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    [post_date] => 2017-07-30 12:16:02
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    [post_content] => 

All I can say is that I feel sad today. It's almost like a depression-- admitting to yourself that your adventure is over and that you won't see your best friends 24/7 like you had before. There's a gaping hole in my stomach and my heart aches even though I am excited to go home.

China was rough both physically and mentally but it was also fresh and exciting. Doing something like China Comprehensive is amazing in ways that I am only beginning to comprehend myself, and sitting here on the plane back to the U.S makes me feel like the whole thing lasted no more than a blink of an eye.

For me, traveling is about love and passion: meeting new people and places along the way while developing deep and profound attachments to these things that we associate with immense personal growth. No one can explain the love between me and my group or me and China because the relationships developed alongside a shared triumph over obstacles and setbacks which connected us all together and to China on a fundamental level. Especially without the help of technology or connection to the outside world, I learned to rely on human interactions with people whom I didn't understand and old fashioned means of entertainment. Playing cards, chatting, and navigating through difficult situations with my friends connected us in ways that are nearly impossible to achieve at home.

I think that it is so difficult for me to say good bye because the relationships I have with the people here are so raw and in every sense “real.” You really get to know a person to the core when you spend every day with them encountering new challenges together, seeking comfort in one another, and all the meanwhile remaining free from distractions of life at home. Maybe formed independently or molded by these relationships, a love for the places I visited and travelled to also developed along these journeys and only intensified with more time spent away.

I had the time of my life in China, and I have nothing but love for the people and places I encountered. It is so odd to see how perceptions about a trip or event are so fluid, as I did not alway feel the same way about my China experience as it was taking place. There were times when I was lonely, confused, frustrated, and annoyed during the journey, but I think that these instances only made my successes in areas like communication more glorious. These moments of sadness also made me savor the joyful ones and really enjoy the people around me whenever possible. So, now, viewing this experience through a lens of remembering and reflecting instead of living, I think that all the parts of China, the good and the bad, were incredibly transformative in my individual development.

I miss my friends and I miss China, but maybe understanding why will help me fully come to terms with the emotions of leaving and allow me to harness them for some productive use.

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Reflections from Flight from Shanghai to LAX

Abby Dichter,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

All I can say is that I feel sad today. It’s almost like a depression– admitting to yourself that your adventure is over and that you won’t see your best friends 24/7 like you had before. There’s a gaping hole in my stomach and my heart aches even though I am excited to go home. […]

Posted On

07/30/17

Author

Abby Dichter

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-28 20:33:59
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-29 02:33:59
    [post_content] => The students on the group flight have all arrived safely at LAX along with instructors Zack and Lauren and are making their way to onward flights. Safe travels home!

-Dragons Administration
    [post_title] => Arrived in LA!
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Arrived in LA!

Jody Segar,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

The students on the group flight have all arrived safely at LAX along with instructors Zack and Lauren and are making their way to onward flights. Safe travels home! -Dragons Administration

Posted On

07/28/17

Author

Jody Segar

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    [post_content] => The group is now on their flight from Shanghai to LA (China Eastern #577, scheduled to arrive at LAX on time at 6:00 PM PST). Independent travelers Tara and Lorenzo are also scheduled to depart Shanghai on time.  一路平安!(safe travels)
    [post_title] => On the Way Home
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SUMMER: China Comprehensive

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On the Way Home

Jody Segar,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

The group is now on their flight from Shanghai to LA (China Eastern #577, scheduled to arrive at LAX on time at 6:00 PM PST). Independent travelers Tara and Lorenzo are also scheduled to depart Shanghai on time.  一路平安!(safe travels)

Posted On

07/28/17

Author

Jody Segar

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-28 00:08:40
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    [post_content] => Hello Families & Friends,

The group has cleared security in Xining, Qinghai and is awaiting their flight to Shanghai (China Eastern #2310, on schedule to depart at 3:35 PM 7/28 China time, arriving at Shanghai PVG at 6:20 PM 7/28 China time). From Shanghai the group (except for those traveling independently to other destinations) will fly onward to Los Angeles along with instructors Zack and Lauren.

Wishing everyone a safe and smooth journey home and happy reunions!

-Dragons Administration
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The Group is Awaiting their Flight from Xining

Jody Segar,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

Hello Families & Friends, The group has cleared security in Xining, Qinghai and is awaiting their flight to Shanghai (China Eastern #2310, on schedule to depart at 3:35 PM 7/28 China time, arriving at Shanghai PVG at 6:20 PM 7/28 China time). From Shanghai the group (except for those traveling independently to other destinations) will […]

Posted On

07/28/17

Author

Jody Segar

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-27 15:18:10
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-27 21:18:10
    [post_content] =>  

China, I need you to know that I am so thankful that you hosted me so graciously in your country for one month. The people here were so kind, the cities here were so bright, and the rural parts were incredibly beautiful. You are truly a place that is amazingly diverse and unique, and you will hold a special place in my heart forever.

Something I need to rest of the group to know is that the trip would have never been the same without everyone who was here. I think our group was amazing and that we had the best times together. I love you all and please we need to stay in touch. Thanking everyone for this incredible experience.

Something that I need you to know is that I have, in a way, found a second home. During this month I have found a place that pushes me so that I learn, grow, and evolve to the fullest. A place where I feel comfortable and yet, simultaneously, am introduced to so many new people, places, cultures, and ideas And a place where I can see tradition and progress blend together from Shanghai to Qinghai. I need you to know that you have welcomed me with open arms and a wide smile. China, I need you to know that I love you.

I need you to know that I am very thankful for everything. This trip has taught me that every small detail counts hence I would like to thank everybody that has done anything for me. This ranges from small insignificant things to big events in my life. Overall, thank you to everybody that has played a role in my life as it has shaped who I am today.

I want to say how much this trip has put things into perspective for me. I have been in almost total isolation from the rest of the world, and this has showed me what is truly important. I have been able to interact with locals and learn how they conduct themselves in their day to day lives. I was swallowed alive by a completely different culture. I was able to then reflect on my own culture, and I have found what truly matters in this life.

Dear Family; something I need you to know is how much I miss you and cannot wait to come back. This entire trip has shown me just how important family is and how much I need mine. I have realized over the course of this trip that I need to appreciate my family more and when I get back, I’ll be sure to put this into practice. I also feel as though I have grown closer to God and Yeshua over this trip and I am so thankful for my religion providing the solace and support I need when I’m low, or when my mom was not physically there to provide it. I cannot wait to get back and go to Shabbatt and see my pets, sister and dad. I hope to grow closer to them all and I am so excited for the rest of my summer that I get to spend with my favorite people: my family. Mom, if you’re reading this, I suspect that you know who’s writing it and I want you to know that I love and miss you and I actually cannot wait to see you.I love you mom, and I’ll see you all soon!!!

Dear friends, there’s something I need you to know. Things are so different here in China, the culture so much more conservative, you are going to miss forks and knives, you’ll probably eat rice every single meal, you’ll miss your comfortable bed, and even your toilet, you’ll value it so much. The thing I’m most missing is music, I miss so much using my earphones and just listen to music while I’m in the car or just walking… But the most important thing is, this trip will change your perspective about so many things, it will make you so much stronger mentally, you will be ready for things you never imagined before entering the airplane with Shanghai as destination. In conclusion my friends, this trip will be hard in many aspects, but you will enjoy every single second of it.

Something that I need you to know is that this trip helped me learn so much. I was able to interact with the culture and learn from it. During this trip I’ve became so happy. I want to thank you for giving me this chance to actually come here and explore. I am so eager to continue learning in the future and I feel really proud for what I have accomplished for myself during this trip. Thank you.

I want you to know that I have had a great experience on this trip. Many things have been fun, insightful, and great, overall. To be able to travel through China and stay in many different cities, towns, and villages has been an absolute blessing, and I hope you know how thankful I am for this entire trip.

To my toilet, well, I don’t think I’ve ever said how much I appreciated you. To be able to sit down for a few minutes, relax, and not have to be in a squat position has been absolutely awesome. I now have a new, deeper appreciation for you. Having you there for me through thick and thin has been wonderful, and I know we will be together for a long time after.

Dear group, something I need you to know is that thanks to you this trip was something that I will never forget for the rest of my life, I am thankful for each one of you who had the courage to get away from your comfort zone and come to this beautiful country. I am thankful for each one of you that forgot for a month what a pizza is, what your cellphone is, what a normal bathroom is and what drinking cold water is. I know that everyone made some sacrifices in order to be here but in my opinion it was completely worth it.

I need you to know how grateful I am. I will miss you all so much and I wish you all the best. I will never meet a group of people as caring, genuine, or crazy as you all. You guys made this trip a journey of a lifetime and one that I will never ever forget. I cannot begin to express my thanks for all the amazing adventures we shared. Leaving behind western toilets, phones, ice cold water, and our beautiful homes to set off on this adventure was an accomplishment in itself - I’m sure you are eagerly awaiting those luxuries. We pushed ourselves and each other to explore the unexplored and look past our fears – we opened our eyes to the immense beauty that surrounds us and temporarily closed ourselves to the comforts of the world we live in. Remember the people you encountered... do the beautiful faces of the village children come to mind? Or perhaps the members of the hardworking bang-bang army. Close your eyes. Take a moment to reflect and thank all of the people who make your world a better place.

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Something That I Need You To Know

China Comp Student Group,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

  China, I need you to know that I am so thankful that you hosted me so graciously in your country for one month. The people here were so kind, the cities here were so bright, and the rural parts were incredibly beautiful. You are truly a place that is amazingly diverse and unique, and […]

Posted On

07/27/17

Author

China Comp Student Group

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-23 01:18:52
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-23 07:18:52
    [post_content] => Hello family and friends! Greetings from Shabrang, the site of our rural home-stay. Each of our students are in their own individual home-stays having unique and exciting experiences. Yesterday we visited the local elementary school and our students got to play games, teach some lessons and have a fun cross cultural exchange with around 300 students. This morning we took a hike up to where the local herdsmen keep their yaks. Our challenging climb was rewarded with some amazing views and yak milk tea. We'll be here in Shabrang until the morning of the 25th. At that point we'll travel to Qinghai Lake for a couple days of reflection before making the long journeys home.

     
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Update from Our Rural Home-stays

Instructor Team,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

Hello family and friends! Greetings from Shabrang, the site of our rural home-stay. Each of our students are in their own individual home-stays having unique and exciting experiences. Yesterday we visited the local elementary school and our students got to play games, teach some lessons and have a fun cross cultural exchange with around 300 […]

Posted On

07/23/17

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-21 11:30:51
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-21 17:30:51
    [post_content] => 
Dear Summer 2017 China Comprehensive Student Families,
It is hard to believe that almost 4 weeks have already passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long before 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 (all times are in local time zones):
Friday, July 28th, 2017
 
China Eastern Flight #2310
Depart: Xining @ 3:40PM
Arrive: Shanghai @ 6:20 PM
 
China Eastern Flight # 577
Depart: Shanghai @ 9:00 PM
Arrive: LAX @ 6:00PM
We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. 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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SUMMER: China Comprehensive

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July 28th Group Return Details & Reminders!

Eva Vanek,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

Dear Summer 2017 China Comprehensive Student Families, It is hard to believe that almost 4 weeks have already passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long before 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 […]

Posted On

07/21/17

Author

Eva Vanek

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2017-07-20 12:03:15
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-20 18:03:15
    [post_content] => Today was another interesting day in vast and beautiful Tibet, we woke up and went to get some delicious traditional Tibetan breakfast. After breakfast we had an exhausting yet useful Tibetan language lesson with a local teacher, we learned a lot of useful phrases and words for our homestay. After the lesson we had a good lunch, where some ate yak meat and others drank yak butter tea. After a short break we headed to the Buddhist monastery of Golden Rebgong. This monastery is called Rongwo Monastery, it was built in 1301 AD by Rongwo Lama Sadan Renchen, approximately 600 monks live there. Ming Emperor Xizong bestowed the monastery a tablet in which he wrote "wonderland of the Western Regions". Everybody enjoyed the monastery, we could appreciate how the monks lived and see all the temples and the art present in this monastery.

After the temple we headed out to buy some fruit for our homestay family, everyone bought 10 pieces of fruit as a gift. After buying the fruit, we headed for dinner with the instructors to discuss the homestay experience we are having tomorrow.

Everyone is very exited for the homestay, stay tuned for more Yaks.

Yak team, Lucas and Lorenzo

“The real Tibet is like a slabstone, overwhelms me and makes me breathless. ”
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Tibet… (day 2)

Lorenzo and Lucas,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

Today was another interesting day in vast and beautiful Tibet, we woke up and went to get some delicious traditional Tibetan breakfast. After breakfast we had an exhausting yet useful Tibetan language lesson with a local teacher, we learned a lot of useful phrases and words for our homestay. After the lesson we had a […]

Posted On

07/20/17

Author

Lorenzo and Lucas

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-19 14:45:38
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    [post_content] => During the last couple of weeks I have been through events that I never thought I would have experienced during this trip. I have learned that you need to be willing to take risks to make the most out of your opportunities. In just three weeks I have been able to talk to a business man in Shanghai in the International Financial Center, plant rice in the humid hills of LaoWuli, get a cop car to drive us through the city, get on stage in a music performance, and get through security in the tallest building in Chongqing to complete my ISP. And all of this without even knowing to talk Chinese. I look at this trip as an opportunity to relate, talk and engage with the culture.

As I go through the trip I have reflected on what I have experienced. First of all I have understood the role that people play in China. You may hear that China has 1.3 billion people, but you do not comprehend what that means until you come here. I have traveled on 11 and 20 hour trains, two 4 hour sleeper trains and some buses; in that time I can say that none of the areas are completely remote. I have encountered so many different opinions and ways of thinking. Everyone has been so valuable and appreciated. Interacting with locals has given me the sense of human beings. I have discovered myself throughout the trip. This trip has allowed me to analyze my perspective on certain topics. In school we are taught so many biased things. I was taught that democracy is the best system in the world. But the reality is that you cannot say that until you can experience other systems. Especially in China were the country has changed so much in such a short time.

I also concluded my ISP on economics. I now stand in the farthest place I have been from home. I have been probably in the most random and remote places any Mexican can be in. And I still have better WiFi than I do at home. China became a global economic power; and this is mostly because of the amount of money they have invested in infrastructure. The amount of trains that can take you wherever you want to go are ridiculous. The migration of 200 million people from rural to urban areas has contributed to the quick need for modernization that China needed to become a global power. I am 4 hours away from Xining in Rebkong, and I have been through a 1km tunnel, huge bridges and great roads. The effort that the Chinese government has put into infrastructure has been outstanding. All of this with the purpose of connecting China within itself. The only problem is that I do not morally agree with is the way China has achieved this. They have alienated humans from their senses. Destroying families. The Three Gorges Dam relocated 1.2 million people from their homes in the Yangtze Valley, most of those didn't receive the proper support. Some didn't receive financial support, or didn't receive the lands they had in the valley. Other examples are the brutal punishments people have received when they protest their freedom. Here in Tibet people were not allowed to be independent, and instead China took control, destroying Tibet's culture. The amount of money invested here has allowed such a big Han Chinese migration to Tibetan areas. Which I believe has helped the locals financially speaking, but it has also damaged their beliefs and customs.

China's piracy seems a big issue to me. It does not allow innovation. Having 1.3 billion people you could say that innovation must happen daily but it does not. I went to multiple markets and I just could see fake phones, watches, and luxury items.

China has invested so much in education. Now so many more people have basic education which has also allowed progress and the migration of people.

Also I have seen how middle age people support local businesses, which allows an internal flow of money. In bigger cities I think young persons control the market. Everything is targeted to them. They see Western ideas as the best. They of course prefer American and European brands over Chinese which has had allowed foreign investment in those areas.

There is so much more to cover and discover in these topics. But I have a strong support for what the government has done with their infrastructure. I believe that they should protect citizens rights and ways to express themselves better. They should improve their judicial system to allow social mobility and innovations. I encourage the government to allow fair foreign investment, which will help the new generations. I really cannot decide whether the government has done either good or wrong but I think that by improving some things they can continue their pace of economic growth.

As I enter the last phase of my trip I would like to focus on religion and food. I would love to explore these and hopefully have a bigger sense of how they add uniqueness to a location. I would also like to chill and enjoy the rest of the trip.

I am very looking forward to my 4 day rural home stay and buying a painting from a local artist to take home.
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What an Adventure!

Esteban,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

During the last couple of weeks I have been through events that I never thought I would have experienced during this trip. I have learned that you need to be willing to take risks to make the most out of your opportunities. In just three weeks I have been able to talk to a business […]

Posted On

07/19/17

Author

Esteban

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2017-07-19 14:36:25
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    [post_content] => A few days ago we had our second X-phase day. Our mission was to organize a full day in Chongqing without the help of the instructors. We started the day by visiting the relaxing Eling park. Some fished while others explored and rested. Afterwards, we went for lunch at a touristic market. After lunch and a few hours of free time where we bought souvenirs, several of us continued on to the cableway. The long wait in line was worth it as it was a nice ride across the river in a cablecar. Today after  20 hours on a sleeper train we arrived in beautiful Tibet. During the four hour bus ride after the train we saw some unforgettable views of mountains, lakes and temples. We arrived at a city called Golden Rebgong which has approximately 80,000 people. We arrived at our hostel around 7:00 pm where we met our local contact Norbu, who was born in Rebgong. He invited us to dinner at his restaurant (one of the best meals we had), we had some delicious yak butter milk and some yak meat. After dinner we headed back to the hostel, everybody is trying to get some sleep, tomorrow is gonna be an awesome day.

Lorenzo and Lucas
    [post_title] => Tibet... (Day 1)
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Tibet… (Day 1)

Lucas and Lorenzo,SUMMER: China Comprehensive

Description

A few days ago we had our second X-phase day. Our mission was to organize a full day in Chongqing without the help of the instructors. We started the day by visiting the relaxing Eling park. Some fished while others explored and rested. Afterwards, we went for lunch at a touristic market. After lunch and […]

Posted On

07/19/17

Author

Lucas and Lorenzo

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