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My trip to China was far too short. However, many good things came out of it. And happened on it. And I wanted to go home, and now I am home, and now I want to be back in China because it was epic. This post is liable to be rather scattered, owing to the fact that my thoughts are still incredibly scattered. Final impressions haven't really sunk in yet, so this is liable to be a post of simple reporting.
My team - comprised of 24 people from age 2 (our PD's daughter) to Jessica, our actual PD - left from LA on July 2, took a 17-hour plane ride, and disembarked in Guangzhou, China on July 4. The international date line is pretty silly, if you ask me. It does things to your brain. From there, we got a plane to Xi'an, which was where our global partner met us. I'm not allowed to give much information about said partner, owing to the security of their position in China, but they do summer camps. For Chinese people.
The first camp was for high school students, most of whom were about my age. We had awesome fun. I was the assistant coach for a life group of 11 students, all of whom became very good friends. It's amazing how you can make friends even when you can hardly speak to the people who are with you. The kids at this camp had taken very little English, just what was offered in their rural high schools, so it was difficult to communicate. But it is true that body language accounts for a whole lot of communication. Because, somehow, our life group still ended up with inside jokes that included myself and Drew, another of the GE people.
After that camp ended, we traveled a bit and ended up at a university campus, where we held Sunshine Camp. At this camp, most of us were only participants, which was interesting since they were all college students and studying crazy stuff like mechanical engineering and medicine. Kind of made me feel dumb. Anyway.
Sunshine was pretty much amazing. I formed so many awesome relationships with people there. Some of them I've already started emailing, because I miss them bunches, and obviously we've been apart sooo long. A whole five days. We might die.
We left Sunshine on the 23rd, and had a fun day in Xi'an the 24th. We went to see the terracotta warriors, which was pretty epic. I love history, and the warriors are definitely history. After we left the university at 4am on the morning of the 25th, we flew to Guangzhou and had a shopping trip. I bought the most beautiful dress, which I shall have to get a picture of myself wearing. :D
On the 26th, we departed at 9pm for Los Angeles, and arrived in LA on the 26th at 7pm. Don't ask how that's possible. All I know is that I was forced to relive two hours of my life. :P Not really. But it was pretty awesome, feeling like we'd traveled in time. Am I nerd? Oh yes. Do I love it? You bet.
So this post is far from insightful. Over the next few days, I'll post more of my deep thoughts about what I encountered on the trip. For now, be content with this. Maybe. Pictures will come shortly.