I woke up at 8:00 am when one of the AIESEC members, Candice, came to pick me up. I had breakfast and avoided the duck egg. Because I said I could eat egg, I think I’ll get provided many types of eggs, which I don’t want. We then went to the police station to register me as a temporary community resident card. I found out that each community is a big gated complex with many apartment buildings. It’s like a neighborhood community with outside social gathering areas. There is also an activity center for people to convene. I don’t quite know my job yet, but I think I am supposed to work in my own community and teach the residents in the activity center many different things. Then, Candice took me to her university- UNNC (University of Nottingham Ningbo). It has a very British style and is very environmentally friendly. I found out that Nero won the election for VP Projects yesterday, and now he also is a member of the EB like me. I soon met Nero too. Candice took me to buy a sim card to use locally in my old cell phone. I payed 80 RMB (40 cost and 40 to store money for minutes), but the sim card doesn’t in my phone. So, I need to get a local phone piece from China or borrow it from someone. Then, I sat with some AIESECers in a canteen. Some have strange English names. The ones I remember meeting were Rachel, Develoop, Anthony, and Patrick. Afterwards, Nero and Candice showed me around campus, and I also got to see Nero’s dorm room. Here, in China, girls are not allowed into boys’ dorm buildings, and each dorm room has four people living in it and a bathroom, so it is quite big. Then, they let me meet Alex, an EP from Michigan, and dropped me off with him and his buddy, Meteor. She took me to get some lunch, and I had fruit sushi and a spicy soup with random things I chose to put in. I think Meteor and I both got a slight bad impression of each other, but by the end of the day, we became best friends. Nero told me that I should help to be a bridge between the EPs and the UNNC AIESECers. I hope they don’t have too many high expectations for me because I don’t want to let them down. After eating, we were a little late but we took the bus to go to my community (Huatai Cambridge Community). We went to the activity center, and I met the lady named Journey that works there to help the residents. The Dragon Boat festival is coming up this weekend, so people traditionally something called zhong(4) zi which are like dumplings wrapped in bamboo. We went to my community’s activity to make them. I was not very good but got some help from one of the senior citizens. You have to take a bamboo leaf and place some uncooked rice with red beans and fold and wrap the bamboo the right way. We got to take some back to the host family to cook and eat. Then, we walked to Alex’s community (about 5-10 walk) and I met Shirley, one of the people in charge of activities just like Journey. And, I also met Joyce, a fourteen-year old girl there. We didn’t really do much there other than chat until Meteor walked me back to my community. I forgot my backpack so I walked back and got it and came back. Meteor came with me again and had dinner with my host family. While walking and in my apartment, we chatted a lot and became good friends. She has a final exam presentation tomorrow and looked sleepy and nervous but had to stay because she’s Alex’s buddy and because there is no one else to translate. After dinner, we walked back to Alex’s place. He was teaching dance (cha cha and waltz) to the residents in the outdoor community square. Meteor wasn’t really needed, so she asked to go back to my place so she could prepare for her presentation. Around 9:00 pm, we walked back to Alex’s place (four times back and forth today so I definitely learned my way). Caleb also came there to meet me; he is the crazy, typical American type. He wanted to go to UNNC, so I reluctantly went with him, Alex, Shirley, and Meteor in a taxi. I told my host family, and they gave me the key and told me to not stay out too late. They seem very caring of me, which I’m very happy about, and I also am glad I went the university because it was a lot of fun. It was night time and cool weather, and I met a lot of AIESECers. Caleb wanted to play Twister, so we played on the pavement. I played frisbee with some of the Chinese people. It was really fun! I was a really good thrower but not that great of a catcher. After 11:00 pm, everyone started to go back to their dorms, Shirley, Alex, Caleb, and I took a taxi back.
Wrap Up Thoughts
I probably have to figure out things as I go along, and everyday there are going to be some sort of activities in my community. I will also be expected to design and plan on my own of what to do with the community residents.
Also, I didn’t not see the sun once today. It doesn’t seem to really come out here in Ningbo; It was fully cloudy, and there might have been smog in the sky. whether it’s because of the weather or smog or some other reason, I don’t know.
Finally, it is against the law to talk about Tibet or Taiwan in China otherwise one may get in trouble from the government. It’s more an AIESEC rule, and many people talk about it, but I wouldn’t recommend asking opinions and forming discussions because it may offend someone here.