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SPRING: China: South of the Clouds


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    [post_content] => Welcome home China semester students! The group flight just touched down at LAX. A big thanks for a wonderful semester.

All the best,

The Boulder Admin Team
    [post_title] => Flight Landed at LAX!
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SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

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Flight Landed at LAX!

Admissions2,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

Welcome home China semester students! The group flight just touched down at LAX. A big thanks for a wonderful semester. All the best, The Boulder Admin Team

Posted On

05/1/16

Author

Admissions2

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    [post_content] => During our last few days together, at the foot of the Great Wall, we had students reflect on the course ending, and going home to their families and friends. Here is what they need you to know:

I need you to know that when I was born you gave me a home, but now I have three. I need you to know that China is way more than I originally perceived it to be. I need you to know I do not think about things the way I once did. I need you to know that being away from you and my home, has made me appreciate these things even more. I need you to know that while I am still suffering from heartbreak, I am learning to love myself more with each passing day. I need you to know that I miss you. I need you to know that this will not be my last time in China. But for now, all you need to know is that I’m coming home.

I need you to know that there is no way for me to put all of my experiences into words. This year has been crazy on so many levels, but I need you to know that taking a gap year has been the single best decision that I have ever made. I know that you will have a lot of questions and you can ask them, but know that I may not have prompt answers. I will need time to sit alone and do nothing, time to think and time to leave and come back.

I need you to know that I’ve missed you all while I’ve been gone and think about you all of the time. I need you to know that I don’t know what to expect when I get home but I do know that I’m excited to see you all. I need you to know that I want to share everything I’ve learned and experienced with you but it might be hard for me at first.

I’ve felt myself becoming a different kind of person. Change is hard but it would really help me if you could not be too worried about it.

I need you to know I have dreams, and you are the ones that have given me the chance to make them real. Thank you for your work. I need you to know I believe in the power of giving and loving, and I am trying, but can’t do it alone. Thank you for your patience. I need you to know the best help you can give is not always the easiest for me to take. Tough love is real love. Thank you for your honesty. I need you to know I love you but I’m a fool and sometimes forget. Please help me always remember. I need you to know I want to help more than anything else. Please ask and I’ll be there.

I want you to know that a lot of beliefs and opinions I’ve had have changed. I’ve clarified values and many perspectives have shifted. Life changing is a cliché, but this experience has definitely changed something.

I need you to be ok with letting me try new things.

I need you to know my gap year has shown me the value in family. I need you to know I’ve learned how to communicate better, and want the family communication to be stronger. I need you to know I have changed in ways I don’t understand yet, and need you to be patient. I need you to know I’m still working on improving myself, in the ways I was in China.

I need you to know that I love you and I still think about you a lot. And while I’ve changed and I’m sure you have too you’ll still always be a constant in my life. Now and forever I’ll be with you in spirit and soul, celebrating your victories, cursing your defeats, sharing your gains and mourning your losses. I want to keep you company.

It’s okay that I didn’t find answers here.

I need you to know that I am ready to live. I need you to know I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I need you to know that I may make China my home.

I need you to know that I need to be on my own for a while. It’s not indicative of you – I love you and you have given me more than I could dream of – but I need to go my own way for myself and to grow as a person.

I’m so excited for the future and am ready to try new things. But I still need your help learning about how to live on my own.

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I Need You to Know

Students,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

During our last few days together, at the foot of the Great Wall, we had students reflect on the course ending, and going home to their families and friends. Here is what they need you to know: I need you to know that when I was born you gave me a home, but now I […]

Posted On

04/30/16

Author

Students

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    [post_content] => We're at the Beijing airport for our day of departures. Linnea, Jackson, Jax, Bea, Agnieszka and Helen have left on their 8 AM flight, Robert is getting ready for his departure at noon, and Cameron and Cece are flying this afternoon, first to Guangzhou and then connecting on to LAX. Noah, Emma, and Dana are staying on in China to continue travelling, and we hope we've prepared them with the necessary skills for a fulfilling experience. In any case, they'll figure out what they need and pick up more skills along the way.
Thanks for a great semester, thanks to our families and friends for their unwavering support from near and far, and here's to continued learning, wherever and whenever we find ourselves.
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Students Are Coming Home

Instructors,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

We’re at the Beijing airport for our day of departures. Linnea, Jackson, Jax, Bea, Agnieszka and Helen have left on their 8 AM flight, Robert is getting ready for his departure at noon, and Cameron and Cece are flying this afternoon, first to Guangzhou and then connecting on to LAX. Noah, Emma, and Dana are […]

Posted On

04/30/16

Author

Instructors

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    [post_content] => We arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning, for our final two days of the student-led expedition. We've spent most of this spring's X-Phase in Yinchuan, the provincial capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with a two-day foray into Inner Mongolia and the Tengger Desert. We slid on sand, swam in a desert lake, and slept in Mongolian yurts. Enjoy the photos!
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View post

X-Phase Photos: Tengger Desert

Instructors,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

We arrived in Beijing on Tuesday morning, for our final two days of the student-led expedition. We’ve spent most of this spring’s X-Phase in Yinchuan, the provincial capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with a two-day foray into Inner Mongolia and the Tengger Desert. We slid on sand, swam in a desert lake, and […]

Posted On

04/27/16

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2016-04-23 10:51:36
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    [post_content] => Last week Bea and I were paired together to complete a mission: Find and take pictures of a special area in Chongqing, the city in which we were staying from 4/13 to 4/15. The place was given to us in Chinese characters, which was an extra challenge. At first, we struggled to find our way. I thought we were lost but Bea didn’t think so. After asking several people for directions, we hiked up a long set of stairs in an alleyway and found what we were looking for...(see photo 1)

The Bodhivajra Stupa (see photo 2 - first photo below)

Mission complete!

We also found this... (see photo 3 - second photo below)

A2A3

 
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View post

Exploring Chongqing – by Agnieszka

Jody Segar,Spring 2016, SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

Last week Bea and I were paired together to complete a mission: Find and take pictures of a special area in Chongqing, the city in which we were staying from 4/13 to 4/15. The place was given to us in Chinese characters, which was an extra challenge. At first, we struggled to find our way. I […]

Posted On

04/23/16

Author

Jody Segar

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    [post_content] => Dear China: South of the Clouds Semester Students & Families,

It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families:

May 1st, 2016

Cathay Pacific #5905

Depart: Beijing (PEK) 8:00 am

Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 11:40 am

May 1st, 2016

Cathay Pacific #884

Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 12:55 pm

Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 11:15 am

We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day.   Starting on Saturday, April 30th, should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 303-921-6078.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

View post

Return Flight Information

Anne Koenning,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

Dear China: South of the Clouds Semester Students & Families, It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return […]

Posted On

04/21/16

Author

Anne Koenning

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    [post_content] => X-Phase

 

This journey will explore one of the smallest provinces in China - Ningxia. With Inner Mongolia to the north and Gansu to the South, Ningxia is the largest Muslim majority area along the Yellow River. We will visit the Ningxia dessert just an hour outside of the city, explore mosques in the city, hike around the dunes, eat Hui minority foods and enjoy the present moment! It is X-Phase Time!

 

Positions

Leaders: Jackson, Cece, Bea

Fuwuyuans: Helen & Jax

Transport: Emma and Bea

Culture and Safety: Noah

Game Master: Cameron

Language Instructor: Robert

KuaiJi: Agnieska

Xfactor Quotes/ JingShenDaiBiao: Dana

Travel Tips (from online sources)

"Yinchuan is full of plenty of sun, little rain and dry winds and sand. Travellers need bring sunblock, sunglasses and heavy-duty moisturiser (particularly if planning on heading out into the desert).Travellers also need to bring plenty of layers, as even during the short hot summers, the nights are very cool. During winter, thick coats are compulsory.

Yinchuan Travel Tips No 2: Yinchuan is divided into old city and new city, hot attractions, scenic spots and busy downtown areas are all located in the old city .The new city is a new developed zone, it is a far away from the Old city.

The weather for the week will be low 70’s with no rain.

Food

Yinchuan Food - What and Where to eat in Yinchuan!

As the cultural center of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Yinchuan offers a variety of unique Muslim food and traditional Chinese food. Visitors can try two cuisines both in Yinchuan, with the most representative dishes being Qingzheng Yanggaorou (steamed lamb), Shouzhua Yangrou (mutton eaten with hands), Yangrou Paomo (shredded cake in mutton and beef soup) and Xiangsuji (spiced crisp chicken).

The traditional Gaiwancha (a kind of tea beverage), deserves mention as it is said to be traced back to Tang Dynasty (618-907). This tea comes in a variety of flavors due to the different ingredients, such as brown sugar, white sugar, crystal sugar, five-savory (tea leaf, crystal sugar, longan, raisin, and dried apricot. Apart from this, eight-treasure tea (Chinese date, Barbary wolfberry fruit, walnut kernel, longan, gingili, raisin, white sugar and tea leaf) is also quite famous in Yinchuan.

Yinchuan Food Streets

Zhongshan Lu Food Street  is a famous snack street of Yinchuan with all kinds of Muslim food, such as Sweet and sour Yellow River carp, Shouzhua Mutton, Steamed lamb; Hui Minority snacks and many local flavour dishes, such as Mutton with Swollen Steamed Bread and instant-boiled mutton.

Day 1 of X-Phase April, 19th: Travel to Yinchuan

6:30 AM Meet for Taiji

7:40 AM Meet for Group Presentation

8:00 AM Breakfast

9:30 Thank you to our hosts

Depart WuDangShan hermitage 9:45 hike down to WuDang (11:30)

11:30 Free lunch return to arch at 12:15 15 YUAN lunch stipend

12:20 meet up and head to bus stop 60 YUAN bus stipend

14:15 WuDangShan to YinChuan arrive 9:50 2,287.5 YUAN *given train station stipend*

40 YUAN Stipend per person for two meals- 600 YUAN

 

Day 2 April, 20th: Hello YinChuan

Arrive at Yinchuan 9:50 AM

Travel to Gnite Hostel 798 YUAN per night

on site restaurant, wifi

Free Day around YinChuan

XPhase planning at 4:30 PM and “morning meeting” *provide breakfast stipend for next day*

- 7:00 PM Ethnic Hui Minority dinner near the hostel on ZhongYi Street

2 sessions of 15-20 minutes of fame

Luke and Robert

Day 3 April, 21st:

Breakfast Stipend 10 Yuan (given day before)

9:30 AM Morning Meeting

- Mosque Exploration & Art Museum:

10:00 Depart for Nanguan Mosque

(from online sources): "The Nanguan Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in North China, is located at the Yuhuang Pavilion South Street, Xingqing District, southeast of the Yinchuan city.As one of the biggest mosques in Yinchuan, Nanguan Mosque has a high status among the Hui people.

The Nanguan Mosque has a long history. Towards the end of the Ming Dynasty, the original location was at the Gongbei Pavilion, outside the Nanguan District and the size was small. In 1916, the Mosque was moved to Nanguan District and was rebuilt into a classical large-scaled Mosque. During the 60s of the 20th century, the Mosque was totally destroyed. In 1981, many Muslims raised funds to rebuild the Mosque at Nanguan.

The Nanguan Mosque has a 22-metre-tall, 945-wquare-metre Prayer Hall that can seat 1,000 worshipers. On top of the main building, there stand five green hemispherical decorations in center. It is said that the biggest one in the center symbolises the Mohammed, the prophet of Islamism, and that the other four symbolise four famous imams.

The mosque is marked for its group of green domes, with the one in the center dedicated to Mohammed, the father of Islamism, and the four in the corners honouring the Hanafiyah, Malikiyah, Shafiiyah, and Hanabilah schools respectively. The mosque is the venue for Id-al-Fitr, Corban, and Mawlid alnabi festivals and the daily morning and evening prayer services.

The Nanguan Mosque is famous for its unique, graceful structure and classical Islamic architectural style. If you want to visit Nanguan Mosque, you should adapt yourself to new condition there. The admission fee is 8 Yuan. You can walk there from Nanmen Square of Yinchuan."

Dinner near hostel 7:30 PM Bread Off Competition

- Post Dinner at Gnite Hostel:  2 sessions of 15-20 minutes of fame: Cameron and Noah

*given 10 yuan stipend for next morning

Day 4 April, 22nd: Western Xia Tombs

7:15 AM Morning Meeting

West Xia Kingdom Tombs

9:00 AM transport by public bus to: "West Xia Kingdom (1038-1227) was once a powerful kingdom, with its capital in Yinchuan shaded by Mt. Helan imperial forests. Its Imperial Tombs reflect the past glories of culture and military.

The West Xia Imperial Tombs are 25 kilometres away from the west part of Yinchuan on the east side of Mt. Helan. Since June 1972, 9 imperial tombs and 253 smaller tombs have been found, which are as grand as Ming Tombs in Beijing. The total area is over 50 square kilometers, which makes it famous domestically and internationally among royal burials plots.

According to history records, the tombs were patterned after Song Tombs in Gongxian County, Henan Province. The West Xia Imperial Tombs adopted the zhao-mu burial system ,namely, the father is zhao, son is mu while grandson is zhao again. East line and west line are created from south to north with zhao on the left and mu on the right. Some mysteries need to be unveiled.

Floods in Mt. Helan are common but somehow the area of the West Xia Imperial Tombs is never touched. What’s more, you can see 8 or 9 stone kneeling statues unearthed with unknown significance."

Return to Yinchuan by public bus: 6:00PM

— 2 sessions of 15-20 minutes of fame

-  Seder discussion with Noah

Day 5 April, 23rd: Dessert Exploration

-  6:30: Morning Meeting and be prepared for dessert departure

7:00 AM Depart for the Tenger Dessert

10:00 AM Dessert Arrival, hiking and exploration and Jeep driving

Camping Tenger Desert in the evening in yurts

"Shapotou, situated in Zhongwei County, lies on the north bank of the Yellow River where it crosses the southeastern border of the Tengger Desert. Administratively it falls under the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and it is some 150 km (93 miles) south of Yinchuan City. Shapotou is regarded as one of the five most beautiful deserts in China and is widely recognized as the Capital of Sand. Standing on a sand hill, one can see the desert extending to the north, while. to the south, a boundless oasis stretches out. Both the grandeur of the north of China and the elegance of the south come together in this lovely place."

Time TBD: 1 session of 15-20 minutes of fame

Day 6 April, 24th: Return to YinChuan City

- Time TBD: Morning Meeting

1:30 PM: Return from camping to the Gnight Hostel in Yinchuan

7:00 PM Zhong Shan Lu food street

8:30 PM Dana’s Presentation on Islam

2 sessions of 15-20 minutes of fame

 

Day 7 April, 25th: Final Day/ Depart Yinchuan City

- 8:00 AM: Morning Meeting and Robert’s Presentation

5:00 PM Final dinner by hostel

6:30 PM Transport back to Train Station from Gnite Hostel

7:30 PM Arrive at Train Station

8:53 PM Train from Yinchuan to Beijing West Station 4,287.5 Yuan

 

Day 8, April, 26th: Hello Beijing

8:32 AM: Arrive at Beijing West Station

Transport from Station to Far East Hostel (bus route TBD)

- Time TBD: Morning Meeting

Beijing exploration/free day

6: 00 PM: Dinner and Evening Pie Feast at Luke’s friend’s Shop

Time TBD: Return to Far East Hostel

8:00 PM Cece’s Presentation on Tibetan Buddhism

1 session of 15-20 minutes of fame

 

Final Day of X-Phase Day 9 April, 27th: City Explorations

8:00 AM Morning Meeting

Activities in Beijing (TBD)

9:00 PM 1 session of 15-20 minutes of fame at the Far East Hostel

 

Celebration! 派对!

 
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SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

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X-Phase Itinerary

Cecelia Palmquist,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

X-Phase   This journey will explore one of the smallest provinces in China – Ningxia. With Inner Mongolia to the north and Gansu to the South, Ningxia is the largest Muslim majority area along the Yellow River. We will visit the Ningxia dessert just an hour outside of the city, explore mosques in the city, […]

Posted On

04/21/16

Author

Cecelia Palmquist

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    [post_content] => Photos from our brief stay at a Daoist hermitage in the Wudang Mountains.
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Photos from Wudang Mountain

Instructors,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

Photos from our brief stay at a Daoist hermitage in the Wudang Mountains.

Posted On

04/21/16

Author

Instructors

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    [post_content] => The student-planned Expedition Phase (X-Phase) began on Tuesday with a serious test of will and dedication to the journey: a 20 hour train ride on the "hard seats." Instructors are thankful that this was a plan hatched entirely by students, for we surely would never have heard the end of it for such an idea. Numerous sleeping strategies were proposed--and some executed--with varying levels of success. In the featured photo (captured at 3:36am), do note the presence of a fifth sleeper, Jackson Rich, on the train floor. There were a few unforeseen obstacles, such as the bright florescent lights remaining on at all hours of the night and adorable, characteristically diaperless toddlers possibly or possibly not weeing on a few potential (and eventual) sleeping surfaces. Nevertheless, the group arrived unscathed in sunny Yinchuan, Ningxia Province on Wednesday morning.
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View post

The 20 Hour Journey

Instructors,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

The student-planned Expedition Phase (X-Phase) began on Tuesday with a serious test of will and dedication to the journey: a 20 hour train ride on the “hard seats.” Instructors are thankful that this was a plan hatched entirely by students, for we surely would never have heard the end of it for such an idea. Numerous […]

Posted On

04/21/16

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2016-04-18 14:18:51
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    [post_content] => Dear Chongqing Bus No. 480,

A laminated sign posted on your front window proudly proclaims you "Zhong Ji Che," or "The Middle Grade Bus." I'm writing to respectfully disagree with this descriptor. Would a middle grade bus lead Jax and I on a dizzying transportation debacle around Chongqing lasting the better part of a day?

To explain: A few days ago during our brief stay in Chongqing Jax and I set out in search of an old building, a seat of government in dynastic times now converted into a tourist destination. Our first misstep, in which we started walking in exactly the wrong direction, was admittedly not your fault. That was me. We found ourselves at a bus station by the side of a highway. An older lady earnestly scribbled a series of Chinese characters on Jax's hand with a ballpoint pen (appreciated but unintelligable) and pushed us onto an approaching bus, telling us to get off after two stops. And an hour into our grand Chongqing adventure, we emerged from the bus full of hope, only to discover ourselves in front of our hostel, back where we began.

Here began our ill-fated interaction with you, the 480 bus. When we discovered the 480 goes exactly to the place we were looking for, we tried to find a bus stop that would take us in the right direction. But in following the 480 around a neighborhood of one-way streets, we found that it seemed to go in an infinite loop around the same block forever (?). Even if we wanted to take our chances with this space-time abnormality, it turned out to be impossible, as at this point 480 buses stopped coming. It was then that we cut our losses and took a taxi.

The destination itself was impressive. Highlights included beautiful old opera stages, large leaves, a teapot with the largest spout I've ever seen, and a guide practicing her English who offered to give Jax and I a tour for free (pictured). But that's not what this letter is about — it's about you, the 480 bus. Our final transportation fiasco came when we mistakenly put our trust in you once again. This time everything seemed to be on our side. We knew how many stops to take the bus. It was on the correct side of the street and headed in the right direction on a major thoroughfare. But three minutes into our self-congratulatory ride, the bus made a U-turn and we began, once again, to go the wrong direction. We got off the bus and, defeated and late, took a second taxi home.

I can't blame it all on you, 480 bus. Some of the issues probably came from our illiteracy and unfamiliarity with a new giant city. But it was mostly you.

Still, no hard feelings. The transportation problems you provided were a good break from the blur of mist-shrouded skyscrapers and numbing-spicy food that was our brief stop in Chongqing.
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Dear Chongqing Bus No. 480

Emma Boczek,SPRING: China: South of the Clouds

Description

Dear Chongqing Bus No. 480, A laminated sign posted on your front window proudly proclaims you “Zhong Ji Che,” or “The Middle Grade Bus.” I’m writing to respectfully disagree with this descriptor. Would a middle grade bus lead Jax and I on a dizzying transportation debacle around Chongqing lasting the better part of a day? […]

Posted On

04/18/16

Author

Emma Boczek

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