Monday, October 29, 2012

Nanjing Journal Reflections

The following are travel journal entries written by students the day after we left Nanjing, the city where we were hosted by our Chinese sister school and Chinese students.

Dear Journal,

My experience in Nanjing was amazing. In Nanjing I learned to value many things we take for granted in New York. Some things I learned to value were drinking cold water, using a toilet, and eating with a fork. The reason why I say this is because in China you regularly drink a cup of boiling water for dinner and other occasions--not your average cold glass of water. I valued my toilet because in most public places there isn’t our western toilet--theirs a hole in the floor where you just squat. Finally, I wasn't used to eating with chopsticks. In the end I learned how to use chopsticks and got used to the other things as well.

Well, diary, on my first day in Nanjing School of Foreign Language we met the faculty that aids our program there and we all found out who our host siblings were. My host sibling was Franklin, Jonatan’s host brother was named Peter, Mariama’s host sister was named Esther, Amaris' was Mikay, and Octiz' sister was Violet. That same day we also received presents from the teacher faculty; we received an ancient design bookmark and a school track jacket. Then we observed many different class subjects and at the end of the day we played basketball.

On our second day we went sight seeing. We visited a Confucian museum in the Confucian temple. Also we visited Sun-Yat-Sen’s memorial, which was on a large hill, and we couldn't take pictures. Then the following day Franklin gave me dumplings for the first time, I really enjoyed the dumplings especially with the sour vinegar. Our third day Franklin and I visited the Nanjing Massacre Museum which showed how many Japanese soldiers invaded Nanjing in 1937 and killed 300,000 women, men, and babies. The next day I went to one of Franklin's father’s friend's farm in which we pet and fed goats and saw what the countryside is like, also we went to pick out strawberries. On my fourth day we had a calligraphy class in which we all learned how to draw our name and at the end of the day we all went to sing at a private karaoke place. The following day we all met up after school was finished and went to Purple Mountain and after that we went to a fancy restaurant to eat. We all had a great time especially since the food was good. The following  day we went left to Xi’an by plane!


Dear Diary,

            In Nan Jing I learned  how Chinese people live life. When we arrived on Friday night we were welcomed by all the host families. After greeting each other we took some photos and then took off to our houses with our host parents. On our way home I noticed how in Nan Jing they also pay tolls like in New York. I also realized how there are many camaras on the road that take pictures of almost everything. When I was arriving to my host family homes I noticed that we went into a gated area and then proceeded to their house. The houses around there were nice looking, the area was very clean, and very quiet. That night when I got home my host family comforted me with a big room all to myself. Then went to sleep because there was school in the morning. The next day Peter’s mom had served breakfast. I noticed that Chinese people treat their guests well by making them comfortable and giving them a lot of food.
After breakfast we went to school. What I noticed from Nanjing Foreign Language School is that it’s big like a college campus. When Peter introduced me to the class they welcomed me warmly. Then I observed their English and history class. Their class size is bigger and the kids treat their teachers with respect. Later on that day we met with the whole exchange group and then had an presentation. For dinner my host family took me out to eat spicy food. In Nan Jing we also visited the Confucius Temple, the Sun Yatsen Memorial and went out for karaoke. We also did some pottery class, art (characters), Kite-flying, and ping pong. With the kids I went out to the movies, shopping, restaurant, and the purple mountain.


We're Back! Let's go, 2013!

Time to play catch up!

Wow we're behind! It's been a long time since we've posted anything here, I'm realizing, but that's because carrying out China Exchange was exceptionally time-consuming last year, especially with new DOE regulations regarding international travel and a great deal of confusion within the system about who exactly our new superintendent was! Paperwork in a public school is definitely no joke. Yikes.

Anyway, we're still here, and although we may have forgotten to post to our adoring public, China Exchange has been progressing in real life as usual. Our 2013 participants have already begun working towards their fundraising goals and are planning Game Night for December 2013. Over the next month, I'll begin the project of posting old pictures and journal-entries from the 2012 Exchange for your enjoyment. Stay tuned.