Sorry for the recent lack of blog posts! I was sick for a few days. After my trip to the Forbidden City, I worked on my project before falling asleep in my room. I woke up during the night of May 10th with stomach pains, but didn’t think much of them and tried back to sleep. Finally, I went to the bathroom before eventually heading to the hospital. I was there for the rest of the night, and left at around 12 noon the following day. Unfortunately, one of the 7 kids who got ill stayed in the hospital for another night (Devin), so we spent not only the 11th in the Beijing Penta Hotel but also the 12th, which meant that we missed the trip to see the Terra Cotta warriors located in Xi’an , which was unfortunate as I was really looking forward to seeing this unique and historically significant site, but it didn’t work out. This among other things is one of the reasons I plan to return to China soon as is practical because now that I have been exposed to the culture and am more familiar with how to navigate typical environments and the logistics of inter-city travel, I am confident that I can visit in the future with a few friends. The good news is, Devin got better quickly, and today we finally head out to see the rest of our group in Shanghai!
While no one wants to get food poisoning overseas, it can be said that I got the full experience out of the trip. I tried the local food and had the local drink and managed to appreciate the differences from my typical food. While unfortunate to get food poisoning and having to visit a hospital, I experienced some things that most visitors never get to see. The hospital seemed more technologically modern than US facilities. My fellow students and I were all nervous when we went to the hospital wondering how we would be treated and how we would pay. Our leaders and the hospital personnel great and very supportive. I was treated efficiently and with kindness. While I would not recommend getting food poisoning as a “must-do’ for future visitors, it was quite memorable and the impact of receiving four bags of IV solution and anti-biotics cannot be over-stated. I felt much better leaving that I did when I arrived.
I apologize for the lack of a picture; I spent most of the days in bed and wasn’t able to come up with a great picture from the hotel room!