07.16.2010 - 07.20.2010
Sooo much to say about this weekend. But luckily all the complaints have been taken out on my journal. This weekend our Beijing group took a train to Baoding, China (one hour away) to attend the CEAIE-AFS National Volunteer Conference at Hebei University. Majority of it was the AFS-USAers to reunite after separating into different cities, as well as meeting Chinese students who are going to America in August for a semester or school year. It's so cool to hear that there's people who are as excited about learning English as we are about learning Chinese. I guess I'm in the middle of both in a way. I'm born with Chinese heritage, but have grown up in the USA. My Chinese ability isn't really as much as a typical American's, but it's not fluent enough to be Chinese. It's got it's perks and disadvantages, but at the same time I feel so connected to the cultures of both countries. I talked to a lot of the Chinese students and they now talk to me on email. Other than the AFS conference, the reuniting of all the cities was something that made the confrence worth going to. I saw so many of my friends from different cities and hung out with them on and off the campus. It was pretty cool. :D Too bad we're all separated again!! :P The best part is that there weren't too many rules established, so we could relax about getting to our rooms on time, and could hang out in our friends' rooms to catch up about our individual adventures in China, as well as bond with the AFS family. =D
We also went to a rural city in Baoding, where they kinda didn't tell us where we were going until we rode the bus for an hour and a half to stop in this abandonned city. It was a war ground for Japanese/Chinese war (I think). The only highlight of that is the well deserved nap on the bus (due to the 1 hour of sleep the first night in Hebei...) as well as walking in the underground tunnel. It was so narrow that it was one of those times where I was glad to be short!
Though I'm sad that life in Hebei had to end, I'm glad to be back in Beijing. I actualy broke my glasses Friday before the Hebei trip and got them fixed on the same day. But I got a spare pair of glasses at a district of glasses stores in Beijing. I've noticed that some places will organize stores into a block with common items. Like there wre at least 6 glasses stores and emporiums all together in the same area. I've seen that with clothes and with technology items as well. Pretty cool. I like my new glasses though, that was my point haha.
Tuesday (today) I went to Wuzhong Middle School with my classmates. It was exciting to meet more Chinese students and to spend the day away from school and learning. The school was in an urban area, and we basically went to the Peking Man World Museum. Only real exciting part was exploring some of these caves and taking a lot of pictures in them. :] We also spent time getting to know teh students at the school and played a basketball game with them (USA won...). Overall it was a fun day out.
I talked to a little boy who really wished to go to America. It made me think about (once again) how fortunate I am to be here in China for this experience. Especailly after today. I had a taste of both the rural and urban parts of China today. Both were just amaznig. (I'll post pictures tomorrow since it's late right now). On the bus ride to the school I was amazed at the mountain I saw and it's surrounding scenary. At the Peking Man Caves we had to climb some of the mountain for a tour and could look below at the small houses, fields, and could see all these other mountains. It made me feel happy, considering the blue skies we had today too (FIRST TIME SINCE THE FIRST DAY IN CHINA!) I also went to a park in the city today which had so many culture-rific (it basically looked really Chinese and artistic) structures. Such as a bridge and small buildings on the water. I know I want to come back to it. I was so happy to see both sides of China in one day. Either way, I'm gonna go to bed now. Goodnight and for now, 再见！Looking forward to skyping anyone who wants to talk this weekend! (I'll post pictures tomorrow)