7/1-2 – Villages, Water Parks, and Pottery Oh My!

Day Nine – Saturday, July 1

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Huitong Village

I can’t believe it is already July!  But the incredible heat and humidity in Zhuhai is a constant reminder that we are in the middle of summer…  This weekend I went on a cultural excursion to Huitong Village with nsliy and then did some fun family and friend activities.

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Saturday morning, we all went to visit Huitong Village.  This is a small village that has buildings dating back 300 years.  I was very excited to see a scenic part of China!  When we arrived, we stepped out and saw an old entry-way to the village.  Running next to the old architecture was a pretty, tranquil little river.  However, moving into the village I was kind-of confused by the mix of old and new.  Right after the entryway was a huge construction zone with loud noises coming from all directions. Immediately next to that, was the old temple part where ancient Chinese used to go to worship their ancestors.  This inner part was beautiful, but I couldn’t get over the construction or the many cars that honked at us while we stood in the road for a photo.  After seeing these two main spots, we were free to tour the village on our own.  Honestly, going inside the stIMG_3283.jpgreets of the village I realized that Huitong was not much different from any small Chinese town -people live there, use modern appliances, have dogs and cats, and have small stores that look similar to street stores.  We did, however, stumble upon a cute coffee-shop with many adorable small cats!  Most of us enjoyed a cool drink in the air-conditioned shop (today was probably the most humid day yet) and just chilled for a while.  Later, I walked with some friends around the river, but there really wasn’t that much to explore.  While I liked the excursion, it was far from what I was expecting.

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Once we got back to BNUZ, Sydney, Sarah, Lexi, and a few of the language partners who joined us went to a Guangdong style restaurant for lunch.  It was fun to experience a traditional Chinese restaurant with friends instead of family.  But I was so tired during the whole lunch I almost passed out when I got on the bus to go home.

After a short rest back at home, Linda and I were off to the Zhuhai water amusement park.  We picked up one of Linda’s classmates (this was their end of school gift) and our parents dropped us off.  Children in China have so much more freedom than American kids – two 12 year olds were allowed to be alone in a water park for 4.5 hours!  The park was actually bigger than most of the American water parks I’ve been to.  We climbed up a million flights of stairs to go down a huge water slide, but as soon as we got to the top it started pouring rain.  The rain was so hard it felt like hail, and all the rides got closed. Thankfully, that passed by quickly and we just went to the lazy river (which isn’t very “lazy” with two 12 year olds…)  After a scary incident in the kids zone in which I briefly lost my glasses, I sat out for the last 45 minutes and let my sister hang out just with her friend.  By the time we left, we were all about ready to pass out in the car.  This was a great bonding experience with my host sister, and I really am starting to feel like I’m her real big sister!

Day Ten – Sunday, July 2

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Pastries!

I’m officially one whole month into my summer vacation!  Today was a fun mix of time with my nsliy friends and host family.  This morning, my sister, mom, and I all went to a fancy hotel for morning tea.  This wasn’t a tea house like I expected, but rather a dim sum place where our drink was tea.  My mom ordered an array of dim sum, Chinese pastries, and vegetable platters for us to indulge in.  After eating, I felt so full I could barely move!

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Pottery shop

Next, my mom dropped me off at an adorable little pottery shop where I, along with 3 nsliy friends and 4 language partners, met up to make some cute bowls.  We definitely overwhelmed the small shop owner, who was a master in pottery and had to help each of us individually to use the wheel!  I decided just to make a plain bowl; I didn’t want to add any decorations because I think the minimalist look is really sleek.  I told him the color I wanted the bowl, and he will fire them and paint them for us.  In about 2 weeks we can go and pick them up!

After pottery, Zack, Abby and I all went to the gym.  So far, 4 of us have joined my gym, and I’m pretty sure the workers are happy to have our business!  I must say, it was definitely more fun working out with a couple friends rather than going alone.  While I know I’m going to be out of shape for this cross country season, I am still trying to stay some-what fit while I’m here!

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Dinner… yum

This afternoon was pretty chill… all the way up until dinner.  I really hate shellfish (I just can’t stand looking at the whole creature and the texture), yet tonight’s dinner was literally all seafood.  We had shrimp (with the full head and tail on), crab, fish (which I usually like but this species tasted very bad), and a vegetable.  I had to lie and say I ate a really late lunch so that I didn’t have to eat as much.  Even so, I still had my fill of crab and shrimp… at least it beats last night’s geoduck!