A flurry of mixed emotions and experiences

I am nine days into my trip to China and it has provided me with a diverse collection of experiences and emotions. Chongqing, the first portion of my trip, ended in an immensely powerful way. While the entire week I was overwhelmed with gratitude and feelings of over-privilege due to the quality of dorm life, I ended my time there with the single most powerful experience of my entire life! We visited a buddist Temple atop a mountain and I was graded with the presence of the head monk. He approached me and gave me a hug, told me multiple times that I was a man of great heart, expressed a deep connection he felt to me that went beyond language, and acknowledged blocks in my chi that are directly related to physical ailments in my life. At this point I was in tears once again hugging this beautiful man, but that was not everything; he then gave me a simple buddist pendent and asked me to stay at the temple with all the monks! The monk continued on to explain to my teacher who was translating, that the invitation is open and that I am always welcome to come and live there with the monks, religion aside, to heal myself. This was the most inspirational single moment of my life and I spent the next two days contemplating if I should abondon the trip all together to stay at the temple or continue on as planned.

Eventually, I made the decision that I have the power to heal myself and that an open invitation will grant me plenty of time to work out another journey directly focused on spirituality. Moving forward, the group left Chongqing via an overnight train and made our way to Xi’an. The journey was exhausting, littered with museum visits that were impossible to appreciate as they were simply biding time while all we all need was a shower and to brush our teeth. Finally the group arrived in our five star hotel (comparable to an American three star) with a huge sign of relief. With fresh showers, Western toilets, privacy and air conditioning it’s safe to say the overall mood was greatly lifted. The next day was followed by a lovely trip to Muslim street and a visit to a beautiful mosque. Later on, some of the group went our to a Chinese club to dance. While it is quite conflicting sitting an a bouncing club after coming so close to residing in a buddist Temple focusing on self healing, I suppose this is the plight of modern spirituality.

Overall thus far, I love the food and style that I am experiencing here like nothing before. The food is spicy and delicious, and the cloths are unique and inexpensive. However, my patience for the Chinese people’s ignorance and the pollution is waning. Countless men have grabbed me to take pictures, and I feel eyes all over me at all times. As for the pollution, i feel as though I haven’t really seen the stars, sky, moon, or sun clearly since I have been here.

As I move ahead I look forward to all the new experiences. Time to go, my schedule is so packed I struggle to get these entries completed in a timely manner, my apologies.

 

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My first post from China!

I have been in China for almost for days; I apologise for not posting sooner, however, the days move so fast and the internet moves so slow!

第一个日:By the first full day I had already met my five Chinese roommates and confronted the whole bathroom/shower situation (I’ll go into more detail in the comments of anyone really wants). 我的一个roomate的名字叫 morning. I guess he was born in the morning so he just uses that as his English name x). Day one he treated me to beef noodles for breakfast and showed me all around his campus.

第二个日:By the second full day I was already feeling much more comfortable. I have been really surprised that I have not been very homesick, my body is handling the crazy good we’ll, and I’m not have personal space (me time) problems all like I anticipated. That night all the American and Irish students along side a few teachers went out for hot pot! This is a style of meal when there is spiced boiling oil I’m the center of the table and everyone dips all sorts of raw food into it,  非诚好吃!

I have to go to class now, my schedule and the sluggish internet makes it hard to find time to write very much at a time. I will go into depth about today and my overall feelings about the trip thus far as soon as possible!

再见

我爱加拿大! (I love Canada)

今天我在加拿大,with two flights down I’m hours away from my last, long, flight to China. My body has been pretty good with all the sitting and flying so far which I’m really happy about. I got to Vancouver at 1am this morning and spent the night laying across some chairs with my backpack for a pillow and my suitcase tied to my wrist x).

So far, I have concluded that Canada is a wonderful place and I need to come back! The money is every color of the rainbow and displays 很多animals, 加拿大人 have been so kind to me, the businesses I have encountered have been much more gracious than most American ones, and Vancouver is a breathtaking sight to see when the sun rises behind the snowcapped mountains. Moral of the story, I’m coming back! Now, time to hop on a plane and make my way to my destination, 北京,中国!

PS. I got a window seat for the long flight 🙂220px-English_Bay,_Vancouver,_BC

今天我去加拿大,然后中国!

As the title implies, today I am leaving for Canada followed by 2 layovers, one for 12 hours, a 10 hour flight to China, one more national flight to Chongqing and finally an hour drive to campus. It’s going to be quite the exhaustive multi-day commute, especially for a farmboy’s first time leaving the country! Yet, I am most concerned about all the sitting and the toll it may take on my back and neck. I have a neck pillow, some pain meds, and AirCanada offers some free spirits so we’ll see how it goes!

 

Next time we meet I’ll be in China! 再见!

多谢谢NIU大学,我去中国!

我非常高兴去中国。我学了很多中文在大学和真要说普通话跟中国人。

Hello, my name is August(八月)and I am a senior at NIU. I majored in communication, but quickly fell in love with my Chinese language course and made it into my minor. In fact, I pushed back my graduation just to get a minor in Chinese and be able to go on this adventure to China. I will be leaving May 21, and after a few time changes and an 11 hour layover I will find myself in China May 23 to officially begin my month long venture. Along the way I will be documenting my trip on this blog so as to give friends, family, and other students who are considering traveling to China an insight to what it is like.

I have the study abroad department, OSEEL office and Foreign language department, as well as their many donors, all to thank for this opportunity. Without them and their scholarship opportunities I never would have been able to go. APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIPS/GRANTS PEOPLE! All I did was ask the universe to provide for me and it did, how magical is that 😉

再见美国,你好中国!