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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Reflection: Intro to Pass-time Adventuring

Half moon.

We arrived at our guesthouse in Big Ink Rain village at night, no morning, no afternoon? … Well, with the excuse of days of travel and limited to no sleep; it was all of those, we suppose (without fact-checking), in our group’s diverse and global places we call home.

Any-hoo, it was evening in China.

Ariel and I (Riley), are writing now from the first few hours of our overnight sleeper train to Lijiang from the City of Kunming. While there is so much ahead of us yet, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on and share our recent adventures and extracurriculars during the four days of Orientation.

We awoke that first morning, the 18th of September, to the mist that has inspired painters for thousands of years playing with rugged mountains red and pale with open flanks, green and mollycoddled by Mother Nature’s rich vegetation. That mist, which hugged us as close as it did the whole day with rain in breathy tow, would issue us into the afore-to-mentioned mountainous foray. Well, yes, if you were inclined to any respectable amount of accuracy, away from them. But! we adventurously and daringly (albeit, without being risky), scouted up a still quite steep hill. In the rain, we add.

We achieved a splendid view of the village and surrounding topography from our private vantage point that we shared only with the locals. Emerging from a Giant’s staircase of crop fields, we looked down over the sheer cliff edge (not in a risky way, nothing but awe and caution in our dispositions), and the 400-year-old village unfolded before us (barring a few modern infringements and some tall bushes).

Like our journey up, our way back down was an exploration for more than just our feet and eyes. The garden paths brought us through the grounding motions of our clothes stealing raindrops from the plants, our shoes shoes sliding into each clay foothold, clay soil that our hands found rough. Parts of our short walk from the village felt like miles into jungle when the already narrow trails slunk smaller, curved and wending and nipping at our clothes from all sides with arms of bamboo and foliage.

The rain was soft and… Wet… And… Came down in little drops from the sky. And when we leaned on the bamboo, it came down harder.

It is late at night.

We had a nice time. We don’t know what other people were doing at this time. Maybe playing cards. Then again, maybe not.

Who’s to say? We’re not.

And then we went again the next day, with Chris, and it wasn’t raining, And we took pictures. Chris’s camera is the best. Also, he takes good pictures.

Deepest regards and sincerest wishes for pleasant dreams,

Ariel and Riley.