My Life Changing Experience With AIESEC ! ! My name is Monyputhy Ly, and my friends call me Johnny. Presently, I am a sophomore doing Bachelor of Art in English in Institute of Foreign Languages. I recently went on an exchange program hosted by AIESEC. “Dare To Dream” was the name of the project which took place in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. It lasted for 4 weeks from 19th August to 15th September in 2013. During those 4 weeks, I went through a lot of things and had uncountable unforgettable moments.
Week 1 My arrival! ! After taking a delayed six hours flight, I finally took my first step on the land of Chengdu in the midnight of 19th August. I was so excited to see my buddy, Eric, that he came and picked me up in that very late night. At first, it was pretty hard for me to understand his English in his Chinese accent. After spending quite some time talking to him, I started to get used to it. He took me to Sim’s Cozy Hostel, where I usually stayed, to check in the hostel, and it was quite a distance from the airport. Finally, I got to room at 1AM, said goodbye to Eric and went to sleep awaiting for the exciting morning. Making new friends, learning new words, seeing new things... ! The sun rose, and it was about time to start the project. Before leaving the hostel to People’s Park, I met Daniel and Adam, who were from Hungary, in the waiting area of the hostel. Since we already knew each others on Facebook before we went there, Adam and I did recognize each other faces. But, I couldn’t recognize Daniel at all because of his grown hairs making such a huge different from the picture I had seen on Facebook. The reason three of us stayed there was because the AIESECers there could not find the hostfamilies for us, but I did not care because I already had my own host-family there, Adam and Daniel. While waiting, we did some conversation, and shortly Shirley and Eric came to pick us up to People’s Park. I had to say that the park was amazing! And, I was very ecstatic to see the other EPs. Beside Adam and Daniel, there were Vania from Portugal, Daria from Poland, Katia from Palestine, and Kathrine and Johanna from Germany. It was a surprise to see Johanna and Kathrin wearing their traditional clothes, and they looked very nice and more importantly, sexy! After our short introductions, we played a game, walking around the park and trying to learn Chinese words or phrases of the activity people did in the park. In that moment, I was paired with Daniel, the Hungarian guy, and a Chinese buddy named Yolanda. It was not a big problem for Daniel, since he could speak Chinese, but I was the problem. Finally, we managed to learn the words which were Chinese martial art, traditional dancing, monument, church , pictured candy, singing and more in Chinese. Unluckily, we did not win the game, and Vania and Katia were the
winners. To me, it was not about winning, but it was about the teamwork I did with Daniel, what I saw and what I learned on that day. Panda trip! ! On second day, Tuesday, there we went to Chengdu’s Panda Breeding Base, which everyone were awaiting for. After taking several buses, we arrived there. Since I did not have a local or international student card, I had to pay full price for the ticket. The breeding area was gigantic! The first spot I was interesting was the Goose’s Lake. There were a lots people feeding the fish and gooses in the lake, and we did that too. Leaving the lake, we walked for a distance to see the pandas. Since it was already noon when we got there, we were not able to see many pandas’ activities. Those ultimately lazy creatures just kept sleeping for the rest of the day. The shops inside the breeding base were very catchy that I spent an amount of money for a panda hat. Another animal I saw interesting and stunning in there were the red panda. It was small and looked like fox. After that, we walked a long way back to the Goose’s Lake to find some snacks for our lunch. What we had was cold noodle, spicy! There we went again through a long distance to the place where baby pandas were kept. They were extremely puny and cute! I remembered Kathrin talked to me “I wonder if we can take one home”. Honestly, I really did want to own one. Since there were not many more things for us to see, we decided to leave the place and went to grab burgers in McDonald in Wanda Plaza, which were very close to the hostel I stayed. It was quite a tiring day, but it was great to spend time with the others in there. A amazing adventure to Qing Cheng Shan Mountain ! Waking up early in the morning, Daniel and I made our moves to North Railway Station to take a train to Qing Cheng Shan Mountain. We were the first to arrive there, so we had to wait for the others. While waiting in the station, I went to the public restroom, and it was very terrible. It was like people sharing the same toilet in the same time, and I guessed it was just Chinese traditional restroom, but honestly I hated it. Waiting for quite a long time, Daniel and I could not see the others coming, so we got on the train. It was about two hours to get to the mountain. After we arrived, we go to check the bus number which would take us up to the mountain, and then we had to wait about one hour for Johana, Daria and Kathrin, who were late for
the train. Vania and Juzmin were also late, very late that we could not wait for them. When the three girls arrived, we continued our journey to the mountain. Daniel was not so happy at first because he had to take full responsibility on everyone of us since he was the only one spoke Chinese. ! A funny thing happened when we got on the bus. I took the front seat next to the driver. And then, the driver talked to me in Chinese which I really did not understand. Maybe he asked why there were foreigners with me. It was not weird that he spoke to me in Chinese since I looked like one. I stayed speechless until Daniel said something to the driver in Chinese. At that very moment, everyone in the bus laughed out loud because they did not expect that I did not speak Chinese while that European dude, Daniel, did. ! Then we arrived the big entrance of the mountain. After we grabbed our tickets, we went up. It was not even half way yet, but I was already out of breath. We decided to have a short break in a place with water fall. It was very refreshing. Continuing our journey, we stopped for a few more time. After one or two hours, we reached the top. Daniel went all around to get to the peak and went back down himself while me and the others relaxed for a moment before we took the cabin back. It was such a nice view from the cabin, but Kathrine was very scared of height. She kept saying “We’re going to die!” and stuffs, but finally we got to the bottom. “Yay! We’re alive!” we said. Taking a short rest, we saw Vania and Juzmine buying some souvenirs near the stairs. They sat down and talked with us. After quite some time, we went back to the station. For some reasons, we were unable to catch to train. Then, we took a bus back straight to Chengdu. In the bus, we called to Daniel asking “Daniel, where are you?”. “In the train! So where the f*ck are you?” said Daniel. It was pretty funny that he only took the stairs and still he managed to catch the train while we, cabin takers, were not able to make it. He was such a guy with incredible stamina. It was getting dark, and we finally got back to Chengdu. We took the subway back to each of our places. No wondered that we all got separated, and I alone had to find the way back to the hostel myself. Some of them were worried about me on my own, but I was so carefree that I went to mall nearby the subway station to get dinner and do some shopping. Since it was Wanda Plaza, which I was familiar with in the other day, I could get the idea of how to get back to the hostel, and I did it!
Surprising birthday party at children hospital ! Two days before the party, we had a meeting at a cafe’. We held a discussion about our preparations for the day. By the way, I really liked the hot Olong tea I had there. I also shared them the snacks I bought at home, and it was !"កឆប. Such a combination with teas, everyone liked it. The meeting went very well and he brought up some games to play with the kids on that day. ! Finally, it was Saturday, and it was the day for the celebration. I was so excited and I was like “Let’s go party!”. The hospital was on the edge of town, and it took us around one hour from the hostel to get there. After a short walk, I was sweating because it was a very hot sunny day. In that time, nothing made me happier than getting inside the building. Heading to a room in the second floor, we finally gathered with the others. Then we left to take the children. I was responsible to take care of a young little girl, but since she did not feel very good, I had to take another little instead. Before I left her, Shirley and I sang a birthday song to her, and I gave her packs of candies as the gifts. The mother and the little girl thanked us, and we left. I took the little boy with a wheeling chair to the playground for their birthday celebration. We all got there, and our plans started. Initially, we drew each one of them a crown made of paper. My boy liked cat, so I drew a lot of cat on his crown. After they all had and wore their hats, we played some games with them. Finally, it was the gifts giving time. Every children got their gift, and they were very happy as well as us and their parents. Not for long, we took a group photo and left to visit and celebrate a happy birthday privately for other children who were not able to join us. ! Even the gifts we gave them were not that much, but they gave us those smiles that cheered everyone up. Nothing could even be better than to see them smiled happily from the bottom of their hearts, and we too were happy to be there with them.
Rabbit head ! After a long day celebrating a surprising birthday party for the children, we went out to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The food in there was very weird! I was not so surprised to see dishes like organs and the brains which I could also find back at home, but what bothered me the most was the rabbit head! It was disgusting enough for me to eat an animal head, and then it was a rabbit’s. In the end, I decided to try one of it. I thought it was worth to try; YOLO, you only live once. Then there I were, I took one into my bowl. I wore a pair of plastic gloves to eat it. Initially, I tried to separate the jaw from the head. The meat around the jaw was good but a little spicy! After that, I put my two fingers into the throat, and they came out of the eyes holes with some meat I could eat. You could actually imagine how disgusting it was after you read this. From that very moment, I told myself that I would never ever eat that rabbit head again! It actually tasted good even the fact of how disgusting it was, but I just didn’t want to try another one again.
Week 2 Arriving in the disastrous land, Ya’an ! There I were in Ya’an, the place where a serious earthquake hit a few months before the project. Darren, a Chinese AIESECer, was the OCP of that week, and he was the best! He came with us along with Eric, Nikky, Rita, Alice, Funny and Lily, who were our Chinese buddies. Most of them were girls, and they looked gorgeous. The living condition in the hostel we lived was not that good, but it was acceptable, as well as the food. Darren and his team tried their best to provide us the best experience in there. The first night, there was a tiny earthquake, but I did not notice. It was sad that I was asleep that I could not experience that shaking.A few days later, there were rockslides down to the main road. On the day we left, the was a report that a small earthquake occurred to a place nearby Ya’an. During that time, I never thought of giving up and quitting the project to go back to the city. Daniel told me “We only have to stay in a short time, and imagine how the people there live their whole lives in there”. What Daniel said did motivate me. Finally, we managed to have a very great time in there even the fact that we lived in an disastrous place. It was the best week that we had!
Team Green was formed ! Every EPs had their own team. I was assigned to be with a german girl, Kathrine. She was very helpful, smart and easy going. Our target was to teach children english, cook them our countries’ food, do presentations about our countries and teach them a performance for the talents show on the last day. It was all to inspire and motivate them to go for their dreams. The class started at 10 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock in the evening. We had our lunch break from 12 o’clock to 1:30 in the a f t e r n o o n . S i n c e Te a m G r e e n w a s responsible for the first class, so we had to make a plan real quick. We decided to teach the children english words about the animals, and I was the one drawing all the animals’ pictures. For our preparation for the talents show, we practiced a singing and dancing performance to a song “We are the world”. Kathrine and I tried together very hard, and finally we got all the moves to teach them. During our class, we also played games with our lovely children.
Cambodia’s Day! ! Beside of teaching English and practicing the performance, I also had to do a presentation about my country and cook them the food. It was Wednesday, and it was also Cambodian food day. I had brought some raw food which are !"កឆប and នំកង because I knew it from the beginning that I could not cook. I was quite certain that everyone liked the sweet flavor of the banana. In the end, none of it was left. About the presentation, I did it on Friday. Since there were around 60 students in there, it was not odd that it was loud, but I managed to control the situation and finish it smoothly and nicely.
Learning to play Majang After spending the days working at the school, we spent our spare time together. One of the activities that we did was playing Majang. Learning to play the Majang was such a challenge because there were many many rules to remember. Lily and Nickky taught us all the rules. After playing for a few times, we started to get used to it. But, I never won the game. Daria won most of the games, she was good at it. Getting drunk! ! In my whole life, I had never got drunk until I went to China. It all happened in Ya’an. Before, I used to think that drinking was a very bad thing to do, but then I realized it was something that brought me and my friends together very quickly. We didn’t drink because we wanted to, but we drank because we lost the game. The first game that I played with them was “I have never...”, which was suggested by Alice, a Chinese buddy. The rule is that if I say I have never done something, the people who used to do it have to drink. By playing that game, we had revealed lots of our secrets, and that brought us closer. I was very drunk that night, and I had the hangover in the next morning. In the next two days, we decided to play another game which was “The ring of fire”. It was suggested by our Portuguese friend, Vania. That game was crazy! We played with cards, and we had to pick one card each turn. One of the rules that was a very big challenge for everyone of us was that we had to have a card of 8 in order to go to the toilet, or we had to pee in our pants. In that night, I was very very drunk because everyone always asked me to drink whenever they picked the red cards. As the result, I threw up a few time and got hangover again. Team Green ruled the show! ! Yay! Finally, it’s Saturday! It was about the time for our children to shine! Before we left the hostel, Kathrine and I did some painting on our arms with our names and dreams. Kathrine also had a german flag on her face. After a while, we all made our way to the school with our sponsors from Logitech company. We arrived there earlier than the other days because we had to make some decorations in the big room for our talents show. Kathrine and I gathered our children and took them upstair to start painting them too. Every single of them looked gorgeous and confident for the
performance. Getting ready, we came back to the big room for the show. The first one to hit the floor was Team Black, Daniel and Daria. Daria was in charge of the performance since they did aerobics. I could how tiring it was by just watching them, but it was fun! The performance coming up next was leaded by Katia and Vania, who are Team Red. They did beatboxing, singing and dancing. Their performance was full of excitement. The third performance was a drama by Team Blue, Adam and Johana. The drama showed us about culture shock in living a different country. At the end of their performance, they also sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in both English and Chinese. Then, it was the moment that everyone was waiting for! There it was the last performance leaded by Team Green, Kathrin and I. Everyone was ready and got to their position, and I played the music, We Are The World. The dance went smoothly as we rehearsed. Eventually, it was my part to join them and do my solo freestyle. Finishing our performance, every single one of our lovely children came up to the front and spoke out their names and dreams in English to the crowd of people. We got such a big round of applause for our performance. After that, Darren, the OCP, announced the outstanding students of each teams. For my team, Kathrine and I chose Mary and Sarah for their strong commitment and potential to learn. The next announcement was about the best team of week. It was heartbeating just to wait for the result. Guess what? It was TEAM GREEN! I was so happy that I jumped out of my seat. I had never thought my team could ever be the best team, but finally we were! We were all winners! Our children came up and claimed their prizes for being the best. An inevitable goodbye ! Everybody had a lot of fun that day, but it was also our last day to be with the students there. After our show was finished, every EPs talked to their students about their leave. Kathrine and I also talked to them, and it was all about encouraging them to go forward for their dreams confidently. A minute later, a room which was full of laughs and joy turned out to be a room with full of tears. It got very loud that the students started to cry and hugged us tightly as they did not want us to leave. But, finally we had to leave them
and make our way back to hostel to pack our stuffs and head back to Chengdu. It was a very sad thing to leave them, and I knew that the others also felt the same way too. I really hope that I could see them again somedays when they grow up to strong individuals. Leshan Buddha ! After the amazing week in Ya’an, we were finally back in Chengdu. It was a bless that we had a our days off on the Sunday, and we took that opportunity to visit the giant buddha in Leshan. Daniel didn’t join us since he had already been there with his girlfriend. Desiring to rest, Katia decided to stay and relax in the hotel in Chengdu, meaning that she also didn’t go. So, there were Kathrine, Johanna, Daira, Adam, Vania, Lily and me. We took a bus there for around 2 hours. In the there, I saw a park with lots of pillars with buddha figures inside, and I found it very interesting. Since Leshan was Lily’s hometown, it was not a problem for us to go around the city. After checking-in our hotel, we went out to grab our meal. The food was super spicy! Only Adam and I could eat it all. After that, we headed out to see Leshan Buddha. Getting our tickets, we got inside. There were many places to see inside. Initially, we made our with stairs to see the giant buddha. I was so amazed of how big and detailed it was. It is one thing you should not miss to visit in China!
Week 3 9 hours train to Bazhong ! Arriving in Chengdu, we hurried to get back meeting with the others. We went to North Railway Station to get our train tickets to Bazhong. It was a night train. Before taking the train, we had to wait several until the evening, but we used that time to go shopping instead. After having our dinner, we got on the train. Each of us had our own bed for the night on the train. Being bored, I watched Iron Man 3 before I went to sleep. After a long sleep, we finally arrived Bazhong.
Adapting to the new environment ! My first impression about Bazhong is natural and beautiful. After taking the bus, we arrived the elementary school on a mountain. The school gave such a warm welcome when we arrived there. The students waited for us in front of the gate and said hi to us. We were guided in to our dormitory. I stayed with Daniel, Adam and Toby, the OCP of the week. The room was not so good, but it was enough to sleep for a few nights. What we need the most was electricity in our room, and there was not any. After requesting, the headmaster suddenly asked the stuffs to attach the plugs into each of our dormitories, and we got that in just a few hours. A getting some rest, we had our lunch in the dinning room. The food was not as good as we expected, but it was acceptable. What was shocking was that there was no bathrooms for us inside the school, and the toilets were terribly dirty. Luckily, we were welcomed to go to teachersâ€™ houses to take a bath or laundry at night. The teachersâ€™ house I went were very friendly. Every members of the family gave us a very friendly and warm welcome every time we went there. More than just words and action, they always had something for us such as snacks and drinks. I was very appreciated. Even going through some difficulties staying in there, I still loved the place of how friendly the people there were. The best class I had ! Here we went again, teaching! Kathrine and I were still in the same team. We were handed a schedule of everyday classes in one classroom, and asked us to arrange our own schedules. Kathrine and I decided to take only four classes, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. We spent our whole arrival day on planning. The first session in the
morning, we taught them easy new vocabularies and let them practice basic conversations. Their english was so much better than students in Ya’an. The second session, we deliver them presentations about the world geography (on the first day), Germany (on the second day) and Cambodia (on the last day). The goal of presenting them that was to encourage them to travel to places in the world. In third session which was in the afternoon, we did recaps of what they learned in the morning by playing hangman and asking questions. The children really like to play hangman! Lastly, we did various activities like playing games outside, dancing and beatboxing in the last session. I really liked the students in my class of how active they were. One of my favorite students was Chuck. He was very smart and brave that he always took part in class activities. Only the last day, I did award him and the other three students who were also my favorites. Learning Hungarian ! During those days in Bazhong, I really learned a lot of hungarians. Both of Adam and Daniel were my teacher, and none of what they taught me were good words. First of all, I learned baszd meg which actually meant “F*ck you”. We always said that word to each other even more than saying good morning. Relaxing in the dormitory, Adam told me “Johnny, say buzi Daniel”. Then, I said it, and buzi meant gay. When Adam went out, Daniel said “Johnny! When Adam come back say Adam ta gezi”. It meant Adam was a pricked. And then, I did it again and learn new words. There were plenty more hungarians that I learnt from that days in Bazhong. It was very fun staying with those two hungarians. Farewell party in Bazhong ! After we finished all of our jobs, we went to the meeting room to have a meeting with the headmaster and the teachers. They showed their gratitude for our hardworking. It was surprising that the headmaster even asked us for advices about their teaching methods. Finally, we thanked them for their warm welcome and supports from the very beginning. We took a picture together
with our flag in the school. Then, they invited us for a meal in a restaurant nearby the school. They ordered many food! We also drank with the teachers too. They brought Chinese white wine and beers. That white wine tasted very hot and terrible. I was so drunk after consuming six small cups of it. At first, they only said two, but then they said four after we finished two. I decided to stop at four. Shortly, the governor of the town joint us, and that meant I had to drink another two, which made up to six. Getting so drunk, we left the restaurant and made our way back to the dormitory. The headmaster shook my hand and said baszd meg, which meant f*ck you, before we left. It was so funny. Maybe it was because he heard me saying it all the time. I was quite certain that he did not know the meaning. Everyone laughed out loud when I told them in the dormitory. Even I was drunk, but I still had to go and take my laundry in the teacher’s house. After finished packing, I went to sleep. Waking up early in the morning, we said goodbye to the people there and left to take the train back to Chengdu. The most boring day ! Taking a train back to Chengdu in the day, we were very very bored! It’s another 9 hours back, and it’s daytime! We did not get many things to do. All we did was sleeping and eating. Frankly, it was not so comfortable for us because we had a lot of luggages around our seats, so it was hard for us to move around. I killed another two hours watching Batman: The Dark Knight Rises with Adam. Since there were some free seats, Johanna went there to lay down and sleep. The other girls just spent time playing Majang. After a very long ride, we finally got back to Chengdu. At last, I was back to Sim’s Cozy Hostel! It was the happiest thing that we could finally lay down on a proper bed. Sadly, Kathrine and Daria did not look very well. They were sick! For the dinner, the girls had it at the bar inside the hostel. They craved for western food. Adam, Daniel and I just went outside to get some spicy dumpling. It was cheap and delicious!
Shopping in Jing Li Road ! On that Sunday, we went to do some shopping in Jing Li Road. It was a very famous place for foreigners to go shopping because it has a lot of Chinese stuffs. I went here with Vania, Johanna, Katia and Adam. Daria and Kathrine were very sick that they could not go with us. After taking for around 30 minutes, we were finally in the spot. I could see a lot of Chinese traditional architecture inside. The first thing I did when I got there was to get to the restroom. Then, I bought two lucky charms for my mom. There were many teahouse in there, so we sat down in there and enjoy our tea. It was free! Jasmine tea tasted very good! Next, we stopped at Panda House. I shopped some keychains there, but they were quite expensive. Johanna also bought a panda case for her iPhone. Leaving the Panda House, I went an get smelly tofu, delicious but very spicy! It was about time for us to find and some Majang. We got like 5 boxes in total. One of them was mine. It costed 120 yuan for each. After we got everything we needed, we left Jing Li Road. We had our dinner at a muslim restaurant. After finishing, we returned back to Sim’s Cozy.
Week 4 Finally in paradise ! The last summer camp took place in XitiRoad Elementary School. We were provided the best food and accommodation that we had ever had in the last three weeks. The school sponsored us. It only took around 15 minutes to walk to the school from our hotel. In the morning, we had breakfast in the the hotel since every of us had a coupon. For our lunch, we ate in the meeting room of the school. The food the chef brought to us was very delicious. For our dinner, we ate in a restaurant with lots of tasty dishes! “Oh my god, after those suffering two weeks, now I’m in paradise!”
A big welcome ! The first day we arrived the school, we were firstly asked to get some rest inside the meeting room. A little while later, we all went outside and saw a lot of students in the ground floor. We walked down with doubts. When we all gathered, a little girl went up the stage and said something in Chinese. It was actually a welcome show for us! There was a group of young little girls got to the stage and danced to a song. The next performance was singing. After that, we were honorably asked to come up to the stage. While we faced to the crowd, a group of students came and wore red scarves for us. Holding a microphone, we introduced ourselves in English, and Kelly, the OCP, translated it in Chinese. Finishing our introductions, we were given panda dolls. I really enjoyed that day! Dealing with different classes and performance practice ! My tasks for the week were to teach and practice a performance. It was very tough that I was on my own, no teammate. Since all the classes I had were different, I just used the advantage by teaching the same thing in every classes. Luckily, I had a slideshow about the world geography that I prepared in Bazhong, so I didn’t have to take time prepare for it. That presentation was just enough for 45 minutes class. It was enjoyable, entertaining and exciting! About my performance, I had a team with 2 boys and 3 girls. There were Phil, Bobby, Lisa, Sarah and Nicole. I cut and mixed a song for our performance. It was such a challenge for me that I had to think of my own moves, and plus I only had three afternoons to practice. My kids tried very hard that we finally managed to finish our practice. Beside of my practice and those 4 classes, I also had to do a presentation about Cambodia to a big crowd of students. Since they were young, and there were many of them, I had to make it entertaining. Our time was limited, so I told Johanna and Daria “My presentation will only take around 6-7 minutes”. After my presentation, they told me “Johnny! That was more than 20 minutes!”. Even it was tiring, but we still found things to have fun and laugh about.
Tai-chi ! Tai-chi, famous Chinese martial art, is known all around the world. Being in China, it was a very great opportunity for us to learn that. It was our luck that the PE teacher in there could do kung-fu and taichi, so he taught us in every evening before going for our dinner. Its slow movement made us felt very relaxed. Now I still remember most of moves I learned there. Everyone practiced very hard because we had to show that on the Dare To Dream show.
Dare To Dream! ! Thanks god it’s Friday! It was the time I had been waiting for, Dare To Dream! Waking up early in the morning, we left the hotel. I wore my panda hat that I bought from Chengdu’s Panda Breeding Base. On the street, people might thought that I was crazy to wear that and walk around, but I didn’t actually care. Arriving the school, I really had all the attention because of that hat. Hundreds of eyes were looking at me in the moment I stepped in. After a while, I found all my team members and got ready for our performance. There were about 300 to 400 audiences, and it was honored to have people from teachers’ committee participating too. Starting the show, two cute and lovely children came out and talked confidently. The first performance was dancing to a Chinese song. It was taught by the school. My girls, Lisa and Sarah, also took part in the performance. They danced with traditional clothes and fans. The performance was very interesting. The next performance coming up next was mine. Firstly, my three girls did a 15 seconds ballet dancing. After that, the other two boys and I joined them and danced together. There was a funny part in my team’s performance that my two boys had to do crazy kung-fu moves. The audiences laughed very hard on that. We also had Gangnam
Style in our performance. The idea of Gangnam Style was suggested by Vania, and it really worked! Our performance might not be the best, but it was the funniest. Daniel’s performance came up after mine. His team sang a Hungarian love poem. Then, we had Katia’s team dancing to a hip-hop song. They were very great in popping. Daria and her children danced to a Polish song about ChinaPoland’s friendship. For Vania’s team, they did the beatboxing, playing piano and singing. I really like Kathrine’s dancing performance. It was very great and touching. Johanna’s and Adam’s dramas were also good. Johanna performed Cinderella, a story originally from Germany. About Adam, he just followed the same concept from the performance in Ya’an. After all the performances finished, it was time for wishing. I had a piece of paper in a heart shape. After writing my wishes there, I sticked it on the banner. The students also wrote their wishes too. Some were sticked on the balloons. At last, we released those balloons of wishes up to the sky. I felt very nice watching them floating to the sky. Many teachers asked me to take a photo with them. My panda hat really did make a great impact on me. AIESEC SWUFE’s farewell party ! Leaving XitiRoad Elementary School, we took taxis to Southwestern University of Finance and Economics to see AIESECers in there. When we got there, we were very excited and happy to see the buddies from the other days. We sat on the grass and did a little chit-chat about our experience throughout these four weeks to the students there who were interested in the program. In the later night, we had the farewell party. At first, it did not look like a party to me because all we did was talking in a classroom. Listening to sentimental, we all felt sad when we did the sharing. We all started to feel bad about going home. That moment, I was thinking if I could stay another two or three months with the others continuing our adventure, but it was already the last day of the project. Since it was the last day, we got to have lots of fun! We left the university and made our way to a pub nearby. It was time to play drinking game again! We played until one o’clock at night. Everyone was so drunk, especially me that I couldn’t even see things clearly. Certainly, we had a lot of fun in that party. I really hope I can play those games with them again.
Chinese opera ! I only had one more day to spend in China, so I had to make an advantage of it. Kathrine, Johanna and I decided to go to Chinese opera house. It was very great that Mango and Shirley from the first week also joined us to see the opera. The price of the ticket was not expensive. It was only around 20 yuan, not even 5 dollars. With that price, we could even have countless cups of tea. I really loved the tea there that I drank around four cups alone during the opera. Watching Chinese opera was such an amazing thing to do. The performers’ costumes and make-ups were very interesting. Their sound was awesome, especially the ladies. I could feel their high pitch voice through my skin. It was a little boring for me because I did not understand the storyline of all the performances. All the Chinese we knew sat on the other side with Johanna while Kathrine and I were surrounded by Chinese elders. And again, they thought I was Chinese. They spoke a lot of Chinese to us, but we didn’t really get a thing. Before we left the opera house to gather with Vania and the others in a mall, we took a picture with one of the performers. Farewell goodbye to all my best friends ! I couldn’t believe that one month was so fast. It was finally 15th September when I took my flight back to Cambodia. I felt so sad to leave my beloved friends and this beautiful city, Chengdu. When there is a meeting, there will also be a farewell goodbye. It was so surprising that most of them accompanied me to the airport because they wanted to spend more time with me. Vania, Daria, Kathrine and Chinese AlESECers such as Alice, Eric, Darren, Teresa and Shirley came along. Johanna and Katia could come along because they had something important to do. Katia also gave me a keychain saying “I love Palestine” as a souvenir. Before we left, we took a very nice group photo in Sim’s Cozy. It would have been completed if Daniel and Adam were there too, but too bad that they had
to leave early. After taking a long way to the airport, we got there on time, but it was a shock that my flight was canceled. Luckily, my friends were there with me and helped me dealing with this. Without them, I would have had a lot troubles getting to the next flight. I had to wait for another 2 hours to check in, so I had more time to spend with them. To kill time, we played Majang and ate fast food in McDonald. Finally, it was time for me to check in. They gave me a very big and warm group hug. Before passing through the security gate, I thanked them, said goodbye and gave each of them a hug. Once I got inside, everyone left and they cried. It was very sad to leave them, and I missed them already in that moment I got to the waiting area. Since I could not make it for another flight, I had to spend another night in Guangzhou waiting for another flight back to Cambodia the next day. Hotel was provided by the airline company. The journey ended when I arrived in my homeland, Cambodia.
! In this whole internship, I saw, tasted, knew, learned and experienced a lot of amazing things. This project went even beyond my expectation. AIESEC SWUFE’s “Dare To Dream” was probably the best! I love it, and I enjoyed every seconds without being homesick. I did not just come back with souvenirs and photos, but I had a tons of experience inside me and a life-long international friendship which I could use to make an impact in my country as well. ! This was a story about my life changing experience in China with AIESEC, and you can also make your own too! Just go on AIESEC’s exchange program, and you will not regret it! I cannot wait to hear your story about your internship!