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First week away from home.

I'm definitely not posting as much as I'd like to O_O

81 °F
View Summer in Beijing, China on jennhuynh's travel map.

So after one week away from home I gotta say, AFS and NSLI are pretty damn amazing.
I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity, and am excited to be a part of the growing AFS community by spreading the word once I return home. I'm gonna try to be brief but specific because the things that happened outweigh the amount of energy and time I have.

Gateway Orientation was great! It was nice meeting all the people I met online (not sketchy... :])
In about two days I feel like I've known these people all my life, it's kind of weird. I was happy when some of the people on Facebook could recognize me and introduced themselves. I did that with people too. Already we have more than enough inside jokes among the AFS family (Just a few of them: IF YOU SNAP A BRACELET A LLAMA DIES!, Celebrity toast? Wait does that mean Lady Gaga is gonna be there?, Hand up=panther!) Ohhh man :)

The plane ride was much better than I'd expect. With the in flight library of movies (I watched Deathnote Parts 1 and 2, and Forrest Gump with Chinese subtitles. I started watching The Middle, and it's pretty funny! I gotta start watching it when I get home. I drank so much water and felt bloated with airplane food. Once again, I talked with a lot of people on the plane and it was fun :) P.S, I have so many pictures of clouds that it's kind of sad...

Upon arriving in China it was so hard to grasp taht we're on the other side of the world. Staying in the hotel was different, and I was so happy that my roommate and I figured out how the AC worked in our room. The day we got to China it was 37 degrees Celsius (almost 99 degrees Fahrenheit)! In general, orienation in the country felt the same as the Gateway in the United States. We all climbed the Great Wall at Badaling the next day! I think this was my first encounter of not having regrets. I walked with a friend up the Great Wall and wanted to stop halfway when I felt tired. But we both went to the top (this platform thing) and I felt so accomplished! Now I have tons of pics of me enjoying the Great Wall. But I gotta say, I was so tired after (yet I stayed up till about 1am). And I definitely have to mention that the bus ride to and from Great Wall made me laugh so many times that it's like when I'm on my knees falling to the floor at lunch xD Our conversations were so random that you kind of had to be there to understand how we went from dead babies to SATs/APs. Ohhh the AFS family.

That night I also met my host family, whom are so nice! My host sister and I have a lot in common and for the past few days I've been learning Chinese from her while she learns English from me. I'm actually watching the World Cup here for the first time (and in CHinese!) In terms of Mandarin I think I'm doing okay and can hold up a conversation most of the time. School started the day after I met them, and it was pretty interesting to see what school is like on teh other side of the world. The first few days were scorchers though! It was about 40 degrees celsius (104 F) the first day, and 42 C (Almost 108F) the second day! I'm so glad it cooled down today to about 33 degrees (91F) and the night is a nice 27 degrees (81F) tonight. (yeah....I know that CT has a heat wave since I've heard it in all these emails haha). My notebook for school is filled with so many different things and our group for Beijing has a lot of fun learning CHinese it looks like. We actually went in a small group to buy a newspaper before class started! It was pretty cool. As of now we're planning to go a lot of places with our host siblings and adjusting to this new setting. I'll talk more about school later, since I'm pretty tired right now. Overall, I'm having an amazing time in China! Missing all my USA peeps though! Talk to you soon!

-Jen

P.S. Dear Facebook Peeps, I always enjoy getting emails so...wink wink :)

Posted by jennhuynh 07:50 Archived in China

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