Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Village Visit

From Kate:

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Today was a little different than most days that we’ve had so far. We skipped our lecture and instead went on two site visits. We first went to a bank where we talked about banking in China. After the bank, we drove in a little van for about an hour to an hour and a half to a little village called Xiyu. The village was nestled in a little mountain valley with lush greenery everywhere! Upon arriving we went to what seemed like the only restaurant in the town. We had so much delicious food! After lunch, we went to talk to the administrator of the village and got to ask her a few questions about the village. It turns out that there are only 186 people in this village. The village was also a farming community with terraces with corn, lettuce and walnut trees everywhere. It was very picturesque. After we talked with the administrator, who informed us that the village is holding elections soon, we got to roam around on our own. We went to the back of the village and followed a path up into the mountain. Most of the group was powering up the trail, but the trail was so rocky that moving at high speeds meant that we couldn’t stop and see everything around us. So, Jenn and I stopped and sat on a rock while the others went ahead. We waited for them to turn around and come back before we went back to the van and drove back to the university.

Friday, June 11, 2010
Today, we had our final seminar de-brief before the lecture and then went to the lecture on the rural population. That lecture was very interesting, especially after seeing the village yesterday—I could relate a little better than if we had done the lecture before going to the village. The group decided that we’d go have dinner at a noodle place by the campus. At dinner, we determined that we were going to check out a bar district called Sanlitun that we had heard good things about. Once we arrived at Sanlitun we looked around and found ourselves at a giant outdoor shopping mall full of high end American and British stores. We also determined from a giant projector TV set in the square that the World Cup was going to start in less than an hour. Instead of going into the shopping center, we headed toward the Vegas-esque shopping street on the outskirts of the mall where we watched the first game of the World Cup (South Africa vs. Mexico). We stayed out pretty late—it was definitely an experience.

Saturday, June 12, 2010
Today, we had to check out by 11:50 am and were on our way to our new apartments by 12. Once we got settled in to our apartments, we hung out upstairs for awhile before going to Jared and Alisha’s apartment (they aren’t in the same complex as us). We had tea and some snacks at their place, watched a little bit of the World Cup and then went back to our apartment to call it an early night.

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