Beijing Academy Student Posts from July 17!
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We began today with a little confusion over when we were supposed to leave, but were soon on our way to see the bird’s nest Olympic stadium and the aqua cube Olympic aquatic center, from the outside. After a short bus ride and walk we set ourselves up on a lawn of the Olympic park and had a large picnic. We ate the lunches we had hastily packed for ourselves earlier that morning. From there some of us kicked around a soccer ball in what soon became a rather large game of monkey in the middle, some of us walked around the park, and the rest of us sought shelter from the sweltering heat in what little shade was available. Once we’d eaten and played we headed back to the university. However, the soccer portion of the optional RA activities that had been scheduled for the afternoon was canceled due to the smog, so many of us had very little to do for the rest of the day but eat and call our parents. Overall today we really got to enjoy each other’s company and experience the community Middlebury has forged us into.
Today we ventured to the Beijing Olympic Park, where the 2008 Olympics were held. There my friends and I went for a very relaxing boat ride around the lake. While riding the boat I thought it would be a good idea to go to the head of the boat to record videos and take pictures for my family. After this I went to my seat for the rest of the boat ride and enjoyed the gorgeous weather, even though it was smoggy. What I enjoyed the most were the friendly Chinese people we interacted with. When someone would pass us they would shout to us Hi or Hello, we would then respond Ni Hao, respecting our language pledge. All in all Olympic Park was very interesting and I would recommend it to others who may go to China in the future.
Today was the last day of our second week here in Beijing. This weekend we explored some of the many magnificent parks in Beijing. Today we visited the Olympic Park, starting at the Birds Nest and the Water Cube as “Beijing Welcomes You” played on repeat through the loudspeakers the whole time. Next we went to a different part of the park where we had a picnic on the grass. Some students rode around on boats, fed fish, and others played soccer. I napped in the shade. Though unlike many of the historical landmarks we have seen in the past few weeks, the atmosphere in the park was refreshing and beautifully constructed. As we approach our final days here speaking purely Chinese, I feel that despite continuing linguistic challenges and some remnants of culture shock I am truly gaining a deeper understanding of the Chinese language and culture in Beijing as a whole. The most prominent challenge recently has been my struggle to find ways to express and understand more complex ideas in Chinese and attempt to move beyond using the simplest forms of Chinese in my interactions. Ultimately, I know that these challenges have pushed me to improve my Chinese to the best of my abilities and I am looking forward to improving even more in my last week here.
Today was an incredibly relaxing day. After me and my friends got our breakfasts, which included a variety of Chinese-styled vegetables, dumplings and fried rice, we went to the nearby bakery to buy some bread for the lunch picnic that was scheduled to be at the Olympic Forest Park. When we returned to the dorm, we played card games with each other. Then, the entire camp set off to explore the “Water Cube” and “Bird’s Nest” which are both stadiums in which the 2008 Beijing Olympics were held in. We then headed off to the Olympic Forest Park, where we had a class picnic. During the picnic we spent a lot of time talking about our lives. Of course, we talked about this in Chinese, which made it even more interesting. After our nice lunch, some of us went to ride boats along the riverside, others went to lounge on the grass, and the rest of us played sports as a big group. My friends and I played “Monkey in the Middle” until it was time for us to head back to CNU. The experiences I made at the Olympic Forest Park will be unforgettable. Every day, I get to explore different aspects of Beijing—the “old” Beijing as well as the “modern” Beijing, which is one of the best parts of camp MMLA Beijing.More Student Updates from the Beijing Academy! Today's Student Updates from the Beijing Academy! Beijing Academy in the Students' Words