By: Brooke MacNab, University of Victoria.
Eleven days seems like a long time, right? That’s what I thought too, but as the saying goes it’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun, or in my case, learning, exploring, and having fun in Guangzhou, China.
When I think back to the eleven days that flew by so fast, what jumps to the forefront of my mind are memories of the gracious and kind people who I had the pleasure of meeting along the way. My laundry list of names and faces could go on forever: from the program’s coordinators who provided this opportunity to experience Guangzhou; the student volunteers from South China University who made sure that us students were taken care of for the duration of our trip; the professors from South China University who created fun and intriguing mini-lectures for us; to our wonderful tour guide who took us around Guangzhou (and even as far away to the Zhuhai-Macao Bridge!); the taxi driver who double, triple checked to make sure he was taking us to the right place to ensure we didn’t end up getting lost; and to the Chinese families that hosted myself and two other students for dinner and tea in their home not only once, but also invited us over for a second time before we left for home.
As a part of the scheduled events, all sixteen students from UVic were divided into groups and paired up with Chinese host families for a dinner. Maybe it’s personal bias, but I think the family myself and two other students were paired up with was the best! After taking us to dinner at a wonderful restaurant, our gracious host family invited us into their home to drink tea, eat fruit, and help us practice our Chinese calligraphy. Time flew by as we talked and laughed, and all too soon it was time to say goodbye; however, they were gracious enough to invite us back again to visit before we left. Time indeed flew by, and when they sent us off we made sure to exchange information to stay in contact in the future.