This is everyone before we marched. We all wore gray t-shirts that UC had given the students a few months ago when they joined the program.
Some of our competition dressed a little more elaborately than us. If you say you’re not thinking about The Grudge right now, you are a liar.
The outfits were absolutely priceless. The girls hated the dresses so much that they only wore them for the first dance and then took them off and just danced in jeans and a black shirt. But I made Lotus hold the dress back up for a picture afterwards.
The Olympics go on for multiple days and on Sunday our boys had a basketball game so Brandon and I went to watch. We only had 5 guys and it was a good game, but the other team won. Our uniforms were way cooler though (they were UC jerseys with their Chinese names on the back) so it was okay.
Track and field! Jeff is #8 and he’s from the JCI.
So we arrived in this town and then took a little taxi car to the top of a mountain. Although we still had no idea what we were doing, the views we absolutely gorgeous so I wasn’t going to question it.
I actually have no idea what this is. Other people were getting their picture with it though, so I followed suit.
The first part of the hike was a lovely walk down 1568 steep stairs (there was a sign, I did not actually count the steps). Oh yeah, a lovely walk = a quick jog. Desiree, Lotus, Michael, and I were getting our butts kicked by a 60 year old man. We had to beg him to slow down.
They have these little dudes that stand along the steps and they literally carry you down the steps. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t seriously consider it.
So, we finally make it down the stairs and get to a cave. We go in and there’s like this cave lake that you have to take a boat to get across. I’m not a cave aficionado or anything, BUT IT WAS SO COOL.
I was just so fascinated by it. I’ve never been in a cave before!
Once we left the cave, we continued downwards. Now, my favorite part about this place is that the majority of the paths are built into the canyon walls.
Ya gotta do, what ya gotta do.
There was like a little restaurant there and I'm so confused by it. Like, do the workers walk the path that we just took every single day? We were in the bottom of a canyon! How else do you get here? That's a long hike. It’s absolutely astounding how things work here. I bet the little old women working could seriously kick my butt. Their noodles were…… good (interesting) though! They were super cold and spicy but when you’re at the bottom of a canyon and you see a little noodle shop, you have to get the noodles. I don’t know how they made it there, but I won’t question it further. Actually, it’s best to just not think about how any of the food gets to its final destination.
Eventually we ended up in an area where you needed helmets to enter. I honestly thought it was unnecessary but by the end, every single one of us except Lotus hit our head on the cave ceiling. The helmets were definitely necessary. Of course as soon as we put the helmets on, Lotus and I start trying to take pictures of each other. The whole area was beautiful though! I looooove the color of the water here.
Cheng just being Cheng.
Then we found a whole bunch of monkeys and it was SO COOL.
Once we reached the end of the path, we were exhausted. They were not lying when they said it would take at least four and a half hours to finish. Then we started our three hour journey home by riding in a van without seat belts that used buckets for extra seats. It was quite the adventure, as always. But everything was gorgeous and it was good exercise. Although now every time I think about wearing those shoes I have memories of pain and blisters. Worse things have happened. It was totally worth it.