Well, we made it to Tianjin and the first couple of weeks has been great so far. When we arrived, we were greeted by some of the members of the Golden Panthers that gave all of us personalized welcome gifts.
While I was waiting for everyone to come down for breakfast, I was looking outside and saw that the sun looked weird; it turned out it was I was able to see the solar eclipse. What a wonderful welcome to China. We were able to get our phones, money, and school stuff situated before classes began on the 7th.
Being a vegetarian was something that I thought would be difficult, but I have found a lot of dishes so far. Thanks to my Chinese friends, I now know how to ask for vegetables. Wo yao su cai.
Thanks to the Golden Panthers, we have already participated in several activities. On January 13th, the Chinese students were celebrating the Laba Festival; also on this day we had a dumpling making soiree. During the festivities there were games, and then we split into groups where we learned how to make dumplings. Once the dumplings were prepared, each group was rewarded with a gift and certificate. My group won for “best-looking dumplings.” The best reward was eating the dumplings. Thanks to the GPT for accommodating me and making veggie dumplings.
We also participated in a paper cutting activity with Mr. Zhao. I am so happy that I was able to participate in this Chinese culture activity. This is an activity for persons of all ages. I felt like a kid again, and it was awesome. I think that everyone should take the time to learn how to cut paper. This is a great way to relax, especially during the stressful times of midterms and finals. If you have nieces or nephews as I do, this is a great activity to keep the kids busy. As a gift of thanks for coming in, Mr. Zhao gave us each a paper pig in recognition of the year of the pig.
The next couple of weeks is the holiday break for the Chinese New Year. We will be heading to Shanghai for our next adventure. Check back to see what road we have traveled on our excursion.