William Hodges ’15 chronicles the group’s first day in Beijing:
After a restless fourteen-hour flight, we finally arrived in Beijing. As we waited in the customs line, there was a hum of excitement that helped subside the inevitable yawns of jet-lag. Soon after, we boarded a mini-bus headed for Shiyan High School — our home in China for the next couple of weeks. Upon our arrival at school, we found a beautiful, enclosed campus checkered with ping-pong tables and basketball courts. It was full of unfamiliar, yet friendly faces — all curious about their school’s newest students.
Following our welcome dinner in the school’s dining hall, we ventured out into the city to explore our neighborhood. Inquisitive Beijingers, speaking a mixture of Chinese and English, demanded photos with the group’s blonde girls. Tia, Allie, Courtney and Cecilia happily obliged. This experience, mixed with debilitating sleepiness, added to our initial confusion with this new land and culture. We are all looking forward to starting our Chinese classes here at school tomorrow and further investigating the city and its people.