Photo of the Week
China Language 6-week
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => We just received word that the group has safely landed in LAX. They are with their instructors and heading to the Custom Hotel for the night, except for those making connecting flights.

With care,

Dragons Administration
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China Language 6-week, China Search for Meaning 6-wk

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Group arrived to LAX

Tim Hare,China Language 6-week, China Search for Meaning 6-wk

Description

We just received word that the group has safely landed in LAX. They are with their instructors and heading to the Custom Hotel for the night, except for those making connecting flights. With care, Dragons Administration

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Tim Hare

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    [post_content] => We are now boarding our flight from Guangzhou to LAX and we should arrive as expected. See you all on the other side of the globe!
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China Language 6-week

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On the way to LAX

LongYun,China Language 6-week

Description

We are now boarding our flight from Guangzhou to LAX and we should arrive as expected. See you all on the other side of the globe!

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

LongYun

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    [post_content] => We are now boarding our flight to Guangzhou. See you on the other side!
    [post_title] => Return Flight
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Return Flight

Andres F. Barrera ,China Language 6-week

Description

We are now boarding our flight to Guangzhou. See you on the other side!

Posted On

08/8/15

Author

Andres F. Barrera

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    [post_content] => Here's a photo from today's lunch in Shaxi.
    [post_title] => Photo from Transference Lunch
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Photo from Transference Lunch

Benjy Renton,China Language 6-week

Description

Here’s a photo from today’s lunch in Shaxi.

Posted On

08/6/15

Author

Benjy Renton

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Last night, we had our “closing ceremony” in Bao Xiang Temple, where we held candles and shared our favorite moments on the trip, who/what we were thankful for, and our funniest moments. Here is a poem I wrote on an overnight bus from Lijiang to Kunming, and read it last night: Six weeks ago we stood in the terminal at LAX, All 14 of us (sorry Declan) with dragons on our backs, We soon became united as one, With the innocence of Chinese-style fun. Our time in the Middle Kingdom went by so fast, And I wish there was a way to make the memories last; So now starting from our time at the Great Wall, I’d like to share some words with you all. Lauren being a Disney princess, Joseph saying “let’s get this!”, Oliver from the gorge he leapt, Andres for hours he slept. Declan long showers he took, Alec with San Mei Jie he did help cook; August sat in Kunming sipping his tea, In the village Natalie mastered the word “beee,” Indi kept saying “at the fam,” Everyone liked to hang out with Cam; For many of us Long Yun acted like a mother, People think Jack looks like Harry Potter. Sam got mad when Alec stole his mattress, Jamie always laughed to get rid of her stress. Now in this beautiful village we have time to reflect, On the places we saw, the people we met; I hope in the following days, weeks, maybe years, You see this voyage only with a few tears. Because mile after mile, We did it all with a smile; On buses, trains and other modes of transportation, Remember that at Dragons, the journey is the destination. We’re now finishing our transference in the old village of Shaxi. We’ll be leaving on a bus to Kunming tomorrow for our last day in China. See you all soon! -Benjy P.S. Some of the pictures wouldn't upload due to internet issues, but you can check them out (with other photos as well) on my personal China blog here. [post_title] => Final Words/Transference Yak [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => final-wordstransference-yak [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-20 14:57:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-20 21:57:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123918 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 83 [name] => China Language 6-week [slug] => china-language-6-week-summer-2015 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 83 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 49 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 83 [category_count] => 49 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Language 6-week [category_nicename] => china-language-6-week-summer-2015 [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/china-language-6-week-summer-2015/ ) ) [category_links] => China Language 6-week )
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Final Words/Transference Yak

Benjy Renton,China Language 6-week

Description

Last night, we had our “closing ceremony” in Bao Xiang Temple, where we held candles and shared our favorite moments on the trip, who/what we were thankful for, and our funniest moments. Here is a poem I wrote on an overnight bus from Lijiang to Kunming, and read it last night: Six weeks ago we […]

Posted On

08/6/15

Author

Benjy Renton

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-04 11:19:44
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8/4/15 Nihowdy! We are down to the final three days of our six-week long journey throughout China. This morning, we said goodbye to our host families and made our way to the program house. From there, we had our last four hours of Chinese class, which included a one hour report on tea by the owner of a local tea shop. The report was very interesting, and we all learned a lot about how the Yunnan province grows and processes its tea. After class, we split up into small groups to go off to lunch. However, most of us ended up at a small noodle/dumpling shop across the street. Aside from preparing very good food, the restaurant was also very cheap: five of us ordered eight large plates of dumplings and two bowls of soup for about $16 US dollars. Once we finished lunch, we headed back to the program house to present our ISP projects. Each student and their corresponding project are listed below. Alec: The South China Sea Benjy: Travel around Kunming Cameron: The Flying Tigers Declan: The economic slowdown of China Lauren: The Chinese flute Oliver: Kung-fu Indigo: Lu Xun’s literature Natalie: Chinese calligraphy Jamie: Chinese cooking August: Tea Jack: The urbanization of China Sam: The Rape of Nanjing Tonight, we will board a night bus to Shaxi and begin our transference phase. You will most likely not hear from us during the next three days, so please do not worry. See you soon! Alec Plzak [post_title] => Yak [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => yak-16 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-08-04 11:19:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-08-04 17:19:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123850 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 83 [name] => China Language 6-week [slug] => china-language-6-week-summer-2015 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 83 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 49 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 83 [category_count] => 49 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Language 6-week [category_nicename] => china-language-6-week-summer-2015 [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/china-language-6-week-summer-2015/ ) ) [category_links] => China Language 6-week )
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Yak

Alec Plzak,China Language 6-week

Description

8/4/15 Nihowdy! We are down to the final three days of our six-week long journey throughout China. This morning, we said goodbye to our host families and made our way to the program house. From there, we had our last four hours of Chinese class, which included a one hour report on tea by the […]

Posted On

08/4/15

Author

Alec Plzak

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    [post_date] => 2015-08-03 23:38:09
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    [post_content] => Dear China Language Students & Families,

This weekend marks the end of our China Language summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and share their tales of adventure with each of you. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your reference:

August 8th, 2015
China Southern Airlines #3408
Depart: Kunming (KMG) 5:25pm
Arrive: Guangzhou (CAN) 7:15pm

August 8th, 2015
China Southern Airlines #327
Depart: Guangzhou (CAN) 9:30pm
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 7:40pm

Should you need any assistance during student travel days, please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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China Language 6-week

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China Return Group Flight Information

Dragons Admin,China Language 6-week

Description

Dear China Language Students & Families, This weekend marks the end of our China Language summer program and students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and share their tales of adventure with each of you. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return group […]

Posted On

08/3/15

Author

Dragons Admin

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2015-08-03 10:11:33
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    [post_content] => Today, parents, I am going to write a Yak post concerning traffic. Yes... I know, traffic. Not the most interesting of topics,. is it? This, however, is one of the only topics that has not been mentioned in either Jack Resnick's comprehensive Kunming Yak Yak novella (an exaggeration, of course, but, in my defense, it was very long) or any of the other posts on this forum. Traffic, however, is not a wholly boring topic. You can tell a lot about a city by its traffic. For example, the degree of a city's wealth gap can be accuratly discerned through the observation of the amount of high-end vehicles (BMW's, Merc's Audi's, etc.) and the amount of low end vehicles (BYD's, Great Wall's, any moped, etc.) that pass through its streets on a daily basis. After having been in Kunming for a week, I have noticed that this growing metropolis is developing a stark wealth gap. Either you drive an Audi or a BMW or you drive a moped or one of the aforementioned Chinese off-brand cars. On top of this, it appears that the amount of low-end vehicles greatly outweighs the amount of high-end vehicles you seen in and around Kunming.

Observing traffic and car behavior can also lead one to draw his or her own conclusions about what an average citizen in the city's disposition is. Looking at Kunming's traffic situation, it seems that most have homicidal tendencies (at least those who drive). I have no reservations about the above statement. I genuinely believe that those who drvie here aim to put other road users into an early grave or desire to see them permanently confined to a wheelchair. This entire post was written in a car navigating its way through the streets of Kunming. I have so far feared for my life no less than three times since putting pen to paper. Drivers here also seem to have no conception of lanes. Every conceivable position on the tarmac is fair game. This has caused several unsavory experiences for myself and my homestay father. For example, we were once stationary at a light for ten minutes because a car in front of us had managed to put himself perpendicular to the street's direction of travel. Not being able to right himself quick enough, he was soon boxed in by traffic on all sides.

Lane changing is also a problem here. It is a strong conviction of mine that those who own cars here have no idea either how to use a turn signal or that it exists entirely. I imagine it is fairly common place for a car salesman here, when questioned by a prospective customer what the stalk on the right side of the steering column does, to answer: "oh well, this is mainly an aesthetic addition to your car. When it is flicked up or down, the car flashes a few lights and makes a 'click-clack' sound indefinitely. There is no need to bother yourself with it unless you are in need of a substitution for Christmas lights come that time of year, then, I think, your car will work marvelously." This obliviousness to what is the third most important safety feature in a modern car, after seat belts and airbags, has caused many cars around us to swerve unexpectedly into our lane on many occasions (the word 'lane' is technically not the correct term to use in context since they are largely an abstract concept to the average driver here). When, on the off chance, drivers here do use their turn signals, it is usually no more than a courtesy. More often then not, these brief seconds of warning can be interpreted as "I am moving into your immediate vicinity at immense speed regardless as to whether you are ready our not".

However, the traffic conditions here are only a mere blemish on what is a fine Chinese city. Kunming is perhaps even better than Beijing when looking at scenery, air quality, and general living. I, and I am sure all of the 11 others, have thoroughly enjoyed our time here and will be sad to leave for transference starting tomorrow (August 4th).

Declan Pollard
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China Language 6-week

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A Lamentation on Kunming Traffic

Declan Pollard,China Language 6-week

Description

Today, parents, I am going to write a Yak post concerning traffic. Yes… I know, traffic. Not the most interesting of topics,. is it? This, however, is one of the only topics that has not been mentioned in either Jack Resnick’s comprehensive Kunming Yak Yak novella (an exaggeration, of course, but, in my defense, it […]

Posted On

08/3/15

Author

Declan Pollard

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Hi all! As we wrap up our first week in Kunming, here are some photos from the Spring City. Enjoy! -Benjy [post_title] => Photos from Kunming [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => photos-from-kunming [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-11-17 18:29:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-17 18:29:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=123791 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 30 [name] => Picture of the Week [slug] => picture-of-the-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 30 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 483 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 1 [cat_ID] => 30 [category_count] => 483 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Picture of the Week [category_nicename] => picture-of-the-week [category_parent] => 0 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/picture-of-the-week/ ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 83 [name] => China Language 6-week [slug] => china-language-6-week-summer-2015 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 83 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 255 [count] => 49 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5.1 [cat_ID] => 83 [category_count] => 49 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Language 6-week [category_nicename] => china-language-6-week-summer-2015 [category_parent] => 255 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2015/china-language-6-week-summer-2015/ ) ) [category_links] => Picture of the Week, China Language 6-week )
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Photos from Kunming

Benjy Renton,Picture of the Week, China Language 6-week

Description

Hi all! As we wrap up our first week in Kunming, here are some photos from the Spring City. Enjoy! -Benjy

Posted On

07/31/15

Author

Benjy Renton

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    [post_content] => Hello families, friends, and fellow 老外! The past few days in Kunming have been great ones. Most students have started their ISPs and our exploration of Kunming has deepened along with our understanding of Mandarin. After spending 5 days in the city, I have developed a fairly well-rounded opinion about various topics that encompass Kunming and the Kunming lifestyle. The following is a compilation of certain topics that I have become acquainted with in the city followed by my opinion and experience with each.

Public Buses: My daily commute consists of a 15 minute walk to the 533 Hospital bus stop which is followed by a 35 minute bus ride to a temple next to our program house. After taking the commute about 12 times, I have found that a) personal space is not considered when on the bus, b) elbows are a necessary tool if you would like get off the bus, and c) if it rains, the commute will double. Regardless of the fact that an elderly woman did spit on my leg without knowledge of doing so, I have come to enjoy standing for half an hour with the occasional stop that tends to throw me off balance. I have become quite fond of chatting with locals, rubbing elbows with strangers, and being called Harry Potter at least once during my commute. Getting lost has not been a problem thus far, but I quite certain that I will get lost in the near future. Some students have had difficulties navigating their commutes and public transportation that has resulted in both a learning experience and a very off-putting situation having no idea where you are in a foreign country.

Crossing the Road: I have learned that stop lights are simply recommendations to the driver. If the light is red and there are only a few people crossing the street, the driver may just go for it, hoping to avoid pedestrian or get 10 points for each person they hit. Crosswalks are also just recommendations. The sign may signal that it is safe to cross the road, but it does not guarantee a car-less or moped-less walk. I have learned that if one just does not care about cars, people driving motorbikes, or drivers yelling at you, then one can cross whenever it so pleases them. Although I have crossed the road many times here in China, my heart always skips a beat when I attempt to do so. It's a convenient and nice way to have a thrilling day without drinking loads of caffeine or going to Disneyland.

Malls: I believe a more suitable name for these establishments is 'metropolis' because there is no way that such a place can be classified as a simple mall. There is a store for everything ranging from clothes with odd prints, British themed women's clothing, and shoe stores that are 100 kuai for 3 shoes. How convenient! Malls are also in very close relation to each. Initially, this did not make sense, but I realized that if one does not like the Starbucks in mall A then one can just go next door to mall B for a completely different Starbucks experience. I have also found that there is an abundance of boba shops in malls that are a friendly foe as I would rather not spend all my money on boba, regardless of their delectable taste. Shops such as Muji and Uniqlo have proved to be among the favorites in the group.

Shirts: There seems to be a lack of proper English translations on shirts in China that cause for some hilarious, yet pitiful results. Some shirts have simple text written on them such as "Prosche",  "cool architrctrue", and my favorite, "butter," (none of the above is a typo). Other shirts may have longer texts written on them such as "Do Please Not Contain Love My" or "HI where is are you going?". My mission is to find the most ridiculous shirt I can find and wear it on a regular basis in the states in the pursuit to utterly confuse people.

Harry Potter: For those of you that are unaware of my aesthetics, I have glasses that kind of/don't really resemble the one's Harry Potter owns. Being that I am not only the owner of such glasses, but that I also have black hair and pale skin, I have been recognized by many locals as Harry. This proved to be quite annoying at first due to the fact that I wasn't able to go anywhere without being asked for a photo. After consulting with the group and realizing this amazing ability I have now obtained, I can begin turning this attraction into a business pursuit as I will begin to draw a lightning mark on my forehead when in public places with the group and will charge 5 kuai per photo. Regardless if I am in a village that is off the beaten path or in a bustling city, the symbol of Harry Potter has proved to be a prominent and universal one. This may also be an act of karma as I did dress-up like H.P. for halloween in my elementary school years.

Food: Kunming has a variety of food due to the fact that many of the ethnic minorities in China are concentrated in Yunnan. I have fallen in love with the "er kuai" which is a thick rice paper-like wrapping filled with sweet soybean sauce, peanut sauce, and salty/spicy peppers. Dai food has proved to be one of my most favorite cuisines due to its similarities to Thai and Vietnamese food. Following our daily classes, students are given a stipend that is to be used for lunch which allows for us to explore the various categories of foods in Kunming and broaden our understanding of ethnic Yunnanese food or just eat KFC or McDonald's. I prefer the former.

The Sights: Kunming is true to most Chinese cities in that there is a very integrative aspect between the old and the new, the Western and the Eastern, and the temples and the malls. By this I mean that right next to a 200 year old Buddhist temple sits a large mall with many American stores or the ancient Flower Bird Market is 50 steps away from the modernized city center. This illusion between the old and the new has created a beautiful rift in the city and it becomes evident that the roots that China is built upon will not disappear behind the billboards and malls. It becomes evident that regardless of the speed of urbanization and materialistic lifestyles, the culture and identity that was lain in the past will not be lost. It becomes evident that Kunming is making a statement. A statement stamped on the map of China.
    [post_title] => Kunming: An Opinionated Reflection
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China Language 6-week

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Kunming: An Opinionated Reflection

Jack Resnick,China Language 6-week

Description

Hello families, friends, and fellow 老外! The past few days in Kunming have been great ones. Most students have started their ISPs and our exploration of Kunming has deepened along with our understanding of Mandarin. After spending 5 days in the city, I have developed a fairly well-rounded opinion about various topics that encompass Kunming […]

Posted On

07/30/15

Author

Jack Resnick

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