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mia01pd2021's picture

This journal entry is part of my Science SAS Essentials work. In the next two paragraphs, I will be sharing a summary of my observations on the positive and negative impacts tourists have on the local Xizhou community. Specifically, I will look at their effects on the subject of plastic container use. The photo above this entry was taken when Debbie, Audrey and I went to Sifangjie to interview locals and gather information about our topic.

marco01pd2021's picture

This journal entry is a part of my Science SAS Essentials work. I will be analysing the positive and negative effects that tourists have on the local environment of Xizhou.

audrey02pd2021's picture

Today I finally decided to do some exercise. Debbie and I biked to 深江村 at the edge of Xizhou. Instead of making a right on the main road (which leads to Erhai), we made an early right into a small village. The village looked vastly different from Xizhou, not in terms of architecture, but in terms of the streets. They were narrow and empty. There was not a sigle shop in sight.

mia01pd2021's picture

Today we had our first half-day trip! When we took the vote to see where we would be heading, it was a unanimous vote from the entire Tactical group to go to the wind farm. While we were there, we were also able to make observations for our science SAS essentials, as a couple of us were studying renewable energy. As we were a smaller group, we were allowed to climb down on the rocks by the edge of a wind turbine.

jason01pd2021's picture

Today seemed like a traditional Microcampus day: Wake up, eat breakfast, SAS essentials, Daily Meeting, Pitching In, Lunch, WIPPIS, etc. So there is not much to talk about. Yesterday, however, was very interesting. If you want to see what I did yesterday, you can find it here, but what I did not write about in that journal was Mr. T's Trivia Night. Every Microcampus trip, Mr. T creates his own evening activity called Trivia Night. This evening activity is like a game show.

mia01pd2021's picture

Yesterday's inquiry work was some of the most interesting work that I have done up till this point. However, I did not get the chance to write about my inquiry work yesterday, as my schedule did not allow for it. When studying the body language in Xizhou, I had decided that one of the best recources would be the horse carriage drivers. This is because for most of this, this was a long-time career, meaning that they have pursued it for over 10 years.

marco01pd2021's picture

After being here for just half a week, I already notice the differences and similiarities between the food here and food inside the Shanghai bubble. I wholeheartedly agree that food in Shanghai, with few exceptions, is not as good as the food here, and I think it is because hardly any food here is processed and packaged. We eat delicious broccoli seasoned with garlic, bowls of homemade er si noodles, , fried rice with little salt and Xizhou Baba (shown above). Even though I miss the meat back inside the Shanghai bubble, the Xizhou food is wonderfully healthy.

marco01pd2021's picture

Today surprised us by drenching the village with rain. The Cangshan Mountain around Xizhou insulates the heat, typically causing clouds to quickly evaporate. This is why Xizhou will not rain, even at the height of spring. The sunny days have really our trip incredibly nice, especially when we venture the town ourselves - but the lack of rain also scatters dust all over. Outside of the farm fields and the occasional ficus tree, there are hardly any plants - including grass.

mia01pd2021's picture

Today was one of the best days so far; Mr. T. and Ms. Mai got us our ukulele! It has been something I have been especially excited for, along with the ball pump. It was nice of them to get these items so soon, and I can not wait till tonight's evening activity of "Instrument Playing" to strum away. The ukulele was revealed at the end of our daily meeting, and the response from the group ended up being a series of laughter. As for the ball pump, it was also something I was ecstatic about, as this meant I could play soccer or volleyball with my friends during wellness or downtime. 

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was a really good day. I had a really successful inquiry session, and I also got a lot of TZ (time in zone) during my wellness! For my inquiry work, I was planning to go with Ms. Mai to the Linden Center to ask some of the staff there for information. When we got there, Ms. Mai advised me to go to the receptionist first and ask some questions. However, the receptionist was not a local, so she offered to take me some of the staff that were born and raised in Xizhou.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was definitely a change of pace. Our breakfast was later, which gave us a chance to sleep in if we wanted to. I woke up bright and early, reading until I was hungry for breakfast. Today, the whole atmosphere was a lot more "chill". There were no SAS Essentials, daily meetings, or inquiry work. Instead, we had a fun history lecture about Chinese history by Mr. T (150 years in 150 minutes). It ended up being really interesting because I knew bits and pieces of the history but not the whole thing. In the afternoon, we headed out to search for potential Service Learning partners.

audrey02pd2021's picture

During wellness, Mia and I visited the ficus tree at the very edge of Chengdong again. This time, we brought exercising equipment and watercolours. It is clear to those who know me, the equipment was not meant for me. I sat down by the tree, with my brand new watercolour brush in one hand, notebook in the other, and painted little doodles. The ficus tree was a great place to focus on reading, writing or drawing, because of the peaceful surroundings.

audrey02pd2021's picture

Today was the first official day of Microcampus work. We were introduced to the WIPPIS (Wellness Inquiry Project Pitching In and Still time) schedule, where we were given a scheduled 4 and a half hour block to complete our work for the day. As part of our assignment, I visited the Linden Center for the first time today. The center itself was similar to Baochengfu and Yangzhouran, but there seemed to be a lot more energy and excitement in the courtyard.

audrey02pd2021's picture

During SAS Essentials, Mia, Debbie, and I visited Sifangjie for research regarding our science assignment. Our goal was to interview and ask local townspeople about the topic we chose on global warming. We met a friendly shop owner, Li Ayi, who seemed really glad for a couple of students to ask her about plastic use. She even introduced us to the rest of the cooks and offered us to go back. And we did.

audrey02pd2021's picture

After a shaky flight and a lengthy bus ride, we finally arrived in Yangzhouran, our new home for a month. Although we were not able to bond much with the locals (since we spent the rest of the day in the compound), we were able to bond with each other. We were given time to rest and get used to our new surroundings, the five of us eventually ended up all together in the instruments room. Majority of the time were spent on individually playing our prefered instruments.

audrey02pd2021's picture

Today we went out to the wind farm north of Xizhou. We arrived at the foot of a wind turbine, where we watched the blades of the wind turbine rotate before the bright blue sky. We even had the opportunity to climb down the edge of the mountain and enjoy still time before fields of solar panels and distant towns. That was by far, my favorite still time.

jason01pd2021's picture

The first week of Microcampus was amazing. From the first day to now, an abundance of memories was made. From the thrill of the flight to the quality of the food to the meeting of local people to the productivity of the Inquiry Project, the week contained an incredible amount of fun. One thing that I am incredibly glad about is the fact that throughout the first week, I feel like my organization skills and punctuality have improved greatly. Something even better is that this was only the first week. We still have three more weeks, and I get a feeling that they are going to come flying by.

mia01pd2021's picture

We began our SAS essentials again today. From 8:15-9:45, we were working on Humanities and Science. In science, I have decided to take a closer look on the use of plastic containers, and how to reduce the total amount used throughout the village. It was incredibly interesting, as it was another opportunity for me to go out and make connections with local folks.

audrey02pd2021's picture

There are a lot of ficus trees in Xizhou. I never really understood the meaning behind them, but I've heard it holds some significance in local legends. Two of the ficus trees introduced to us on the first couple days were the one downhill from Ranyixiang and one uphill from Sifangjie. After a couple adventures, our group often goes into a village behind the ficus tree near Ranyixiang. As mentioned in previous journals, the village was Chengdong. Today, Debbie and I visited the town again.

 
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marco01pd2021's picture

Today was our first half-day field trip to the Dali Wind Farm. After a regular morning (apart from Mr. T's absence for a Skype conference), we had an Inquiry Project-only WIPPIS time, and at three in the afternoon went to the wind farm by car. The wind farm, to the north of Erhai Lake, was massive. It had multiple turbines, each easily a dozen metres tall with blades that swooped the air around them, making a giant humming noise.

mia01pd2021's picture

The biggest highlight of my day was going to bike with Debbie S.. We got our first tz of the week, and during our biking, we stopped by the side of the road to do some minute-on-a-minute work. The sky was blue and the sun was out, but that had changed quickly. The first rain since the start of Microcampus started to pour, and we were in jeans (as it is required for safety), and we were faced with an obstacle of weather. However, it made for a great adventure, as it required us to trust each other and work together better.

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