Road trip to Wuyan

I have been at JUFE for over one week and classes are now in full swing!  This semester I am taking mostly Chinese language courses including reading, speaking, listening and comprehensive Chinese.  I did take some comprehensive Chinese classes last semester, however, despite this, the classes this semester are proving to be equally challenging, especially listening and speaking classes as many words sound similar but have different meanings depending on which of the four tones they are spoke in!!  Our teachers have suggested that the best way to practice improving on these skills is to become immersed in the Chinese culture and what better way to do this than for a group of newly found friends to take a short weekend trip!

My new friends from Germany, Lena and Sebastian, and my new friends from Czech, Sophia and Lenka, decided that it would be nice to experience some traditional Chinese culture by exploring the villages of Wuyuan together.  Wuyuan is located in Jiangxi province, north of Nanchang and is renowned for picturesque landscapes, rapeseed and tea leaf crops and architecture that dates back to the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1636–1911) dynasties.

Our journey began on Friday where we took a high speed train from Nanchang to Wuyuan which was such a unique experience!  These trains travel at over 300 km per hour however being inside felt like you are flying in an airplane or taking a casual drive down a country road! It was so smooth and cut our travel time in half from over 5 hours to just over two and a half hours.

High_speed_Train

Train Speed

On arrival at Wuyuan the first village we visited was Likeng where we strolled the winding streets built over creeks, saw traditional homesteads and visited a Taoist temple where we lit incense and gave thanks….a truly humbling experience! We each brought a “wish” that was written on a red ribbon and blessed by a Taoist monk and then tied our wishes to the “wishing tree” outside of the temple. In Chinese culture the colour red symbolizes good luck and joy and it is believed that tying the ribbon to the “wishing tree” will make the wish come true. The higher the ribbon is tied, the more likely it is that the wish will come true.

After our tour of Likeng, we needed to check into our hostel and this brought about the first opportunity to test out our new found Chinese language skills as we negotiated the size and price for the rooms and also to have breakfast included the next morning! While this was a rather difficult task as our Chinese was very limited and the residents of Wuyuan spoke with a different accent to those of Nanchang as they belong to a different minority group and no English, we felt very proud of ourselves once we reached our end result!

The next two days were spent exploring Xiaoqu, Huanling and Guankeng villages where we saw rapeseed crops, tea leaf plants arranged on terraces and local crafts such as calligraphy and rice wine making, all whilst trying our best to order food, ask for directions and organise transportation all in Chinese language!  While we are far from expert level, I believe that these experiences have increased my appreciation and understanding of the role history has played in the shaping of Chinese culture and have greatly assisted in the continuing improvement of my Mandarin abilities and I am very much looking forward to the next opportunity where I can put them into practice!

One door closes, another one opens

Last week was a week of lasts.
Last day in my dorm room, but I opened my hear to my roommates.
Last day studying at GCSU, but not the last day in my memories.
Last day I will see a lot of people, but so many more I’ll meet in the future.

I could type for days, explaining everything I have done, and everything I have seen but all I need to say is that this experience abroad has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I would do it all over again 100x over.

The biggest advice I can offer is GET INVOLVED IN THE INTERNATION CLUB! I might have come to America but within the semester I feel like I have done an around the world trip.

1 semester; LA, San Diego, Grand Canyon, Los Vegas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Alabama Gulf Shores, New Orleans, Savannah, New York, Miami.

For now, in summary…

 

 

GOODBYE USA.. Back to Australia!

Saturday January 17th 2015

usa flag

So I am currently at the airport typing up this blog  feeling very bittersweet as my time here in the USA is over. I am excited to go home but then I am going to miss the USA!

( due to technical difficulties this last blog is only getting published today However I did have this all written out though )

Apart of me will always have a place for Mansfield and for the USA in general. Even though this time I Didn’t get to go back to San Francisco this time I am for sure going back next time!

The last 6 and half months in the USA have been rewarding and an overall great experience. I got to go to places that I hadn’t been before such as Dallas, the coal mine, Philadelphia , Pittsburgh and I walked the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time ever.

I really enjoyed my time here as at Mansfield I was the British Australian and I enjoyed telling Mansfield students about England, Australia, Singapore and even California.

It was really rewarding being able to share your culture and learn so much about other peoples.

I am also sad to leave because I had to go say goodbye to my family however I will be seeing them in June though!

I know that someday I will go back to Mansfield and visit everybody. I am so thankful for this experience as I got to make so many more friends and have so many different adventures. I also learnt that I don’t really have just one home but many and my time in the USA will never be forgotten.

This photo was taken when I left Australia last July

bye

This photo was taken today leaving the USA!

goodbyeee

Its been a wonderful 6 and a half months USA and I will be back soon

See you soon Australia! 🙂

australia

PS. I am thinking about starting another blog page about all the countries I have lived in/visited around the world so stay posted 🙂

x

My second to last day in the USA!!

Friday January 16th 2015

g mgmgmg
So today was my last full day in the USA!
I just got back from having a nice meal out with my family. We went to a restaurant in Morristown New Jersey not far from Madison.

family
Today I walked into town to have lunch and a coffee. It was ridiculously cold today I don’t think I will miss this cold!

Apart from that I walked my puppy and packed most of the day.
I can’t believe I leave tomorrow it’s all gone by so fast but I’ve had such a great time here in the USA!!

Some of the best things I’ve done have been

Philadelphia

Six Flags Theme Park

Exchange at Mansfield University

Dallas, Texas

Baseball Game

NFL Game

Pittsburgh Weekend

Broadway Musicals

Statue of Liberty

Washington D.C

Niagara Falls

Fleetwood Mac Concert

The MET

The Jersey Shore Beach

Skiing

Coal Mine in Pennsylvania

Brooklyn Bridge

and Pretty much everything !

This photo here sums up my entire past 6 months in the USA!!

picture

Also I am really going to miss my puppy and cat!

my babiesss

Keep posted for my last blog!!

X

The MET and NYC!!

Friday January 16th 2015 Soo yesterday my mum and I went to the famous metropolitan museum of art in NYC! We got the train from Madison New Jersey around 9:20 and were at Penn Station New York by 10 am. We then went straight from there to the met. We got a cab which was about a 20 minute ride and costed 20 dollars .

nyccc

The met is one of the most famous museums in nyc There is just so much to see from ancient Egypt to Rome to Asia and there’s even an expedition about American mourning dresses in the 1800s! The Entry cost is suggested to be 20 dollars however you can pay what you want. We did the Ancient Rome and Greek expeditions which were really cool. We also looked at the mourning dresses which was pretty impressive music was quite depressing though but it was worth seeing, we also looked at ancient Egypt which I love as there is just so much to see. Then we had a look at Asian art and cubism! It was well worth going to the museum!

the met nyc

After that we got a taxi to little Italy! We had a delicious lunch at this cute Italian restaurant.. Sadly they didn’t have a bud light beer but the food was really good though!!

little italy little

We then walked from little Italy back to Times Square which took about 40 minutes it was a rather cold walk but the sun was shining. After that I got a typical tourist photo in Times Square !

new york!

Then we headed back to Penn station to go home,. I really do love NYC and I can’t wait to go back next time! Keep posted for my best blog 🙂 X

Skiing in New York!

Thursday January 15th 2015

ski

So last Sunday my family and I went skiing in New York! I was beyond excited as I hadn’t been skiing for over 2 years!

We went to a place called Belleayre Mountain which is located in the Catskills ski resorts in New York! From our house its about a two hour drive and if you buy lift tickets online they are about $50 dollars!

We left around 7 am as we had two hours to drive and we wanted to make sure that we had most of the day to ski!

we around 9 am and then went and got our rentals and had a rather ordinary coffee by  10 am we were on our first run of the day!

bell brotherski

The skiing wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t the greatest and not the worst.  The only negative of the day was that it was really cold!

Around 11:30 am we stopped to have lunch.

After lunch we skied for another hour and a half as a few of the runs were closed and it was even more colder!

It was a really good day though! I was so happy that I finally got to go skiing!

ski family skiiii

We left the ski area around 2 pm and on our way home we stopped at the famous town of Woodstock! We had a great coffee, didn’t get to look at the town though but there’s always next time!

If you want to go skiing in the USA the best time to go is in February as there is a lot more snow!

Hopefully I can go skiing again this year!

ski2

Keep posted for my next blog 🙂

X

Happy New Year and Jamaica Part Two!

Thursday December 8th 2015

hpy

sooo this is Jamaica continued on the 21st of December 2014 my family and I wnet zip lining! I had always wanted to go zip lining and was so excited that this was finally happening!

We got picked up around 10 am from our hotel and the bus driver provided more information about Jamaica which was awesome as we learnt even more!

The place we went Zip Lining at is called Jamaica Zip line Adventure tours!

They have the largest zip lines in the Caribbean! In total there are 5 zip lines ad the biggest one is the Big Timba which is 1,600 feet in length! If you like a thrill then I highly recommend zip lining!

I really enjoyed Zip lining. we got to see a really awesome view over the tree tops and it was something I had never tried before. It was certainly well worth it even if at first it was a little nerve wracking!

zipline1  zip

zippy

That night we ate dinner at the hotel and went to a local Jamaican bar after that had sports on the TV. we had a few drinks as it was new years eve in which the bar we went to gave us party hats! We later returned back to our hotel where they had a dance party and we welcomed the new year there! Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

2015

The next day which was the 1st of January 2015! We walked into town and had a look at some markets and we also went to a different beach which it was a really beautiful beach! Was super busy though as a cruise ship had come in that day. They had a water trampoline which was pretty fun!

prettttt2

Had dinner that night at the hotel and an early night.

The 2nd of January was our last there so we had swim in the ocean and walked to our favorite coffee shop. It was a really beautiful day, I was sad to be leaving

motherr

motherr

Around 1:30 pm we were picked up and taken to the airport. our flight left at around 4 pm and we went via Miami, Florida on the way back.

Got home around midnight that night, was a long day but going to Jamaica was totally worth it!

some facts about Jamaica

Jamaica Is the 5th largest Island country in the Caribbean

Their currency is the Jamaican dollar

The population is 2,889,187

Their first language is English

The capitol is Kingston

in 1958 it became a province in the federation of the West Indies

Cool Running’s is one of their most well known movies

Bob Marley is from Jamaica

I would someday love to go back to Jamaica!

jam

Keep posted for my next blog 🙂

x