This week’s reflection comes from Naya L.
Throughout my time in Shenzhen and Hong Kong I had an amazing time meeting new people, seeing new things, and immersing myself in a new culture. My favorite part of the whole trip was our home stay. Being able to see how a family lives was amazing, and I bonded quickly with my host student, Florence. The first night we had a typical dinner and then walked around her neighborhood to make sure we did not get too full. Earlier in the day we had walked to a mall from Florence’s house and seen her neighborhood. One thing that stood out to me was the different socioeconomic statuses that were streets apart from one another. There would be one street with large mansion like houses and another with abandoned houses. The one thing in common was that all around there were dogs in each street.
The next morning we had a traditional brunch which consisted of chicken feet, cow stomach, fried rice, dumplings, and vegetables. After we went to the Window to the World park which was an amusement part with attractions imitating famous locations around the world. There was even an underground skiing man made mountain in the park. We then walked to a mall and had some dessert. After we got our nails done and went to meet Florence’s friend for dinner in Shenzhen. We had duck, something that was famous there, and after we took a cab back to Florence’s house. The next day after sleeping in we went to a grocery store and got some Chinese snacks before going to an oil painting village. We then were taken to get our hail washed. A lot of the girls and women get their hair washed and dried, because they don’t like to wash it. We had one last dinner with the family and the housekeeper the last night, and took a lot of pictures with us and the whole family.
Getting to know Florence, her family, and her friends was an incredibly meaningful experience. I was able to make friends while experiencing something so new and different. I am so glad to have been able to meet such amazing people in both Shenzhen and Hong Kong.