Day 13: The finale

Today was our last day in China. For this day we were going to the Yu Garden. Now, I had some high expectations for this portion of the trip. I had even planned the cutest outfit with lots of flowers to match the garden aesthetics. I was wrong, I mean yea, there were flowers, but it wasn’t the rose filled field I had imagined in my mind. Instead it was more of an architectural beauty. The garden consisted of limestone monuments and trees which gave a very ancient Chinese feel to the location. I still got some great pictures in though. After walking through the garden, we had some free time to look at all the stuff in the nearby market. This market was similar to the one in Xi’an, but it was less crowded. I enjoyed bartering a bit more and even bought a small dragon statue for my friend.

Once we left the garden we had some free time to work on our projects. I was really nervous, probably too nervous for this presentation. I had so many doubts about our groups invention and if our PowerPoint will compare to the others. I met with my group during this free time to just go over the slides and our timing. We all matched by accident in navy blue, I knew it was a sign of good things to come. It hit 4 o’clock and then we all met up and walked to another hotel. This hotel had a large room with a board and a projector to show our presentations on. One by one group after group went and they all did amazing. Then it was my groups time to shine. One of our slides used everyone’s embarrassing pictures to represent the way our product worked, and it seemed to be a hit. I felt the nervousness fall, and the sadness started. I soon realized this was the beginning to the end. Once this project was over, our journey through China would also be over. For the last schedule activity, we all enjoyed a farewell dinner. This dinner was different, everyone’s spirits and vibes melted so well together, it was if we had all been longtime friends catching up. This dinner was probably my favorite but like for real my favorite because I could compare it to the previous ones. We had become a family. Every person went around and share some light on their experience. Dr. Li ended the trip by saying some last words. He said, “Your trip may have ended, but your journey has just started.”

That was it, it was the end. I could not believe it. I felt like a new person by the end of the trip. It was amazing, I learned, I laughed, I ate lots of different foods, but most importantly I grew as an individual. I learned how to try new things and just make friends with 24 strangers and have it been the best time in my life. I wouldn’t take any part of this experience back. I’m happy to have been blessed with the opportunity to be in China and for any future students studying abroad I hope you enjoy your trips like I enjoyed mine.

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