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Clara's picture

I have to say, I had the best sleep I have ever had during the week. In the morning, my shoulders were aching and my feet hurt but I felt well rested. During the morning, all we did was write our journals/copy them down from what we did during the hike, write down our weekly wellness reflections and finish our SAS essentials. Luckily, I had already done my essentials before we left for the trip. At around 3:00 P.M., we headed to Dali Old Town!!! YAY! That was probably the greatest treat :P. At Dali Old Town, Sujin, Vicky, Ashley and I bought quite a few things.

Cassandra's picture

On day 6 I went on my first bike ride in XiZhou! It took us long enough! We have been waiting for a chance to get our turn on the bikes for three days, but it was worth the wait. It was absolutely gorgeous. Alex and I went biking through the little streets of the town then found ourselves on the banks of Er Hai lake. It was so gorgeous! Almost as gorgeous as we all looked in our stylish bright orange visibility biking vests! I haven’t biked in a while and it took that bike ride to remember how much I love to bike. If you go fast enough, it feels like you’re flying. 

Cassandra's picture

What a chill day! I feel so rejuvenated for the week. The day started with a laid back breakfast of pancakes listening to Jack Johnson and at that moment, Yang Zhou Ran started to feel a little like home. It is amazing what great music can do for the soul. It was a glorious sunny day and I ate lunch in the courtyard, bathing in the sunlight. We cleaned our room, and I had a long, luxurious shower so my hair no longer feels like straw and my skin feels nice and smooth. I tried out a new restaurant for dinner too and though we didn’t order very well, it was pretty good. 

Cassandra's picture

I felt so much better today! I think I just needed to drink more water. Today, there was a BenZhu funeral next door. Although it was sad, it was very interesting for me to watch. They played haunting music on bells and there were people wearing white turbans. In Asian cultures, people wear white instead of black like we do in the west. Imagine burning incense. Do you see colorful burning sticks sticking out of a pot of sand? Yup. That is what I imagine too, and that is what I usually see, but during this funeral, there was a man who poured a bag of them into a pile then burned the pile.

Cassandra's picture

On day 5 we took a hike at the tea plantation up on the mountains. It was a half hour hike and it was gorgeous. We hiked up to a little bubbling brook with perfect rocks for climbing. Really, just heaven. The hike wasn’t that hard but we had our big bags with us which was hard. I understand why, so that we can have a chance to get used to having such a big load on our backs and I know I will thank Mr. T during our camping trip and we will all have to carry all of our stuff. At the tea place, I was so shocked at how many tea leaves it took to make so little tea. 

Peyton's picture

Today was pretty chill, in the morning around 9:20, we left YZR and headed to Sha Ping for some shopping. The local market was not what I expected. I pictured the stereotypical kind of market- you know, with stands for vegetables, fruits, and meat. What I saw, though, was stone carvers, plant sellers, animal transporters, Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs sellers, and 1 yuan household items sellers.

Cassandra's picture

Well I guessed right! We ate at Mr. Yang's restaurant today again! It was delicious once again. Tomorrow we are going to Dali which is a big city compared to our little town of XiZhou so here we go to hit the town... but I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with what happened today. My most memorable moment of the day was my talk with a man who’s name may also have been Mr. Yang. Why, you may ask, do I remember this conversation out of all of the other conversations and people I have met today?

Ashley's picture

Today was another hiking day, but today we didn't hike for as long. We had the decision of going back to Xizhou or climbing to Xia Hua Dian Ba. We only hiked for about three hours and Xiao Hua Dian Ba is the peak of the mountain. The terrain was at a high incline, so it was difficult as well. I listened to some music while hiking, to distract me from the soreness when we hiked. We stopped by a flat area for lunch and ate bread with peanut butter! My favorite part of today was when we got to the top part of Xiao Hua Dian Ba (where the peak is) and we got to climb to the peak.

Peyton's picture

Today was a day of relaxation and fun. In the morning, we woke up at 9:00, then we did some work, and after lunch we went to Dali OldTown.

Dali OldTown is super fun. When we arrived, we separated into smaller groups and headed off. Alex, Nike, Cass, and I were together, and we decided to go to The Sweet Tooth. The Sweet Tooth is an amazing dessert/coffee shop with the best cakes I have ever tasted (which means they are indeed very good).

Nike's picture

After our amusing time in Dali yesterday, Tuesday was a good work day for all of us. After breakfast, SAS essentials, and lunch, Cass, Alex and I headed out with Amy, a worker at the Linden Center. On the road to Si Fan Jie, there are always several tables of Mah Jong playing elders. We all asked them questions regarding our project, and also picked up some Mah Jong skills. Then, at a clothing shop, we saw a lady knitting colorful cloth baby shoes.

Mark's picture

Having just arrived back in XiZhou from our big hike, everyone was completely exhausted. Despite being Monday, we were allowed to sleep in unti 9:00. This is yet another great thing about Microcampus. The schedule is flexible and can be easily changed according to our needs. We surely don't get that freedom at SAS. That is probably one thing I'll miss very much when I get back to Shanghai. Today is more of our relax and rest day, so nothing much has been scheduled, except a visit to Dali Old Town.

Yi Fei's picture

During WIPPI time (wellness, inquiry project, pitching in) something finally occured to be about my inquiry project. After being told over and over again that it would take a long long time to finally be able to identify the reals and the fakes in the antique industry, today at around 2:05 I finally decided to accept that. This does not mean that I'm going to just give up on my topic, it's just that I may have to change to focus of my topic. Therefore today I talked to T.

 
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Ashley's picture

Hey guys! Today was a nice "regular" day. We had our daily meeting, WIPPI time, and our five o' clock touch base. Today, during WIPPI time, Peyton and I went on a walk to the market, so we could work on our science project (focused on the ecosystem in Xizhou). Peyton asked many medicine shops for people who studied traditional medicine nearby (her inquiry project topic is traditional medicine). She found the person that she was looking for, since a few weeks ago. The doctor's name was Mr. Zhao and Peyton got his phone number, so she was pretty happy.

Jason's picture

Today was a day filled with rest and relaxation.  We caught up on work missed during our hike up to Ba Nian Ba and also slept in.  

In the afternoon, the group visited Dali Old Town, a former, age old capital city converted into a tourist attraction.  The streets were converted into pedestrian streets and the old houses were converted into many different shops, restaurants and other retail places.  Ethan and I also found a basketball court in a back alley and played for a few hours.  The court was extremely slippery concrete and we were sliding everywhere.  

Nick's picture

I think today can be known as the day that I, Nick J., has officially started to break down from everything in life. The simplest stress things such as I don't know how to solve a math problem started to come up that I could not solve. I just felt like the world was going to end. If you have any advice, please say so. 

Mark's picture

This is the second day of our long hike up at Huadianba. According to my watch's altimeter, our altitude was about 9,500 feet about sea level. I enjoyed my morning at 9,500 feet. The sky was quite clear, and the sun was really bright. From our position at the logging camp, there were mountains on both the south east and north east side of us. Between the mountains was this flat plain that stretched up until the horizon. 

Mark's picture

So today is the day we have all been waiting for. A couple of days before, we were presented with the option to take a 6 hour hike up and camp in Huadianba, one of the very beautiful places up here in Yunnan. It was either that, or we can take a short hike to the tea plantations and camp out there. We chose to go on the 6 hour hike, knowing it would be rewarding. Except it turned out to be an 8 hour hike through sun, wind, rain, and hail. Literally.

Armin's picture

This mornings breakfast was amazing, everyone got to have at least 2 plates of bacon and eggs, one of the best parts of this trip. All so excited to finally start our 3 day hike, first we took a bus to reach the foot of the mountain once we got there we saw our mules which was very exciting because we all felt like true hikers. A few short hours later we managed to get to the top which was about 2500 meters above sea level.

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