Monday, May 18, 2015
To say traveling is stressful is an understatement, or at for me on this occasion, it was. I graduated from Ithaca College the morning before this adventure even began. Sunday, graduation day, was full of excitement, stress, relief, family, and family drama. I was excited to be done- this was the long awaited day many of fellow seniors had been counting down to for months. The night before our flight departed, I decided not to go to bed. The group I was traveling with was meeting to catch the bus to Syracuse at 2:30 am. I left my on campus apartment a mere five minute before the time the bus was scheduled to leave- I was scrambling and struggling to get my stuff together and down to the bus stop alone. I got to the bus only to realize I didn’t have my wallet on me. I knew I had it with me before because when I went out to my car my keys were attached to it. I left the keys to my apartment in my car, so my parents could get a few things from it to bring home with them. It turned out that in the process of frantically getting everything out of my car and running down the hill from where I parked to where the bus was, I had dropped my wallet right outside of my car. I didn't know where my wallet was until four o’clock in the morning when my mother went to go check for me, she had been up so she could know that I got to Syracuse safely. She and my father then decided to drive to Syracuse so I could have my wallet with me. My parents arrived at the Syracuse airport just minutes after 5am. I was lucky I was able to get my wallet before we boarded the plane- our flight was scheduled to leave at 5:35am to Chicago. It was a short flight, I mostly just tried to sleep. [picture of sunrise from airplane window]
Once we landed in Chicago, we had about a four hour layover. I got a breakfast sandwich and a neck pillow… I probably spent more money in the airport than I will over multiple days in China, since we already paid the bill for the credits and trip expenses. The flight from Chicago to Shanghai was long, almost 15 hours, I was able to sleep for a good amount of that time, luckily. I watched two movies during the flight, The Spongebob Movie and The Kingsmen. I only really ate one of the times the flight attendants brought food around. I was a sleep for the first time, the second time I only ate the vanilla gelato because the sandwich looked questionable and the third time I ate the noodles and some of the fruit we were given. I had a peanut butter crunch Clif Bar during the earlier part of the flight, I had purchased this along with water in the Syracuse airport. During the flight I only got up one time to use the bathroom. I found different ways to sit so I didn't feel so sore during the flight. I would have gotten up more if I was on an aisle seat, but I was in the middle of the long five person row.
Hongwei met us at the airport after we got our bags and went through customs. The whole process was pretty seamless, nobody had any issues getting through security or customs or getting their bags the whole trip to Shanghai. We all took a bus, along with some Chinese students from Shanghai University to the hotel we would be staying at Tuesday night and Wednesday night, we are staying at the Fortune Hotel. [hotel picture- the group photo in front of the hotel would have been better for the blog, I think, but I didn’t have that photo on my camera or my phone] We arrived at the hotel around 3/3:30 in the afternoon. We were given the opportunity to settle down in our rooms and shower before we went out to dinner. There are ten Ithaca College students traveling with two Ithaca College professors. There were two students to a room at the hotel, our “buddy” or roommate will remain the same for the duration of this trip.
For dinner we went to this restaurant that was in this huge food mall. It was so cool to see how different restaurants and other places to get food look like compared to the United States. There were a bunch of street venders and little shops along the road. Where we ate was nice restaurant not too far from the hotel. We couldn’t read the menu, so Hongwei chose a bunch of things for us all to share and try. I didn’t try quite a bit of the food only because I don’t really eat meat. I did really enjoy this one potato dish, it was served hot with red and green bell peppers, which was probably my favorite so far. I also really liked this other dish, I think it was strips of potato, it was kind of spicy (I don’t really know what else was in it). It was an early night for everybody. I fell asleep almost right when we got back from dinner, around seven. [food picture]
From what I have seen so far and the little I know about Shanghai, it is a large city- bigger than any city I have been to before. It doesn’t seem to be as densely packed as New York City in the area of the city we are staying in. [street picture at night] Kaela, Keryn, and I walked down the street just outside the hotel just to look at the shops a little more closely. They had a wide variety of items they were selling, many of them were little clothing stores.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Follow the 12 students who will be traveling in China for 2 weeks in 2015 as they learned about culture, health, healing and sport.
After taking a preparatory course before traveling to China, Twelve Ithaca College students are ready for their experiential learning trip to Shanghai, Chengdu, and Beijing led by Dr. Hongwei Guan and Dr. Mary Bentley. On their first stop, students are going to visit Shanghai University of Sport, and see the Shanghai Bund (Wai Tan, 外滩), waterfront area in central Shanghai. Then they will fly to their second site in Chengdu, where they will take acupuncture, Moxibustion, and Chinese culture classes and culture visiting including the Panda Reserve. They will also take the high speed train and have a day visit to China West Normal University, one of the IC partner institutions in China. After leaving Chengdu, students will be visiting Beijing and Beijing Sport University. In addition to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Massage and calligraphy course, they will be able to climb the Great Wall, visit the Forbidden City, and tour inside the Birds Nest and Water Cube, where Michael Phelps amazingly won 8 Olympic Gold Medals. When asked whether they are concerned with the trip to a very different culture, and how they think of the coming China trip, you will hear and exciting answer “We are ready!”