Went to the Shanghai Museum today. It was free to get in which was good. There was a lot of stuff in there. I didnt realize how much stuff it really was until I started looking around. I think we were given maybe two hours to look around, which sounds like plenty of time. Me and Jessica probably spent about an hour on just one floor and there were 3 or 4 floors so we didnt even see half of what was there. The things we did see were pretty nice though. We looked at the clothes, furniture, and the things made of jade. The Yuyuan Garden is the other thing we went to today. It was really really nice inside. The building and fixtures had so much character. We were able to shop her as well. The vendors really wanted you to buy stuff here. They would drop there prices pretty fast once they realized you were starting to walk away. They would even still be dropping the price as you were walking into the next store or down the street. We have nothing like this in America. We ate dinner at the guest house tonight. It was pretty good.
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower was the first thing on the list today. We went all the way up the the 88th floor!!!! Talk about super high. We took some super fast escalator to get to the floor. The view was pretty amazing. Rachael actually didnt go up to the tower. She really wanted to go to the aquarium so they made it work for her. She was able to spend most of the day there and I know she was really excited about that. Im happy for her. I know that was the one thing she wanted to do while here. She was a women on a mission and she was not going to be stopped. For the rest of us we walked around a little bit at the at a couple different places (Xintiandia Recreational Area and Tianzifang Cultural & Shopping Area) and for the rest of the day we shopped and just relaxed for the rest of the day.
We stayed on campus today. It was pretty much a day filled with history classes today. Which was really informative and I actually did learn some things but history is just not my subject. We ate breakfast together this morning and it was definitely not a normal american breakfast but it was still good. The first thing we did was go to the ON CAMPUS university history museum. I thought it was pretty impressive that they had a museum on campus. In the museum were some models of the campuses that the school has and one of them was super huge. The picture i'll but up probably want even give it justice. Then we went to the welcome ceremony, which we had to be dressy for of course. Luckily Boyoung and Lee were the only ones who had to give a presentation so that was a relief. We each received a gift from the university which was really nice of them to do. We had lunch then a scheduled rest time with was actually pretty nice to have. The next thing that was on the schedule was two lectures. One on Chinese culture and the other on the history of China. In all it took about 2 1/2 hours - 3 hours to finish both. We ate dinner then we had the main attraction of the day, well atleast in my mind it was. The flute choir put on a performance just for us. It was very cool. I've never seen that many flutes on one stage at a time and it was interesting to see all the different types that they had. It was a good way to end the day.
We said bye to our buddies this morning at breakfast today. They were so welcoming wish they could of stayed with us the whole time we were here. But I'll get to see some of them again so thats a good thing. Went to the Chinese Medical Museum today. There was some interesting stuff in there. It had some of the old tools and medicines that were used a long time ago. We meet with the vice president for our farewell dinner. She is really nice. She seemed to really enjoy us being at the school and she was very welcoming. The last thing we did with the Sanda crew was go to the Jing Mao Building. This building is really tall and at the top there is an observatory that people like to go to and look at the city. We had to go all the way up to the 88th floor!!!! It was an amazing view up there. After that it was on our way to Shanghai Normal University.
We arrived at Shanghai Normal University today. The Campus seems pretty nice so far. We had to get a little fancy for dinner tonight. Dinner was interesting. The university separated the students and teachers. That was a littler weird because the we were almost in two different rooms. We were able to talk to the students a little bit since we sat with them, which was good. There is one of the students that has a British accent when she speaks English. I thought it was really cool, wish i had a cool accent like that. But the dinner was pretty good and there was a lot of plates. Im going to have to get use to that cause it seems like all our meals are going to have a lot of dishes. I guess its better to be full then hungry. Thats all for today i'm not sure what tomorrow has in store for us.
Went to breakfast with the students again. It was just as good as before. We took a trip to the water village named Shao Jia Lou, I believe thats the name. Did a little shopping and bargaining today, which was super fun. Never accept the first price they give you. There was definitely some "interesting" smells in this village. But overall it was a pretty good place to go see some of the culture of China. We ate at one of the restaurants in the village. Once again lots of food. I guess thats just how it is around here. The presentations were today as well. They seemed to go over well. Hopefully some people want to come to Lander. We ate dinner on campus today. There was some surprises with the time schedule so I didnt get to eat much but it was ok I ate some more after the welcome party. The welcome party was amazing. Some of the students at Sanda did some traditional performances for us and they were all very good and impressed me very much. The host of the party was pretty funny as well. Sanda seems pretty similar to Lander, so students who dont want to go to a big college would fit in here.
This morning we ate breakfast with some of the students. A few of them will be coming to Lander this year which is pretty exciting. I really hope I can stay in contact with them so when they come to Lander I can show them around. After breakfast we went to a Chinese language and culture class taught by our leader at Sanda University. It was an interesting class and we had fun. We learned how to tie one of the Chinese knots. It was not easy the first time we did it but it got better for some of us by the end. Lee and Josh were struggling a little because they had big fingers and hands but I think Lee eventually got it. Josh was still having problems but it was still a good time. The next thing we did was go sit in on a class. They had to do presentations today about their business they made. The presentations had to be done in English however. We watched about 3 people present and I was really impressed with how much English they spoke and understood. America should start putting more emphasis on studying another language like they do in school over here. We at in the cafeteria for lunch; I actually really liked the food in there. Next thing on the agenda was the Shanghai Science & Technology museum. Me and Josh were both pretty excited about this place. They had some interesting things in the museum. I’ll have to post some pictures so yall can see. We ate dinner then went on a little cruise on the Huang Pu River. It was super nice. The view was beautiful. Sanda University is treating us very nicely and I hope we can return the favor when their students come to our school.
Early morning today, had to be at the bus station by 5:30 am. We said our goodbyes which was kinda bittersweet. Josh’s host even started crying. Everybody will be missed and hopefully one day some of the students will come to Lander. So we then set off to the airport. The flight was ok. It wasn’t super long which we were all great full for. I think there might have been a little more turbulence on this flight but overall not a bad trip. Watched some TV read some of China Road. Trying to make it through this book but I don’t really like it so far, hopefully it will get better or this is going to be a really slow read. The first university we visited in China was Sanda University. We had a little campus tour and had dinner with the Vice President and a few students. The food was good and definitely different from Korea. There was TONS of food. It just kept coming and coming. Maybe all the meals will not be this big.
Today we got to spend the whole day with our host families. I was a little nervous about it at first but it ended up being a great day. The first thing we did was go to the movies. It was me, Taehee, and her brother. We went and saw the Avengers. It was a really good movie and I’m really glad I got to go see it because I really wanted to see it. Rachael and Ashlin went to see the movie as well but we did sit with them. The movie theater was amazing by the way. So after the movie we went on this 4D movie thing ride. It was pretty fun. We did the dinosaur rollercoaster one. Ashlin kinda wanted to do the scary one but she didn’t speak up, but she still liked it. After that Taehee and I went back to the house. Her little cousin came over today as well. I think she was about 14 or 15. But we all ate lunch together at the house and watched some TV. Me and Taehee went to this mini amusement park place later on. We had some much fun. We met up with Rachael and Josh and his family when we got there. There were three major rides and we did all of them. One was a ride called disco pom pom, which we don’t have in America (for good reason). I did that one twice. It was really fun and funny, but I did get a whole bunch of bruises. I’ll show everyone the clip of us doing it when I get back. The other rides were the Viking ship ride and some other ride that took you up in the air and spun you around. Everything was pretty fun. We did one more thing that day. We got to drive dune buggies!!!! Me, Rachael, and Josh had to drive since we were the ones with our licenses. We had a great time just riding around the city. That was a great thing to do and I’m glad that Taehee enjoyed it as much as I did. Tonight was our last dinner together. We just ate at the house with everyone (her mom, dad, brother, and cousin). We had Korean barbeque. Today was a great day and I’m glad I could meet such wonderful people. Oh and yeah they really liked the pie candle I gave them.
Once again we had to do our presentations. This time we did them for some of the high school students. They seemed to like most of it, which was good. Our host students came to see us as well. So the big event for today was Nami Island and some of the students were able to come with us. When we got there we had to take a ferry to get to the actual island. The view was very nice. We just kind of walked around for a little bit and we happen to run into a ostrich walking around randomly. We were't really sure if it was supposed to be fenced in or not but it was still pretty cool. The little kids were following it. I was kinda scared when I saw them cause what if the ostrich decided to kick, but we kept it moving. Our group was going to rent bikes to ride around on but the line was super long. We ended up getting in some swan boats on the lake. Interesting. It was just me and Taehee in our boat so we both had to paddle. Taehee legs were tired she said. Josh, Rachael, and Josh were all out there too so we just floated around and played with them. We had a pretty good time on the island today. After leaving there we went to one of the traditional markets. We walked around and tried some food while we were there. Taehee's dad picked us up today. Me, Taehee, her parents, and her brother all went out to eat. The meal was really good, so I was glad they took me there.