Week 7 –Kunming – Xi’an, China
What’s up Everyone!?
We want to start out this week by thanking all of our readers for sending us such amazing comments & sharing our posts! This week we have included a few funny video’s featuring Melissa eating some interesting food choices after losing a card game. We can’t believe that we are already ending our seventh week in East Asia and we are very grateful that we’ve spent our time in 15 cities in China already! This week we have felt the transition from adapting to feeling confident living in East Asia because of all the knowledge we have gained about the culture. A lot of things that normally took us so long to do when we first got here, now takes less time. Just from learning a few simple phrases and words in the local language it has helped us a long way.
We had a conversation with one of the Georgian College counsellors to express some feelings that we were having like feeling homesick, really missing our food, friends, family, our routine, and having English conversations. During the discussion, we found out that week seven is one of the most crucial weeks when working or studying abroad. We learned that it very common for people to quit, pack up and head home during week seven because it is when everything starts to feel the most overwhelming. The positive side of this is that we didn’t give up, pushed through these barriers and gained a new level of personal growth and perspective. We encourage anyone who is traveling for this long or plans to, never give up. It is so rewarding when you see how far you have come from the start.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
This week we spent some quality time with a Chinese student, Manning who will be joining us at Georgian College in September. We met her family, and many of her good friends that have the high interest in studying abroad and she even took us to Yunnan Safari Park to see the Pandas! We had a delicious dinner with Manning and her family, and they introduced us to the traditional rice noodle dish that is best served in Kunming, China. A good friend of ours, Joey Di from China that is joining us at Georgian this year shared with us that he got a part-time job at Georgian College! We met Joey at the start of our co-op and he told us he was looking for a job to have during his studies at Georgian, he had a video call interview and will be starting at “The First Class” (our on campus restaurant at Georgian) in September! We are so excited for you Joey, see you in September!
Most of our time in Kunming was spent visiting agencies in the area. The agencies we visited were: Eastern Language School (China Service Center for Friendship and Cooperation with Foreign Countries), Meishi International Education, and AW Education International Agency. We built great connections with the staff of these agencies and strongly believe that we helped them gain a better understanding and knowledge of the student life at Georgian College and the Canadian culture. We met a lot of students that expressed interest in studying in Canada, and they were very excited to learn about Canada and Georgian. The owner of one agency we visited is a partner with a school that has 2000 students, this was a great chance for us to introduce Georgian College and discuss more ideas about working together. Most of the agencies in Kunming are just starting to open in Canadian markets, so we felt that our engagement this week was very successful overall.
After our time in Kunming, we took a flight to Xi’an. OMG, it was the worst flight we have ever been on. The turbulence was so strong that at one point we looked at each other and said “It was nice to meet you, thank you so much for being such a good friend, goodbye, ” and we started laughing. After stressing out about whether the plane was going to land or not, we arrived safely. We were very excited for Xi’an because one of our presentations at the Northwest University was for a group of international students from Korea. The students were so welcoming, friendly, and they loved learning about Canadian culture, they also explained to us more about the Korean culture. While we were in Xi’an, we visited another JJL agency and met several students all from different cities of China. We were very impressed with the students because of how well they spoke English and how personable they all were.
When you are traveling like we are you crave home cooked meals, it doesn’t matter if you have meals from the best restaurants, you will still miss home cooked meals. We were so happy that our ICR and good friend, Xiaoling had us over for dinner one night in Xi’an. She cooked us an amazing dinner with lots of options and even chicken wings that were made from a Coca-Cola sauce! We brought the game “Uno” to Xiaoling’s, and the group of us created some penalties for the person who lost each round of the card game. For the first few rounds, the loser had to eat one food item that was selected. The last round we decided to triple the penalty to 3 food items! Melissa lost, and we recorded a video showing what she had to eat. We have included many photos and videos this week below as well.
We would like to hear from you! Leave us a comment explaining which food option would you choose if you lost at Uno.
What would you choose?!
Option 1: The 1000-year-old Egg
Option 2: A dried peach soaked in vinegar for 20 minutes
Option 3: A piece of fermented bean curd (Also defined as soy cheese or preserved tofu – The ingredients typically are salt, rice wine, oil, and vinegar).
(Pictures included below for you to reference your choice).
Our next week will be spent traveling to a lot of different areas of China for short periods of time, so we will constantly be on the move! Make sure to stay tuned for our next blog post.
Thanks everyone! (More photo’s below from week 07)
Melissa & Paulo