2013广州、西安、北京夏令营游记

夏令营
朱瑞思
7 月20日2013年别人会说没有什么特别,可是我完全不同一。那天是星期六下午,我和八孩子要坐飞机去广州,到夏令营。从一开始就出问题了。飞机到Los Angeles被推迟了很久,我们就赶不到Los Angeles飞广州的航班。我们只能等一天再回来。星期天早上,我们终于上了一个航班去Los Angeles。在Los Angeles的飞机场等了不到十二个小时,我和别的小孩慢慢的变熟悉了。我和另外两个女生,Sarah and Lily,聊了天,然后慢慢变成了朋友。
到广州的华南师范大学,我发现在这个夏令营,我们会有很多责任和自由。但到夏令营的一半又出现问题了。从达拉斯团的里面有一些人被别的团邀请去天河城,可 是我们的伴侣不知道。我们的伴侣马上去天河城接他们回来。那些同学回来的时候,他们都很伤心,被他们骗了。那个团说我们的伴侣已经知道他们要出去去天河城。这段时间,我和Lily,Samantha,Belinda变成了朋友。因为Lily是被那些人骗了, 她的心里面很乱。我和Samantha和Belinda一起安慰了Lily。最后一天,我们都要离开了。我在看我的朋友一个一个走,我的心里面很伤心。别 人会说我们才认识了十天,可是在这十天里面我们经历了很多美好,心碎,想哭,好笑,感人的时候。在这个夏令营的时候,我学了很多中国的文化。我们还见到从 别的国家的孩子,也了解他们的国家文化。我这暑假学的东西很多,给我一千块钱我不会替换。明年我希望又参加夏令营,所以我可以去中国学很多中国文化和历史 和别的国家文化。

The Camp Experience in Xi’an
Edward Cao

First of all I believed there were a lot of things I could say about this camp. I could say there was a lot of boring things that happened and everyone was bored and did not pay attention at all. The redundancy of the artifacts got to be a little tiring after a while. But at the same time I had a lot of fun experiences at the camp here. For example, there was a lot of new people and friends I met and made during this trip. I met people of all backgrounds and personalities throughout this trip. I had the opportunity to improve not only my Chinese but my French, since there were a lot of students from Montreal in Quebec whom I had the opportunity to meet. Together over these ten days I had were very…interesting. A lot of the kids I met were really nice, and I had many fond memories and moments it this camp. There was a lot more I wish I could see. Xi’an is a really interesting place, and I had to return one day to this place.


Belinda Peng

今年我很幸运能参加这个中国夏令营。在短短的十天内我交了很多新的朋友而且学到好多东西。在美国我们强调简单和轻松的生活。我们在这里住的太舒服所以觉得住在小小的宿舍里很不习惯。在那十天内我们房间的厕所坏了三次而且每次洗澡水都会到处喷。虽然我们已经住在学校最好的宿舍,但是我建议下一次找个条件好一点的地方。

我在夏令营时,遇到来自各种不同国家的人。每个国家的文化不一样所以我们可能会误解别人的意思。很多人就是因为这样错过跟他们交朋友的机会。在我们组内有很多烦脑的事情发生。但是是因为这些事发生才让我和我的朋友们变得更加的亲密。

我希望下一次我们可以去更有趣的地方。有些博物馆对我们年轻人来说很无聊。我很想去一些游乐场像长龙或去逛逛街。

很感谢所有的领导人和工作人员把这个活动搞的那么好。希望明年再能去夏令营!

Guangzhou, China Camp 2013
Lily Wu
Honestly, there are no words to describe what happened in this camp. For one to write out the significance and importance would be impossible. But nevertheless, I will attempt to do so in this essay. I aim to make this essay one of the most insightful essay I ever write in my lifetime.

In the beginning, I was very much ecstatic. Anxious, mostly excited. I was just happy to experience a camp with my best friend, Sarah. We made our way through the airport, our eyes eagerly lit, looking forward to the camp that was yet to come. The night before, my father, Jeff, helped me prepare for the trip. He helped prepare a wallet with money, both Chinese and American currency in it. He then explained the dangers of pickpocketers and kidnappers, etc. He warned me about the importance of the safe keeping my wallet, phone, boarding pass, passport, etc. in my bag. Then, when we made it to the airport, he helped me get my boarding pass. He stood by security and watched me make it to the other side safely. He wouldn’t leave until I found Tony (the chaperone of the Dallas group) in the airport. When I called and gave the phone to Tony, he would finally drive back home. Back in the airport, hours and hours passed, our flight getting delayed more and more each time. Finally, it got to the point where our flight got delayed so much that we couldn’t make our connecting flight to China. I was definitely disappointed; my hopes of making it to camp on time were suppressed. Everyone had to call their parents to come back to the airport and take them back. My dad arrived and I discouragingly made my way in the passenger seat.

The first lesson I had learned once again was that no one can replace my father. He is always here for me and he proved himself yet again. He does so many things for me and goes out of his way to do things that will benefit me. He loves me, and I am so grateful for having him as my father.

The second lesson I had learned was to expect the unexpected. As cliche as it sounds, life obviously doesn’t go also planned. One has to learn to prepare for any kind of outcome and to take caution for what the results may be.

Finally, making it to Guangzhou, China, Christina, Tony’s daughter, noticed a kid, Jonathan (his name has been changed) was missing. Tony immediately dropped everything he was doing and when searching for the kid. This came to us, the group of children, as a shock. I, myself wouldn’t have noticed if it wasn’t for Christina. We all tried to recall when we last saw him and realized we had left him at the baggage claim area. To me, this was very serious. I didn’t know if he was safe or not. Alive or not. In my head, I began to pray for him. 20 minutes of uncertainty passed, with our eyes glued to the exit doors, trying to spot Tony and Jonathan coming out. I breathed a sigh of relief when I did see both of him, however.

This lesson is obvious on both parts. We should have been more aware of the number of people we with and noticed he wasn’t with us sooner. But on his side, he should have seen us and headed out with us.

After we found Jonathon, we got in a minivan and drove to the school campus where we stay in the dorms. We quickly got our keys and lugged our baggage in. The room was small, comfy. Across the bunk beds was a small desk, with a chair neatly pushed in under. There was a balcony, where we later washed and hung our clothing. The bathroom was open space that contained a sitting toilet which came as a relief to both Sarah and I. We noticed right away that we needed soap, toilet paper, bug spray, etc. to suffice. The Dallas group then made a stop at the general store to supply our needs. We finally bought everything we needed and headed back. Then next time the Dallas group met, we were going sightseeing in Bus B.

At this point in time, this is when we consciously realized that we had to fend for ourselves. There were chaperons and counselors, yes, but there was far more responsibility than I have ever had before.

In Bus B, there was just the Dallas Group. All the other groups were in Bus A, in front of us. Our next stop was the shopping strip, the plaza itself was giant. There were streets spilling out of it, the shops practically laying on top of each other with salesmen screaming, “Huan Ying Guang Lin.” The sight was incredible however. I would never find this anywhere else. Right then and there, in the heart of Guangzhou, I felt the culture roll around me in waves. I guess you could say it was culture shock. We conglomerated back in the bus later on and went straight to the restaurant to eat.  The food varied and I, happen to be very particular in what I eat. Soon, I had to adapt and open up to more foods. During dinner, many people were rudely interrupted by the Italian group, who obnoxiously made loud cheering noises. Internally, I thought they were being arrogant and show offs, but later I realized it was part of their culture in Italy.

Then next day when we went sightseeing again, there was another group joining our bus. At first many people were confused, but no one wanted to pick a fight. This is when I met George (his name has been changed). He was sitting the seat in front of me and was listening to his music. Gradually, part of the Dallas group, myself included, started talking to him. He seemed friendly. Nice even. Being too trusting and naive, I and two girls as well as two boys from the Dallas group found ourselves saying yes when George asked us to join his friends and him to go to the mall. Note this mall was outside of the school campus and wasn't allowed. This rule however, blew passed my mind. I didn't even think of this rule when I blindly agreed. If you catch my drift, we inevitably got caught. Although there was no punishment, my self-guilty was enough to make me upset much longer than needed. It consumed me. I was very upset for many days and couldn't believe I would let myself get carried away like that. Not only was I upset, I was disappointed in myself.

The lesson here was to think thoroughly before you do something stupid. I will learn from this mistake and try to never commit one like this again. I view this as my fault now. I should have never agreed to the circumstances.

Because of the events that took place, many rumors made its way around camp. Many people were judging and I could feel it smothered me everyday. It got to the point where fights broke out and bridges burned, badly. I completely lost myself. I didn't know where I belong. I have never been the center of bad attention before and didn't really know how to react. It was bad. This was the rock bottom of the camp. It seemed there was drama everywhere I looked and I couldn't untangle myself from it. No one will ever understand how much it hurt. I felt hopeless waking up to a reality like that. I felt like a lost cause.

This is when Christina, Belinda, and Samantha came in. In this essay, I would like to thank them. These people helped me pick myself back up when I was a complete wreck. I could have never done it without them. Through the gossip and the tears, they were there. They even let me stay with them in their room when I couldn't go back.

At this point we made friends with Will (name has been changed), a guy from Spain. He was around my age, 14, and was going to be in eighth grade the coming fall. He didn’t speak much at first, mainly because of the language barrier.  He slowly started to warm up and started hanging around us more. We all got to know each other a bit more and became closer than before.

Inevitably, the last day came. Watching the slideshow of all us made me realize that I will probably never see anyone again. Even with the Christina, Belinda, and Samantha (they are all from Dallas) it would be difficult to see each other on a regular basis when we don’t go to the same school. I stayed happy and smiley on the outside, but I was mourning on the inside. I gingerly packed my camp life up in my luggage and said goodbye. I held onto the picture they gave us, with all the groups together, standing in front of the international school. I gave out hugs and phone numbers and emails to stay in contact.

After camp, Sarah and I were going to another city in China to stay with my grandparents. As soon as I got in the train, I changed into my favorite oversized sweater and plugged my beats in my iPad. The train that we were riding was overnight so there were beds on the sides of the walls. I snuggled in under the covers and I broke down. I cried so much that night. I cried because I would never see Will again. Or Kiki. Or Fisha. (The counselor/, assistant) I almost feel ashamed. That someone could be that important for me to feel like nothing.

But I’ve made it. I survived and I conquered and lived. Even though there’s a part of me that I will never get back, I’ve altered myself to live with it. I’ve become strong because of this experience. I’ve learned things that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. And because of this, I am proud of myself.

Looking back at everything that has happened now, I have gained so much baggage in just these 10 days. I was so innocent coming in the camp, headstrong even. And now? Now I’m wiser, older, damaged, but I’ve earned my stripes. There were so many good things that happened though, even through the bad. And now that everything is over and gone, I almost wish that I could have all that bad stuff back. Just so I could have the good.

Author’s Note: I could have written this essay in Chinese, but I thought I could have done a thousand times better job writing it in English.

Acknowledgment: I would like to thank the Dallas chaperones as well for this 2013 camp in Guangzhou. Tony and Lisa have been especially supportive towards all the events that took place. Thank you for looking after me and taking care of us! Thank you for the time you took out your summer as well. 叔叔,阿姨,谢谢!我明年一定会在去!

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