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53 posts categorized "Beijing Service"

Day 19 Presentations at Peking University 在北大做报告

Please see the post from John

 

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We start our last day in China today. After having a full breakfast of eggs, steam buns, and other delicious foods, we met down in the hotel lobby at 8:40 am. Everyone was nicely dressed and preparing for their individual presentations. We left the hotel at 9 am to get onto the Subway and head to Peking University.

We arrived at Peking University at 9:30 am. As we sat in room 709, we prepared for our presentations making any last minuet changes we needed. Taojie started us off by talking about and comparing the air quality in Beijing and in Houston, Texas. He did a fantastic job and was a great start to our day of presentations. We finished up the presentations at 12:30pm. Abdul concluded our presentations with talking about how he would like to change the bike lanes in his home community and implement recycling and trash cans in his city.

We left the room 709 at 12:45 and started our tour around the Peking University campus. We started at a the sports complex and Wang Ke Zhen building. We had complications at the first gate into the University so we headed to another gate and entered through there. We finished our tour visiting the old water tower and the university's lake. We took the subway back to Xiang Zhu Ling restaurant for our goodbye lunch. We had a mix of drinks and dishes that were all fantastic. As we ate we talked and reminisced on our weeks here and all of the fantastic times we had together.

After lunch we sat around the tables and all laughed and applauded as Alex and Austin handed out the different awards we all earned. After lunch we revived the rest of the afternoon to our selves. Some played pool and others went to the mall. At 10 pm we were all back in our rooms and getting ready for our last night sleep in Beijing.

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As students fly home to their respective cities in the US or China the next day this is our last post

Thanks for following this blog!

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Day 18 Morning Hike 早晨爬长城

Please see the post from Abdul

 

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The early bird catches the worm. And caught the worm we did. Today we set out from our villagers home at 3:40 to go see the breath-taking sunrise from the Great Wall of China. It was absolutely pitch black at night with nothing but our flashlights and tour guide to guide us. We were all thrilled to go see the sunrise but little did we know that the journey would be so difficult. The hour long walk was slippery and bumpy; and it also required intense perseverance. As we climbed the mountain, several people fell, slipped, or simply got tired. Nonetheless, we continued through as the sunrise waits for no one.
After about several falls and an hour of walking, very slim light started to peak out the sky. We had not made it yet to the top, but we were very close. Emotions were lighting up as we started to see hints of sunlight. Then, we finally made it. I, for one, was surprised when we got to the top because it was not like the wall we traditionally saw in pictures. There wasn't really a flat surface to stand on nor a barrier surrounding the ledges. In fact, to get to the other side of the platform we had to hug a wall for our dear lives. Because of this natural wall, we all agreed that it intensified the view's allure and made the trip even better.
After we all reached the top, we sat in silence with our phones out, waiting to capture the sunrise's beauty. And Oh was it beautiful! Never have I seen anything as awe-inspiring and breath taking as that sunrise. Words and pictures could never capture what any of us saw that day. We tried to save the moment with our phones, but no angle did it justice. In that very moment of our lives, our eyes were truly blessed.
After waiting and admiring the scenery for a while, some of the group ventured off to a higher point on the wall, about 20 minutes away. There, our heads touched the clouds and we saw the fruits of our labor. The view was just right to just sit in or take epic photos. And so we did.
As we reluctantly descended the mountain, we realized that it would be much harder coming down than it was coming up. Even with the sunlight guiding us this time, the road was very slippery and unnatural (as in there were no steps). Many people got cuts, few lost their shoes, and some, actually just me, sprained their ankle. However, it was unequivocally all worth it.
Despite people making it back to the villagers home at separate times, we all made it in time for breakfast. We were served corn, fruits, rice, bread buns, soup, and noodles. They all tasted amazing especially after just hiking for two hours.
Not long after we ate breakfast, we departed for our trip back to Vienna hotel. Because we had waken up so early,-- or some people did not sleep at all-- many people fell asleep on the bus. After arriving to the hotel, we were told that the rest of the day was to ourselves. We could go to the Beijing zoo, shopping or just sleep. I chose the last option as my day consisted of mainly sleeping, going out for lunch and dinner, and finishing my project. Oh and I can't forget: writing this blog too!

 

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Day 17 Great Wall 长城

Please see the post from Simon and Jerry

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Today was such a wonderful day. We got a lot of free time in the morning, and I played pool with William (thank god I beat him haha). It was a good game, and we all had fun.
After free time, me, Jerry, and Faker had to pack up and leave as soon as possible. Then we got on the bus to go eat some food at RenMinGongShe restaurant(人民公社饭店). The food in the restaurant were so delicious!
Then we took bus to GuBeiKou Great Wall(古北口长城) Wow! That was hard for me to climb up to 24KongLou(二十四孔楼), but i haven't given up. and the scenery was so nice.
After we climbing the Great Wall, we took some cars to the farmyard. And that one was good enough,that was not the place i imagined.
Then we have a wonderful dinner together.
After the dinner, William, David, Ruchika, Lily and me played Mao together(American poker game). That was so funny and we all had fun

 

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Day 15/16 Friends of Nature 自然之友Part 3/4

Please see the post from Ruchika

 

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After eating breakfast at the hotel, we took the subway (one of my favorite things about Beijing) to the Friends of Nature office and began our work there. Using the data we collected and the pictures we took yesterday on our walk along the riverbank, we each made a postcard depicting something we saw out on the river and began our work on our section of the GreenMap. I decided to draw some pretty flowers that I saw alongside the path we took. We left the office at around 12:30 and took the subway to Weigongcun station for lunch. We split into two groups; one group went to a Japanese fast food restaurant and my group went to a noodle shop. After some delicious food, we walked back to Minzu University for another survival Chinese lesson and a lecture on plate tectonics. In our Chinese lesson, we learned how to have a conversation about food. After class, we had free time for the rest of the evening. A couple of friends and I went out to get some laundry done at the University's laundromat, then had dinner at a small restaurant near MinDa. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit before meeting up with some of our Chinese buddies and going out to play some pool. We got back to the hotel in time for room check, then my roommate and I headed off to bed.

 

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Please see the post from Helen and Floria

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Today is cloudy, we eat breakfast at Malanlamian resturant.We took the subway to the Friends of Nature office and began our work there. By the way, we were lost we spent some time looking for the right way to the office,so we were late in class we use the picture that we painted to decorated the Greenmap.We drew many kinds of pictures, like animals,plants,buildings,bridges and so on.Some Chinese students wrote Chinese characters to translated the English sentences.One of the group add some tips about how to protect the environment.Everyone in their own group had their own work to did and felt very happy.At last we take a photo of CIEE family and Friends of Nature's teachers.We left the office at around 12:30 and took the subway to Weigongcun station for lunch. We ate beef rice and so on in Mr.Li resturant. After some delicious foods we walked to Minzu universty for English lesson,in our English lesson we learned how to write IELTS composition.At four o'clock go back to the hotle to had a rest.

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Day 14 Friends of Nature Part 2 自然之友


Please see the post from Max

 

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I wake up at 6:53 with a sore throat. I have some warm soy milk, yogurt and red tea (sacrilegiously with honey) at breakfast in an attempt to bring it some relief. We're set to be ready to leave at 8:15 in the lobby so it takes us 15 minutes before we exit, using our metro cards to board our first public bus in Beijing. Half of us have EarPods in, all are in various stages of acknowledging that we are indeed awake. There's a drab peacefulness to the city as we pass it, a perpetually moving lull.

50 minutes and 1 transfer later we meet our guides from Friends of Nature who escort us to a mall referred to by the Wal-Mart housed inside it to relieve ourselves of the fluids that, try as they might, couldn't do the same for my throat. We reunite with the Chinese students by the river and a van sufficiently inconspicuous so as to arouse suspicion. After 2 hours of collecting data along 清河 we reconvene at our starting point where a middle-aged woman is getting her hair cut while a man who is presumably her husband with a well-dressed bottom half and T-shirt smokes with solemn mirth as he watches her.

Lunch had more vegetarian dishes than not; a Chinese miracle if there ever was one. A bitter battle was waged between the two tables over the last remaining 雪碧, ending, after much quarrel and turmoil, in the defeated table ordering a new bottle for themselves to guzzle.

Flower Boy by Tyler, The Creator seems tailor made for late-afternoon biking in 北京. For those minutes heading from classes at 民族大学 to the nearest 地铁站 the whole city, as seen from atop the ofo 小黄车, becomes as clear as the California daze going by it finds itself cast in.

The mall is a long road positing the virtue of a thoroughly modernist meta-narrative of industrialized and commercialized globalization. The catholic church we gather by housed inside it announces it as a place of government-approved worship.

My group looks for dinner at the APM Mall, eventually (and inefficiently) deciding on a Japanese restaurant whose only (and newly added) vegetarian ramen I order, generously supplement with the provided hot peppers and garlic, and consume by the time my companions' meals arrive. I (politely as I can afford to) leave to explore the amiably overpriced shops on the lower floors before making the trek to the six-floor bookstore we passed on our way in. After some confusion as to the contents of each floor I find the 蓝光 I have no business looking for, yet alone buying, in this country. After keenly perusing a gorgeous steelbook of Tim Burton's Big Fish I reluctantly settle for an inspired double feature of Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special and Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick's A.I.: Artificial Intelligence for the same price and rejoin our group in front of the clock tower with a Big Ben complex.

After giving a summary of what you're reading at the hotel lobby debriefing I stop by the convenience store to pick up some 润喉糖 for my throat, which has gotten worse. I head up to the 12th floor with a docile satisfaction at the day's events that's mostly exhaustion. I prepare to shower, fulfill my dental duties and get some (REDACTED) sleep.

 

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Day 13 Friends of Nature Part 1自然之友

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Please see the post from Ruby

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Today was our first day back in Beijing from our time in Xi'an. We had breakfast at our hotel and took the subway to the Friends of Nature office, where we listened to a presentation about the Green Map system. The Green Map system is a global initiative that aims to map out the environmental features of a particular place in order to encourage the community and its visitors to pursue a "green" or sustainable lifestyle. After the presentation, we split into groups and were assigned our group tasks as well as our individual ones. We then took a bit of time to familiarize ourselves with the assignment and the Friends of Nature volunteers who were assigned to our small groups.
After leaving the Friends of Nature office, we stopped by a small shop nearby to have lunch. My friend and I split a dish of the curry beef and shredded pork, which were both very delicious. We made our way to Minzu University after lunch to have a short Chinese class about popular dishes from different regions of China. Grace then took us to a convenient store for snacks during our break and we stopped by the campus laundromat on our way back. After the break, we had a cross-cultural activity where we had to pinpoint the top 5 values and bottom 5 values from either our own lives or our society as a whole. We realized that we share many values with our Chinese buddies and that there are splits between values within our group, even through we come from one place.
After the cross cultural activity, we were given free time. My friends and I visited a nearby mall and had KFC for dinner. It was a great start to our time back in Beijing!

 

 

 

Day 12 Xian 西安

Please see the post from Leah

We woke up today at the metropark hotel and gathered up all our luggage downstairs to be taken to the train station — 西安北站. We had breakfast then drove to Xian's city wall. Our group had a choice of walking or biking across the wall, and I was one of the people that chose to walk. We explored along the wall, then returned to the bus to go to the tang bo art museum. Inside, we learned about various forms of art present throughout Chinese history. They included paper cutting, shadow puppets, porcelain models, paintings, and calligraphy. After the tour, we had the privilege of trying out Chinese calligraphy for ourselves. Of course our efforts at calligraphy could not match up to the teacher, but it was very  eye opening and exciting nonetheless. After the museum we went next door for lunch where I almost drowned in my tea. Then we boarded a high speed train 高铁🚄back to Beijing. The train traveled around 300 km per hour, and we returned back to the Vienna hotel at 7.

 

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Day 11 Xian 西安

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Please see the post from Lily

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The train ride to Xi'an was bumpy and long, but it was all worth it when we got to the buffet breakfast at the hotel. After a small break we were off again in the bus to see the terra-cotta warriors.

It was a crazy experience to see all the warriors and all the different faces. We also got to see a very educational little movie that showed us the history of the dynasties and rulers surrounding the terra-cotta warrior period of time.

After the warriors we took the bus to a pagoda. It was a very relaxing and beautiful experience, just to have a chance to be with some of the other members in a quiet area. We left at around 5:20 and went out for dinner

Dinner was very interesting. We got a chance to be in a Muslim market and bargain for our food and little trinkets. Some went to a restaurant and ate there.

Overall today was a very full fun day with lots of different experiences with some pretty great people.

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Leaving Farm and Confucian Temple 离开农场和孔庙

Please see the post from William

 

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Today we checked out from the hotel we were staying at to start our trip to Xi'an. We left the hotel at around 11 and went back to Beijing and had sandwiches for lunch. We went to a Confucian temple after, and we learned about Confucian values and the 6 special relationships in Confucian ideology. We saw a beautiful performance that paid respect to Confucius. After visiting the temple, we took a bus to Beijing West Railway Station (北京西站), where we boarded a soft sleeper train on its way to Xi'an.

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Day 9 Last day on farm, 农场的最后一天

Please see the post from Kori

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Today is the last day on the farm, but that didn't change our normal morning routine. We had breakfast at 8, which consisted of packaged milk and steamed buns, and left for the farm at 8:30. Yesterday we were told today would consist of no hard labor.... sadly, that was a big, fat lie. We were instructed to move rocks into a crate and fill it to the top. Now, these were no small rocks; wheel barrows were required to move them to the steel crate. Though this work was strenuous, it proved to be a very stress relieving activity. Seeing as though you could throw, break, and slam the rocks as much as you wanted. After this we got into our 3 teams and began to paint the rocks we had prepped the previous day. After about an hour of that, we ate lunch. This day's lunch consisted of noodles with a tomato and pork or rice with vegetables. I choose the noodle option, and it was very good. Afterwards we had a discussion about Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Climate agreement and reflect on our farm experience. Also, we voted who was the most helpful, enthusiastic, and hard-working. Next it we had our break. Today it was only 55 minutes, usually it is 2 hours. People played card games, napped, or just listened to music. After the break we continued to paint the rocks and place them in there designated areas. Many of the bottles used to clean the brushes spilled, but over all it was very fun. Next, we made our own pizza!!! The winners of the previous voting activity (and their partners) got to make theirs first, which was fun because usually the adults get to eat first(which is in line with traditional Chinese culture). We also had fries but...they were spilled. At the end if the day we took a tour around the whole farm and looked at everyones signs. As we prepared for our final departure from the farm, Mosquito gave us encouraging words about how we should use what we learned here in the future. That was out final day at the farm!!!!

 

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