Again With the Rain China

By Chris S., CE Adviser in China

So we’re getting to the end of the first leg of this journey. Much of the experiences that I have had up to this point will be great memories for the rest of my life, or until get Alzheimer’s. We were asked what our favorite moments were last night at dinner. My answer was pretty vague because it’s all been a blast. Something that Chris and I keep going back to is that if you’re not happy in your life at home, you’ll have troubles being happy abroad. We have seen some of that on this trip and it appears to be true. Chris and I both speak very fondly of our homes and friends, and we’re having a all the time here.

I do see myself in Europe over China, but I guess I’m okay going anywhere in the world for work. I just want to get some international experience.

So we’re leaving the bus station now and it is pretty crazy that these buses maneuver like they do. We’re going down the road with 2 buses to our right and one to the left and it appears to be very chaotic, but we seem to get to where we are going fine. A guy just went up to the bus driver’s window and talked to him for a moment, then grabbed a crate off the back of his bike full of some kind of small birds and put it under the bus in the cargo area. Stuff like that happens all the time here. Just so many things that you think to yourself, “what the hell just happened?” I love it!

Later that day…

We’re in a small village now that is home to the Yao minority and tomorrow we are going trekking through the rice paddies. It’s interesting here. When we arrived there were a slew of woman trying to carry our bags for us. They just wanted our money. When we got to the hotel we were greeted by more of these woman.  This time they were trying to sell us scarves. I’m not in the market for a scarf seeing as it’s hot and rainy right now. They kept bugging Amanda because she was wearing a scarf. Before dinner we got our rooms. Ours smells pretty bad, but we have to keep the window open to keep the room cool. The good thing is I don’t see many mosquitoes right now. Hopefully it’ll stay that way.

After dropping off our bags we went for a short walk up the terraces and it was a pretty amazing view.  I’m excited for the hike tomorrow. I’m also hoping the weather is better than it has been in Yangshou. We’re pretty far north of there, so it should be. We’ll see tomorrow. Dinner was great and we even had some local rice wine.  Very surprisingly, it was really good. I thought I hated all rice wine, but not this one.

We played some card games after dinner, and then I edited some photos. We had a kid from Hong Kong and another from California join us. Now I’m in bed and hitting the hay. Gotta wake up early and get my trek on!

Trekking Day 2…

Last night I had troubles getting to sleep on account of the heat. Once I got to sleep I was woken up by the thunder and lightning. Also, by the smell of the pigpen outside my window. Every once in a while the smell would kick up and wake me. It rained a lot last night and our fate today is still uncertain. It still rains. The place we are staying has no power. We will be having a meeting this morning about what to do. Time to eat breakfast.

Actual trekking

Well, we finally made it trekking! We left this morning and it was still raining. Things keep happening right now and it kind of strange. The door sounded like someone was hitting against it earlier and now my bed is shaking…. Maybe this place is haunted??? I forget to mention the rest of the day. We went on a hike after breakfast for a couple hours. On this particular hike, I met a guy that wanted to talk a lot more than I would have liked. The group left me, but I eventually got away and tried to catch up. I ended up going the wrong way and saw the group a few rice terraces above and made my way back to them. Once I met back up with the group we took some pictures on top of a hill. On the way back down I ran back into the talker and he had a snake in a trap, so I took a lot of pictures of that.

-Bed still shaking and fire flies hitting the screen on the window.-

We made our way back down to the hotel and got lunch. After, there was a bit of confusion, and we went on another hike. I got some good pictures of waterfalls. After that trek we got our stuff at the hotel and left for a new village. Dinner was great and they have cable, so we got to watch the world cup! Chris, Amanda, and I played some card games and I took some pictures for a. There was a massive spider and I got some pics of that too.

Now I am in my room and the only thing in English on TV is the Brady bunch movie… Horrible!!!! Goodnight…

Trekking day 3

Well, not really trekking. The night turned out to be not so favorable to some of my fellow travelers. Chris woke up with a very red eye that seems to be hurting him pretty badly. Georgina’s stomach disagreed with dinner and rejected it. Amanda has a cold, probably stemming from going barefoot all yesterday. Our fearless leader, Dorah, has sore shins from yesterday’s hike, but in all fairness, she doesn’t strike me as the hiking type. Julie has to catch a flight tomorrow morning and doesn’t want to get her boots wet because she has to wear them on the plane. Oh, and it was raining again last night, surprise surprise… As for me, I just have damp boots. Not a big deal, but I know after watching countless Vietnam War movies, keeping your feet dry is very important. The air is very damp here, so nothing dries.

The three girls leave tomorrow and Chris leaves Monday. I will go back to Yangshou Monday and then go rock climbing Tuesday and Thursday. The rest of the time I am going to spend working on the 16 page paper that will be due when I get back for my internship.  YAY!

Tonight we will go out to celebrate Julie’s birthday, which isn’t for another week or so. Then after we will watch the World Cup. US and England play tonight at 10 and 2 respectively.

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Flashback to our Fall API student's first days in Spain. Madrid orientation with our friends from api_granada, Salamanca guided tour, and lunch tapas (+first days of classes!)

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