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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009


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Ni Hao Everybody

The great wall was amazing!!! Sleeping in a guard tower was one of the coolest experiences of my life. After getting down from our hike, we boarded a train to chengdu. One would think that a 32 hour train ride would not be fun, but surprisingly it was. I was able to practice my mandarin alot and try to fend for myself instead of having my counslers translate everything. Watching the scenary changing from more urban to more rural was very beautiful. By the last couple of hours though i began to get a little antsy. When we finally got to Chengdu it was raining which was not to good. The day after arriving we went to the Panda Zoo which was exciting because i had never seen a panda or a red panda before. Chengdu is a really interesting city but im ready to start our three day trek on horse back and our rural home stays. I think i will get the best view of china there.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Chengdu

Justin Gluck,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Ni Hao Everybody The great wall was amazing!!! Sleeping in a guard tower was one of the coolest experiences of my life. After getting down from our hike, we boarded a train to chengdu. One would think that a 32 hour train ride would not be fun, but surprisingly it was. I was able to […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Justin Gluck

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So we started thinking about our ISPs. I havent decided yet on what to do, i dont think alot of people have. The food is extremley spicey here, like burning your throat spicey. But besides the spicyness, its very good.Tommorow we leave on a 8-9 hour bus ride to some place where we takehorses on like a 3 day hike to our next stop. Well im having a blast so it doesnt really matter.

From

Alec

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Currently in Chengdu..

Alec B. Greene,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

So we started thinking about our ISPs. I havent decided yet on what to do, i dont think alot of people have. The food is extremley spicey here, like burning your throat spicey. But besides the spicyness, its very good.Tommorow we leave on a 8-9 hour bus ride to some place where we takehorses on […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Alec B. Greene

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Dear China Students, Parents and Friends,

Last night at around 7PM, Yunnan Province was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter of the quake was in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, which is located about 200km north of Kunming. China's Xinhua news agency is reporting that over 300 people were injured and 10,000 homes were toppled by the quake. Many people in Kunming who were in tall buildings at the time of the quake felt minor tremors, myself included. As far as I know, there was no significant damage to structures in Kunming and no reported injuries in the city. I wanted to let you know that I have checked in with all of the China groups who were in Yunnan at the time of the quake (China Internship, China Language Intensive 6wk and China Language Intensive 4wk). I am happy to report that all students and instructors are fine. When I called, the China Internship, China 6wk and China 4wk instructors told me that they had not even felt the quake. The China Comprehensive group is in northern Sichuan Province and Silk Road group is in Qinghai Province, far from the epicenter of the quake. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about this.

Sincerely,
Katie Hagel
China Program Director
katie@wheretherebedragons.com

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Minor Earthquake in Yunnan, All Students and Instructors are OK

Katie Hagel,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Dear China Students, Parents and Friends, Last night at around 7PM, Yunnan Province was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter of the quake was in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, which is located about 200km north of Kunming. China’s Xinhua news agency is reporting that over 300 people were injured […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Katie Hagel

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Dear China Comprehensive Parents and Friends,

Here is the recently updated itinerary for the China Comprehensive program. I checked in with Matt this morning and he tells me that the group is doing GREAT. I hope that you have been enjoying their Yaks postings so far. I also wanted to let you know that Emma Kaplan had to sit out the trek due to GI illness. Matt, Stewart and Sheila should have no problem supporting the students while Emma recovers in Chengdu. While the group is trekking, instructors will try and contact Emma whenever they can get cell reception and give her updates on the group's adventures and whereabouts so that she can make Yak postings. I'm really looking forward to hearin tales of horse-trekking on the Tibetan Plateau and I hope that you are, too!

July 10:
Travel to Songpan, northern Sichuan.

July 11 - 14:
Horse trek through Tibetan country. Explore the economic and cultural development of minorities in China, and take in the stunning vistas of the Tibetan plateau.

July 15:
Return to Chengdu and rest. Prepare for homestays, continue language lessons and focus ISPs with the help of instructors.

July 16:
Take local transportation to visit Sheila’s grandmother; have lunch at her home and hike back to the village.

July 17:
Visit a local cow farm; participate in a language service project. Try your hand at bamboo weaving, net-fishing, and field work.

July 18:
Return to Chengdu. Feast on famous spicy hot-pot; take in a Sichuan opera performance.

July 19:
Train to Xichang. Experience Yi minority culture and Torch Festival.

July 20:
Bus to Lijiang, Yunnan Province.

July 21-24:
Beautiful, moderate trek from Lijiang to Jinsha Jiang, by way of Wenhai Naxi Village. Examine traditional architecture and construction; witness the conflict between rural development issues and tourism. Meet with representatives from The Nature Conservancy; introduction to Naxi culture and discussion of ethnic minority issues. Continue with language instruction and ISPs.

July 25:
Bus to Kunming

July 26-31:
Urban homestay with Chinese families in Kunming. Daily Chinese language lessons; intensive work on ISPs. Opportunities to work with and learn from a wide range of local experts; explore traditional Chinese medicine and massage, study Tai Ji Quan, calligraphy, painting, and traditional Chinese music. Cultural presentations and seminars at the Dragons Program House.

August 1-4:
Fly to Shanghai. Two days in the city, then travel to tour factories in Suzhou; compare state-owned, privately owned, and foreign enterprises. Learn about the realities of doing business in China; discuss the implications of China’s rapid economic development and status as a rising superpower. Tour the Ninghai Industrial Brush Factory; meet with factory workers and plant managers; work on the assembly lines and sleep in a workers’ dormitory.

August 5:
Train to Hong Kong

August 6-8
Discuss China’s “One Country, Two Systems” policy; stay in Sai Kung Peninsula fishing village; spend a night camping; learn from an expert about traditional Cantonese medicine. Present Independent Study Projects; reflect together on the course and prepare to return home.

August 8:
Return to L.A.

Sincerely,

Katie Hagel

China Program Director

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Updated Itinerary

Katie Hagel,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Dear China Comprehensive Parents and Friends, Here is the recently updated itinerary for the China Comprehensive program. I checked in with Matt this morning and he tells me that the group is doing GREAT. I hope that you have been enjoying their Yaks postings so far. I also wanted to let you know that Emma […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Katie Hagel

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    [post_date] => 2009-07-09 00:00:00
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你们好 nimenhao!

Tomorrow morning we head out for Songpan, a historic trading village nestled in the mountains north of Chengdu. We arrived in Chengdu directly from Beijing, opting to pass on Inner Mongolia and play to our instructor team strengths and experience in Sichuan Province. Three out of four of our instructors have lived in Sichuan for extended periods of time. Sheila, our in county instructor is a Sichuan native easily switching into the Sichuan dialect, which is a huge help in this region of the country. Sheila has arranged our upcoming homestay in the village she grew up in. This is a very unique opportunity for our group as the homestay is being arranged with Sheila's friends and family members, whom are well informed and very excited for our arrival, already updating us of dinner plans and preparations. Before we explore China's agrarian lifestyles, we will embark on a short horseback trek through the Muni Valley near Songpan and anticipate to take in the most breathtaking scenery of our trip thus far. The area is culturally predominately Tibetan, providing a stark contrast to the bustling roads of Beijing and Chengdu. We took today to rest and relax, preparing independent study projects, catching up on journal entries, laundry, yak yaks, etc. Tonight, with spicy Sichuan food still sitting in our bellies we packed up our bags and are getting a good nights rest for the upcoming adventure. We have hired very experienced guides for the trek, who have been leading the short Tibetan ponies through this valley for decades. The weather looks to be in our favor and hopefully during our journey we will get a glimpse of Xuebaoding Mountain in the distance, which lies at the start of the Huanglong world heritage site. This area is internationally renowned for its scenic beauty and vibrant local cultures, composed mostly of Tibetan, Hui, and Qiang minority cultures. We are churning with excitement and anticipation over the upcoming week. We will be away from the computers for a couple days, but will undoubtedly have fantastic photos to share upon our return.

Wan an,

Emma, Matt, Sheila, Stew

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Heading for the Hills

Instructor Team,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

你们好 nimenhao! Tomorrow morning we head out for Songpan, a historic trading village nestled in the mountains north of Chengdu. We arrived in Chengdu directly from Beijing, opting to pass on Inner Mongolia and play to our instructor team strengths and experience in Sichuan Province. Three out of four of our instructors have lived in […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Instructor Team

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Yesterday was our first real day in Chengdu, the big industrial city famous for its cuisine and pandas has really enchanted me. It looks dull but as you walk around you get a very unique feel that most large industrial cities do not hold. Thean excursion to the pandareservestarted our day. We got there early enough to see the pandas eating bamboo. After,we took atrip toa daoist temple which was very relaxing and intersting since it was my our groups first sight that we visited religiously based. For dinner we tried hotpot which here in chengdu owing to the local cuisine was very spicy and for most of us was to much to bear. Today we had a rest day before our group goes off for our first trek on little horses/donkeys.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Chendgu

Oliver Taubman,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Yesterday was our first real day in Chengdu, the big industrial city famous for its cuisine and pandas has really enchanted me. It looks dull but as you walk around you get a very unique feel that most large industrial cities do not hold. Thean excursion to the pandareservestarted our day. We got there early […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Oliver Taubman

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    [post_date] => 2009-07-09 00:00:00
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It's been a crazy week here in China! After an exhilarating hike on the Great Wall we navigated the streets of Beijing (during a scavenger hunt), and then experienced a real Chinese train ride. In this short amount of time we have been able to see the difference between the highly developed parts of China, and the stunning country side, while also seeing ancient sites such as the Greta Wall, Temple of Heaven and a Taoist temple in Chengdu. I can't wait for our trek tomorrow.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Today in China

Sam Budoff,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

It’s been a crazy week here in China! After an exhilarating hike on the Great Wall we navigated the streets of Beijing (during a scavenger hunt), and then experienced a real Chinese train ride. In this short amount of time we have been able to see the difference between the highly developed parts of China, […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Sam Budoff

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Ni hao!

It's been over a week, and the concept of "we're in China" has really sunk in for many of the students. Some of us have even begun craving "American" food. Even if some of us haven't yet voiced our desire for a home cooked meal, our bodies have certainly expressed it. A considerable percentage of the group has fallen under the weather. Fortunately, we took a chill day today which I, personally, appreciated. Tomorrow we're off again to do trekking at elevation quite possibly with Sitchuan horses (?!).

Since the last post, much has happened. Most significantly, we hiked up to the Great Wall and spent the night in a guard tower. When I was told we would do this, I imagined a moderate path up to a considerably preserved portion of the Great Wall.Contrary to my prediction, we took a rigorous uphill path to a worn down portion of the Wall. The view from the top was amazing! We also got to catch the shadow of some fireworks that drunk Americans were setting off from the hostle.

Also significant to our trip was the 30+ hour train ride we took from Beijing to Chengdu. While long and monotonous, it had it's moments. We were given the opportunity to speak with Chinese, and many of us were able to hold somewhat of a conversation. I was able to befriend two Chinese children, and we communicated with mixed english, mandarin, and picture drawing. And the views were simply astounding.

zaijian!

Erica Haybron

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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It's been over a week!

Erica Haybron,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

Ni hao! It’s been over a week, and the concept of "we’re in China" has really sunk in for many of the students. Some of us have even begun craving "American" food. Even if some of us haven’t yet voiced our desire for a home cooked meal, our bodies have certainly expressed it. A considerable […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Erica Haybron

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    [post_date] => 2009-07-09 00:00:00
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So we arrived inChengdu two days ago after a 32 hour train ride from Beijing.I can only speak for myself, but it really wasnt as bad as it sounds.I spenta good portionof the ride catching up on my sleep. Right now I'm sitting at the computer at the 'Traffic Hotel' in Chengdu.We're all enjoying a day of rest before heading off on our next adventure, a horseback trek, whichI believe is going to last for three or four days. Yesterday we visited Chengdu's main attraction, the Panda Breeding Center! We got up pretty early so we could make it there in time to watch them eat breakfast. Definitely a highlight of the trip so far. After that we visited a Daoist temple, then we all went out for massages, which was really nice. Upon waiting for the rest of the group to finish up, many of us wandered to a nearby Mah Jong club and attempted to learn the game. For dinner, we went out for spicy sichuan hot pot, which is basically just where you have agiant bowlof boiling spicy sauce in the center of a table, and you toss in various meats and vegtables, let them cook, then attempt to grab them out ofthe bowl with chopsicks. It was a really fun way to eat dinner. So far I'm having an amazing time in China, and cant wait for all the other activities the instructors have planned for us!!

Sofie

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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Ni Hao from Chengdu!

Sofie Seiden,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

So we arrived inChengdu two days ago after a 32 hour train ride from Beijing.I can only speak for myself, but it really wasnt as bad as it sounds.I spenta good portionof the ride catching up on my sleep. Right now I’m sitting at the computer at the ‘Traffic Hotel’ in Chengdu.We’re all enjoying a […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Sofie Seiden

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We have arrived in Chengdu!

Yesterday was full of pandas and massages, making for an overall great first day in a new city. Today, we are all relaxing and taking it easy in preparation for our four-day trek.

Although we all enjoyed the sights and hectic atmosphere of Beijing, it is nice to be moving on to a new part of the trip. For the next little while, we will be experiencing a more rural side of China, as opposed to the Westernized metroplolises we've been seeing.

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China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

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China Update

Jessica Appelbaum,China Comprehensive Survey, Summer 2009

Description

We have arrived in Chengdu! Yesterday was full of pandas and massages, making for an overall great first day in a new city. Today, we are all relaxing and taking it easy in preparation for our four-day trek. Although we all enjoyed the sights and hectic atmosphere of Beijing, it is nice to be moving […]

Posted On

07/9/09

Author

Jessica Appelbaum

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