Having uneventfully passed the Fourth of July in transit from the Miyun Region near the Great Wall to our lovely homes in Kunming, the official (not just orientation!) portion of the trip had begun. Rising bright and early at 6:15 this morning, I wended my way between apartment complexes to make to it class on time. Others strolled the busy streets of central Kunming, while some rode the buses. Our day begins with Chinese lessons, partly enlightening and partly daunting, but certainly fulfilling. During the Level 2 class, resident historian Daniel learned the Chinese word for “stuff” or “things”, dongxi, has its roots in the time of the Silk Road. Dong means east, and xi west, like the markets on either end of the Road—all products in that era were either moving east or west. After class, all of us found lunch without help from our instructors, except for maybe a recommendation or two from Kunming local Tindy. Bellies full of fried rice, veggies, and chicken (thanks Spencer!), we headed back to the program house for a meeting, and I put together a schedule for cleaning and Yak-posting. We learned more about our Independent Study Projects, and all eagerly await our first meeting tomorrow! From cooking to yoga, calligraphy to business, Group B is all over the map. Feeling a little sleepy now, I commence the close of Transmission 1 with this:
Night breeze through barred window,
A distant hum among dim stars,
Moonlight blinks off with a click.
Good night, over and out,