Jadon Joyner & Sabrina Hsu
Though all of us are tired from traveling, the first 2 days in China have been filled with splendor and excitement. The day before our flight, we all went to sleep (some stayed up) in anticipation for Beijing. We boarded the plane realizing we won’t see our homes for at least 2 weeks and the nerves and anticipation settled in. Many of us left with Professor Sheehan for the group flight and had to leave at 4 in the morning. But we did get to eat amazing sweet potato bread that Professor Sheehan baked for all of us! Our layover in Vancouver was a great time for all of us to bond – we went shopping and food-hunting in the beautiful Vancouver airport. 13 hours later, we are in Beijing where we meet our Beijing tour guide, Thomas ( Liu Jin Cheng). He is incredibly informative and very knowledgeable about the history of Beijing. The whole group meets up with Adam, who had arrived in Beijing 12 hours before the group, and we have our first of many group meals. This meal delicious!!! It was many of our first times eating “lazy susan style” with dishes placed on a large, glass circular platter in the middle of the table. We learn about toast etiquette.
Our first official day in Beijing, we visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We are all blown away by the sheer size of the square. This square fits over 1million people during the cultural revolution. We then see the massive picture of Mao as we enter the Forbidden City with over 60,000 other tourists.
Fieldwork days allowed us to get so much closer to our groups. Roaming around Beijing on our own was also a unique experience that fostered closer friendships as we all struggled (but later succeeded) to find our way to multiple locations, ensuring a decent sample size.
Our nights always end with some activity with the entire group – or at least those who are still awake participate. Being in an environment other than an academic one, hanging out and exploring Beijing are some of our favorite memories.