Monday, June 10, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Nanda later threw for us a goodbye lunch and the sense of leaving started to settle. It has been incredible how we not only have learned a lot but changed so much by the city and what we have been exposed to. The classes, the host family, the internship, and the university, they have all contributed in showing us more and more about China and the culture. I now understand more about the Nanking Massacre, Chinese corporate culture and, the quick development of second tier cities. This became even clearer when after a month the metro construction diagonal from where we live has not stopped day or night, a new construction is starting beside our building, and my favorite yogurt place disappeared overnight.
Before we could continue talking about what we are going to miss about Nanjing we had Mystery Nanjing! The scavenger hunt lasted for around 3 hours and it was awesome! We got to run around Nanjing and talking to people trying to find the answers and places that would give us points. Even though my team lost we had some great moments in the hunt like putting our hands in a tank full of huge frogs, trying to hold a baby (the mom got a bit mad), and taking a picture with a McDonalds delivery men. The best though was convincing a taxi driver to let me set in the driver's seat! We were all amazed we actually convinced him, since I could have totally driven off. Another of the many wai guo ren (foreigner) privileges we have discovered in Nanjing. By the end, seeing how competitive we all were to see who won the massages was great. It made me realize that we have not only grown individually but also as a group. From being an awkward group of strangers to becoming good friends and having already great stories to tell has been great.
Looking back at our entire time in Nanjing we arrived as a small group with no connections and each are leaving with friends, a Chinese family we will always be able to come back to, and even a work office we will always be received at. These things are priceless and will definitely be staying in our minds in our future endeavors, which will definitely once again blow our minds.
We are all extremely excited for Shanghai! J Reading the course pack about the city, its lights, and the non stopping movement has tripled my expectations and now I can't wait to be exposed to everything the city has to offer. J Shanghai here we come!!!
Pan Huan 潘欢
Also known as: Juan Peña Salas
Thursday, June 6, 2013
After four weeks in Nanjing, things are starting to come to an end. Today we met with our language partners for the last time. Since we began meeting with them, I feel that my language skills have significantly increased. Everyday I find myself able to speak new words, and with these new words, I am able to create more and more coherent sentences. Before I came on this trip, I learned about a language skill building technique called the Pimsleur approach. This technique involves listening to short commonly used sentences, and committing them to memory. The theory is that by knowing these few commonly used sentences, you will be able to carry a short conversation in the new language. As time goes on, you will gain a better understanding of the language and the sentence structure, and be able to expand your vocabulary of the language. This principle is based off the idea that no one makes a baby study; instead it slowly learns the words and sentences it needs to survive. Water. Food. Yes. No. All of which are necessary to know in order to make it through the day. I believe that through our language partners we have inadvertently been using the Pimsleur approach. Every time we meet with them, I learn new sentences that are necessary for me to make it through the day. Such as how to ask where the bathroom is, and how to understand the key words in the directions the waitress gives me, such as right or left. I have also learned how to order food, and how to identify the characters for several key meats that I like to eat. Not only have I learned how to order my food, but I have also learned how to "properly" order my food. I have learned how to address the waitress properly, and I have slowly come to the realization that it is perfectly fine to scream "Fu Wu Yuan" at the top of your lungs, in order to get the waitress' attention. I have learned that when you take the lid off of your teapot and place it offset on top of the teapot, this signifies to the waitress that you would like to have more tea. Not only has this experience given me a new set of vocabulary to build off of and a better understanding of Chinese dining, but I also feel that it has given me more confidence in regards to my Chinese speaking. I believe that being forced to come out of my shell and use Chinese more often has helped me significantly develop my language skills. The fact that this is a daily occurrence just makes it easier to get a grasp of the language. Overall I would say that the language partners were one of the best experiences of the entire trip. I look forward to keeping in contact with them in the future, and continuing this learning experience.