China

For two long and, we hear, amazing weeks, 6 C5 Georgia students traveled to China for the cultural experience of a lifetime—our fourth such trip in as many years. Our chaperone this year was Tiffany-Nicole Ward, former C5er and current University of Georgia Master of Public Administration Candidate and Graduate Resident. She sent us updates nearly every day. See part one for more.

Day Seven – Cultural Cultivation
As our adventure continues at Yangzhou University, we are having many cultural experiences. This morning we learned Tiaji (Tai Chi), ate a lot of tofu, and visited the Yangzhou city museum.  The students are getting an all-around cultural education. Ali met a group of Indian students studying at Yangzhou. They were surprised and impressed that he could speak Hindi because he is “American”. They even invited him to dinner with them tonight. Tiana has quite a following as well. The Chinese women are very intrigued by her hair and keep asking to touch it. They say she looks like a queen!

Day Eight – Art and Exploration
Today most of our day was spent on campus in the classrooms. Survival Chinese in the morning, painting and calligraphy in the afternoon. Andrew’s picture was the best! After dinner, we decided to put our survival Chinese lessons to the test and go out for a change of scenery. With our dictionaries and notes from class we successfully got from our dormitory to the Living Mall and back. We’re all very proud of ourselves! At least we know that our Chinese is good enough to get us around without our buddies and tour guide. No lost Americans around here!

Days Ten and Eleven – Yangzhou to Beijing
It seems like we’ve been gone a month with all the things we have been doing! Today, we are fresh off a 10-hour train ride from Yangzhou to Beijing. We made it! When we arrived, our tour guide Suzanne loaded us in the bus and now we are heading straight to Tiananmen Square. No stops at the hotel first so don’t laugh too hard at our pictures when you see them! We are excited to be in Beijing and see all the sights, especially the Great Wall, but we also are looking forward to seeing you all in about 72 hours.

Day 14 – The Last Day
Our last day ended in the best fashion I think it could have. We started our day at the Great Wall of China. There are no words or hashtags that could fully describe how epic, amazing, beautiful, priceless and breathtaking being up there was. There is no better place to reflect on gratefulness and our blessings in life than literally on top of the world. After an unfortunate van breakdown (We all pushed!), we made it to our last stop at the Beijing Olympic Park. We saw the “birds nest” and the water cube! They actually look like their names. It is about 4:47 a.m. in Beijing right now and we are all up, packing, and loading the van to HEAD BACK HOME.

Day 15 – Travel Trials
Why we had expectations and hopes of being in our own beds tonight after a long flight from China, the weather had a much different plan. Our connecting flight to Atlanta was cancelled due to inclement weather thus, we are still in Chicago. Everyone is safe so please don’t worry. We will be home tomorrow!

Day 16 – Home at Last!
The skies are clear and blue here in Chicago today so we should without a doubt be in Atlanta tonight! Everyone slept well and ate even better this morning. No more Chinese food. (LOL.) We are eager to get home and see you all soon.

I’m thrilled you all trusted me with this responsibility, and now that it’s coming to a close I feel I wouldn’t have wanted to be half way around the world with any other group!

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