I’m pleased to introduce you to WOU’s photoblog for students who are studying or interning abroad. I invite you to follow our students on their journeys from pre-departure preparation through the return home.
Photoblogging is a wonderful way for students to share what they are learning, observing, and discovering in their new environments. Enjoy the journey with them!
WOU’s photoblog is modeled on the Australian “Bringing the Learning Home” project developed by Jan Gothard, Greg Downey, Tonia Gray, and Linda Butcher, and with their permission, utilizes some of the materials from that project. http://ozstudentsabroad.com/
Since I came a few days early with my grandparents, my initial post is occurring from within Italy after my arrival and recovery from the extreme jet lag. I do have a few pictures from the ride to the airport I will attach as well. My initial thoughts before arriving were that this place seemed almost imaginary. People were constantly telling me how wonderful it was and how it was a great experience and that I would have a wonderful time, but all I had seen of Italy was out of a book or movie. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, all I could picture were these fairytale images! I expected the language barrier to be difficult, since I do not yet speak Italian, and was told the people were friendly and welcoming but that they, and the city did not always smell the best. These were my first thoughts heading into this adventure. Orientation is tomorrow and I will follow up afterwards about my reaction to actual Italian life as well as how my orientation went!
We are headed home.. I am so sad to be leaving. I feel like I learned a ton on this trip and am so happy I went. I feel like China could be my home one day. Everyone we met was extremely nice, and even with all the differences in culture this country is still amazing. I would love to come back in 10 years and see the differences and improvements they make. Hopefully I can do that. I will definitely miss all of the friends I made while abroad.
Thank you Dr. Flatt and Mariano for the wonderful photos of days that I didn’t have any!
Today was a free day, some people went to the zoo or you could go shopping. I’m just going to talk about Hadeels presentation on traditional Chinese herbal medicine. She is against using the medicine if the ingredients are not layed out to the patients. She personally took a remedy that made her more sick than beforehand, she ended up in the hospital. I think this is a great reason that Chinese medicine should be more controlled. Although the government is trying to implement a ore controlled practice, in “small” cities such as xiangtan the practice of medicine can be done by anyone. You don’t need even a certificate. This is scary because you could get a doctor who truly knows there stuff or you could end up with someone who doesn’t know their knee from their elbow. Dr. Li actually has no qualifications which make him a doctor, he is just extremely good at his job. So basically at this point everything is on word of mouth. I think integrating western and Chinese medicine can lead to problems such as Hadeel’s not happening again.
The class went to the Great Wall but again I was sick so I stayed in bed. This piece of history is legendary. It was built to protect the Chinese empire from Mongolian invaders, obviously it wasn’t perfect. But the fact that just humans with no machines built this giant symbol of strength is legendary.
The class went to the summer palace, but I didn’t go because I got sick again. I will be putting a photo in from there. Basically it is a beautiful giant garden with more pagodas and temples that you can visit.
Arriving in Beijing and getting to the hotel made this trip for me. We saw the forbidden city today. It was extremely crowded, so I never felt that it was very awesome. But the fact that the emperor had a whole “level” just for his wives, which he had tons of, is crazy. They had their own lives separate from him. It’s just weird when compared to how people live nowadays.
We visited the tai chi village today, which is in the middle of nowhere! You drive and drive and come across this small village and then enter these gates. It almost looks like one of the temples but the. You go through another gate and bam! It’s this giant open area with gardens and statues and giant buildings. I loved it! There is a whole museum on the history of Chen style tai chi. The guy who made it is very famous, at least in this circle. Every book on tai chi and movie is talked about or mentioned. Even the people who started the style are photographed as far back as possible. It’s really a wonderful place.
I’m not sure how to spell the new city we traveled to in a bullet train, but it’s not too important. My main cool fact is traveling on the bullet train. Which China is well known for how long the track is and how fast it can go. Which is upwards of 200 miles per hour. This is really cool to travel on such a famous and important train in our history.
Visiting the terra cotta army again was still amazing but not as awe inspiring. I know that the army was built to help protect the dead emperor during the afterlife but I have come to learn that China faked the first findings. They knew of this army and had not found it, so they built a fake Terracotta Army to show to the public. While building these buildings they stumbled upon the actual army, which we don’t get to actually see. So I’m a bit disappointed, even though the fake army is very amazing.
In the morning we drove to Xi’an and during the afternoon we walked on the city wall. This inner wall was built to separate the different classes that lived in the area. It was also used as a defense toward invaders. There used to be or still are, I’m not too sure, multiple walls that separates the different classes. We just walked on the main wall. It’s a great piece of history that Xi’an isn’t necessarily known for.