Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => Historians believe that Kunming originated as a tribe name and later developed into a town name during the Tang Dynasty. Kunming, also known as the spring city, soon became the capital and largest city of the Yunnan province. This town has thrived as a trading port for over a hundred years. Kunming, positioned near South East Asia, India, and Tibet, acts as major trading hub in the Yunnan province.

We arrived in Kunming on the overnight train. Once we arrived at the hostel we began our X phase, leading ourselves through the whole day without our teachers. Our journey in Kunming began. Without any instruction, we easily found our way to the park near the hostel. At Green Lake Park we walked around the spectacular area, admiring the lilly pads and flowers. However, problems arose on our way to the famous tea shop. The bus stops were challenging to follow as the streets were in Mandarin characters. Luckily, we finally found the tea place. We tasted the famous black tea as well as a green tea. We faced difficulties in finding our way around a foreign town in addition to not being able to speak the language. Throughout the day we persevered and overcame these challenges by uniting as a group. Without instructors we discovered our different leadership styles as individuals and worked well together to perform to the best of our ability as a group.
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Kunming

Bryn Galumbeck,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Historians believe that Kunming originated as a tribe name and later developed into a town name during the Tang Dynasty. Kunming, also known as the spring city, soon became the capital and largest city of the Yunnan province. This town has thrived as a trading port for over a hundred years. Kunming, positioned near South […]

Posted On

06/29/16

Author

Bryn Galumbeck

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    [post_content] => Kunming is the largest city in the Yunnan province. The Cui Hu, or the Green Lake, is a park that was created in the 17th century. This afternoon the group went to Kunming's bird and flower market. Along these streets you can buy anything from bracelets to swords. There are many of the same shops along these streets so we have to bargain for items to get the best possible price. Until about 15 years ago, these family owned shops were must sees for tourists passing through Kunming. The market today is a packed street with shops on each side.

 

 
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Bird and Flower Market

John Finney,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Kunming is the largest city in the Yunnan province. The Cui Hu, or the Green Lake, is a park that was created in the 17th century. This afternoon the group went to Kunming’s bird and flower market. Along these streets you can buy anything from bracelets to swords. There are many of the same shops […]

Posted On

06/29/16

Author

John Finney

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    [post_content] => Greetings from La Shi Hai!

We are on day four of our rural homestay in Nan Yao Cun, a village on the southern side of the La Shi Hai Lake in Yun Nan Province. All of the students are staying with a family of Naxi villagers and their plethora of livestock. Most homes are constructed courtyard style, with four buildings surrounding an open area in the center. There is a variety of ornamental and food bearing plants in the courtyard, as well as an area of the home that is reserved for the pigs, chickens, and the occasional ox or cow. As is traditional, most homes have several generations living under one roof. In the instructor homestay, there is a four month old baby and between grandpa, grandma, mom, and dad, the baby is rarely ever set down.

The students have spent time getting to know the small village, including where the best ice cream is and the lay of the vegetable fields, where they go to help their family work.  Students are also learning to cook traditional food, which often involves wielding a large cleaver and cooking over an open fire.

During our stay, we all get together at least once per day for a check in and a special activity.  On the first day, we hiked to the village water source and discussed how we might be of service in cleaning the area and constructing a system for long term maintenance.  The next day, we visited a local NGO that focuses on environmental preservation and installing bio-digester systems for rural homes.  Bio-digesters are a form of technology that safely harvests methane from farm and animal waste for cooking in the kitchen or other home power needs. (See Claire cooking an egg on methane from a bio-digester below.) The NGO has installed 300 of the systems in our village alone.  Yesterday, the students created a lesson plan and spent an hour teaching kindergarten students the alphabet, some simple English words, and playing games. After, we discussed the education system in China and the differences between American and Chinese lifestyles. In the afternoon, we visited a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and learned about the religion and practiced a form of mindfulness meditation.

For our last two days of homestays, the students have planned a clean up project of the water source. We are looking forward to these last two days and our final adventure in Kunming.

(We also celebrated Will's 17th birthday by eating a large cake with chopsticks. It was gone in under 3 minutes!)
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Homestay Update

Martha Gilbert,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Greetings from La Shi Hai! We are on day four of our rural homestay in Nan Yao Cun, a village on the southern side of the La Shi Hai Lake in Yun Nan Province. All of the students are staying with a family of Naxi villagers and their plethora of livestock. Most homes are constructed […]

Posted On

06/25/16

Author

Martha Gilbert

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    [post_content] => We had thought all our posts were getting photos and only recently discovered they are picture-less. Here are a few to get you caught up!

Our team is also in a rural home stay in Yunnan province and wifi is extremely limited. We will do our best to post, and it may be 5 or so days before an in depth update.

1.) The team on the great wall

2.) Day one of Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike

3.) Day two of Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike

 
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Group Photos

Martha Gilbert,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

We had thought all our posts were getting photos and only recently discovered they are picture-less. Here are a few to get you caught up! Our team is also in a rural home stay in Yunnan province and wifi is extremely limited. We will do our best to post, and it may be 5 or […]

Posted On

06/22/16

Author

Martha Gilbert

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    [post_content] => Our second day of hiking through Tiger Leaping Gorge was much more tranquil than the previous day. This allowed us all to just realize where we were and what we were doing. Watching the mountains tower over us produced a feeling of enormity and tininess simultaneously. On our way down we saw an abundance of goats, and Will bleated out to them and they actually seemed as if they were responding! Throughout the whole hike we could hear the roar of waterfalls, so when we finally were able to go through one we were all pretty excited. We made good time and arrived at our hostel thirty minutes before we had expected, and we were all quite relieved to put our bags down. That night Martha led us in a leadership activity in which we discovered what type of leader each of us are and how those four types can and have to work together. I don't think there were many surprises in the final outcome, but a few questions forced us to think a bit more than we maybe had expected. After Martha's lesson we had our nightly meeting then were able to walk around and explore the little mountain resort. Last night the sound of the waterfall just outside our window lulled us to sleep.

 

 
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Tiger Leaping Gorge

Eleanor Lilly,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Our second day of hiking through Tiger Leaping Gorge was much more tranquil than the previous day. This allowed us all to just realize where we were and what we were doing. Watching the mountains tower over us produced a feeling of enormity and tininess simultaneously. On our way down we saw an abundance of […]

Posted On

06/20/16

Author

Eleanor Lilly

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    [post_content] => Naxi People

Today we explored the city of Lijiang as we completed a scavenger hunt

with a partner. Although the city is a tourist town, it is heavily

populated with Naxi people, an ethnic minority group in China

primarily located in the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. The Naxi are

one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's

Republic of China and are originally thought to have come from

northwestern China. They descend from the Qiang and are influenced by

the patriarchal Han Chinese, now the majority of China. During our

scavenger hunt, we were able to spot the difference in the language as

we tried to communicate with people. The Naxi use a pictographic

language much different from the Mandarin symbols. Even though Lijiang

is a Naxi village, it was difficult for us to find people in shops who

spoke the language, because the town is so touristy. However, as we

got deeper into the city, we found groups of Naxi women doing

traditional dances and we were able to communicate with

a few of them to learn phrases from their language. By interacting

with these people, we could see the differences between the Naxi's

very traditional culture and the Han's developing culture that we

experienced in Beijing.
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The Naxi People

Gabi Diskin,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Naxi People Today we explored the city of Lijiang as we completed a scavenger hunt with a partner. Although the city is a tourist town, it is heavily populated with Naxi people, an ethnic minority group in China primarily located in the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. The Naxi are one of the 56 ethnic groups […]

Posted On

06/20/16

Author

Gabi Diskin

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    [post_content] => Our team is currently hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge with limited connectivity. Please watch for a photo/post update in a couple days. Thanks!
    [post_title] => Trekking in Tiger Leaping Gorge
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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Trekking in Tiger Leaping Gorge

Instructors,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Our team is currently hiking in Tiger Leaping Gorge with limited connectivity. Please watch for a photo/post update in a couple days. Thanks!

Posted On

06/19/16

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2016-06-17 19:45:27
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    [post_content] => Today was a big day for the group as we traveled the equivalent  distance of Rhode Island to Los Angeles. We left our homestay in Xiangshuihu, under the Great Wall, and headed to our destination, Lijiang in the Yunnan province. This city is a very important city in the sense of history. The Old Town of Lijiang is an UNESCO world heritage site and was originally built in the 12th century. Many different ethnic groups affect the architecture and culture of this town. The Naxi, Han, Tibetan, and Bai all have influences in this very historic  town. Old Town of Lijiang is also an important spot in the ancient trade routes of China as it was the verging of the southern Silk Road and the Tea and Horse roads that made this town trade heavy. We are spending two nights in this town and we hope to experience the great history of it all.
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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June 17, Arriving in Lijiang

Lawson Montgomery,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Today was a big day for the group as we traveled the equivalent  distance of Rhode Island to Los Angeles. We left our homestay in Xiangshuihu, under the Great Wall, and headed to our destination, Lijiang in the Yunnan province. This city is a very important city in the sense of history. The Old Town […]

Posted On

06/17/16

Author

Lawson Montgomery

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    [post_content] => Global citizenship, leadership, and self awareness are the three foundations that the Dragons program rests on; they are what lead us up the Great Wall of China today. The history of the Dragons program and what it entails is equally as important as China's greatest engineering triumph. We learned about these idealologies in the morning and set out in the afternoon to hike up the Great Wall. This 2000 year old wall was built to keep out different groups of aggressive nomads during the reign of Emporer Qin Shi Huang. Effort was put in by hundreds of thousands of workers, most of them political prisoners. The Great Wall has emerged as a symbol for both the physical manifestation of Chinese strength and a representation of the barrier maintained by the Chinese state to repel foreign influences and exert control over its citizens.  Projects have been put in effect to restore parts of the wall, but we had the unique opportunity to visit a non re-vamped part of the wall.  Being by this section of the wall allowed us to have enough time to reflect in quiet and enjoy the ancient feat to its full potential.
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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History of the Great Wall of China

Mackenzi Mills,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Global citizenship, leadership, and self awareness are the three foundations that the Dragons program rests on; they are what lead us up the Great Wall of China today. The history of the Dragons program and what it entails is equally as important as China’s greatest engineering triumph. We learned about these idealologies in the morning […]

Posted On

06/16/16

Author

Mackenzi Mills

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    [post_content] => Before walking onto the Great Wall, or cháng chéng in Mandarin, I promised that I wouldn't say a word on it. Why, I don't know, but it was amazing. In many parts in this section of the wall, nature had completely reclaimed it.   A small dirt trail was the only way through a wall covered in thick brush. The fact that this stone building had been built along the ridges of mountains two thousand years ago is amazing, yet to me, the view had a greater impact. To the South, five small villages and Beijing far off in the distance; to the North, one tiny village, visible only after walking multiple kilometers. While looking around appreciating the view, it hit me that the view of an ancient soldier and my own's was fairly similar. One side, the hearth of civilization: The Middle Kingdom. Far off in the distance you can see your capital city, the home of the emperor. On the other side, untamed barbarians who have often defeated the Chinese, and you're somehow the one that has to stop them. They say that to appreciate someone else you need to walk a mile in the person's footsteps. Today, I did more than that: I walked kilometers in many dead men's shoes.
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PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

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The Great Wall

Sammy DeLorenzo,PARTNERSHIP: Norfolk Academy China

Description

Before walking onto the Great Wall, or cháng chéng in Mandarin, I promised that I wouldn’t say a word on it. Why, I don’t know, but it was amazing. In many parts in this section of the wall, nature had completely reclaimed it.   A small dirt trail was the only way through a wall […]

Posted On

06/16/16

Author

Sammy DeLorenzo

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