Xie xie, China!





Our time in Changsha is dwindling down.  Tonight was the farewell dinner. All of our homestay families came and enjoyed a huge Chinese buffet while being entertained by skits, songs, slideshows, and dances.  It was a nice way to end China, and I’ve had an incredible time here.  I will miss the food and the bustling nightlife.  There were always things to do at night: karaoke, night shopping and haggling with the many street vendors,  grabbing a bite to eat at specialty restaurants, or just strolling the bustling streets with some friends.  The food here has also been deliciously interesting and adventurous.  I’ve eaten (and grown to like) some things that I’ve never imagined like lotus root, pork fat, cow’s hoof, aloe, and pigeon’s egg to name a few.  By being here the past month, it is easy to recognize the incredible development that China continues to display.  I appreciate China’s individuality in its advancement.  Whether it’s developing a government policy or building a skyscraper, the Chinese have their own unique ways of doing things, which I respect.  Other things I will miss? Chinese fashion! I cannot say how many great shoes, jackets, and hats I have seen while here.  Unfortunately for me, most Chinese women don’t wear shoes larger than an 8, so I was out of luck in that department, but they were still nice to admire.  I’ll miss the smells of Stinky Tofu, and people walking along the streets eating candied crap apples on a stick, or buying freshly baked sweet bread from the delicious bakeries. I must say, Changsha, Beijing, and Hong Kong all treated me well and I’ve enjoyed my time in all of these extraordinary places. 

I’m looking forward to South Africa, but have no idea what to expect.  Right now, I’m just excited to explore an entirely new place.  I’m looking forward to new cultures, new communities, and new issues to explore in South Africa.  Thank you, China for an amazing experience! See you soon, South Africa!