Finding myself at 10,000 feet

By Chris S., CE Adviser in China

I received a great email yesterday from Julie at Cultural Embrace. It was a detailed itinerary. I will highlight some of the things that I will be doing:

Week 1- Introduction in Fengyan Village with site seeing.

Week 2- Culture week in Yangshuo. I get to go caving and visit the ancient city of Daxu that is more than 2000 years old.

Week 3- Village Volunteer work. I could be doing a variety of things.

Week 4- Trekking, including hiking to and staying overnight on a temple on Chicken Foot Mountain.

Week 5- More Village Volunteering.

Week 6- Rock Climbing and Tai Chi.

Week 7- Fly to Chengdu for Panda Volunteer.

Week 8-12 I will be in Yantai teaching English.

I was talking with a friend yesterday and I realized that this trip will probably be a life changing adventure. It’s hard to explain how excited I am about this, but I’m sure it will come across in the photos I post.

I wanted to address some questions that have been asked of me…

Q: Why did you choose this destination?

A: To be honest, I feel that China kind of chose me. I had plans to go to France for the summer for an internship. It didn’t work out, so I had to make other arrangements. At first I was a little nervous about going to China. I still don’t know a whole lot about the country, but the more I find out, the more excited I become. As you can see above, I will have an opportunity to do some pretty amazing things.

Q: What are you most excited to see or experience while you are there?

A: Everything! Specifically, I am excited to work with Pandas, meet the people, the trekking looks amazing, and I am probably most excited about the food. China is such a large country, so it will be very interesting to see the differences in food from region to region.

Q: What are some of the typical customs/traditions of the area?

A: Mostly what I have looked into is about etiquette. I know when you hand someone a business card or a present, you do so with both hands. You shouldn’t put business cards in your back pocket because you will be sitting on it. Slurping food is a sign that you like the meal. People don’t look at each other when walking down the street. I’d like to think that I am good at figuring out how to act fairly quickly, so I am sure I can address this topic much better when I get there.

Q: What are some of the usual foods eaten in the area?

A: Since I will be in different regions, the food will vary. One thing that I am really looking forward to is something called a hot pot. It’s similar to fondue, but much spicier and they put hot peppers in the oil to add flavor. Also, In many areas dumplings are very popular… Just thinking about this is making me hungry.

Tomorrow I will try and write a post about what I am doing to get ready and include some pictures of my new luggage, which I am really excited to have!

I’ll leave you all with a picture of the Temple on Chicken Foot Mountain that I will be going to. Until next time…

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