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Finally my jet lag has worn off and I am ready for the next few exciting days. Tomorrow marks the beginning of our culture classes and hopefully some new relationships! I think these classes will be very enjoyable and informative. I can't wait to try out my kungfu and cooking skills in these seminars!

The two girls, Vicki and Michelle (English names), have been very helpful in acting as our tour guides and translators. It has been fun getting to know them through conversation. Today Michelle took some of us on a tour of the campus and we got to see first hand how beautiful it is. There are all kinds of activities going on and we have gotten the chance to see a variety of events. Graduation was this weekend even though they have a month left in school so we saw lots of students in their gowns posing for photos. We even had people come up to us a few times taking our pictures! There were students dressed up in anime costumes on one of the soccer fields and they had booths where students could get their fortune read or play a game. There was also a small kungfu competition going on so we witnessed a few students trying their hand with the numchucks. (Seeing them compete reminded me of Americans going to basketball practice or competing in a horse show; everyone has their own skills and participates in what they want. I think I tend to over generalize when I think about who does what and assume that since a culture is known for something then everyone of that culture does it.) It all resembled a small fair and apparently they have activities like this every weekend. In another area we saw people participating happily in a game of musical chairs. 

The campus is very pretty with the mountains in the background and greenery everywhere you go. We have seen all kinds of vegetation and plants. There are gorgeous little parks to take a "rest." There are "playgrounds" with soccer fields, volleyball courts, tennis, badminton, ping pong, basketball, a track and much more. The apartment buildings of the campus are very close to the buildings containing the classes so it is hard to tell one from the other but the buildings have very unique architecture. It is a 40 minute walk from one side of the campus to the other so you can tell it is very large. Michelle treated us to a ride on the shuttle once we had walked quite a ways from where we are staying. 

I have to say my chopsticks skills still come and go but I am improving. You kind of just have to jump in and try things to learn! Tomorrow should be a big day with lots of new experiences. 

Things I learned today: 

- traditionally it is the boys job to drive and chauffeur the girls 
- there are only certain times during the day when we have access to hot water (cold showers are the worst!) 
- I can recognize the character for and say the word "water" in Chinese :) 
- the market is always busy on the weekend! 
- don't rely on wifi to communicate with family back home 
- traveling in a large group can  be slow 
- airports don't take good care of your luggage :( 
- the iPad camera works as a great mirror! 

 


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