I love that normal days in Chi.na could involve such a random mixture of things like hiking, Buddhist relics, and karaoke.
Yesterday was just that.
My class planned an outing to hike to the HuangLong Dong (Yellow Dragon Cave) and then continue hiking to the Baochu Shan (mountain) that overlooks the West Lake. It was unfortunately a foggy, wet day (normal in winter) , but we still had a lot of fun despite the lack of distance viewing.
We started out at school at 9am and hiked until 11am. Then we proceeded to KTV (karaoke rooms) for 4 hours! It was fun. Everyone sang at least once in their native tongues so we had spanish, russian, japanese, chi.nese, and korean songs floating in the air mixed in with a little Britney, Usher, and Black Eyed Peas.
At one point Laoshi was singing a song (boy can rap!) and everyone in the class held hands, raised them in the air and swayed back and forth. When my teacher turned around he said, "hen ou yisi" (really meaningful). I loved it. Priceless. If only the whole world could work like we do. It's natural to accept each other. (hint hint, foreign relations).
The highlight for me was when I got to present our Laoshi (teacher) with a gift. On Monday I rallied everyone via text message and collected donations from the class. I went Tuesday with a classmate to buy a gft card to a local grocery chain. We were able to buy a 600rmb card (about 90$, but this is a huge amount comparatively speaking).
Our teacher was surprised. And in true Chinese form, he did not open the gifts in front of us. I was happy and really glad to be part of this class. It's going to suck when we all get broken up in a few months. That is part of living here that really sucks, you get close to people then they leave - constantly.
Anyways, I was super tired after the day because I had to plan it, make sure everyone was ok, make decisions, yadda yadda, so I felt responsibility for everyone enjoying themselves, but in the end my adrenaline was unnecessary because everyone was happy.
Here's some pics.
the end of our day, KTV:
entering into the cave:
beginning our hike (these are all out of order):
I had some quality discussions with some of my classmates and I'm learning so much from them about life in other countries.
Then last night I ventured into the rain with my friend Steph to buy Christmas gifts at the Night Market.
I'm tired but life keeps going: next up Christmas party planning, helping my friend get a massage, and taking another group to an autistic home, and caroling in the hospital. Oh ya, and I study and work. Life is full. PTL.
walk slow. xoxo.