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Table of Contents By Daniel Walton
Editors Note - 4 About the Writers - 5 Top 10 Places To Visit In China - 6 The Planes Of Mongolia - 8 Travel Tips and Hints - 9 The Hidden Jewel - 10-11 My Journey To the Tibetan Plateau- 12,13 Handy Phrases In Chinese - 14 My Visit To The Miao - 15,16 Photo Collage - 17 Bibliography - 18
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ur magazine mostly
revolves around the ethnic minorities in China. We travel around the world and go to see places that interest us. On this trip we travelled to the remote regions of China to explore the ethnic minorities and to answer some of the questions we had. John Walker travelled to the Mongolia minority. Angela was compelled to travel to the Shui culture, and I was inspired to travel to Tibet and Karen travelled to Miao. The one thing we all shared in common was we loved the sense of adventure and all of us were eager to travel around the world.
is where important? Why are the cultures the way they are? How did they adapt to their environment? We learned about our ethnic minority and answered the essential questions. We gained insight on how these minorities live and were optimistic throughout the trip. We all were very excited traveling around China and we hope you find our magazine is both informative and entertaining. -Nicolas Labadan
We all are freelance journalists and have been working with each other for a couple of years. We were hired by Times magazine to publish our articles and share our experiences in China. We all left in autumn to explore our minorities. All of us immersed ourselves into the cultures and stayed over night and left the next day. We were exposed to various aspects of the culture such as their architecture, food, clothing, festivals and much more. We all tried to answer some of the key questions such as why
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About The Writers My name is Angela Wong and I am from L.A and I love to write. I am 23 years old and just graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. I am still just a novice at writing and this would be my second article that has been published. Traveling is my hobby and I love learning about different cultures from all around the world.
This Picture is of Angela Wong. IT was taken on a taxi on her way back to her house in L.A.
My name is Karen Yang I’m 24 years old and I’m from New York. I have travelled all around the world from the Sahara Desert in the Middle East to the gargantuan icebergs in Alaska. Nevertheless, I’ve never been to China. I am looking forward to learning on China’s ethnic minorities and I look forward to share my experience with you.
This is a picture of Karen as she is just about to board a plane
My name is Nicolas Labadan and I’m from New York. I am 36 years old and I love to write. After graduating from Yale with an English degree I was stuck and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I worked for the New York Times but I felt like I was being held back. When I was 32 I decided to become a freelance journalist. I love it, you get to travel around the world and learn about different cultures and it makes me happy.
This Picture is of Nicolas at the airport.
My name is Daniel Walton and I’m from New York. I am 30 years old and for me travel writing is what saved my life. Having barely any money I went to a community college. As a result, not many publishers where willing to publish me. I decided to become a freelance writer to prove to everyone what I’m capable of. With grit I finally was published by Times Magazine and I’ve been loyal to them ever since.
John Walker just after his new haircut.
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Top Ten Places To Visit In China By Daniel Walton and Karen Yang
1. Beijing: Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China, the center of the nation's politics, culture and international exchanges and a modern metropolis full of vitality. 2. Xian: Xian, also called Changan is the largest city in north-west China. 3. Guilin: Guilin has gained fame both at home and abroad for its featuring scenery such as: verdant mountains, unique rockeries, crystal water, various caves, etc. 4. Yangtze River: The Yangtze River winds through mountains and cities and is over 6300km long. For people seeking romantic escapes, this should be perfect. 5. Jiuzhaigou: Jiuzhaigou is located in the depths of the mountains in the border area of Nanping in Sichuan Province.
6. Lhasa: Tibet is a place lonely from the rest of the world with the winding hills of the high plateau and the amazing Himalayas. 7. Lijiang: Lijiang is located in Yunnan Province of south China. It has the history of over 1,300 years. Lijiang is inhabited by Naxi people. 8. Shanghai: Shanghai is the largest city in China. Shanghai is located in central-eastern China. 9. Zhuangjiajie: Zhangjiajie City is located on the west mountians of Hunan Province. 10. Silk than Silk over
Road: The Silk Road has more 2000 years of history. The Road had a total length of 2,485 miles.
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CROWNE PLAZA “Where sophistication meets comfort”
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The Plains Of Mongolia By: John Walker
s I walked out of the yurt and onto the
lush green grass, and took a deep breath, of Mongolia. I stretched out my arms as far as I could, and was ready to begin my adventure. In the early morning, I arrived in the place I dreamed of going to, Mongolia. Inside the plane was so quiet, the lights were turned off and everyone was asleep, except me. I was imagining the scene of what it would be like when I arrive there. The lights suddenly turned on. I didn’t realize I was already there, because I was too into my imagination that I didn’t even hear or feel the plane land. When the plane stopped moving, I stood up with excitement. The long night plane ride felt so endless to me. I had big smiles on my face as I walked out of the airport. The second I stepped out of the airport, the strong howling wind blown against me. I fell backwards and tripped on my luggage. When I finally got back onto my two feet, I could finally feel the bright sun shinning on me again. I hopped onto a bus that drives to the grasslands of Mongolia, where I will stay with a family I contacted with before I came. I hopped off the bus when I heard the driver told us we were there. The family that I was going to meet was an English-speaking family. I was really happy to know because it would be a lot easier to communicate with them. After I got off the bus, I looked around. All around me were big open spaces of green grasslands. I could see a few yurts on the far end. The yurts were the size of an ant from my view because I was so far away. I took out the letter that the family sent me before I came. There was a picture of how their yurt looked like. As I looked around once again, I only saw yurts in the north direction so I assumed that their yurt was one of them. Dragging my heavy luggage behind me, I still walked really fast towards the yurts. I couldn’t wait to meet the family and explore about their minority. I arrived at their yurts in no time. Then I met a woman dressed in a variety of beautiful colors. “Hi, I’m Sarah.” She greeted her selfstarting off with a handshake. “Hi, I’m John. I’m from New York.”
“It looks fantastic.” I replied. She told me she would take me to a village near by after I was settled in. I took my jacket off and started to unpack my bags. After settling in, she took me to a carriage that would bring us to the village. I noticed lots of goats roaming the free land as we walked to the carriage. The ride was peaceful. The land somehow got bigger and more beautiful. We had a sudden stop, and I noticed we arrived at the village. As we got out of the carriage, I could see people chatting, eating food, and having a good time. She showed me around the village. She told me Mongolian dances are known far and wide. Just as she said that I could hear sound of chanting. I turned and saw a group of people dancing. She told me they were doing a “Saber” dance. The dancers were all female; they wore silk matching dresses and a decorative hat. Beside the dancers I could see musicians tuning in with the lovely dance. Smiling faces everywhere when people were watching. Everyone was clapping including Sarah. I joined with the crowd of people surrounding the dancers and the musicians. It was getting dark, so we went back to the yurts and I had a wonderful dinner with Sarah’s family. They were a very traditional Mongolian family. They all wore silk clothing and were filled with bright colors. After the wonderful dinner I packed my bags for the morning and fell in my bed. I closed my eyes and slowly drifted to sleep. Time passed like shooting star. It was already time for me to leave. The bus was here and everyone on the bus was waiting for me to get on. I took a last glance of the Mongolian plains and thanked the family that let me stay with them. I walked on the bus dragging my heavy luggage behind me. I left Mongolia behind me, but never forgot about the adventure I had.
The picture shows the yeart the Mongol live in.
“Hi John, I’ll take you to your yurt where you are going to spend the night.” She grabbed my luggage and started walking the other direction to my yurt. She kindly opened the door and let me in first. When I walked in I stopped, stuttered, and soaked in the true beauty of a Mongolian yurt. From the outside it didn't seem so decorative. But with all these colorful fabrics decorating the yurt it made it look graceful. The yurt was made out of cowhide and was shaped like a round cylinder with a pointy roof. “What do you think about your yurt?” She said as if I should’ve been impressed.
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Travel Tips and Hints By: Angela Wong
bottom of the suitcase(the end where the wheels are).
Bring a travel sized first aid kit
Always pack a reusable water bottle
Keep a pack of tissue paper with you whenever
Don’t pack clothes that require ironing, unless for a business trip
Rolling clothes up instead of folding them saves a lot of space
Learn a few handy words in the language of where you’re going
Stuff shoes space their
To combat jet lag, if you're traveling from west to east, you should stay out of the sun until the day after your arrival. If you're flying from east to west, go for a brisk walk as soon as possible after you arrive.
your socks into when packing to and ensure they shape. Put them
your save retain in the
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The Hidden Jewel By: Angela Wong
fter refilling my energy with a
nap on the plane, I was ready to take on the world. I was on my way to the Shui minority in the Guizhou province of China; I was the first freelance journalist in years to visit the Shui people. After arriving at the GuiYang airport in the morning, I still had 3 hours worth of train riding and another half-an-hour of taxi riding. The morning air had the stench of smog, probably from the nearby factories and cigarettes, which contrasted from the salty air of the beach I was used to in my house in Los Angeles. A blast of cold air hits me when I got onto a taxi. The feeling of being alone was so different from being crowed into a train. As I looked outside the window, images blurred from the speed of the taxi, 90km/h, way above speed limit. It is 10:00 in the morning when I finally got off that death ride of a taxi. After getting of the cab, I was met by a friendly middle-aged woman introducing herself as JingYueLing, my translator. As I take in my surrounding, I realize how amazing all the scenery is. The lush green forest, the seemingly endless fields of crops and the beautiful view from the mountain; the clean air was such a nice break from the smog that covered the CBD of Guangzhou. It was like a jewel hidden deep within the mountains full of roses, rice and run-down paths. To my left was many fields growing crops of rice and to my right are many small two-story buildings. As I look closer, I see that only animals occupy the bottom floor, most of it just ducks and chicken. Locals soon approached me, wearing outfits of either black or blue. First, they headed towards JingYueLing, probably because they have already met
to talk about me visiting. The one I assumed was the eldest approached me first; she was weathered down and very tan as if she led a life on the beach. She welcomed me humbly to their small village and offered to give me tour. As we walked around, I noticed the words inscribed on pillars were very unfamiliar, it was unlike any Chinese language I’ve ever seen. My translator helped me understand that the elder was explaining how their language still used pictography and is one of the oldest in China. The characters were beautiful; the name of their minority translates to water in English. Their symbol for Shui looked like a flowing river. She soon lead me towards her home, telling me this is where I’ll be staying for the night. Her home was two-stories high, the bottom floor, it was really just a pen, housing her livestock and dogs. The sturdy house was built out of wood because the villages entire surrounding mostly consists of dense forestation. As she ushered me upstairs, I caught my first glimpse of the inside of her home. She had 3 rooms, a main room, her bedroom and her workroom. My translator behind me translated “ Even number of rooms in the Shui culture are considered taboo.” The elder’s house was very simple no elaborate decorations were concealed. When I entered her workroom though, it was another story. Many embroideries hung from the walls, work in progresses on her desk and horsetails sitting on the table in the center of the room. Her works like gems hidden within the confinements of her home. As she watched me gaping with my mouth wide open at her work she proudly told me that the Shui people have been known for their talent in the old practice of horsetail embroidering. Shui people had been using horses for transportation for more than a century, according to the elder. It’s no wonder that they had plenty of horsetails.
The Picture to the left showcases the clothing of the Shui. The Picture on the right is what an average house would look like in the Shui village.
FASHIONMONTHLY December 3, 2013
The Hidden Jewel Continued That night we had a delicious meal consisting of rice, duck and chicken. The chicken was roasted over an open fire, the smell of cooking meat drifting up into the night sky. Bowls of rice with either duck or chicken were past around. We made lots of small talk, ! Waking up the next morning was dreadful, not being able to follow my normal daily routine. I didnâ€™t have my morning sip of coffee and I felt like the world was ending. What was worse was having to say goodbye to the amiable people of the Shui community. When the taxi I booked the previous night arrived, I became aware of the fact that it was finally time to leave. I was devastated to be leaving all these incredible things behind. Getting onto the cab was like leaving heaven behind. The cab, train and even plane ride was totally worth it. If ever a chance to revisit the Shui ethnic minority reveals itself, I know for sure I would never turn it down.
The Picture to the left is the picture of the entrence to the minority. The Picture on the right shows the distinct Chinese characters of the Shui.
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My Journey To The Tibetan Plateau By: Nicolas Labadan
t was raining hard when I
arrived in Tibet; harder then I was accustomed to especially compared to my recent trip to Paris. I had to take two planes to make it all the way to Tibet. I flew from Paris to Beijing and then from the capital to Tibet. Tibet is located west of China and is part of the Yunnan Province, with an altitude of 3658 meters. I made a good use of my time during the plane ride, instead of sleeping, I toiled in my work and made final touches to the travel article I wrote in Paris. My name is Nicolas. I used to work for the New York Times. However, I felt contained in my office like a lion trapped in a cage and I wanted to explore the world on my own. I landed in Tibet on May 17, 2013. It was approximately a 14-hour plane ride. The first thing I realized was how hard it was to breathe. The air was really thick due to the high altitude I was aware of this before hand and I brought altitude pills. As I made got my bags from the carousel I was immediately greeted by my tour guide she told me to call her Katelyn. She greeted me and ushered me to her car. Along the way she asked me some ordinary questions such as what do you do for a living and why did you come to Tibet? I told her that I wanted to experience what it would be like to be a local and I wanted to learn about the Zang. It started to rain and the icy raindrops pattered down on the window like footsteps on a snowy terrain. After a relaxing car ride we made our way to the Zang culture. I was really excited and eager to learn more about the Zang culture my adventure was about to start! Katelyn led me toward the leader of the Zang culture who told me to call her Lauren. She wore a dress, which was yellow and black and had flower patters embroidered throughout the fabric. She greeted me with a warm smile and she said we were going to the Losar festival. Katelyn, Lauren and I mounted horses and were making our way to the Patala Temple. Along the way she explained the origins and purpose of
the Losar Festival. She told me it was a new years festival and the main purpose was to give praise to the Dalai Llama. The trip was beautiful. We passed by the placid Kyi River; it complimented the sky with its luscious blue. The temple itself was astonishing and massive it was as white as paper. As we made our way inside the Temple I found it interesting how the ceilings were intricately made and how they possessed the same flower pattern on the dress Lauren wore. We made our way to the courtyard with people dancing and singing, it was really festive. All the dancers were wearing a black and yellow costume and I felt overwhelmed by how good the performance was. As the dancing came to a close Lauren explained that there was a Yak race taking place and I was welcome to participate. I agreed and mounted the Yak and so did she. All the racers lined up on the starting line luckily we were racing on a grassy terrain. Without me even knowing the race started. I was startled by how fast the Yak could run I almost fell off! As the race finished I ended up in 5th place, I loved the experience. As the sunset over the Tibetan plateau, we made our way back to the Zang minority. We all rode our horses back passed the river and back to the village. There, Lauren guided us to a building where we would eat dinner. We ate a special cake delicacy. I detested it because it tasted so foreign. I tried to hide my disgust by smiling but everyone could tell that I hated it and we all laughed. She then, guided me to a small house where I would be spending the night. I was actually quite pleased with it because I thought I would be sleeping in a tent. I ate my second dose of pills, which really helped me adjust to the air. I laid on the bed and I reflected on how great the festival was and was excited for what tomorrow had to offer. I was woken by the sunlight as it penetrated through the curtain. I stared at the ceiling with an insignia and then I was curious to know a little bit more about the architecture. I walked around the village and took pictures of the housing. It resembled a little like Indian architecture and the windows were very distinctive with its square shape.
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My Journey To The Tibetan Plateau Continued By: Nicolas Labadan
I also noticed that there were many insignias that were gold on the houses and I was keen to figure out what they meant. I went to Katelyn my tour guide for answers. She explained that the symbols on the houses were to give praise for the Buddha. In addition, the Indians heavily influenced the architecture. She also said a lot of wood and clay is incorporated in the architecture because the Zang have many stone and would quarries near them. This makes it easy for them to access. I kept seeing the flower pattern on the buildings and wanted to know more about the clothing. I knocked on Laurens house and she greeted me and asked me to sit down. She herself was wearing another gown this time it was royal purple but it still possessed the distinct flower pattern on it. I asked her why the Zang clothing is so unique. She told me that most Zang people wear yellow, black and purple clothing and usually the women wear the flower pattern. Then we exited her house and walked along the village. She indicated that a lot of people whore long sleeved shirts and were very conservative with what they wore she said it was because of the very cold climate. I thought it was because the Zang valued traditional clothing or it was easy for them to make it. Without me even noticing she led me to the main white building where I would eat my last meal before leaving.
Picture A shows the special insignia located on the buildings
Picture B shows the main temple. Throughout the village the color white is spread out.
I sat down on the wooden table with my usual entourage and I felt sad realizing that my sojourn was about to come to an end. I could smell the aroma of tender meat being cooked. We talked about the festival yesterday as the food made itâ€™s way to the table. The rice was splendid it tasted exactly like the rice I tasted on my trip to Morocco. Lauren explained to us the Zang people often ate meat because it is easy for the Nomadic people to carry around animals. It would be easier to take around animals then a heavy bag of rice. In addition, due to the high
altitude it is hard for them to grow crops. Before I knew it, our meal ended and it was time for Katelyn and I to leave. I hugged Lauren goodbye and I thanked her once more for the amazing experience. Katelyn then escorted me to the car and we headed for the airport. She exited the village slowly so that I could take one last glimpse of the splendid culture. In the car ride I reflected on what I learned on my trip. On my excursion to the Tibet I went to the Losar festival, I explored the architecture and I gained insight on the clothing of the Zang. By being exposed to these aspects of the Zang culture I was able to figure out why they are the way there are today. The Zang people and Tibet in general, add a bit more colour to China because of its unique physical and abstract traits. We shortly arrived at the airport and Katelyn wished my good luck on my future endeavours. I was heading back to my apartment in New York. I boarded the flight and waited for the plane to take off. I really enjoyed and learned a lot from my experience in Tibet. I was exposed to a totally new atmosphere and lifestyle especially compared to my life in New York and I loved it. As the wheels of the plane pulled away from the grassy airstrip and the nose of the plane headed west, I knew that I would carry a tiny piece of Tibet in my heart for the rest of my life.
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The Chinese Character
I’m glad to meet you
jiàn dào nǐ wǒ hěn gāo xìng
My name is …
How are you?
nǐ hǎo ma
I don’t understand
wǒ tīng bù dǒng
duì bù qǐ
Excuse me, may I ask…
I want to go to...
wǒ yào qù …
Do you speak English?
nǐ huì shuō yīng yǔ ma?
How much is this?
zhè ge duō shǎo qián?
Where is … ?
zài nǎ li
Can you take a picture for néng bāng wǒ zhào me? zhāng zhào piàn ma?
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My Visit To The Miao By: Karen Yang
beautiful piece of artwork. Because of this, I started to feel better and as the sun rose and the weather became a bit warmer, all the sickness inside me was gone. iving in a completely different
environment, I was fortunate enough to visit an ethnic group of people living in the mountains of Gui Zhou, which is located in southern China. This special ethnic group of people is called the Miao and is also known as the Hmong. I am a reporter from New York on a special assignment to experience the lifestyle and culture of the Miao. Early in the morning, I had finally arrived to the place I had dreamed of going to. I was excited to be there and was ready to explore the place. I thought about everything that could happen and the exciting scenes and events so I had barely slept on the plane ride, which felt endless to me. I took out my map and the paper that directed me where to go, I was sure that this trip would be a good experience for me. ! The moment I stood up, everything in front of me looked like it was spinning, the feeling of dizziness slowly swelled up inside of me. I fell back into my seat and rubbed my eyes then started to pack up my bags. I got really airsick after a long plane ride. I started to walk off the plane but I don’t think I was walking straight because as I went forward, without looking, I can feel the strange eyes of people staring at me. All I wanted to do was get out of the airport as quick as possible. The second I stepped out of the airport, the piercing wind blew against me, felt as if there were needles were being stabbed into my legs. I got onto a bus that was heading to the mountains. I was the only one on it. As the bus went on, bumpy roads made me even sicker. The bus stopped so I hopped off the bus. I looked around; there was not a single person. Standing in the middle of a deserted land of green grass, I could hear every little sound of birds’ chirping. Not far away, there was a dusty road going up a mountain. As I walked up the road, the smell of burnt grass became stronger. I could start to hear the voices of people and sound of trucks. The beautiful green bushes along the road seemed like small green cubes places one next to each other. Around an hour later, I was half way up the mountain and when I looked down, beneath the mountain were all green lands and white goats. The white goats on the green grassland looks like little white flower decorations on a carpet. This nature scene looked like a
The howling of the strong wind was soon gone and replaced by the warm wind. After 3 hours, I finally arrived at my destination, the Miao minority located on top of the mountains in Gui Zhou. It was noon already and I could smell the burning of wood they used to cook. An old lady wearing traditional Miao clothing came out to greet me. She led me to the other side of the mountain, which is where her house was. As I looked around, the houses were all built on the side of the mountain. The buildings were all three stories high. The buildings were made out of wood and supported by wooden pillars. I was curious so I asked if there was a special name for this kind of building and she told me the buildings were called Diao Jiao Lou. They lived up in the mountain where there were plenty of trees so everyone built their houses with wood. We walked inside and she led me to the second floor of the building. On my way up the stairs, a distinctive smell made me want to get out of here. My eyes followed where the smell was coming from, and, surprisingly, I saw animals that were kept in the first floor being fed. I assumed that the first floor was for keeping the animals and the second floor was where they lived. The stairs didn't look steady because every step I walked, I could see the stairs shake. Walking every step so carefully, I finally got to the second floor. The whole family was standing in front of a table waiting for me. They all greeted me with a warm welcome. I soon became friends with a young Miao girl in the family. It was easy to communicate with her because she spoke a bit of English. Most of the women I saw had decorated themselves with dazzling skirts and jewels. The young girl was wearing traditional Miao clothing that had a pleated skirt with forty layers. Her hat had silver accessories dripping off the sides that made her look like a queen. I tried on one of their traditional costumes and it felt so heavy that I thought they put bricks into the clothes. The hat weighed around 20 pounds and I felt like I was going to shrink. I started to explore the house and the girl led me to the third floor of her house. It had a low ceiling so I couldn’t stand straight. It was a dry place where they stored their food and kept hay for the animals. I heard noises of people cheering and clapping so I went out of their house to see what was happening.
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My Visit To The Miao Continued In the open space between the houses, there were people of every age dancing a traditional dance. I asked the girl why they were dancing and she told me I was lucky to be there at this time because it was the most fun time of the year. It was New Year’s Eve so everyone came out to celebrate. The time passed like a blink of an eye, the sky was already dark and people started to head back home to prepare for the New Year’s feast. For the New Year’s feast, all the families went to each other’s houses sharing the food they made and spoke to each other in a language that I couldn’t understand. I stayed my night at the young girl’s house. Looking out the window, the moon and the stars seemed so bright in the night sky. I was exhausted from the climbing and all the events from today so I fell asleep quickly.
A local Miao taking a break who is wearing his traditional uniform
At 6 in the morning, the birds were singing and the strong wind that howled made the windows vibrate. Almost everyone was up by this time since it was the first day after New Year’s Eve. It was already time for me to leave. I waved goodbye to the family I stayed with for the night. I started to walk out of the village then down the mountain all by myself, leaving the village behind. I got down just in time for the bus. Hearing the old bus getting closer and closer, I turned around and took a last glance of the Miao village. The bus stopped in front of me. Dragging my heavy luggage behind, I got on the bus heading back to the airport, going back to New York.
This picture shows the wooden houses of the Miao and the nice terrain that goes through the village.
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This is the Picture of all the writers as the discuss their trips and make their way to their next journey!
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