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China

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Journey Starts

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Our journey has begun. We left Oklahoma Christian University at 5:45am on August, 27 2004. Arrived at Will Rogers Airport and that is where John Osborne and Nancy Moran (Travel Agent) met up with all of us and helped us get through the ticket counter. 

Then we left for Salt Lake City where we would connect with our next flight to Los Angles. Our Final flight will be from LA to Narita, Japan. Once we landed in Narita, we went through customs just fine, but baggage claim was another thing. Chris Verner’s Luggage got misplaced in between Narita and Oklahoma. Total amount of flying on the first day of travel is 6881 miles!

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Arrive in Beijing:

We left Narita around 6 pm- barely missing a Typhoon. We had a one hour delay in Narita due to the storm and the number of aircraft landing.

This flight was about 3 and half hours long and a late flight. We got to Beijing around 10 that night and went through customs just fine. Some people from Capital Normal University picked us up and we got to the campus around 11:00.

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Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City:

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Tuesday we went to see the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. While at the square it was the first encounter for all of us with the street vendors. Some of us were being followed around by these vendors as they were yelling all around for us to buy there things. The Forbidden City is an awesome place with great beauty and heritage. Just realizing that we were walking through so much history was an awesome experience.
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Monday, September 06, 2004

Summer Palace:

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This was by far the most beautiful thing I believe we have seen since being in Beijing. The Summer Palace is built around a man made-lake and has the largest art gallery in the world. This Palace also has many buildings and a large Buddhist Temple on a hill. We took a boat ride across the lake and then went to the Pearl Market.
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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Emperor Mings underground Tomb

This tomb was cool because it was built in the 15th century and it is all underground. Our tour guide told us that when the Emperor died, he wanted everyone who helped build the tomb to be sealed in there with his coffin.

It was really cool to go underground about 50ft and walk into a large open area. There were four chambers in this tomb with very high ceilings. It was very beautiful and I am glad that we got experience this place.
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(Danny leaving Mings Tomb)

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Peking Duck:

imageYou can’t come to Beijing without trying Peking duck. The restaurant was very nice and had many appetizers before they brought us the main course, which was a fully cooked duck.
The chef cut the duck in front of us and served it to us. The duck was very good, especially when we made it into a wrap.
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Acrobatics:

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Today we got to see a Traditional Chinese Acrobatics show. The show incorporates dancing, high flying stunts, and extremely difficult acrobatics. One of the highlights of the show was seeing 12 Chinese girls stacked on one bike as they rode around the stage. It was a great show to see.
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Monday, September 13, 2004

Update from China:

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for the past week. We left Beijing by train to Wuhan China.

Since i don’t have a good internet connection i won’t be able to Post anything until we get to Narita, Japan. We are touring the Yangzi River by boat, which is really fun.

We are doing great and having the time of our life. Keep us in your prayers. Feel free to email me at. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any questions.

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Monday, September 27, 2004

Temple of Heaven

imageOn Sunday September 4th we left for the Temple of heaven. This is a very special place for the Chinese people.  There is a huge park where every weekend there are people getting together playing games, singing, doing some type of judo, or just sitting and pondering.  There are three temples in this park. One of the templtes, the temple of Heaven, is a very beautiful place with a lot of Chinese heritage.image

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Fragrant Hill:

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Fragrant Hill is not a hill but a mountain. Fred (our tour guide) told us that every year elderly Chinese men and woman climb to the top of this mountain to prove that they are still young. Fragrant Hill has 2200 steps to the top. It is not an easy climb, but once you get to the top, you see the entire city of Beijing and how large it really is.
Jacob Barnes said, “The name of the hill should be changed to ‘The mountain of beauty and pain.‘”

At the top we sat and took it all in for about an hour, then we ran down the 2200 steps to the bottom. We all enjoyed this trip to the top of Fragrant Hill.
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Chinese Courtyard:

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Our last scheduled event in Beijing was a trip to a Traditional Chinese courtyard. This courtyard was very beautiful and large. While there, I just sat and took in the beauty of this place and could hardly believe how old it is. In this courtyard there was a large duck pond with orange goldfish, many buildings, and a huge rock formation (that you could climb). It reminded me a lot of the Chinese garden in Portland OR- but this one is a few hundred years old and actually in China. imageimage
(Special Thanks to Kent for all the photos on this blog)

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Goodbye Beijing and all our new friends:

It was a sad day on the 11th of September, because it was time to say goodbye to Capital Normal University.

The university was an awesome place for us to stay and learn about the Chinese culture. Thank you too all the professors and staff for making our stay at Capital Normal a very memorable experience.
A special thank you to our friend, Fred, (tour guide) who made Beijing come alive and who went above and beyond the call of his duty. Beijing would have not been the same with out him. So, thanks for everything Fred.

We also made a lot of friends with people from Europe and the US. To all of you- it was nice to have people to talk to and also to help us get around town. Thank you everyone for making Beijing a great first stop on our busy semester studying abroad.

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(Leia, Mckayla and their new friend Theresa (US) and Sarah (UK)

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The Largest Dam in the world:

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This trip the Three Gorge Dam Project was a really awesome experience, because, as with the Great Wall, it fulfilled a dream of mine - to see this project.

Unfortunately, this dam is causing 1.3 million people to relocate and destroying a lot of Chinese heritage in the process. On the other hand, it is going to alleviate the electricity shortage for the growing Chinese economy and also control the Yangtze flooding problems. When it is completed, it will be the largest dam in the world. I was truly amazed at the size of the project.
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Up the Yangtze with out a Paddle:

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We spent 3 days traveling up the Yangtze River in China. It is a very beautiful and scenic part of China. One of the most interesting parts of our trip was the trip to the three Gorges.
While on the boat I think most of our group got a true sense of the Chinese culture. We were the only westerners and there was not a single western toilet! The trip truly pushed some of us out of our comfort zone. We took a two night boat ride up the Yangtze River and a trip through the Three Gorges.

This was one of the most beautiful canyons I have ever visited. It was a very peaceful boat ride for me and I was really glad that we were able to experience this part of China.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

OC/Cascade Pac-Rimmers loses a heart breaker: Danny Kratzer

imageHubei University of Economics takes its foreign soccer matches very seriously. This morning we were each presented with our own school jerseys and shorts for the afternoon soccer game. OC boasts an enrollment of (fill in the blank); today over 2000 students of the Hubei University of Economics came out in the 90+ degree weather to see us play their soccer team. We are all out of shape and only two of us have ever played competitive soccer before, yet with the amazing skills of MVP Adam Potter in goal we managed to keep the score to 0-3. After an exhausting game everyone still had a smile on their face; and even though we couldn’t speak with our opponents, everyone felt honored to be able to play with each other.
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