Day 1 through Day 4 in China covered an immense amount of amazing experiences and opportunities. Below, is a description of each day, as told by one student for their specified day.
大家好！我们在北京！Today a very fun day. We left from JFK at around 1:00 pm and took off for our 14 hour flight to Beijing. During the flight, we kept ourselves busy through homework, sleeping, watching movies, singing (Stephanie) and just hanging out. Though the flight was 14 hours, it sure did seem a lot faster, as they say, time flies when your having fun (Literally, we basically time traveled today!). When we arrived at the airport, we were welcomed by our tour guide Lily, who will be taking us on our trips and showing us around 北京. After Lily picked us up, we loaded onto our bus and headed for the hotel. After doing some exchanging of money, putting our stuff down in our rooms, and all in all getting situated, we all gathered in the main lobby. The first thing we did was eat (we were all so hungry! 我们需要吃饭!). We had an amazing dinner and afterward we took a nice walk along Wangfujing Street, where we were able to see all the different shops and monuments. One that stuck out to me was the well. The blocked off sewer drain on the sidewalk is said to be the place where a well was in ancient times. As we returned to the hotel, we stumbled upon a water show, that had music playing, and water being shot out according to the music, which I thought was pretty cool. Today was an outstanding day and I cannot wait for the rest of the trip.
We had a very eventful day! It was started out by having a delicious buffet breakfast, where we discussed what we would be doing. At 8:30, we all met in the lobby to travel the famous Tiananmen Square. We saw the National Museum of China, a national flag, giant monuments, Mao Zedong’s mausoleum, and more. Directly after, we visited the Forbidden City. It is truly amazing to see how large this place really is. The beautiful architecture everywhere you look, gave us all an insight into what ancient Chinese history may have been like. We wrapped up the day’s tour by visiting a conjoined pearl and silk store, and finally a flee market. Finally, at the end of the night for dinner, we met one of Jericho student’s grandparents that lived in China for dinner at the local mall. Overall, a great day!
Today was an exciting day! We started with a very full breakfast and many of us stated that this is very different from our usual lifestyle of little to no breakfast in the morning. We were very thankful to have this opportunity whether it was our first time or second time at the Great Wall. The steps were various sizes of thin, thick, short, or tall. This made it very exhausting to go up, and dangerous to go down. Wesley and Dr. Margarita were able to make it to the top of the section that we were in and take amazing photos. Avery also did a great job of capturing the beauty of the wall while climbing it. While hiking down the steep steps, Kelly almost fell… TWICE, but she is fine thanks to Dylan. After our hike, we went to the gift shop right by our meeting place. Mr. Grishman and a few other students were able to get their names wood burned into a plaque as a memoir. After this, we were rode around on a rickshaw for a tour of the Hutongs. This ride was a first for many of us. It demonstrated a new way of transportation that is very different from the kind we are used to. We rode these to Fan’s house to see the layout of home within these Hutongs. It was amazing to hear that her family has lived there for over 200 years! Her house costs over 6 million dollars (200,000 per square meter in that specific area)! There, we were able to listen to her play a song on the Guzheng and explain the history of her house. Then, we went to the imperial palace to have lunch. The layout of the restaurant was extremely beautiful. Many of the woman were wearing traditional dresses and head dresses. My favorite part was when we fed the koi fish in the pond. The overall lunch was much like the others from the past few days, but each dish was ornamented with a small vase of flowers. At this same restaurant, many of us bought souvenirs such as chopsticks. From there we went to the oldest tea place in China. We tried 5 different teas. Oolong, Black, Fruit, Green, and Pu’er tea. Out of all 5, many of us liked the fruit one the most because of its sweet and sour taste. We were able to also see the variety of tea sets that can be used. After we went to an acrobatic show. Sadly, we were not able to take photos there but it is explained as thrilling, eventful, and emotional. Finally, we had dinner at a restaurant close to our hotel. Avery stated that this was his favorite so far, although many of the dishes were spicy. From there we walked back to the hotel and are getting ready to leave tomorrow 🙂
Today was an interesting day as it marked an end and a beginning. First, after we woke up, all of us began frantically packing and making sure we hadn’t left anything in the room. Then, we all made sure to dress up in our fancy clothes so we did not have to change in Xian. Then, we all ate a delectable breakfast before making our way to the Beijing Airport. After sadly departing with Lily, our tour guide, and Mr. Han, our driver, we boarded the flight to Xian. It was only a two hour flight so many students listened to music, watched a documentary that they were showing on the plane or anxiously awaited what was in store at Xian. When we arrived at Xian, we were greeted by the director of the international division of the school in Xian, a teacher from the school and a translator. On the bus ride to the middle school, the translator told us all of these interesting facts about Xian. We learned that Xian shares an airport with another city and that Xian was the capital of many Chinese dynasties. Then, after a mere twenty minutes, we arrived at the middle school in Xian. We sat down and met with the administration of the middle school where they contrasted Chinese and American education. Then, we began practicing our acts for the welcome ceremony show that we put on. Kelly, Stephanie, and Emily all practiced their dance routine. Matthew, Dylan and I all practiced reciting our poems and Wesley, Eric and Avery all practiced their environmental presentation. Then after 500 students filed into the auditorium, the show began. First, Jericho and Xian school administration made speeches. Then, we watched dancing and singing performances before the Xian middle school and our host students gave us gifts. Then, it was time for us to perform and we put on a great show. All of the children were smiling and clapping after our performances. Then, it was time to go home with our host families. Although I can’t speak for everyone, I am almost certain, based on my experience that dinner with our host families was a blast. What an auspicious beginning to the second half of our trip.