DAY 1: At the end of my first night in China, I could not help but feel how fortunate I was to be back in this amazing country. After visiting and falling in love with the land and its people 4 years ago, I have finally returned. While most of the day was spent in the plane, we did manage to walk around the hotel area a small amount and had a Peking duck dinner. So far everyone I have met has been extremely nice in China and I am excited to begin my first full day in this amazing country. So far my stay in China has been everything I remembered it being; amazing.
DAY 2: My first full day in China was an overwhelming success. Learning more about the transition of Chinese cities and how they have embraced low impact policies having to do with the environment was fascinating. It was also great to see a farm so close to Beijing center. My favorite part of all this taking part in Chinese karaoke was the highlight of the day. From singing at the farm to going to a karaoke bar after a Xi’an noodle dinner, it was an amazing experience to take part in a trend that has rightly so become popular. It was a blast! I am excited to visit a school, and the Great Wall tomorrow and hope the good times keep on rolling.
DAY 3: Today was a blast. Our group had the honor of meeting students from a local international school, allowing us to see that halfway around the world student life and pressures are very much the same. We became friends or Pengyous very quickly, and went with them to the Great Wall of China. It was my second time at the Wall, but it was just as breathtaking as the first. The climb was filled with amazing views and families that asked me to take pictures with their kids or them, something that I am not used to. Despite the heat, this day was amazing. I am hoping to wake up early tomorrow to attend the flag raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square, so after a Chinese BBQ dinner, I returned to the hotel for an early night. I will have to make up for that tomorrow!
DAY 4: Today was another great day. Started with a trip to the American Embassy in Beijing, where we heard from a diplomat about the operation there (was able to slide him my card J) and break through the great firewall of China through the Embassy’s internet. I was able to post an update and some pictures to Facebook. From there, we went to the business district and saw the CCTV building, and noticed that the district was very efficient but seemed like a very inhuman space. Our tired feet then brought us to the Temple of Heaven, which was just as good as the first time, and involved playing a Chinese version of hacky sack with some Austrian tourists – which allowed me a chance to practice my German. The day concluded with a hot pot dinner and a long walk back to the hotel. After climbing the Great Wall yesterday and walking what had to be at least 10-15 miles today, my feet could use a rest…
Edward Kerner, a History and Political Science major, currently on the Urban and Cultural Explorations in China program