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Preparing for our first weekend away

        Tomorrow, our group will set off for a weekend getaway in exotic Heijing Old Town, a speedy three hour train ride outside of Kunming in Lufeng County. Known for its restored old town that gives a visitor a bit of a taste of old China, Heijing is a well-regarded yet not overly-visited tourist spot. The goals for the weekend are twofold: First, we hope to rest up, and take a break from the busy city life of Kunming. Second, we hope to gain some experience handling our own affairs while travelling.
         These first two months in the city, we have been kept very busy by the combination of daily language classes, NGO work, homestay family time, and a wealth of opportunities available to us to engage with different communities in Kunming. This weekend will be a chance to step back from all that, relaxing in a laid back environment while we prepare to create our own schedules, which will kick into effect in December. Hopefully, we can use this opportunity to evaluate our priorities for the coming months, and how we want to best use our time during this weekend when there will be fewer ways to use our time.
         This weekend, we will also be assuming a far larger role in organizing our own travel than we previously have. Though the instructors, Jessie and Long Yun, chose the location (and did so wisely, many tout Heijing’s natural beauty, pretty views, and old-school vibe), we are responsible for organizing our travel there and back and our accommodations during our stay, as well as finding nourishment during our stay in Heijing. On the whole, we’re very excited for a fun weekend away, in which we can have ample time to reconnect as a group, gain leadership skills, and see a new, very different part of Yunnan Province.