Terracotta Warriors!

Trip Start Feb 10, 2011
Trip End May 07, 2011

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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hey all, sorry it has been far too long since my last post. Since my finance class started last week, we have all been really busy with work for that class. This week alone we are going through 5 chapters in 4 days, then having a test on it this weekend. The class is moving very fast, so whenever we do have downtown after all our classes were usually stuck doing homework for finance, and both accounting classes. I apologize, after this class is over next week i will have alot more time. Next week is going to be busy as well, im going to be having 3 exams and a group presentation. hahaha i guess thats what happens when you cram a 15 week semester in only 8 weeks. Today is St. Patrick's day! i got my green on for good luck, might have a beer later to celebrate. haha but the Chinese dont seem to celebrate like we do, even if we are not irish. Im sure you all have heard about the cougars tough loss to the dawgs in the 1st round of the pac10 tournament, it was a good game for Klay but with little help from the rest of the team. Im hoping that he will end up staying one more year, after all that has gone on with him in the last couple of weeks. Maybe the cougs will be good for one more year if he hangs around. That would be nice to have him on the team for my last year at wsu. Anyways, it looks like the huskies are going to have a tough round in the tournament playing in the eastern division. They are a very strong conference, so it will be a good test for them. 

Last weekend our whole group went on a trip to Xi'an to go see the terracotta warriors. We flew out of Chengdu early saturday morning, we got in and our tour guide was already waiting to get us going to the first spot. We were all starving though since we waited until the last minute to wake up in the morning to catch the bus. We went to this pretty since chinese dumpling place, with all different kinds of dumplings. As soon as we all finished, they kept on bringing more and more out. I wasnt a big fan of dumplings but they were pretty good. They dont fill you up enough to feel satisfied after eating tons of them. After that we all headed to the center of town to check out the drum tower. It was a museum dedicated to the art of making and playing drums. We were fortunate enough to see a show demonstrating their traditional drum skills. It was really neat, and i got the whole thing on film. I will try and upload it but it might not work since its quite a big file. After that we walked a little ways to see the next tower, which was located in the exact center of the town. You could see streets going down in all directions. Driving through the city after that we noticed stores for DQ, dunkin donuts, and baskin robins! ha it reminded me of home and all the goodness of American fast food.

On Sunday morning we were off to the Xi'an city wall. It was built in 1370 by the Ming Dynasty, in total it was about 9 miles long! how were these people at the time able to construct such structures?? it blows my mind. They had a bike rental shop where you could pay to ride a bike around, but a few of us opted to just walk. We probably only walked about 3 or 4 miles of it, but it was great to see the whole city and everything surrounding it. Now we were finally off to see the warriors! we were all tired from our morning workout so we all caught some ZzZ's in the bus on the way there. Woke up refreshed and excited to see the warriors. I am sure that most of you have seen the Terracotta Warriors on the history channel or something, since it is a famous spot to go visit in China. Most of you only get to see the 1st pit, which is the biggest pit and holds most of the warriors. Getting in the building i had to take a second to let it soak in the beauty of this place. Right in front of us were thousands of clay soldiers, all beautifully made. We all took tons of pictures, then walked all the way around the pit to see the details of all the soldiers. Aparently the purpose of the warriors was to protect the emperor Qin in his afterlife, sort of as a standing army. The soldiers were constructed in 210BC!! wow and they were not discovered until 1974. This place has been kept secret and unfound for thousands of years. Moving on to the next pit, showed how they excavate the warriors. It is a long process that takes lots of time. They are still in the process of digging up half of pit 1, so there is still lots of work to do. In total, they estimate to be around 8,000 warriors. In all it was a fantastic trip even though it only last under 2 days. 

More recently, this week we have been going into the city to look for tailors to make us suits. We found this one place that was quoting us only 700RMB or just over $100 for a full suit! haha however when we went in there yesterday they wanted to charge us $150 a piece. Since we were all buying so many suits, and giving them so much business we were trying to bargin the price. We took a couple of our chinese friends with us to help negotiate. We got them down a little bit but not much. Thats ok, because either way they were significantly cheaper than anything we could get in the US. I ordered 2 suits, one dark grey and a navy. Hopefully they turn out good, im sure they will. Our friends said it was a good place in the area for nice dress suits so im not worried. 

Currently, this is our 4th week here in China and pretty much at our midpoint for the trip. Its hard to believe that it is already half way over! The time is just flying by since we have lots of class on the weekdays, then traveling on the weekends. It blows me away the hospitality of the students. They are all so kind and eager to help us out its amazing. For my birthday on the 14th in one of our classes they all sang happy birthday in chinese! haha it was pretty awesome. I got a few gifts too from kids in the class, which i was very grateful for! They dont need to do half of the things they've done but they are more than happy to. Anyways, hope all is well enjoy the pics!

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those that were affected by the earthquake in Japan. I was there not one month ago seeing all the beauty Tokyo had to offer...I hope for a speedy recovery to all those with friends and families dealing with this tragedy 

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