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53 posts categorized "Beijing Service"

Day 7 and 8 Free Day and Gaya Farm 自由活动 农场

Please see the post from David

Today was our day of rest. We were able to sleep in and a couple of us went out and played basketball in morning. Then we had the opportunity to go to the mall for the rest of the day. All of us were able to eat, go to the movies, play in the arcade, do karaoke or just shop and hangout. While paying for things at the stores though we found out that they don't take American debit or credit cards so it was all of us pooling our money together. End of the day we all met up on got on the bus to head back to the hotel.






Please see the  post from Eddie and Anna


We got up at 7:30. For breakfast, I ate toast and eggs along with milk. We arrived at the Gaya Farm at 9:00 after a short bus ride. Mosquito told us that we had to plant maize in the field that we pulled the weeds from a couple of days ago. I was in the second group and at the end, we were very tired but happy. I think the power of a team is greater than anything. After planting maize, we worked on designing our signs for the guide system. Afterwards, we had lunch. For lunch, we had stew with rice and in my opinion, it was delicious. We had a three hour break so I decided to go to sleep. Then, we prepared to present our final designs to the group. After getting the final approval from the group, we picked out stones to make our signs with. After picking out the perfect rocks, we scrubbed and rinsed them out to prepare them for painting. I have dinner for 7:00. I came back the hotel for 8:00. Today i felt colorful .That's all



Day 5 and 6 Gaya Farm 农场

Please see the posts from Naomi and Neil


This is the blog for July 14th, Friday
At the nine am departure time, we boarded the bus and we're on our way, for the first time, to the Gaya Farm. It is there where we would venture and fulfill our environmental service learning.On our way to the farm, we were informed that in order to really get intact with nature; We were to formulate a nature-inspired name (I stragetically choose "Leaf").

After a 5 minute hike on a trail leading to the camp, We became acquainted with the farm by completing an orientation / team building activity. The activity was structured as a mini scavenger hunt.
Next, at noon, we prepared to eat our lunch. The lunch was noodles with the locally grown squash with a side of cucumbers.

The meal was followed by us gathering around and completing an activity. The activity not only betterred our knowledge on the intricacy of nature, but on how much humans affect it.

Next, prepared our dinner by first cutting down the vast amounts of the farm grown vegatable. Then, heating the fire place and preparing our dumplings.

After a laborious hour, we were able to Chow down. Rather than just ending our day with full stomach, we ended it with a simple, but valuable lesson: before taking caring of others, take care of yourself.







We began our second day on the Gaya farm with another delicious breakfast at the hotel. After meeting in the lobby at 8:30, we departed for the farm where we began our first official day of labor. Our first task for the day was cleaning out a plot that originally grew amryss and pulling weeds to create a fresh plot to plant corn. After that, we ate curry for lunch and enjoyed a nice meal together after our hard work. We washed our dishes and helped clean up before taking a nice, well-deserved two hour rest. After our rest, Mosquito split us up into three teams and divided the farm into three sections. Our task was to hunt for the signs in each region of the farm that illustrated certain sections (i.e. the kitchen, chicken house, compost, etc). Once we located all the signs, we took notes about their current state and possible revisions we could make to improve the signs and make their meanings clearer. We sketched drafts and came up with possible designs for new signs, and then presented them to the other groups. To end our second day at Gaya farm, we ate a delicious dinner made by Oryx that consisted of stir fried rice and peaches. We have two more days on the farm, but first a rest day tomorrow, during which we get to sleep in and go to a mall!


Day 4 Summer Palace 颐和园

Please see Taojie's post 

On Thursday, I woke up at 6AM to pack my bags because we were checking out the hotel and going to the farm. At 8:30AM, we all met in the lobby of the hotel. The air conditioning wasn't working so we all tried to cool down by fanning ourselves with the hand painted character fans that we made yesterday.

After that we went to Minzu University (中央民族大学) for a lecture where we learned 3Cs, which are techniques for brainstorming our own story (the Cs stand for Challenge", "Choice" and "Conclusion"). For lunch we had pizza, fries, onion rings, and salad. In the afternoon we went for a tour of the Summer Palace(颐和园. My group went on a boat trip around Kunming lake (昆明湖). The ride was extremely relaxing because of the light breeze. At 5PM, we started going to the farm. After a two hour ride, we are finally arrived at the hotel. We checked in the hotel with same roommate and we had a dinner at the first floor restaurant. Today was hot but it didn't effect me at all, I had fun to spending time with my friends and exploring the culture of China.


Day 3 Hidden City Game 寻宝游戏

Please see the post from Grace





The day started with breakfast at 8:00. There was a variety of foods, such as rice, fruits, dim sum, eggs, and yogurt.
After breakfast, I led the way to Minzu University, and John stayed in the back to make sure everyone got there safely.
At the university, the students from Beijing joined us for a cross culture communication activity. During the activity, we talked about the meanings of our names and the differences between names in the U.S. and names in China. Later, we read comments about how people perceived certain members of our group. We tried to guess who the comments were about, and we also discussed what that person could offer to the group. One of the comments was about Willam dancing, and he then showed us some dance moves. We were all thoroughly impressed.
Later, we had Chinese class, where we learned about Xi'an and we learned some new vocabulary. During break, our Chinese classes played a game of hangman, and then we headed in our way to the subway.
We later played a city discovery game, where we completed different tasks throughout Beijing. My group got lost multiple times, but the photographer was with us, and he seemed to know the city well. By the time we got back, everyone was tired and happy to go back to the hotel.

Day 1 / 2 Tiananmen 天安门 / Niujie Mosque 清真寺


All arrived safely in Beijing throughout the day Sunday.  Among our group we have 14 CIEE participants from America and 6 local Chinese students who will be with us the entire duration of our program.   We then all checked into our hotel rooms to situate ourselves before gathering as a full group for the first time, making acquaintences, and taking a stroll to the Carrefour down the street to give everyone an opportunity to pick up any urgent necessities. The hotel rooms are spacious and comfortable, each fully equipped with a refrigerator, TV (with local cable), wi-fi, a private bathroom and, quite thankfully, air conditioning. The dining room where we congregate every morning to fuel up before setting out for the day, located right in our hotel building, features an abundant Chinese-style breakfast buffet, laiden with baozi 包子 (stuffed buns), youtiao 油条 (fried dough sticks), fresh fruit and much more, as well as some western staples like muffins, coffee and toast.

Monday, the first full day in Beijing was a long one. After orientation activities on Minzu University 民族大学 campus, we boarded a bus to the famous Tiananmen 天安门 Square and Forbidden City 故宫 at the city's center for a 3-km walk over of the most storied ground in Chinese history. The extreme temperatures and humidity of Beijing summers made the journey trying at times, but spirits somehow remained high throughout the day, which culminated in a delicious dinner at a nearby Peking duck 北京烤鸭 restaurant that certainly left no one hungry.

Today began similarly with survival-Chinese classes first thing in the morning, after which we departed for a midday excursion via the Beijing subway system to the local Niujie 牛街 Mosque, the oldest mosque in all of China and one of great beauty. Afterwards, we stopped for ice cream and other treats at a local bakery, then made our way back to Minzu University for short classes on service work and environmental issues in China, more survival Chinese, and cross-cultural communication. In the evening we went to an enormous shopping mall in Haidian 海淀and split into small groups for dinner. At this point it's hard to believe we're still only on Day 2 of the program!

Starting tomorrow, every night will feature a blog post from a different participant in the group, sharing their thoughts and experiences on the program. Stay tuned!













Meet Your Session 2 Program Leader: Austin Nielsen-Reagan

Hi everyone!

I'm Austin, one of two program leaders on the upcoming Beijing service and leadership program! This is my first year with CIEE, but I spent four months living in Kunming, China, two years ago on a language-immersive semester abroad and am extremely excited to return this summer to explore the legendary city of Beijing.

I earned my B.A. in Chinese and linguistics from Middlebury College in 2016, after which I returned to my amazing hometown of Ithaca, New York, where I took a break from academia to work for several locally owned businesses, including a kayak rental shop, a carpentry contractor, a natural foods coop, a coffee company, and a tapas restaurant, among others. These experiences greatly strengthened my belief in the profound importance of food work, and in particular the struggle to foster holistic, community-based, environmentally sustainable agriculture and commercial food systems amidst an increasingly industrial and synthetic world.

Then one month ago, I flew out to Los Angeles, California, where I spent three weeks interning for an organic urban microfarm in Compton that prioritizes community engagement and programs for local youth. Besides helping with farm work, carpentry projects, website building, English-to-Spanish translation and more, I also was active in community outreach and interaction, leading seed-potting workshops for local middle schoolers and attending events and discussions on LA food sovereignty and land justice. I'm incredibly excited for the opportunity to investigate and ponder some similar topics through our various service projects in Beijing this month.

The attached photo was taken last week at one of my favorite places on earth, Monument Valley of the Navajo Nation, one of the stops along my 3,000-mile drive from Los Angeles back to Ithaca this past week! I'm now home to catch my breath briefly before heading out on this next great adventure.

Until Beijing!

聂明诚, a.k.a. Austin Nielsen-Reagan


Meet Your Session 1 (and 2) Program Leader: Alexander Quan


Aptos 16

My name is Alexander Quan and I'm leading Shanghai language and culture (session 1) and Beijing service and leadership (session 2).  Last Summer I led the Beijing program and had such an awesome experience that I signed up to lead two programs this Summer.  During the school year I teach Mandarin Language (immersion) and history (taught in Chinese as part of the immersion philosophy) at a public school.  I got my start in education through Teach for America and hold California teaching credentials in Mandarin, Mathematics and History so you can ask me any questions about those subjects (as well as any other relevant questions related to China).

When I was in college at USC I also studied abroad through CIEE at Peking University. I hope that as high school students you have a positive experience studying and living in China and that it will spark you to embrace travel, cross-culture encounters and language skills throughout your future.  It is a wonderful opportunity to apply your classroom learning in context while on the ground in China and you will make tremendous gains if you embrace challenges and make the most of each experience.

在上海 / 北京见!

Day 16: Olympic Park and National Museum

Today's guest post is from Cassandra:

Today, we met up with Friends of Nature at Olympic Park and took a walk near the lake there. It was in the shape of a Dragon! We saw the Olympic nest and the torch as well as many other tourist groups.

After finding a good location, Friends of Nature had us do a water testing activity. We split up into groups and each had a different assignment. A volunteer had to throw a bottle in the lake to retrieve some water to sample. My group had to test the pH of the water in the lake. We had to use 3 test tubes and a pH indicator. In the end, we concluded that the water in the lake was pretty basic.

After some rest and lunch, we headed to the National Museum. There were many great artifacts and art that taught a lot about Chinese history. My favorite exhibit was the one about the Opium Wars because there was a lot of amazing paintings and sculptures showing the Chinese combating the British.

Day 15: Back in Beijing, Friends of Nature

Today's guest post is from Sarah:

Today we woke up on the later side for our first whole day back in Beijing. After breakfast we gathered in the lobby. We headed to the subway to meet with Friends of Nature, an enviromental NGO in China. They gave us an intro to the 26 degrees celcius movement, which tries to get public buildings to keep their AC above or at 26 degrees. My group and I travelled by subway to Xidan. Our mission was to measure the air temperature in various public buildings. We first went to a phone store, then a shopping mall. After, we went to a bank, a hospital, and a tax office. After we had collected all of our data we headed back to Friends of Nature. They debriefed us about the survey, and also told us about the activity we will be doing with them on thursday. We then headed to dinner, a pizza restaurant, surprisingly. The pizzas were gigantic, and yet we ate most of them! This closed another day in China, and with us leaving so soon, no one seems to want to go.

Day 14: Second day in Xi'an and Fast Train Back to Beijing

Today's post is from Annabella:

Today was our second day in Xian and we woke up at a reasonable time and met up in the lobby at 8:45. We were supposed to go biking but it started sprinkling and maybe because of the storm yesterday we didn't want to risk any more shenanigans with the rain. So instead of the biking adventure we ended up splitting into three groups; one went out to go to the local shopping mall, another group went went to walk around the wall that surrounded Xian (they actually ended up biking) and the last group just hung out at the hotel. At around 11 we all met up together and headed out to lunch. After lunch we walked back to the hotel and loaded our luggage and onto the bus then we headed for the train station. This time we took the high speed train, so it cut the travel time by about half in comparison to the soft sleeper train that we took the day before. Once we arrived in Beijing we had a bus waiting for us and we went back to the Vienna hotel, the same one we started at. We dropped off our stuff at the hotel and then walked to a noodle restaurant. After dinner we walked back to the hotel and went to bed.