So! We're back in Beijing from Xi'an until next Monday when we leave for Shanghai. This is all part of a 3 credit pre semester course. Xi'an was AMAZING!! Except for the kids from Hong Kong who seemed to have missed the point of going abroad. You can't bring M-street to China! Anyhow there was so much snow in Xi'an. Xi'an is the ancient capital of China. Our guide told us there was more snow than they have seen in 20 years. There was so much the government really didn't know what to do with it. The first night there we went to a restaurant suggested by the tour guide. Our group decided to be daring and order Donkey Penis Soup yes Donkey Penis. I ate it. It was well and experience that Ill never repeat.
The first day we went to see the terracotta warriors. Honestly they are incredible. I can't even explain the awe. They were constructed all by hand over two thousand years ago. The archaeologists spend months or even years putting individual soldiers back together. It was quite cold when we got there and it had to be close to 20 degrees in the hangar but it was incredible.
From there (it's about an hour outside the city without snow) we went back to the city to see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. This is one of the most famous Buddhist Pagodas in China. There was a lion outside the gardens that could be my dads dog Tug.
The following day we saw the city wall. This is the last totally standing city wall in all of China. It's pretty amazing too. From there we went to a farming village about an hour west of the city. The pictures and the people blew my mind. There is so much we still need to learn about China. The people there have lived there, most probably for generations. The little kids loved when we handed out pens, pencils, candy, hair clips, socks etc. We also saw a woman who paints "farming art." Finally upon return to the city we went to see a pretty famous Mosque in the middle of Xi'an. The architecture is very Chinese Ming Dynasty but it is a mosque. The men were very friendly and taught us some Tai Chi but they would not touch us or shake our hands. We were not allowed to go into the praying area either.
The students from Beijing are AMAZING. We are having so much fun together. Although the Hong Kong kids are kind of a disappointment we all make up for it. We're all willing to laugh at ourselves and we truly want to learn the culture. That's it for now!!