For two long and, we hear, amazing weeks, six 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.
While she was away, Tiffany made it her duty to catalog each and every day for our students’ parents and us here at C5 Georgia. She meant to upload her insights to Facebook and Twitter, but due to restrictions on social media in China, she was unable. Fortunately, she could email, which had us running to our inboxes each morning. We love to share, so we’ve compiled Tiffany’s travelogue for you as well. Enjoy, and remember, your support of C5 Georgia makes these life-changing experiences possible for our students. Hit the donate button at the top of the page to offer your support.
Day One – We are Here!
We all made it safely to China, are checked into our hotel in Shanghai and getting settled in. We’re all pretty jetlagged, but fortunately, there weren’t any issues at any of our stops—minus the lack of air conditioning in the Narita, Japan airport. But we’re from “Hotlanta” so we managed. In the morning we start bright and early with our C5 China adventure. Our tour guide Sarah has already made a great impression!
Day Two – Shanghai the Beautiful
Day Two in China has been amazing! We saw some beautiful things, got some great pictures, and felt a little like celebrities. So many of the local people wanted to take pictures of or with us because “We looked so different than what they see”. Tomorrow we tour the UPS facility and then head to Yangzhou via the bullet train for the next seven days. It supposedly travels at nearly 100mph. Fast and Furious 7, anyone?
Day Three – Hangry Travelers
We made it safely to our second destination, but the jetlag kind of hit us hard today. By 1 p.m. we were getting a bit “hangry” (hungry + angry) but we pushed through. The tour at the UPS hub was cool and they gave us some awesome snacks just in the nick of time. There were also lots of hour and a half drives, walks, train rides, and more drives today, but eventually we made it to Yangzhou University. When we arrived they had pizza for us, which was a hit!
Day Four – At Home in China
Today we learned how to make Chinese dumplings. I’ll admit, my dumpling folding was a bit rough but Nadia, Tiana, and Andrew were pros! Next, we are each doing a 36-hour home stay with a local high school student and their family. Some of us are a little nervous about breaking up as a group but we know it’s going to be a cool experience. We took our first survival Chinese language class too, so that we would have a few phrases and polite responses to use while staying at our buddies homes. I hope it wasn’t rude to ask how to say “Do you have Wi-Fi at your house?” in Chinese, because we did. (Turns out, most of them do!)
Day Six – Gardens and Giggles
We ran into another American high school student group while we were out touring the local Yangzhou high school this afternoon. Ali and Nacho were pretty popular with the Chinese ladies there. They were screaming and giggling a lot. It was quite an experience. We also visited another beautiful garden and took plenty of pictures. The architecture is impressive.