Day 8 Hangzhou

Today is Sunday. We are all back at Greentown Yuhua School, except for Mishael who’s on quite an adventure!!! Today went to the tea plantation. We started off at the tea museum and learned about how big of an impact tea has had on the world in diplomatic and cultural affairs. We learned about tea’s role in the Silk Road and beyond to all different cultures. In fact, the American revolution was sparked one could argue because of a shipment of tea. Then, we went on a hike to the top of a mountain that overlooked Hangzhou and the tea agriculture. unfortunately, a lot of us were tired and hot but the breathtaking view definitely made it for it!! Next, we went to a tea ceremony and learned of all the benefits of green tea. Apparently, you can put tea bags on your eyes to relieve puffiness and if you drink tea, you can cleanse your system. However, a few of us were more than skeptical of the presentation which was a bit of tourist trap. Luckily, most of us escaped without spending too much 😉 . Nonetheless, seeing tea being prepared in a traditional way was super fascinating. As a tea lover, I was glad to have about six cups of tea to the masters dismay. I’m sure Antonia was in tea heaven. Then, we went back to our host families for a goodbye dinner which was DELICIOUS!!! I’m going to miss them so much. They have been so good to me and I hope I can see frank and his mother and all of his friends again one day.

Day 8 Hangzhou

Day 7 Hangzhou

On Saturday, we went with our host families and we were independent of the group. A few other Winsor students and I went to an amusement park which was so fun. We went on roller coaster rides, water runs, and ate interesting shop food. It was quite an adventure! Others spent the day making dumplings. Mishael even went to a rural part of China for Saturday and Sunday! I had so much fun hanging out with Frank and his friends away from the school environment. After the day, we went out to dinner at Hot Pot which was amazing- the best food yet!Another great day in China – Avery

Day 7 Hangzhou

Day 6 – Hangzhou 杭州

We met in the micro room and hung out for a bit and talked about our experiences so far. Then we headed to an English class that had prepared a presentation for us about the scenic spots around West Lake. We had some time after to just talk and ask questions. Then we headed off on the tour bus with a student tour guide, another tour guide, and one of the Yuhua teachers. We learned more about the legend of the White Lady Snake and her lover and the Broken bridge. We also learned about the Leifeng Pagoda and the Three Ponds Mirroring Moon. Our guide told us that the government is promoting bikes and electric cars. The bikes are all around the city and they have QR codes that people can scan and then they can use them for free for 1hr. After an hour, they have to pay 1 RMB per hour. The cars with blue plates are just normal ones, but the ones with green grey a discount because they’re using natural or electric fuel. We also saw the Broken Bridge, which isn’t broken and Long Bridge, which is actually really short. We even got to take a boat to the islands in West Lake. It was absolutely beautiful there! We even saw this large fish or something quickly surface for air and then it disappeared. Then, we headed back and took the bus to the restaurant. The food was really good, especially the beef and the special shrimp. One of the dishes was even French Fries. After that, we headed to a historical street for shopping for the next hour. That was great and a lot of us found cool souvenirs. Some of us tried black sesame ice cream. Then, we headed back to the school to wait for our host students to pick us up. Since it was Friday, everyone was heading home with their suitcases, so there was a lot of traffic. We all went home to spend the weekend/Saturday with our host families.

Photos:

Coming soon…

Day 6 – Hangzhou 杭州

Day 5 – Hangzhou 杭州

We all woke up at our hair family’s house and had breakfast. We attended our student’s first 3 classes. Some of which included math, Spanish, German, English, politics, etc. Afterwards, We headed back to the micro room and had a small break. Then, we headed over to the gym building for our archery lesson. It was really fun! Some of us had never used a bow and arrow before. After some practice, we all improved. Wong laoshi helped us. We also did some fun shooting at ballons that we stuck on the targets. Next, we went to eat lunch. There was so much food! It was amazing! Afterwards, we headed over to the tea making/ceremony classroom. It was really nice and there was traditional bamboo furniture and very formal tea set ups. We got to make and try Jasmine, Black, white, and Hangzhou famous tea. Then, we made it the way people made it in the Song Dynasty. Tang laoshi helped us get the green tea, matcha, mixture all bubbly at the top so that we could do tea art! It was amazing! Then, we went off to our wine making class. Apparently there isn’t a drinking age here. It was great! We each made a jar of wine that needs to be left for 3-6 months before you can drink it. He laoshi shows us how to make it. I’m cas you want to know, the berry to sugar ratio should be 3:1. Then we headed back to the micro room to chill and eat snacks. Our hosts came to pick us up around 4:50 and we all headed home.

Photos:

Coming soon…

Day 5 – Hangzhou 杭州

Day 4 – Hangzhou 杭州

We woke up early and had breakfast at the hotel. We packed up and took the bus to the train station. We got to Hangzhou in about an hour via a bullet train. Then, we met our guide at the gate and headed through security. After we boarded the bus and got all of the suitcases stored away, we headed straight to the Greentown Yuhua School. We had a very nicely packed lunch there. It was comprised of rice, french fries, chicken, peas, shrimp, and vegetables. Then, we watched some very well made videos made by some of the students and one other one about Hangzhou. We learned more about Hangzhou’s history and how it was once a small fishing village and is not a metropolis. It was even once the capital during the Song Dynasty. Since we got there early, we hung out in the room and then went to explore ourselves for a bit. That led to the discovery of a piano, when led to a lot of singing. It was fun, and then we meet up for a tour of the school. The campus is huge compared to Winsor. They have a really large field and a small little store on campus with lots of snacks. They even had a recycling bin in the shape of a panda. We ended up playing soccer for a bit with some students and then headed to the gym. We all played some basketball and that was really fun. We were really hot afterwards and after we finished the tour, we went back to the room. We had some extra time, so we decided to do some Cherokee and our tour guides even joined in. One of them even played his guitar with us and another did a hip-hop dance.

Here are some photos of us eating lunch and parts of the school:

Coming soon…

Day 4 – Hangzhou 杭州

Day 3 – Shanghai 上海

Our wake up call was also set for 7:30. We all headed down for breakfast and then met in the lobby. We switched our activities a bit, so we went to see the Bund, a part of Shanghai with a European architecture influence. Then, we went to explore the Shanghai Museum. We paired off. I explored the calligraphy, jade, sculptures, and painting galleries with a friend. Then we had xiao long bao for lunch at a place were apparently many famous people have gone. Then we went to explore the Tianzifang area for some souvenir shopping. It was really crowded! There were hundreds of little shops and stalls in rows and rows of little streets and alleyways. We saw really strange drinks like “blood bags”, which had juice in them, and lightbulb drinks. We also saw liquids yogurt and drinks with liquid nitrogen in them. It was really fun to see everything. We bargained for certain items and that was really funny. There were these really cute fluffy really soft bunny keychains that kept popping up. The pocket watches also showed up again. A lot of the sellers tried to sell us anything they thought we would like, even if we said no thanks. Can’t blame them for trying. After exploring for three hours, we had dinner and then went off to see an acrobatic show at ERA. The theater was kind of shaped like a giant golf ball. The show was awesome! There were motorcycles, and bike tricks, and great balancing acts. We were all tired by the end and most of us actually slept through the show. We took the bus back to the hotel and most of us went straight to bed.

Photos:

Coming soon…

Day 3 – Shanghai 上海

Day 2 – Shanghai 上海

Due to the delay, we arrived at the hotel around 1:00 in the morning. We quickly got our room keys, but the roommates had been mixed up. We sorted it out and found our rooms. Our wake up call was set for 7:30. We went down for breakfast. It was a buffet style with both Western and Chinese food. Today, we hopped on the bus and explored the French Concession area in Shanghai. We walked through an old park, which was the most preserved from the French Concession. All of the people were really nice. We sang and danced with the local people and we came a cross a person doing calligraphy with water on the sidewalk and he wrote Winsor in Chinese for us. We also walked through a beautiful park with a rose garden, called Yu Garden. Then, we went to explore the Chenghuangmiao Bazaar to experience the architecture style and enjoy the beautiful gardens inside. We also had some free time at Nanjing Road/the Bazaar to go shopping. After a lot of exploring and walking around, we had dinner at Xintiandi, which represents the face of old Shanghai.

Photos:

Coming soon…

Day 2 – Shanghai 上海