My 17 days in China

Student ambassador trip both challenging and ‘awesome’

Hello, my name is Jordan Lott, and I am 12 years old. This summer, I went to China with a group called People to People that sends student ambassadors to foreign countries to promote peace. This trip was 17 days long.

To prepare, we had to write in a journal about our home-stays and our feelings toward our trip. I personally hated this part. We had seven meetings about clothing, luggage, language, behavior and whereabouts. I thought the meetings were ridiculous--we had to wake up at 10 a.m. and stay until almost 2 p.m.

After all the complications were behind us, we had a picnic to discuss final topics. We also had a girl come talk to us about what to expect. We also talked to our other delegation members to see what they were packing and how much money they were taking with them.

Next we went shopping for clothes. We had to buy plenty of khakis and shorts. I loved the T-shirts I bought--most of them had "America" printed somewhere on them. After shopping we had a week for last-minute preparations.

We arrived at the airport at 2 p.m. and met up with the delegation. Our plane left at 4:57 p.m. and got to Los Angeles around 6 p.m. We got to Beijing a day later and unpacked at the hotel after seeing Tiananmen Square. We met the other half of the delegation in China. They were from Texas. Our leaders were Chris Chantry, Fran Chiu and Eric and Suzan Pucackic. Chris and Fran were definitely the best of all.

My favorite place in Beijing was the Pearl Factory. Every pearl was like 50 percent off for us. We next went to the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Culinary Arts School, Kung-Fu School, Chinese National Acrobat show, zoo (to see the pandas) and the Great Wall. The Great Wall was my favorite scenic spot ever because at the top you could see all the mountains it was beautiful. We took a night train to Xi’an for the home-stay.

The home-stay was fun but the food was all-in-all disgusting and I personally hated it. We had a night party in the village square, which was awesome. The home-stays ended shortly and we went to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Then we flew to Shanghai and had a lot of fun at night on cruises.

In Shanghai we saw a lot, most of which was about architecture. At night there was one building that was a television. During the day it was gold and said "Aurora" on it. It was silver, purple and rainbow at night. In the day we saw the Jade Buddha Temple and the QiCini Silk Factory. At night we went on cruises and stayed in the hotel with another delegation from Boston.

Soon after we got on another airplane and flew to Hong Kong again. In Hong Kong there was a mall in the hotel lobby. We rode on trains, viewed Hong Kong from a mountain, went on cruises and so much more. Then we went home which was really sad and made almost everybody cry.

Leaving all of our new friends was sad. Most of them we were never going to talk to again for the rest of our lives. But it was refreshing to leave some of the people who were annoying.

When we landed in Chicago we parted and went home. Most of us admitted to homesickness and were all teary eyed to see our moms and dads.

When I got home I thought of how I wanted to sleep and not unpack. I thought of the people I missed the most. I really missed my Daddy and dogs and a lot of my friends.

I will never forget what my new friends taught me on this trip. They taught me to think more before I speak because I could get killed for it. Lie, and the police could hear it and mob me to death. I also learned to not be so homesick and to help people who were more homesick than I was.

Some things were tough but it was an awesome experience and I loved it.

You can learn more about my trip to China on my Web site,

Jordan Lott, 12, William B. Ogden Elementary School, Chicago

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