A short time in all our lives, but maybe we can change the world.
My time here is drawing to a close. I have enjoyed sharing my journey with you all. I hope you can set goals and work to achieve them. The world is a great big interesting place, and everyone’s special skills are important.
Local Time: 15:25
Time Zone: Beijing Standard Time
Location (Latitude, Longitude): Latitude: 39°54′50″N Longitude: 116°23′30″E
How far did I travel this week? 430 km
How far have I traveled on your journey so far? 6000 km
How did I get around this week? Car, Taxi, Subway, Walked
What was the most interesting place I visited this week? Yashow Clothing Market
Other travel news: Yesterday I had the chance to meet a new student of mine. We met him and his mother in the market two weeks ago, and the boy’s parents wanted me to help him with his English. He wasn’t in regular school anymore because he was too unruly, so his parents were teaching him at home. He is eight years old, but he’s learning things from middle school already. He’s very smart. In addition to learning English, he is also learning Arabic and French. It was really fun to meet with him and work out a way I could help him learn and be patient.
Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):
Partly cloudy: 1
What is the air temperature right now? 81
How was the weather this week? The weather has been great this week. It hasn’t been too hot, even though the sun has been out and shining. Today, though, the wind is blowing really hard. It blows the dirt and sand into our eyes as we’re out and about walking around, so that isn’t very comfortable. The wind hasn’t been blowing this hard for a long time though, so that makes it less annoying.
What animals did I see this week? I was able to see the “usual” animals in Beijing – lots of dogs and stray cats. At one time I saw seven cats in one place in a park. They were just hanging out in the sun. It looked like their hair was matted and mangy, but aside from that they didn’t look terribly skinny. I think Beijing will need to control their stray cat population eventually though. Right now they don’t seem to have any process in place for treating the stray cat population. In a lot of cities now people trap stray cats, then they are spayed or neutered and released. This lets the cats live their lives, but not reproduce and make more homeless cats. I think that’s a good way to do it.
What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week? I finally was able to see rice paddies! On the way back from Zhuozhou I rode the speed train for the first time. The speed train doesn’t follow the expressway exactly, so I saw landscape I have never seen before. I saw rice paddies that were flooded with water and growing rice. It was neat to see farming done so differently than I am used to seeing in the United States.
Other Nature News: Everything is so green here right now. We really don’t get much rain in Beijing, so I don’t know how everything stays so green. It is beautiful though. We love walking around through the parks close to our house. They take really good care of the parks, and they are such a peaceful difference from the hustle and noise of the rest of the city.
What languages are spoken here? Mandarin Chinese and a little English are the most common
What type of money is used here? Renminbi – also called yuan (official) or kuai (local dialect)
How much does a bottle of water cost? About twenty U.S. cents
What was the best meal this week? Kang Bao Ji Rou (Kung Pao Chicken)
What music did I listen to this week? Mostly music from the United States, but some Chinese music while I was out and about.
What activity was the most fun this week? Shopping at Yashow clothing market.
What did I read this week? I practiced reading Chinese, and I also read a lot of world news in English.
What games or sports did I play this week? I played with a Chinese yo-yo this week. It’s kind of like a giant version of our yo-yo. I’m not very good with it though.
Other news from this week: One of the times we walked through the park we saw two older Chinese men playing with a Chinese yo-yo. We stopped and talked to them about it, and they taught us how to play! We thought it was really cool, and decided we would buy one to take home with us. I didn’t even know, but a few days later Rachael went to a market and bought one for my birthday which was May 15th. She gave it to me as a birthday surprise, and we both took turns playing with it. We’re still not very good, but it is a lot of fun!