CIEE took us on a trip to two rural provinces in China – Shanxi and Hebei – for the weekend. For our first stop in Northern Shanxi province, we visited Zhangjiakou city and Tianzhen County. There, we saw old Ming Dynasty watch towers and an unrepaired section of the Great Wall, which was made of compressed earth. We also got time to hike in the area, and we found lots of goats!
On Saturday, we met our homestay families. The village was very small, with only around 50 people total. We spent the day with our families, where we got a taste of rural life. Hannah planted potatoes, and Brianne planted beans. At night, we had a “bonfire,” where we ate burned potatoes (which were surprisingly decent), and slept on kangs; a kang is a raised platform next to a stove, where the heat from cooking food warms the kang for sleeping.
Here is a glimpse of Hannah’s homestay experience!
And, here’s Brianne’s!
On Sunday, we left our families and took a six-hour hike into Hebei province. We walked along a sheep trail and finally made it into Yangyuan County, where we spent the evening.
Fun fact: Brianne had an allergic reaction to something that day.
Dr. Patrick Lucas took us to his favorite Buddhist Temple. It was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but is currently in the process of being re-built.