the last days of beijing.

the end of hsylc came with the end of the house games, a “fashion” (aka dance show), talent show and delicious final meals in china. after the epic tug of war matches that took place, we had a “wacky relay race” for the second night of house games. while my house (WOOHOO DIGNITAS) didn’t win, it was entertaining to watch everybody speed-walk race among other things. the next night of house games was a fashion show that became less of a fashion show and more of a dance-off. every house went on-stage (wearing different outfits) and did some type of choreographed routine to music. the other seminar leaders and TAs from my house only went on stage at the very end of our act, but the kids all had a great time! 

on the final day, the students took part in “mission 300.” mission 300 is when the students had to split up into seven groups and form the letters HSYLC-BJ using only lego pieces. the talent show on that final day included 38 acts ranging from singing to dancing to magic tricks to a “variety show”. at the end of it, the seminar leaders performed a piece to a medley of lion king songs although it was much more fun to see all the amazing talents of the kids! 

team dignitas!! WAHOO. 

it was sad to see hsylc end and see all the kids go back home to get ready to start school again. i remember all those times i went to summer camp during high school and meeting people who to this day are still some of closest friends. i hope that for the students, hyslc was something that they not only were able to learn from but also had a great time meeting new friends! 

the end of hyslc and a couple more days until i was going to head back to the states meant free days for city exploration and eating! on one of the first free days, my roommate and i ventured to find a dumplings place that was supposed to have a bunch of interesting dumplings fillings. to our surprise, we found it pretty easily and were happily surprised by all the interesting dumplings they had. 

we ordered four different types: 1) shan yao (chinese yam), chinese broccoli, wood ear, 2) hot pepper, minced peanut, minced pork, 3) minced pork, xiang gu (chinese mushroom), 4) purple cabbage, bean sprout, guo ba (rice crust), minced pork. my favorite one would probably be the one with purple cabbage and rice crust. such an random combination that was actually so good! who knew that rice crust would make for a delicious dumpling filling? 

that night, i went with a couple of the other seminar leaders, staff and TAs/AAs to a hot pot restaurant in beijing known for their service. chinese has never really been known for the quality of their service at restaurants but at this place, not only do they offer free snacks as appetizers, they also gave you aprons while you eat, free eye glasses wipes and PAINT YOUR NAILS WHILE YOU WAIT. it was insane AND the food was good! such a win-win. needless to say, i was overly full by the end of the day.

and on the final night, we ate at a place famous for their southern chinese food. the wait is usually incredibly long but we somehow managed to get a big room since there were so many of us. i have always LOVED southern chinese food and this place was amazing. i’m glad there were a bunch of us eating together so we got to try a bunch of different dishes. as always, my favorite was chao nian gao (fried rice cakes). yumm. they also had these peking roast duck bao zi which were equally as delicious!!

and with that, my 2012 china trip came to end. while this has been one of my shorter trips to china recently, i’m so glad to have gone! i loved working with the high school students and just being in china in general. hopefully i’ll be back soon! for now, i have four days to spend in san francisco with my sister filled with delicious food places to try! (: 


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