After all of us American students arriving at Beijing airport, we departed to Chongqing by airplane. We had to check-in at 4:00 PM and the plane took off at 6:30 PM. We arrived at Chongqing airport and departed to our dorms. We arrived at the dorm at around 10:00 PM. Gwen told us, the American students, what rooms we will be living in. They gave us backpacks with a notebook, itinerary, and water bottles inside. This is the first time where I saw and used a squat toilet.
We all had breakfast in the cafeteria, that’s where we met the two students from Ireland. After breakfast, we all walked to our “Welcome Meeting” so that we could be informed of the trip China. We had a lecture on “Chinese Philosophy” where we learned about philosophy, culture, and politics. After that class, we had scheduled a “Hot Pot(火锅Huo Guo)” dinner at 渝九香火锅with everyone there. At the hot pot dinner that night, we all tried new food and learned more about Chinese cuisine. A hot pot dinner is where the middle of the table is a boiling bowl of broth and there are ingredients in there, such as vegetables, garlic, or oil. The food that is cooked is also on the table, it has raw meat or vegetables that lay on the table waiting to be placed in the bowl. Once placed in the bowl, you must let it sit in there so that it can cook before you eat it.
That morning, we walked to the Diaoyu Cheng (钓鱼城) Museum and learned a lot about the ancient Chinese army. We had another lecture, it was on the history of paper cutting (剪纸) in China. It is an art form in which where you fold a piece of paper however many time you want, and you begin to cut in order for the paper to take a new shape. The idea of folding the papers is so that the images you make are symmetrical on all parts of the paper. After paper cutting, we proceeded to the talent show where the freshman and sophomores performed for us. After the talent show, we ended the day with a party that Prospect College hosted to celebrate everyone. There were a lot of music, dancing, food, and people who were there.
We went on a trip to visit a local community to learn their culture and we had lunch at a family’s house. My family made us a hot pot (火锅) lunch with spicy food. I helped make the dumplings, they had vegetables and beef. We then visited the Diao Yu Cheng (钓鱼城) site. That is where the events happened from when we went to the museum on Saturday. We saw ancient paths, depictions of the warriors, and rock carvings. Once we got back to campus, my roommates took me to eat dinner to eat spicy hot pot (火锅). We ended our day with painting the logo for Prospect College.
We started the day by attending a lecture on “Local Religions.” We learned the differences between the different practices. We later went to a big supermarket to just look around. We saw a lot of funny shirts that were lost in translation. We then went to a tea shop for a little tea party by the river. We then went the movie theaters to watch the movie “A Quiet Place” which was a scary movie.
We woke up early to go visit the Da Zu rock carvings(大足石刻). We saw many carvings that are aged hundreds of years old. There were many carvings of a religious context. After our long day at the Da Zu rock carvings, we came back to campus for dinner. We had class on calligraphy and how to properly write some Chinese characters.
We went to the ancient town of Anju (安居). The town is filled with nature and vendors. We drove back to campus and had lunch. We then had a very interesting lecture on the history of plants in China. We learned about Ernest Henry Wilson and his 12 years in China exploring. After that lecture, we went to the recreational center to play sports activities with the other students.
我们去了安居。安居里面性质和供应商。安居以后，我们去了远景学院吃午餐。午餐以后，我们去了植物的历史在中国客。我们学习了关于Ernest Henry Wilson。他去了中国十二年学习中国的植物。这是课以后，我们去了运动馆去运动跟中国学生。
We woke up early so that we can drive to the city of Chong Qing (重庆). It was raining that morning. We first went to the San Xia (三峡) museum. We then took the subway and walked to have lunch at KFC. Their menus were really different, and they did not have mac-and-cheese. We then went to the Yu Wang Gong museum. After our day in the Chong Qing (重庆), we took the train towards the airport and got on our bus to head back to Prospect College. We then had a farewell dinner with the students, teachers, counselors, and staff.
We left Prospect College at 6:00 AM in order to be able to catch our flight to Xi’an (西安) at the airport. The only thing that I will not miss from Chong Qing (重庆) will be the spicy food. The airplane we took was an hour-long plane ride. Once we landed, we had lunch at the airport and had headed towards one of the emperor’s tombs. At the gift shop, I bought the ancient Chinese musical instrument “Xun (窨)”. All of the American students went to have McDonald’s for dinner.
Today we went to the Terra Cotta Warriors (兵马俑) museum. We got to see three different pits with the tombs of the warriors inside. At the gift shop, I bought a refrigerator magnet of a Terra Cotta Warrior. In the restaurant where we had lunch, we met Mr. Yang, the man who discovered the Terra Cotta Warriors in March 29, 1974. He and other farmers were suffering a drought, so they went digging and they wounded up finding the Terra Cotta Warriors buried. We had family style lunch today with a lot of noodles. After lunch, we went to Hua Qing Gong (华清宫) to look at how ancient structures where like in China. We got to see how their civilization and society was like.
In the morning, we went to bike on top of the city wall in Xi’an (西安). It is a 40-kilometer trip. Our bike trip took one hour and fifteen minutes to complete. It was really hot that day and it was perfect to go biking. Once everyone finished biking, we went to eat at another locally famous noodle shop “First Noodle Under the Sun”. It was another family style lunch with a lot of variety in noodles. After that, we went to a museum where we learned the history of the Tang Dynasty and the Silk Road trade. For dinner today, we again went to McDonald’s and did some shopping afterwards.
Today, we went to the Da Ming Palace. We got to learn about that history, play with puzzles that were invented in that era, make pottery, and dig for Terra Cotta Warriors. I also go to see ancient Chinese percussion instruments that were used during that time period. We then saw a short film about a story of a prince and princess coming together in the Da Ming palace. We ended the day with going to lunch at a music hall and ate at a buffet styled restaurant. Because it is a music hall, I go to see some of the percussion instruments they had in stock where the musicians would sit. After lunch, we were let free to go to the Muslim Quarter for souvenir shopping. I bought a Di Zi, Flute, and two dragons. I accidentally dropped a cup at the market, and the owner made me purchase the cup. It wasn’t that expensive, it was less than two dollars. We ended our day with having dinner at McDonald’s, again.
我们今天去了Da Ming宫。我们学习了历史，难题，陶器，和挖掘兵马俑。我看了古代打击乐器。我们也看了一个电影关于公主在Da Ming宫。Da Ming宫以后，我们去了自助式午餐在音乐厅。因为午餐在音乐厅，我看了打击乐器在哪里！午餐以后，我们去了Muslim Quarter去购物。我买了Di Zi，长笛，和二个条龙。因为我在市场不小心掉了一个杯子，老板让我购买被子。它不贵了，我花了一十五元。我们晚餐在McDonald’s再次。
Today we took a train from Xi’an to Tai Gu. The train ride was only one hour. When we got to Tai Gu, we ate lunch and had a local famous noodle dish. After lunch, we went to Prospect College to meet our roommates. We got a tour of campus. After the tour, my roommates took me to the music building and showed me a drum set where I could play on. We then had a fancy dinner with the heads of Prospect College. He had all of us give a speech as a toast, so he could get to know us better.
Because I woke up sick this morning, I had soup for breakfast. Our first lecture was basically an introduction to the staff and campus. For lunch, I again had soup. After lunch, we had a lecture on the Dragon Boat Festival. We got to make and eat Zong Zi in class. After class, I went to the music concert at Prospect College. Before I went to sleep, I took some medicine.
I woke up, took medicine, and ate soup for breakfast. After breakfast, we all had to take a bus to visit the Chang Family Mansion. After that, we had lunch in the dining hall at Prospect College. After lunch, we took a bus to the Shan Xi Historical and Cultural Museum. We saw a lot of ancient Chinese relics of this province was like thousands of years ago. After that, we went to the Tai Gu bread factory to see how this locally famous bread is made. That bread is very delicious. That is where we had dinner. We got to make our own bread and eat it. After dinner, we had a lecture on an introduction to the Gu Qin(古琴). It is an ancient Chinese stringed instrument. It was one of the first Chinese instruments.
我起床，吃了药，和吃了牛肉面汤。早饭以后，我们去了Chang家大厦。Chang家大厦以后，我们吃午餐在食堂里面远景学院。午餐以后，我们乘坐巴士在Shan Xi历史文化博物馆。我们看了中国古代文化在这个省数千年前。Shan Xi历史文化博物馆以后，我们去了太谷面包厂。我们看了这个当地着名的面包是如何制作的。这是面包吃好！我们的晚餐在里面这是面包厂。我们厨师了和吃了面包。晚餐以后，我们去了古琴讲座。古琴是古代中国弦乐器。这是有史以来第一次的中国乐器之一。
I woke up feeling a lot better, but I am still taking medicine and still eating soup. We had a lecture on Chinese Philosophy and Meridians on the human body. The teacher even showed us where pressure points are on our body. I again had soup for lunch. After lunch, we took a bus to the Grace Vineyard Winery(怡苑酒庄). We saw how this company manufactures and sells their wines. This winery is pretty famous worldwide. But they didn’t sell wine there or give any wine tastings. We came back to Prospect College for dinner. We ended our day with a graduation party for the students who will be graduating.
We have a very early start today, we had to leave for Ping Yao city by 7:00 AM. We took a bus there at it took about one and a half hours to get there. We first walked on the city wall, which was not that long. We saw statues of how their defensive and offensive operations were like. We then saw how their old buildings were like. We saw where they held their prison, accounting room, banks, and communication rooms. We had lunch inside Ping Yao city. After lunch, we saw a live performance of how festivities would have taken place in the ancient city of Ping Yao. After Ping Yao, we took a bus back to Prospect college and had dinner.
我们起床七点去了Ping Yao。我们里面总线去Ping Yao。花了一个半小时才开到那里。我们一次走在城墙上了，时间不长。我们看了古代监狱，会计室，银行，和通讯室。我们吃午餐了在Ping Yao。午餐以后，我们看了现场表演。这个表演关于古代庆祝活动在Ping Yao。Ping Yao以后，我们里面总线回来远景学院和吃晚餐。
After breakfast, we all had a class on calligraphy. The teacher taught us how to write basic characters and radicals. He then showed us how to write our own name in Chinese characters. We had lunch, I ate beef noodle soup with blueberry tea. The blueberry tea helps me feel better. After lunch, we went to the recreational room and learned martial art combat with weapons and hands. After each Chinese student showed us each combat, we performed the moves with our master. After that, everyone all of us had a laundry party in Raul’s room. We went to eat dinner while our clothes were drying.
早饭以后，我们书法讲座。我们的老师教我们如何写基本中国的characters and radicals。然后他教了我们如何用中文写我们的名字。在午餐，我吃了牛肉面汤和喝了蓝莓茶。这个蓝莓茶帮助我感觉更好。午餐以后，我们去了健身房。我们学习了武术作战跟有没有武器。中国学生教了美国学生武术以后，美国学生表演武术跟师父在班级的前面。武术课以后，美国学生在Raul的房间开洗衣服的派对。衣服在晾干的时候，我们去吃了晚餐。
When we had breakfast that morning, that was the last time I took medicine. After that, I did not feel sick anymore. Having tea, soup, and medicine really does help when you’re sick. Our first lecture of the day was an introduction to traditional Chinese marriage customs. We also learned about how a marriage happens, from proposal to the end of the wedding ceremony. We also had a demonstration of how a wedding would take place in class, by using student volunteers. We used real clothes and other real props for the demonstration. After that we had lunch. At 3:00 PM, we had an award ceremony to honor the NIU and St. Mary students in completing the study abroad program at Prospect College. We were given a certificate with our names on it. After the ceremony, we visited the art department’s exhibition that has original works by the art students in Prospect College. We then had a fancy dinner with students, teachers, and the heads of Prospect College.
在早饭，那天早上吃早饭的时候，我吃了最后一次药。早饭以后，我感觉不舒服了。喝了茶，汤，和药当你生病时真的有帮助。我们第一次演讲关于中国传统婚礼。我们也学习了关于婚姻如何发生，从提案到典礼。学生志愿者帮助示范关于中国传统婚礼。我们为示范用真正的衣服和其他食物。中国传统婚礼课以后，我们去午餐。我们三点去了颁奖仪式兑现Northern Illinois University和St. Mary’s University学生因为我们完成了这个程序。他们给我们有我们名字的证书。仪式以后，我们去了艺术部门的艺术展。它的艺术展有原创艺术作品由学生制作里面远景学院。然后我们去了花市晚餐跟学生，老师，和远景的领导。
I had my last breakfast with my roommates today at the dining hall. After breakfast, I finished packing up and met with everyone to go on the bus. After loading the bus, everyone said our goodbyes. We drove to the train station where we boarded the train to go to Beijing. It was a four-hour train ride. I used this time to write me blog. After the train ride, we went to our hotel. After we all napped, we ate McDonald’s and walked around Beijing.
The breakfast in the hotel was really good. We took a bus to Chairman Mao’s burial chamber. After that, we went to the forbidden city. There were a lot of rooms in the Forbidden City, and they all look the same. We then had lunch at Nan Luogu Alley and did shopping there. I bought some souvenirs there for my friends and family. After our day, we went to go get dinner at a fancy restaurant.
旅馆的早饭很吃好！我们去Chairman Mao的墓室。Chairman Mao的墓室以后，我们去Forbidden City。在Forbidden City月很多房间。我们吃午餐在Nan Luogu Alley和买了在那里。我买了纪念品的我加和朋友。今天以后，我们吃晚餐在高级餐厅。
Today was a big day. We first went to the Beijing zoo. We went to the special panda exhibit and I’ve never seen a panda before, and it was amazing. We then saw other typical zoo animals in their enclosures. What us Americans found really funny was that the zoo kept raccoons in enclosures and had Canadian geese out in the open. It was funny because Americans are used to seeing raccoons and Canadian geese in the open in America, but Chinese people are not. We then departed to the Great Wall of China. When we got there, we needed to take a bus to the chairlift entrance and take the chairlift to the wall. The day started out as 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). In addition to the hot weather, the Great Wall was already steep and tough to climb. I took this opportunity to take a picture of me playing music on the wall. When we had an hour left of climbing, it started thundering and raining, which dropped the temperature. But unfortunately, the cable car service was temporarily suspended. We waited for the rain to go away, and after it did, we took the cable car down to the ground floor to meet our bus. I went to the local shops and bought two shirts. Because of the rain delay, we couldn’t eat dinner at the Great Wall, so we ate once we got back to the hotel.
Today, we had no tour guide. It was up to our teacher to take us to the tea workshop by subway. Because I am used to Chicago’s train system, figuring out Beijing’s subway system was not that difficult. We made it to the tea workshop, where our teacher’s sister works, to learn about traditional Chinese tea and its traditions it carries. We got to learn about how to handle tea and learned about the different kinds of tea. We then had another calligraphy lesson, we learned how to write the traditional version of the character for “tea” (茶). After practicing writing it, we finally wrote it on hand fans that were given to us and we got to keep them. After the tea workshop, we had our farewell dinner at our teacher’s sister’s house. This was the last time the students from NIU and St. Mary’s college were together.
今天我们没有导游。我们的老师带走了我们茶车间在哪里。因为我知道芝加哥的列车系统，学习北京的列车系统是简单。我们到达了在茶车间。我们的老师的妹妹作品在那里。我们学习了传统的中国茶和书法。我们学会了写“茶”。我们写了“茶”对我们的粉丝。茶车间以后，我们去欢送晚宴在我们的老师的妹妹的屋。这是最后一次NIU学生和St. Mary’s College学生一起。
We spent the morning going to the summer palace. We got to take a boat ride across the lake. After the summer palace, we went to have lunch at a famous Beijing restaurant. They are famous for their roasted duck. Everyone loved eating the roasted duck, it was very delicious. It was worth waiting 45 minuets for that delicious roasted duck. After lunch, we went to the Temple of Heaven. It was very similar to the Forbidden Palace, but not exact. We got to see rooms that held similar features and there were nature walks within the Temple of Heaven. After the Temple of Heaven, we ended our day with going to a market to buy souvenirs. I only bought a bag just so that I could put the stuff I bought in it for when I leave to go to America. Once we got home to the hotel, we all had dinner. After dinner, I went to a convenience store so that I can buy local Chinese snacks to bring home to my family.
我们早上去Summer Palace。在Summer Palace, 我们乘船穿过胡。Summer Palace以后，我们吃午餐在著名北京餐厅。它的著名烤鸭好吃。每个人爱吃烤鸭。我们等了四十五分钟烤鸭。午餐以后，我们去Temple of Heaven。它非常相似Forbidden Palace。Temple of Heaven以后，我们买了纪念品在超级市场。我只买了一个箱子为我的纪念品。超级市场以后，我们去了旅馆和吃晚餐。晚餐以后，我买了中国的小吃在便利店。我要带来中国的小吃给我的家人。
This morning, we all had our last breakfast together. We arrived at Beijing airport early for the person in our group who had the first flight. Because there was a thunderstorm that morning, a lot of flights got delayed, but thankfully mine didn’t.