Today's Travel Tuesday topic is to show our favorite travel picture, and explain why it is meaningful.
All I have to say about that is, "Really, just one?!?!"
First of all...impossible. And especially if the picture is to have meaning to me personally, then it is really super impossible. I have many pictures that are not the pretties or best composed that have deep meaning to me because of the people who are in them. So here we go with a few of my favorite pictures...because I can't pick just one.
This picture is probably my favorite picture of me in China. It is at one of the oldest buildings on Yunnan University's campus, looks very traditional, and is obviously Chinese. I feel like this is the epitome of why I was in China: studying abroad at Yunnan University to learn Chinese and get to know the Chinese people and culture.
Okay, so composition-wise, this is one of my favorite pictures I took in China. This was during my first week in Kunming, and a friend was showing us around the Buddhist temple. I thought this little old man was cute, so I took a picture of him smoking on his pipe. The color and framing turned out well and I feel like it really embodied what it was actually like sitting in the back of the temple's outdoor area.
Here are my favorites that have more personal meaning to me...
These are some friends from an event we went to every week called English Corner. I would go help some local students practice their English...which was always beneficial for them to speak with a native person. It was beneficial for me because I made friends, learned more about their culture and beliefs, learned new Chinese words, and had something fun to do every Friday night. I'll never forget about the wonderful people I met at English corner, they were really my most true Chinese friends I made while living in Yunnan. I'm also sad I don't have more pictures with the rest of them. Joyce, on the far right, was the one who helped me become involved in English Corner and also with substitute teaching for their English class for some middle school children. She is a person who is incredibly mature and caring, and really one of the nicest people I've met!
What's more Chinese than getting a lift home on a boy's bicycle? I love this picture because before I ever went to China I thought it would be so fun to be the girl who got taken home by a boy on the back of his bicycle. Obviously because I was dating Tyler this wasn't romantic like it is in all the Chinese movies, but it was still AWESOME. Poor Josh was really tired by the time we got all the way back to Yunnan University!
This picture is from my 22nd birthday with my Korean classmate and his girlfriend. They were definitely my closest friendships in Kunming. It was so much fun having dinner dates with them, getting to enjoy their company for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and just having true friends. I remember while my roommate was gone on trips a few times, Daesun would check on me to make sure I was alright. This friendship was also the most beneficial to my Chinese learning while in China. My level of Chinese was so low that actually having conversations with other Chinese people was really hard. They usually used words that were WAY out of my vocabulary range, and spoke really fast. Daesun's Chinese was just a few steps ahead of my own, so I was challenged to speak to him, but it wasn't so difficult that it was impossible. Plus, most of the Chinese people knew English and he didn't, so Chinese was our only form of communication. Then his girlfriend, Minjeong, came to visit in December. She only spoke Korean and English back then, so it was always fun since everyone had to translate what we said into two languages. I miss them!
My friend Doris was another friend from English corner! On this particular day, she took me out for my birthday (which was the day before), and I got to spend the day seeing and learning more about her life! Her mom runs a jewelry shop in Kunming, so I got to go to her work and watch them consult with dealers and drink coffee together. Then she showed me some new shops that I hadn't seen yet, and I got to ask questions and learn about how she had moved from Myanmar to China. Her Chinese is so fluent, you'd never realize she wasn't native!
These were my classmates! It was really fun getting to know people from so many different countries and learning Chinese with them. I think most of them had better Chinese than I did, but it was still a great opportunity to be able to learn a lot more.
One of our classmates brought puppets for our teacher to use when reading the dialogues. I really thought this was funny, but it was amazing how much they actually helped when trying to differentiate the characters in the dialogues. Plus this particular teacher was really sweet, so she was just cute.
Okay, so I picked 8 pictures instead of 1...which is better than 20 right??