I’m writing here very low on sleep as this is the first day back from China. I was unable to sleep very well because I’m still in China time. Anyways I have had a lot to think about what I have learned these past 3 weeks in China. There are many things I can talk about but one thing that stood out to me was how much Chinese people cared for each other. This was shown as we would go for group dinners for a Chinese meal. We would eat family style which meant nobody got an individual plate. We all share a group of dishes that was brought out for us. This is a great way for people at the table to interact with each other as we are all trying the weird food like cow tongue or squid. It is a great way to meet new people as Chinese dinners normally last longer than the average American one.
Another example of Chinese people caring is how a group of us went on a bike ride one of the days. My chain fell and before I was able to get off the bike there was already a man willing to help fix it. As we were trying to fix it many other people also came and asked if they could help. This just showed how so many Chinese people cared and are willing to help someone in need of it.
Overall this was a great experience that I will never forget. I will always remember the Chinese culture and all of the lessons I have learned here!
On Saturday, January 21, we had a self directed learning day where we were able to go explore anywhere we wanted. I woke up at 8 a.m. to go for a run. I ran to a place called West Lake and started running around it. It was a beautiful day outside with the sun shining bright. It was very cool to be able to see the mountains on the other side of the lake, and then look back and see the city of Hangzhou. I was very surprised to see people gathered around the lake to sing songs or other people gathered around for a little dance. I realize you don’t really see that in America. Especially at 8 in the morning.
I went back to the hotel and showered and ate breakfast. Then a group of us went out to West lake and rented bikes. We found a pretty good deal for them thanks to Peter! We rode around the lake for awhile. Let’s just say it wasn’t the easiest trip as we encountered some problems along the way. We had a broken pedal, and then a chain fell off. We were able to get it all fixed and found lunch at a nice little restaurant that served pork in dumplings, but there was also soup inside of them! Tasted so good. We returned the bikes aand headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner.
After dinner a small group of us went to West lake again. We wanted to see it at night. It was very cool as a lot of the places were lit up. Pretty much today I spent most of my day around that lake and I am ok with that!
My roommate and I woke up around 5:45 to get ready for the day, since we had to be at the bus at 7am. We got up, got dressed, and went to breakfast. Breakfast at the Holiday Inn included waffles, sausages, bacon, eggs, omelets, cereal, and much more. There are a lot more options at this hotel then our last one. We then got on the bus and left for our first company visit expecting it to be a 2.5 hour drive. It turned out to only be about an hour and a half so we were at the company a good hour early, which is not the worst thing that could have happened. This company was Nexteer and they gave a good presentation about the company and then they gave us a tour of their facilities.
Next we visited Autocam in the afternoon. The one thing I wanted to say about this company is how welcoming they were. They made part of their presentation just for us as Calvin students. They laid out major differences between the US and Chinese Culture. It was very informative. Then we split up into 5 groups to go tour their facilities. Each tour was led by one of their head engineers, so they knew the product very well. They let us keep some of their parts as souvenirs!
Then we took our long bus ride back to our hotel. Most of us were getting pretty hungry at that point and we were all ready for dinner. After dinner a couple guys and I just walked around just to explore the city at night.