Approaches to Learning (“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them” -Aristotle)
On the first day, I learned that I have to be careful on the streets of Beijing. A wallet (not my own) had been stolen on the first day, when we were shopping during the evening. I’ll definitely keep this in mind if I go to Beijing again. Another concept I have learned, was that there is a great quantity of structures in Beijing that have a lot of value towards various people. For example, at the Temple of Heaven, although there are most likely new, modern temples for people to pray or worship that are an advancement of the Temple of Heaven, when we were sight-seeing at the Temple of Heaven, it was evident that there were people who still worship there. Because of this, next time I go to Beijing or elsewhere, I would like to respect these temples or churches more, and be more quiet so it is more peaceful for people to pray.
Community and Service (How will my actions affect the individuals at the community center?)
Before the Beijing trip, I had raised $347 HK for the Hui Ling Community Center. I did this by singing “My Hat it Has Three Corners” to my teachers, classmates, family and friends. At the community center, I tried my best to keep enthusiastic and be risk-taking. For example, when some of the performers motioned us to come dance as well, I joined. It was a lot of fun! If I could go again to the community center, I would prepare more songs. The performers of the community center had numerous performances to share. We should put in as much effort as they have into their performances. It would also be more enjoyable, for us as well as for the people at the community center, if we be more creatives with our performances; such as adding dancing to our songs, include solos, etc.
Environments (How does one’s environment shape the way in which one views the world?)
Throughout the trip, I have noticed that there has been numerous similarities between Hong Kong and Beijing. Such as the buildings; how the buildings light up and look spectacular at night, as well as small shops and big malls. There is many tourist attractions in both places as well. Such as, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha) in Hong Kong. There is also traffic and big malls in both places. Another concept that is in both places is how there is non-profit organizations. For example, in Beijing, there is the Hui Ling Community Center, and in Hong Kong, there is Mother’s Choice.
I find the differences between Beijing and Hong Kong few, however. One difference is that Beijing is much larger than Hong Kong, as well as more populated. An observation I made of Beijing was that the air in Beijing was more polluted. Perhaps this is because there are more people in Beijing.
Health and Social Education (What were some difficulties or personal challenges you faced on the trip?)
The most constant difficulty I had on the trip, was sleeping at a reasonable time. At home, I usually fall asleep by 8:30, however, in Beijing, I had been sleeping much later than that because I get excited (especially on the first night) or I lose track of time playing games. Because of this, my mood was probably affected during the morning. For the future – I’ll try to keep an eye on the time! Another difficulty I had was being strict with bargaining. To get cheap prices, you have to stand your ground. However, I had trouble with this, especially in the Hongqiao Pearl Market. I get nervous when talking to strangers because I don’t do so often. In the future, if I’m still get nervous, I’ll go with someone who is confident to help me.
Human Ingenuity (What are the consequences of what we create?)
The purpose of many structures in Beijing has changed over time. For example, the Forbidden City used to be the home for the emperors. Now it is a tourist attraction! Another example, is The Great Wall. In the past, it was used to protect Beijing; it defended the city. Now, it is a challenging hike and a place for sight-seeing. There is the Summer Palace as well. Before, in Summer, the families that were rich would go to the Summer Palace because there, it was two degrees cooler; it was a more comfortable temperature. Nowadays, it is a tourist attraction!
★★★★☆ 4/5 stars
I’d give this trip 4 stars! This is because of the numerous enjoyable moments throughout the trip. Such as tasting unusual foods, shopping in various environments, attempting activities that local people do in Beijing, watching the acrobatics show, experiencing the challenging hike of The Great Wall, and more! However, I don’t think the trip was long enough! There must be more to see in Beijing that would be great to be experience with friends and for school purposes, as well.