2014-4-19 Hohhot – Caroline

Caroline Tietz 2014-4-19

Day 25 Time with an Old Friend

Caroline-TietzIt was almost like we got to sleep in today. Our wakeup call was at 7:30 this morning, but I don't think I woke up until about 8, this was a real treat. For our first activity of the day, we went to the Inner Mongolian Museum. This place was huge! There was turf grass covering parts of the building and steps going in all directions. It all reminded me of a futuristic home. Our group went to five different exhibits. There was only so much written in English in each one so you couldn't read about the artifacts and statues. Out of all the exhibits, my favorite was about fish in the ocean. It showed their skeletons and on display was some organs from a whale. The heart was almost two feet wide! After we were finished with each room, we would all wait outside in the hallway and end up sitting on each other and eating whatever food we had. Once we had lunch back at the hotel, Sam, Casey and I were quickly in Alana and Giannina's room to cut Chloe's hair. This was a real process because of all the hair that this girl has. Summer soon joined the fun and we put the scissors to her hair as well. It only ended up being only a trim because time "cut" into our fun. Finally, the moment I had been waiting for since we had been in China: time at a home in Hohhot. I knew where I would be going and that I wouldn't have to worry about making conversation. I was with an old friend, Sun Xiaoyan. Sam and I had the pleasure to spend our second half of the day with her. To start our fun, we arrived at her home, welcomed by her son. We all sat down and ate a feast of snacks. This included chocolate, fruit, cookies, juice, tea and did I mention chocolate? We shared stories and pictures of the past. I saw photos of friends back home and a little me playing dress up. Next up was shopping. We went to the International Shopping Center. This was exactly what I wanted, little shops where you had to bargain. Lots of jewelry and other accessories were put into the shopping bag. After about two hours of looking around and buying items Sam and I didn't expect to, we went back to Xiaoyan's house. We met her husband, who had just gotten back from a business trip. We translated much of what was said through Xiaoyan. Many pictures were taken and then gifts were exchanged. Sam and I both received photographs that were taken in the Singing Sands, they were beautiful. The gifts that we gave were all about Vermont. After snacking on more of the food and drinking green tea, we were given the option of a Chinese dinner or more Western dinner. We chose Western. The restaurant was really fancy. The stairs up to the second floor had water running below them on little stones.We had a room to ourselves and then the food started rolling in. To start off, corn chowder and vegetable soup, then steak, pizza and spaghetti. Sam and I were stuffed but we just kept eating. Dessert came and boy was this good but Sam didn't enjoy her dessert as much as I did. I had a chocolate cake with a walnut on top and a lime custard. To top off the meal, orange juice was served. Sam and I both gave each other a look of relief and excitement. On the walk back to Xiaoyan's home, I looked up at the sky and seeing stars reminded me of home. Hohhot has been my favorite place on our journey hands down and I know that I want to come back. Today was a day that I know I will never forget. There are now so many emotions going through my mind and I don't know how I feel about leaving in only a couple of days. I am excited to be home but I really don't want to leave this amazing place.   Caroline

4 thoughts on “2014-4-19 Hohhot – Caroline

  1. That sounds like a great day! Happy Easter from the Western world! We are getting our baskets out and ready for the Easter Bunny to come tonight! We are all excited to see you on Wednesday evening! Enjoy your last few days!

  2. Hey I hope you all got the chocolate that we sent 🙂 What a wonderful time you had with our old friend.. Happy Easter to ya’ll. Can’t wait to see you all.):):)
    ..

  3. This was a cool essay. It felt as though we were experiencing it with you. You will probably love Hohot just as much when you come back another time! 🙂

  4. It sounds like your visit with Sun Xiaoyan could not have been better! Hohhot is a very special place – it is the home of so many students and leaders who have spent time in all of our homes and therefore making it so wonderful to be there reconnecting with old friends, seeing their hometown through their eyes and making many new friends through the collaborations at the college. The connections you have made will last a lifetime, to say the least! I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear your stories in person and see all the photos you have taken when you get home! Can’t wait for Wednesday night! Safe travels!

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