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clark01px2022's picture

Yesterday was a fabulous day, where we were able to make a lot of progress with our service learning partner. Despite the complications and hardships, I managed to coordinate all four members and three of us successfully left Yangzhuoran at 12:35, meeting with the fourth member, who ate out, at Sifangjie at 12:42. By 12:50, we arrived at Yang NaiNai's place and set up our camera shooting. At the time, only Yang NaiNai's daughter was at the stall, sewing the tie-dye. At 1:00 exactly, Yang NaiNai came and was super excited about our first shooting.

sunny02px2022's picture

Today we once again visited Mr.Li, which asked us to wait a half hour as he was eating lunch, so my service group of me, Sonia, Josie, and Anders waited on the road. I thought we looked liked we were a group of kids who lost their parents and their tourist group. We talked about our very interesting childhoods and even how one time I pooped in the bathtub as a kid and showed it to my mom acting proud and like I struck gold. I was pretty sure that was not gold.

shiny02px2022's picture

I am curious about the things that will happen when tomorrow comes. What decisions, what paths, and what opportunities will I face when I am struggling to steer my life in the "correct" direction? 
How much will I learn and how different will I become? Each day is a tedious repetition, but I seek to find something unique and unprecedented within the ordinary. I have come to a conclusion that the only way I can find meaning in life is to enter the great and mighty world that is a little too overwhelming but still worth experiencing. 

sunny02px2022's picture

Today was very serious for the bicycle police. We hunted down every men and woman and placed them into the BCJ (Bicycle Committee Jail) for lock misplacement. Well, maybe not put them in jail, but we definitely punished them harshly... or gave them a gentle reminder. Anyways, all you have to know is that we took down every criminal on our bicycle hit list and made sure they will never repeat the same mistake.

Updated 6 months 2 weeks ago
austin02px2022's picture

When I was told I was about to spend 28 days in a village within Xizhou to research a topic we were highly interested in, I was speechless. I never really had a strong interest in one particular topic, therefore, the list of topics I could research was huge. I went to my brother (Jeffrey) who had gone on the Microcampus trip before and received some advice on choosing my topic. His suggestions were to find a topic that I was not acquainted. 

sunny02px2022's picture

Today is the first day that we have to start talking with our contacts, and with that in mind, my stress is overflowing like the sink is overflowing with dishes. The first time I have dish duty is today, which is nice, I personally professionalize in the drying sector, I mean, my name is sunny, I dry things.

clark01px2022's picture

Today I arrived in Xizhou! The plane ride was better off than I expected; I thought my ears would have this painful reaction. Fortunately, it did not. After we, the Voyagers crew, went out of the airport, we encountered our first challenge. Mr. Tafel told us to load our 18 suitcases onto the bus without the help of the bus driver, with Anders L. as the director of this "operation". At first, we thought it would be an extremely easy task.

Updated 6 months 2 weeks ago

Our service learning partner was Mr. Li, a 76-year-old man who used to be a farmer, but now is retired. His full name is Li Weng Ming, who is a part of the Bai Minority.

His family line started to get recorded in the Tang dynasty, where a general started to record his family line. He was a farmer for most of his life and he sometimes go out of Xizhou to work in other places.

shiny02px2022's picture

I can confidently say that I pretty much settled in Microcampus. The environment, the schedules, and the community itself feels familiar and part of my life now. Today was the first time I took part in the daily video-shout out too, and I briefly shared that we went to the traditional music festival at the Linden Centre yesterday. On the way, two other peers and I bought some Baba, a special Xizhou snack. While enjoying the Baba, we realized that we could not finish the entire piece - we were stuck in a dilemma.

austin02px2022's picture

To ensure that we did not accidentally miss out on any experiences, we decided to do some last minute exploration and go down through the twisting alleys on random. We continued to try out the different things that could be found around the village. From the sticky rice popsicles to the Oreo milk tea, we found many different peculiar food items. We also visited places tucked away in secluded corners of the village. Perhaps, the most interesting place was a small "chicken" temple near the man made pond.

shirley01px2022's picture

Sharing the video with Grandma Yang was definitely quite nerve-wracking. I did not know how she would react to the project, if she would regret her choice, or be pleased with the end result. We led Grandma Yang into Classroom 1 and prepared for our video to be shared. She seemed to have friends that she knew and felt fairly comfortable in Yangzhuoran. Later on, while we were sharing the final video, I was intently watching and observing for her expression. She seemed to be quite pleased and was smiling throughout the video.

sonia01px2022's picture

Yesterday we hiked up Cangshan mountain, which is called Jicaosei in Bai language, it consists of 19 peaks with 18 streams with entrancing waterfalls and magnificent cliffs. The mountain produces great marble as well as lots of botanical species like traditional herbs and wild flowers. We first hiked 600 meters vertically up to the Zhonghe temple and then we walked the Jade Belt. The Jade Belt is a walking path paved the distance of 12 to 20 km.

sonia01px2022's picture

The sky in Xizhou is an endless canvas tossed upon with colors. Some days it is pure, uninterrupted blue that stretches seamlessly. Dashes of white. Fire frenzies. Myriads of colors. Some nights it is a rich blue black, a furry blanket of lavish cobalt -- dotted with clouds. Stormy grey. Clear. Sprinkled with stars, ethereal blue. Scudding clouds. The pellucid azure dome is mesmerizing. This blue vault, locked every one of our thoughts, our dreams, our secrets. And ignorant people say "it's only the sky". It's not only the sky in Xizhou. 

 

 
sonia01px2022's picture

Today I had lunch out with Austin, Sunny, and Anders. We walked through Si Fang Jie with an anchored concentration on establishing new connections with the locals in Xizhou. We walked through artistic intricate tie-dye textiles on the south-east street of Si Fang Jie. When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by Shun 爷爷 who asked us enthusiastically to come and enjoy a meal.

shirley01px2022's picture

Early in the morning, we were re-introduced to a Microcampus Alumni, Barton C, from the Superior group. We eventually started talking to him, and at one point, he even pulled out his iPhone, something we had not seen in at least 20 days. That does not seem like a very long time, but it felt like a long time. We saw the glossy clean screen of the iPhone and were all in awe when he transitioned his screen to WeChat. A few of my peers were even allowed to touch and feel the smooth screen.

sonia01px2022's picture

This afternoon from 3:00-4:00 pm during Wellness time Sam B. and I went bike riding! We turned left when we arrived at the ficus tree and rode forward when we reached Xizhou's most dangerous intersection. Sam and I agreed to explore and wander through unfathomable alleys and streets to branch out of our comfort zones for personal growth. The two of us cycled through sludge, dust, and soot.

sonia01px2022's picture

Today all 16 Voyagers received our official biking certification in order to ride around Xizhou! We were split into two groups, girls and boys, for our cycling practice and test. We learned about the acronym S.A.F.E which stands for space (between the road, sidewalk, and people around you), avoidance (from obstacles), focus (on biking), and effective communication (between the other Voyagers). To ensure well-being we used many phrases and signals while navigating the Xizhou village.

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