Over the course of my stay in China, I've had to overcome many "great walls". An extremely challenging workload, language immersion, an unfamiliar environment, knowing no one else, etc. But who knew that the last great wall to climb(besides finals) would be the actual Great Wall of China?
The last weekend that I have in China was spent hiking over 5 miles, up and down stairs and mountains and parapets, and it was the sweatiest and most rewarding experience yet. We stayed in a lovely hostel (with some of the most amazing food in the entire world) and woke up at 4 in the morning to hike to the highest point on the Great Wall. Most of the pictures speak for themselves, but they can't describe the amazing feeling of overcoming a seemingly impossible struggle. There were times where it was easy going, and times where I thought I wasn't going to make it, but in the end it was one of the most triumphant moments--what a perfect metaphor for these past few months.
I've enjoyed my stay here so much, and will miss it--but I know that this isn't a final goodbye, more like a "see you soon". I'll come back and visit you for sure China!
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<p>Hi, I'm Gretchen, and I'm currently a prospective Languages and Linguistics Major at Swarthmore College, PA. I was born in Rota Spain, and have grown up in various places around the states (notably Hawai'i), and am very excited to be participating in the Beijing Summer Language Intensive program! I'm really into all different types of art, and exploring that interest through all sorts of avenues (this blog will be one of them). On this trip I hope to gain not only language skills, but innumerable friends and experiences that last a lifetime. Join the adventures of an unapologetically queer, short (but not tiny) college student navigating one of the biggest cities in the world!</p>