But until then, a quick recap of my the weeklong with the school from October 29 to November 7.
At night, we had dinner with a Tibetan family (...it was aimed at Chinese tourists, but we'll pretend it was a real family). They performed traditional Tibetan songs - that's when I joined them for a dance.
We first headed to the Three Gorges, where we had a three day boat cruise with various stops. The first place we visited was the newly constructed dam that all the Chinese are very proud of but which stirred a bit of controversy when it was built 10 years ago. The government had to force many of the people living around the river to leave because of the resulting rise in the water level. We had the opportunity to stay in a (rather rural) homestay before getting on the boat and were able to ask the families how they felt about the dam, and it seems that although they aren't thrilled, they at least understand the importance of the dam has to prevent the numerous floods that used to happen every year.
Amongst our off-boat tours, we went to the City of Devils (where families send off the spirits of their loved ones to be "judged" by the Kings/gods etc. who do that kind of thing). My favorite tour was when we took a traditional paddle boat through the narrow valleys of the gorges. We even got to see "hanging coffins" that are embedded in the mountain rock - how they got up there still remains a mystery, especially considering the water was 100 meters lower back in the day.
We headed to the Tibetan region of Jiuzhai Gou, where we saw multilevel waterfalls, turquoise waters, underwater forests, and the most beautiful snow-capped mountains. I wish a picture could capture the beauty, but this will have to do...
After eating the traditional spicy hot-pot, we saw the long-awaited for Pandas before returning back to Shanghai. We all loved the good outdoors, but we very happy to return to the city.