Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A post from Danielle

7:00 AM Wednesday June 1st, Xiamen
7:00 PM Tuesday May 31st, Buffalo

It is going on our 5th day in Xiamen today, and I think we’ve all begun to get into routines being here.  Most of us naturally are waking up at the crack of dawn without the aid of alarm clocks, and that’s making us all be completely exhausted by the time the evening rolls around 9:00.  Typically when I wake up it’s the best time to check email and maybe Skype the fam for a bit because most of the campus is still asleep and off the internet.  The group will meet for breakfast around 8:00 AM where we’re never surprised to see yet another salty addition to the buffet menu.  Later morning gives me the opportunity for some personal time.  I’ll possibly walk around the campus today, or find a shady spot to read some more of the course material.  By noon we’ll meet as a group again and make our way towards the cafeteria for lunch, which is always an experience.  I think we’ve all gotten into a bit of a routine for lunch as well, but we’ll see whether Dr. Forest’s absence at lunch this afternoon will throw a wrench into that routine.  Class will begin around 3:00, and discussion will typically last until dinnertime.  Dinner can be an adventure, as well, if we don’t have a native guest to accompany the group and order for us.  Halfway through dinner I’m beginning to yawn uncontrollably, so I’m grateful to pass out under the comforters of my bed the moment we return to our rooms.
Other things are becoming routine, as well.  It’s expected now that at several instances throughout the day we will be bombarded by the Xiamen “paparazzi” while walking somewhere on campus or in the city.  The worst was at the mass on the island Sunday.  Tour groups were going by us on the opposite side of a fence, and we all literally felt like zoo animals on display.  The first few days I couldn’t stop laughing, but time will tell if that attitude lasts.  The food is becoming routine now, too.  It’s certainly different from home, and there are always some surprises at meals, but I think we’ve all done a fairly good job of adjusting our diets.  I even have a few favorites at dinner.

But that’s all for now, it’s time to conquer the breakfast buffet once again.

TTFN, Danielle

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