Daily Archives: March 23, 2019

Headed for home

We are currently en route to the airport, and on our way home. We were thrilled to try jian bing this morning, a typical Beijing breakfast, which Laura L., a current Miss Porter’s student at home in Beijing for spring break, was kind enough to bring for us with her family. After breakfast, we packed our bags and headed to the mall to get one last bubble tea run in before we returned to RDFZ one final time to grab our luggage and hit the road.

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We’ve had an incredibly rich and engaging two weeks here in Beijing, and we want to take this time to share some of our reflections and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

“I learned that it was a lot easier than I thought it would be to make connections across the language barrier. Even though none of us speak Chinese, we were able to find someone that lives here [in Beijing] that we were able to connect with.” -Jackie M.

“I have realized the importance the people I love have in my life. On our trip I had my ups and downs and I know that I wouldn’t be able to get through any of it if I didn’t have my closest friends with me. I learned that, holy cow, I am so lucky to have the friends that I have and I never really realized how scary it is for me to be alone. My biggest takeaways will be the new friendships I made and the friendships I had that grew stronger. I promise it’s not goodbye, it’s just see you later.” -Lila C.

“I travel a lot and I’ve been on a lot of trips with groups, and I think this group really helped me to realize who I am within a group and be there for other people instead of just being there for myself. I think I’ve grown enough on other trips to be able to be there for others who need that, and I think that’s really helpful for others and myself.” -Ella W.

“Something I’ve learned on this trip is not that I like being alone, but sometimes I think it’s important to build in time for yourself to reflect and think about your goals – just a minimal amount of time to think, clear your headspace, see where you’re at and what you need to accomplish.” -Laura G.

“Something I’ve learned is how different the life is here and how different the classes are that I went to, but I also learned that different can be a good thing. When I was at my homestay I learned how different my family was and how their lifestyle is different. Different can be a good thing because it made me appreciate what I have at home.” -Ana B.

“My biggest takeaway from this trip was probably that if you’re with the right people, you can really get through anything and make anything fun. Everything will be okay if you’re surrounded by the best people or the right people in that situation, and I feel like I had that on this trip. Even going into it, not only was my group the right people for me and helped me get through a lot of things here, but also people I met on the trip became the right people. I guess my biggest takeaway was how the people you’re surrounded by can make or break your trip, and for China it made the trip ten times better.” -Kyla G.

“Even though it sounds cheesy, I learned that no matter how far you travel there’s always a sense of home. I also learned that you never really know what you’re going to find, so you can’t base everything off of a judgment or an expectation. You need to accept sometimes that you’re wrong in order to have a good time.” -Melina B.

“I think one of the things that I learned is that not everything has to go perfectly to have a perfect or great trip. It’s all of the little mishaps that end up being the funniest and most rewarding, and ultimately the stuff that brings you closer and that you remember later on.” -Callie G.

We are so proud of this group and are looking forward to returning to Farmington!

The final countdown

Today was our second day at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Our day was filled with more workshops where we learned about the different therapies used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. We learned about moxibustion, which is a type of therapy that uses the moxa herb, also known as the Chinese mugwort leaf. Moxibustion is thought to stimulate energy and release negative energy. It can also help maintain one’s health and treat diseases. After asking the doctors our questions, what surprised me about this form of treatment and all of the others in TCM is that these theories were discovered thousands of years ago and have not been significantly updated or changed.

One other type of therapy that we learned about is Tuina. This therapy is very similar to a massage. It is used to relieve pain and loosen muscles. It was very interesting because we learned some specific techniques on how to give a massage which I found very useful.

After getting to practice some of these traditional Chinese treatments, we headed to our farewell dinner where we met our guide at RDFZ, Carol. It was very sad saying goodbye when the dinner came to an end because she really cared about us throughout our time here and put much effort into making it a memorable experience.

On that note, it is sad to say that today was also our final day in Beijing, but I think most of us are ready to get back to Farmington after the long day of traveling that lies ahead of us. I think my favorite part overall was seeing the Great Wall the very first day. Even though we were all a little tired from the flight the previous day, it was definitely a great way to start the trip.

This whole trip has been so special and I could not have asked for a better group or teachers. We all have gotten closer each day and really bonded, so today was a little emotional knowing that it was our last full day together as a group in China. One thing that I will take with me as I go home is how thankful I am for the life that was given to me. After experiencing a homestay during this trip and realizing how different the lifestyle is here, it forced me to think about how to embrace the different. Even though it was a little bit of a struggle, I can take away that I am so appreciative for my family and the privileges that I have.

Even though our time in Beijing has come to an end, I am so grateful to have had this incredible experience and to be surrounded by such great people.

-Ana B.