Last Day in the East

This was the last full day in China. I’ve enjoyed my stay here greatly, I was able to see world famous landmarks, explore the world’s largest cities, and see so many things I may never witness again. While I had a good time in China, the busy schedule of these two weeks has been exhausting, and plus we truly immersed ourselves in the culture, not really taking any breaks to experience familiar, American things in China. This makes me look forward to coming home as well. Today we visited the Yu Garden, a garden built in the 1500s by a son looking to please his parents. To get there, we had to cross through another busy street market, and in that claustrophobic setting, I couldn’t imagine how a large garden could somehow be in the middle of this. The garden is enclosed from the rest of its surroundings, and it was actually very nice. There were rock gardens, ponds with ginormous catfish and turtles, and little buildings in the middle of all this. If it was not a very crowded tourist destination, walking through this would be immensely peaceful. We were done with this trip around noon, and after a quick lunch on our own, my group met up to finalize and practice the presentation. We were already a little worried since we found out another group had a very similar product to ours. Plus, they were presenting before us, so when we present it would just seem like a repeat.  At 4:00 we met in the lobby and headed over to the other hotel for the presentations. It was interesting to see each group’s ideas, since some of them were similar to ideas we had brainstormed, and for others we could clearly see where the inspiration for the idea came from. After all the presentations were completed, we headed over for the final dinner, where the CEO of the Asia Institute joined us. This meal was in a middle eastern/Chinese restaurant and was probably my favorite meal from the whole trip. It was nice to have everyone, including our hosts from the Asia Institute together one last time. This trip has left me lifelong memories, has taught me valuable lessons, and was overall just a great time. I am very glad to have been chosen to attend this, and I am grateful for all the friends I have made on this trip as well. We truly had a great group of people, and wonderful hosts. While I am looking forward to going home and starting my work for the summer, I know I will be reminiscing, looking at all my trip photos, and telling my friends back home all the stories I experienced.

Seen here, Eli Lipsman risks his life to take a sick picture of the turtles for the ‘gram.

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