dye place. I want to go to the Tie Dye place because I am interested in what they use to make these patterns, such as indigo. I also wanted to go there because I find it fascinating how they tie their clothes. Lastly, I want to buy one of the cloths for my parents because my mom's birthday will be coming soon. I am so excited to go there, and I leave an update later on. See you soon!

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During my Inquiry Project today, Ms. B brought me to a village called XiaCun where we find as many farmers to talk to. The place we visited was beautiful, and they were filled will bright yellow canola plants. However, we could not find any farmers there. It was quite empty. I got the chance to take as many pictures there, however. We continue to bike, and we finally found some farmers. They were in the middle of their work, so I chose not to interrupt them. However, Ms. B found two men sitting down and resting, so I went there to talk to them.

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Taylor S., Shirley X., Brandt L., and I chose to eat at a restaurant that serves mala soup. We had never visited this place, however, Taylor did. She led us to the restaurant, which is not far, however, also not close either. When we came in, it was crowded with people, and these people were students from a school nearby.

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Actually, Microcampus does not have a 'normal' day. However, today is special compared to the past three other days because we are following the schedule that is generally planned for us, such as WIPPIS. (WIPPIS stands for our Wellness, Pitching In, Inquiry Project, and Service Learning time.) This is special because we have our own individual plans, even though for the first week, they have it all planned for us individually. Let's first talk about my wellness time today.

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Today, I socialized with the people in Xizhou. I biked with the other Microcampus girls down the street around Xizhou for about three hours. Along the way, I had learned how to bike properly, such as letting the people in the back know what you are doing. I learned that biking is not just foot strength and pedals, it is also thinking and knowing where to go. We all also said hello to pedestrians, or "ni hao" in Chinese. It was amazing how their smile from greeting us made us happy. It really brought me into a positive mood. This is really noticeable when I was eating dinner with my group.

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Day 2 is as good as the first, but if not, better. The most memorable time is when we walked into the Linden Centre. The Linden Centre is a small inn that has a beautiful landscape in the back of the building. We were told to be quiet or else this is the end of Microcampus with Linden Centre when we are in the first outdoor room. Thus, we did not talk at all. We walked through the second outdoor room. It was prettier than the first room. Then, we walked to the third room. It was far better than the second and the first.

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I am so excited to go to Xizhou. I went with the Microcampus Voyagers group to the airport. When we went to Xizhou, we all noticed that everywhere we looked, there is a yellowish tint in the coloring. The best I can describe is when you look at an old photograph that has a lot of yellow in the picture. It was amazing. In a couple of minutes of walking outside down the street, we were right in front of the bus that will be taking us to YangZhuoRan. Before we can head to the bus, however, we needed to put our luggage into the trunk.

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Hello! I am Josie and I enjoy learning new things and spending time outside, alone and with friends. I am a big fan of animals and nature and that is why my inquiry project topic is about local plants and insect life. Currently, I am in Xizhou completing my inquiry project.