Nimen hao! (Hello everyone!) Well my new name is officially Sharon. For some reason, everyone has a habit of pronouncing my name like that. Even the group jokingly and now sometimes automatically calls me Sharon! It is surprising how often this mistake occurs. I think this will be a nickname that will follow me! 

For lunch, Katlyn, Jessica, Isaac, Tiffany,and I walked down the street and stopped at a vender where we could pick out our own individual meals. Most meals are family style and you all pick from the same bowls so it was nice to be greedy and have my own food! I ate a very good, chocolate covered, crunchy filled, ice cream bar to follow up my meal. It was just what I needed in this heat and gave me energy for our afternoon Kunfu class! 

Tai chi was with a large group of Americans from Alabama today. It was their first class so we reviewed what we had previously learned and then finished the series. I found it to be very relaxing and it is was fun to watch everyone try out their skills. During the evening we visited a language class on campus and gave a presentation on USI and our lives. After presentations and group discussions I'd say we all gained a lot and enjoyed the company. 

Students talked a little about the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival and our language teachers told us about it today. Other than the Chinese New Year, I had not really heard of any other highly celebrated holidays. This festival just happens to always fall on my birthday, June 12th! (They were just so happy I was born! Haha) If I understood correctly, this is a festival in celebration of a patriotic poet named Qu Yuan who jumped in the river to rebel against the Emperor for not listening to his ideas and was drowned/eaten by the fish. Everyone loved him so much that they threw rice into the river for the fish to eat so they would leave him alone. Nowadays people eat zong zi which is a sticky rice wrapped in a leaf like food. They also have competitions for rowers in decorated boats. I didn't get all the details but I thought that was really interesting! The university will be out of school for Monday,  Tuesday, and Wednesday the week of the festival but, to make up for two of the missing days, the previous Saturday and Sunday students attend school. (Saturday is like Monday and Sunday is like Tuesday.) 

Jessica and I ended the night with some well prepared noodles from a street vender. When you find something you really like you have to make note of it and eat it while you can so I made sure to eat a good portion! 


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