Day 12 – Yu Garden and Final Presentation

Wow! Today was our last day in China, it’s a very bitter sweet feeling. I’m so thankful for everything I’ve experienced on this trip and the connections that I’ve made but I’m also very excited to go home and see my family. 

To start off the day today we visited the Yu Garden. This garden has over 300 years history and it was very intricate, a lot smaller than I was expecting, though. Yu translates to “please your parents” and the man that built this garden built it so his parents could stay in Shanghai. His parents lived here in Shanghai for many years and this garden opened to tourists in 1970. As we walked around, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful architecture of these buildings! There was also a pond with tons of super fat coy fish, I don’t know how they got so big. There are many significant meanings to certain statues that are within the garden. For example, toads represent good energy. After walking through the garden for about an hour we then left and went to the market right outside. This market was relatively similar to the ones in Xi’an, yet they had more restaurants, it felt a little less sketchy too. As we walked around the market there was a little less bargaining, but they had some really interesting stuff for sale. At one point my friends and I went into a super sketchy mall (not a good idea) and there were fake Louis Vuitton and Prada bags everywhere, it was pretty cool, but they were a little too expensive for being fake. After that interesting experience we went to Starbucks and recharged with some coffee and snacks! 

After our time at the Yu Garden and walking around the market we went back to the hotel and spent some time packing and doing some last-minute preparations for our final presentation. My team and I decided to create a solar powered smartphone case that will use renewable energy to provide a charge to the phone. Throughout our time here in China we’ve come to recognize the extreme importance that smartphones play in the everyday lives of Chinese citizens. These phones need power to function and the push for sustainable efforts in China has also become very prevalent over the past few years. Together we felt that this business idea would not only provide convenience for citizens but also support the efforts made to go greener in China. 

After our presentation we went to our final family dinner. Tonight’s meal was really good and at the end we had the ultimate chop stick test, we had to pick up a raisin! I passed! 

From dinner it was back to the hotel and off to the airport. Security and customs took a little longer than I was expecting so we were a bit rushed, but we made it on the flight, now only 16 hours of flying until I make it home to Philly. 

This trip has been life changing. I have learned and grown so much, and I’m so beyond thank to have had this opportunity! 

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