Saturday, March 17, 2012
You Know You're a Yinzer When...
...getting a picture with your Terrible Towel on the Great Wall is one of your favorite and most eagerly anticipated moments of your trip to China. :)

What can I say? After I saw that Towels Across the World commercial during football season, I couldn't wait to do this myself!

But anyway, I am happy to report that I had a wonderful and smooth trip to China, and that I made it back to my dear homeland safe and sound. I was actually more nervous for this trip than I have other journeys in the past (maybe even moreso than for my semester in Rome)--I think it might've stemmed from anticipation of a greater language and cultural barrier than I ever have experienced in the past. But whatever the origin of the fear, it lingered through a good deal of the trip, and I was definitely a happy camper when I touched down in my beloved hometown.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy myself while I was there. On the contrary, I had a fantastic time on the trip--I got to meet new friends from Rice University in Houston and Keio University in Japan. I got to chat with students from China and tour various universities and factories. I got to see landmarks like the Great Wall, Olympic Village, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Bund in Shanghai, to name a few. The Bund was AWESOME. It's basically a long pier along Shanghai which looks across the water to the downtown area. Here's the view:

I even got to go to Mass in China, thanks be to God! I was worried that I would not have the chance, but the Lord is very good and gave me the opportunity. I went to the South Cathedral (or Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) in Beijing with a professor. Interestingly enough, she was interested in the rise of Christianity in China, and she wanted to see whether the church would as full as she heard it was (and it was!). I don't think I would've been able to go if she hadn't gone with me--I needed to get a taxi there, and spoke no Chinese, while the cab driver spoke no English. The next week in Shanghai, however, I was able to walk to Mass since the church was a block away (which was providential in itself!), so since my teacher was feeling sick, I went solo to the St. Ignatius Cathedral. I want to elaborate more on the architecture of the churches and my thoughts there and stuff (as well as some other thoughts from the trip), but I think I'll do that sometime later.

All in all, I'd say I had a good trip. Deo gratias! :)
posted by Kristin @ 7:36 PM  

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Name: Kristin
Home: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
About Me: Seeking my true Fatherland as I travel this spiritual journey with Our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope, with the help of God, to follow in the example of the saints and strive for holiness.
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