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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012


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As our final days in China draw to a close the rest of the group and I find ourselves struggling with the idea of returning to America.China, a country so frightening and new just six short weeks ago, is now a place that we cannot bring ourselves to leave. I have grown used to eating baozi everymorning on the way to the program house in Kunming. I have grown used to the sounds of a language that I find I understand more and more each day. I have grown used to being awakened by the sound of a rooster and looking out the window at the sleepy village of Nan Yao Cun. I have grown used to having a moment of panic every time someone tries to speak to me, and I have also grown used to calmling speaking back to them. The sounds and sights of China have become so normal to me that as the other girls on the trip and I huddle together at night in our rooms we cannot fathom leaving this place or each other. This trip has taught me so much, about friendship, about doing things on my own, and about the wrold in general. I find that looking back at my time here this summer I have more happy memories than I know what to do with. Treking up mountains, getting lost in Kunming, singing with my friends while biking down twisty rural roads, and just hanging out the house with my homestay sisters are all memories that I will not soon forget. For the next two days we present ISP's and then return to America, the flight back looms just a few nights away and I am sad to leave this amazing place.

Today I presented my ISP and as I stood in front of my fellow dragonsI realized just how much I have learned in these six weeks. In just four painting classes I have learned alot of techniques. The next two days we have been told will be the busiest of the trip so far, since we have so much to do and so little time. But tomorrow night we have a special fun activity planned that means we will get back to the hostel late. I have no clue what it is going to be but I am happy to spend any time with this amazing group of people. They are all so amazing and every person on this trip has taught me something about myself or the world that I will not soon forget.

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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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The end is in sight

Forrest deButts,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

As our final days in China draw to a close the rest of the group and I find ourselves struggling with the idea of returning to America.China, a country so frightening and new just six short weeks ago, is now a place that we cannot bring ourselves to leave. I have grown used to eating […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Forrest deButts

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Dear China Language 6 Week Families,

Next week marks the end of our 6 week China Languageprogram and students will soon return home to share their tales with each of you.

One of our China Languageinstructors will fly back home with the group and will ensure that all students find their domestic connections. Our Dragons field-staff will be in contact with us if they suspect any delays.

We wish all students a great trip home. Please leave us a voice message on extension 30 if you are not able to reach us during office hours. We will be checking our messages throughout the evening.

Sincerely,

BoulderAdmin

To check on the status of the group’s international flight, please refer to:

http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_INTL/homepage

Returning Flight:

August 8th, 2012

Dragon Air #KA 761

Depart: Kunming (KMG) 3:20pm

Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 5:35pm

August 8th, 2012

Cathay Pacific #CX 880

Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 11:40pm

Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 9:45pm

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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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Return flight information

Dragons Administration,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

Dear China Language 6 Week Families, Next week marks the end of our 6 week China Languageprogram and students will soon return home to share their tales with each of you. One of our China Languageinstructors will fly back home with the group and will ensure that all students find their domestic connections. Our Dragons […]

Posted On

08/6/12

Author

Dragons Administration

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    [post_content] => The student led travel was exciting, stressful, and enlightening all in one. The day trek in particular captured all of these aspects. The stressful part was of course in the planning. We were supposed to be in a homestay where there were many trekking options, but because of sickness in the group, we had been pulled out. Now we had to start from scratch. The planning began with getting supplies: sweet and salty snacks, water, and lunch. It went smoothly for the most part, until we realized that there was no peanut butter in the entire town. Now we just had bread with nothing else, so we eventually settled on some unidentifiable meat wrapped in a package. After supplies, we had to figure out where to trek. Carlisle talked to a travel agency which told her of a very popular place. It started at a monastery and ended at a place where nomads made yak cheese. Unfortunately, at 9 p.m. we learned that the trek was not going to work; we were going on a trek the next day and did not even have a place to go. We scrambled to find a new place and settled on the sketchiest (but only available) one. We were going to a place where a lift took you to the top of a mountain, but instead of taking the lift, we were going to trek on a small, not often used trail. The next morning, we said good bye to Grace and Shiqi, who were staying behind, and took vans to the mountain. At the base, we bought tickets to walk up, and were shown to the entrance. We had no guide and the person who brought us to the entrance simply said “stick to the right,” so when we had trouble figuring out where to go, it was no surprise. Other than our periodic doubts that we were actually on a trail, the trek was very fun. We followed streams and took switchbacks up steep hills. Often we would be surrounded by thick foliage only to come into a clearing with spectacular views. The serenity of the views was surreal and one of my favorites was when we looked up the mountain instead of down. Huge, ominous cliffs stared down on us and the fog that covered the top from view made the experience sublime. After stopping for lunch near the base of these cliffs and having a lunch of bread and processed meat, we only continued a little bit further until we realized that we had no idea where the path had gone. Because of this, we stopped in a clearing and went to journal about our perception of beauty; it was fitting that we could see the majestic cliffs as well as look out over miles and miles of dense forest. The experience was one that I will never forget. Effort and stress, as well as excitement and anticipation all lead to this one experience: a moment of pure awe. 
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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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A Climb Up a Mountain

Miles Grossenbacher,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

The student led travel was exciting, stressful, and enlightening all in one. The day trek in particular captured all of these aspects. The stressful part was of course in the planning. We were supposed to be in a homestay where there were many trekking options, but because of sickness in the group, we had been […]

Posted On

08/5/12

Author

Miles Grossenbacher

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Contrary to the title of this yak, I may not posses the capabilities to summarize this experience for you. I got close in my last yak, but the internet here failed so here I sit attempting to piece together what I truly felt. Time flies when you're having fun, it won't wait for anything or anyone; here especially. What time thought was fun for me was layers and layers of memories that are both accesible, unforgetable, lost, and subtle.

I will attempt now to recall these memories so I may bask in the happiness that I have felt countless times on this journey, but now the memories cease along with the happiness from this perspective as well. But I do not leave this experience empty handed. On the contrary my mind is filled to the brink with only knowledge that I have acquired here. As a matter of fact, it seems to have overlapped any other knowledge to pre-exist this trip. As I said in my long-lost yak, I am not sure if this is a benefit or a detriment.

Regardless, this is my knowledge now, and I can apply it in any way I choose whether it be for my own benefit or the benefit of others. What I can comfortably promise however is that it will not be learned in vain. This knowledge will reach someone's ears, someone's heart or mind and effect them in the way that this trip has effected me. But I cannot promise anything. Only time will tell if these memories will serve a purpose, but as far as my ability to apply them goes, I am determined not to fail in spreading their beauty.

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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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China Summary

Ben Finkelstein,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

Contrary to the title of this yak, I may not posses the capabilities to summarize this experience for you. I got close in my last yak, but the internet here failed so here I sit attempting to piece together what I truly felt. Time flies when you’re having fun, it won’t wait for anything or […]

Posted On

08/5/12

Author

Ben Finkelstein

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I am forever changed. I am changed by the sound of street vendors calling out to me, by the views of mountains I have climbed, by the slant of light across my face through an open door. I am changed by the laughter of my brother Steven, by the creased face of my Nan Yao mama, and by the smile of recognition I recieved daily from the woman at the market. I am even changed by the pain I have seen and experienced and by the frustrations I have endured, for these are the things that I will learn the most from, the things I will bring home with me and in turn change those around me.

It's easy to describe this experience as one of the temporary kind; our time here has risen like the sun and will soon sink below the horizon once more. In talking and thinking about being here, I have used language like "my China baba" and "my temporary home," and for most of this experience, that is just what these places and people have been. However, upon reflection I quickly realize that the memories that I have made, the people that I have met, and yes, the pain that I have endured will ultimately ensure the opposite.

Just as the sun rises every day and sets every night in the same way across the world, the lessons I have learned will come back home with me as surely as my school books, hiking shoes, and photographs will. Although my newfound Dragons family will soon be scattered to every corner of the map, we will all have these memories to unite us, memories that will punctuate our daily lives as surely as the sun moves across the sky. More importantly, those "temporary homes" that I have thought and written about for so long are no longer temporary, but as real to me as any home I have ever known. I have never in my life felt the warmth of friendship, the light of laughter, and the radiance of those around me like I have here.

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Best Notes From The Field, China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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The Sun Over China

Grace Arnold,Best Notes From The Field, China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

I am forever changed. I am changed by the sound of street vendors calling out to me, by the views of mountains I have climbed, by the slant of light across my face through an open door. I am changed by the laughter of my brother Steven, by the creased face of my Nan Yao […]

Posted On

08/5/12

Author

Grace Arnold

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We have returned from the mythical land of Shangri-la. it was a beautiful place we stayed mostly in the old town where we got the chance to see the sharply increasing tourism that is beginning to evolve in Zhong Dian (Shangri-la). We explored shops, tiny little restaurants and trekked some of the surrounding mountains. Because Zhong Dian borders Tibet, we were able to have a small taste of TIbetan culture. In Old Town, we were surrounded by different styles of Tibetan jewelry, Tibetan temples, shrines, Tangka paintings, cultural museums and traditional Tibetan style villages.

One village we stayed in known as Ringa village on looking beautiful mountain ranges and a huge variety of livestock. Though we only stayed there for a short time, we were able to see and live in a Tibetan style home and learn just a bit about the people there.

One thing I wasn't entirely prepared for was the weather. In contrast to the 90 degree weather we experienced in BeiJing many weeks ago, Zhong Dian ranged in the 40s and 50s. We were exposed to chilly temperatures, high altitude mountains and a whole new breed of people. I really love the variety of people and places I have been able to experience since staying in China.

Now back in Kunming we are doing our trip roundup and the ISP presentations are beginning! As a group, we are determined to make the most out of our last few days in China

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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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The Shangri-La

Carlisle Micallef,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

We have returned from the mythical land of Shangri-la. it was a beautiful place we stayed mostly in the old town where we got the chance to see the sharply increasing tourism that is beginning to evolve in Zhong Dian (Shangri-la). We explored shops, tiny little restaurants and trekked some of the surrounding mountains. Because […]

Posted On

08/5/12

Author

Carlisle Micallef

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    [post_content] => We arrived in Shangrila the other day and it was an awesome time on the sleeper bus. I fell asleep early but woke up in time for the game of truth and truth. Random questions to ask and we ended up bonding very well. I really like the sleeper bus well deserved rest and time to bond with one another. We arrived and searched around the city and settled into the dragon cloud inn. We had class and it was fun like usual. Li lao shi is hilarious, but most of the time we are very serious but today was a fun day. We played a lot of games and had lots of laughs. We had hot pot that night and I accidently put too much spice into my bowl. Getting laughed at by the lao shi’s saying it wasn’t spicy. Wang lao shi said she could drink it. The hot pot was good, but I would have enjoyed more. After dinner we all went into the square. Dancing was all around and it was only circle dancing. We danced for about an hour had a great time I really enjoyed the music. At the end we did some American dancing in the middle of the circle and got laughed at by the local Chinese and Chinese tourist. Getting videotaped and probably ending up on qq will be a fun experience. Tomorrow we are heading to a nearby village going to stay there for the rest of the time in xiang ge li la. 
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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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Dancing in Xiang ge li la

Chris McManus,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

We arrived in Shangrila the other day and it was an awesome time on the sleeper bus. I fell asleep early but woke up in time for the game of truth and truth. Random questions to ask and we ended up bonding very well. I really like the sleeper bus well deserved rest and time […]

Posted On

08/5/12

Author

Chris McManus

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    [post_content] => Shangri La: many have heard the name, few have had the good fortune to actually travel there. Luckily I am one of those few. While some dreaded the bus ride up here, I (thanks to my small stature) was more than comfortable in the 5/6 foot long beds. Prone to both falling off of the top bunk and having my personal belongings stolen, I somehow safely made it to Xiang Ge Li La.  We arrived to weather similar to that of a ski resort: cold, moist air battered our faces as we made our ways to the Mian Bao Ches and mounted on our way to our hostel. Walking along a cobblestone road, we soon found ourselves at our destination. After being greeted by a Rottweiler and some mix between a bear and a dog, we found ourselves in the center of a square pavilion surrounded by small rooms ranging in sizes. We situated ourselves and soon began our adventure. One of the main themes that I feel exists here would be the tranquility that is felt not only by observing the sights, but also the people. Everywhere you look you are either greeted by a smile or a beautiful object to look at and that is one of the things I admire most about this place. As our adventure continues towards our homestay in Ringah, I look forward to being able to observe all the tranquility I can possibly find.
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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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Chao hu hu Yak

Ben Finkelstein,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

Shangri La: many have heard the name, few have had the good fortune to actually travel there. Luckily I am one of those few. While some dreaded the bus ride up here, I (thanks to my small stature) was more than comfortable in the 5/6 foot long beds. Prone to both falling off of the […]

Posted On

08/5/12

Author

Ben Finkelstein

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    [post_content] => From mountains, lakes and yellow flower fields, To ruddy cliffs and misty goose gray skies, Sometimes it's even hard to trust our eyes, And yet there's so much more that China yields.  A woman holds her baby on her back An old man sits out front and smokes a pipe Carts are full of plums and peaches ripe And oil sizzles; frying steaks of yak.  At night the shopkeepers close all their stores And sip their bowls of noodles on the street Before they sleep they latch their red, wood doors; They drink hot tea with slippers on their feet.  Our preconceptions have been proven wrong, I know we'll all return before too long. 
    [post_title] => A Sonnet for China
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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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A Sonnet for China

Elodie Freymann,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

From mountains, lakes and yellow flower fields, To ruddy cliffs and misty goose gray skies, Sometimes it’s even hard to trust our eyes, And yet there’s so much more that China yields. A woman holds her baby on her back An old man sits out front and smokes a pipe Carts are full of plums […]

Posted On

07/30/12

Author

Elodie Freymann

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My ISP is traditional chinese painting, but over the past few days in Kunming has become just chinese painting in general. My teacher is a man named Zhang Jia De (google him he has a website). He is a modern chinese painter and most likely the most relaxed man on the planet. He stands at about four feet tall, and has flowing locks and reach to his shoulders. I'd say he's somewhere in the middle aged range, as he is just begining to wrinkle. Zhang greets me everyday at the bus stop witha happy smile and everyday he asks me if I am happy. There has not been one day where I have told him that I am unhappy, as it is imposible to be sad with him around. We then go to his studio, which is on the seventh floor. At the top I am panting and Zhang looks as if he could run a marathon. I then spend the next two hours painting and as I paint he sits, plays guitar, and smokeswhile he looks over the shoulder and tells me what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. The paintings I am doing is hardly "traditional" but I am enjoying it alot because it is more the kind of painting that I enjoy doing at home. He is teaching me so much and I am sad that tomorrow will be my last lesson as that evening we head out toshangri-la for the final section of our trip. The planning has been hectic, but we are making it through. Tonight we have a big dinner with our host fmailies, so I cannot write more.

until nest time,

Forrest

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China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

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Painting China

Forrest deButts,China: Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2012

Description

My ISP is traditional chinese painting, but over the past few days in Kunming has become just chinese painting in general. My teacher is a man named Zhang Jia De (google him he has a website). He is a modern chinese painter and most likely the most relaxed man on the planet. He stands at […]

Posted On

07/26/12

Author

Forrest deButts

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