By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Thursday July 6, 2017

Today was bittersweet, our final day in Beijing and our first day in Hangzhou! Breakfast at the Holiday Inn (Beijing) was one of our favorite parts of our stay. It had a healthy mix of both authentic Chinese dishes and more American choices for our less brave ambassadors. The food was always fresh and light and left us feeling prepared for our long and eventful days. We were sad to leave our breakfast and even sadder to leave the ambassadors of the Beijing Culture and Language University.

After arriving at the high speed train station early this morning, goodbyes came and went quickly. Our Chinese ambassadors embraced us with warmer hospitality than either of us could have hoped for. Although we only knew each other for a few days, being in a foreign city with little understanding of the native language is incredibly humbling and placed Cinque, I (Amira) and our peers into a child-like position. A lot of the time we were helpless without our ambassadors and looked to them to walk us through the cafeteria and restaurants, naming all of the mysterious foods making us feel more comfortable eating. We depended on them, so to leave was more emotional for me (Amira) than I would have guessed. Leaving them on the platform almost made me cry. They were so kind and vulnerable to us, strangers, as they too struggled through our language barrier. They got us onto our train safely, and the ride went by quickly.

Getting off of the train was SLIGHTLY chaotic and admittedly, we were not able to find everyone’s luggage before the train departed to the next station. Ms. Parker handled everything, of course. It was an unwanted mistake but seriously–we could not have persevered with a better person by our side. After exiting the station, we were relieved to see that the air was less polluted in Hangzhou, but the weather was much hotter. Hangzhou is beautiful and so is the campus we get to stay on!

We got to dress up to attend the welcoming ceremony that our new ambassadors organized for us, and it was so much fun. We danced, we sang Happy Birthday to Raven and danced some more. Our ambassadors performed a guitar and dance show for us, which was a wonderful surprise! The performances along with the most diverse meal yet, which included jellyfish, duck tongue and lotus roots (we think) were the highlight of our first day in Hangzhou. I (Amira) admit that I did not try the duck tongue, but I would like to think that Cinque and I are very open, and we ate almost everything we could but there was a lot of food. The night ended with Migos (the group nickname for Isaiah, Ishmael and Terrance) performing a song for Ms. Parker too (and she boo-hoo’d). Now, we are looking forward to the remainder of our days in China!

~Cinque Carson & Amira Marvel