Thursday, April 4, 2013

Springtime is upon the HNC!

MAIS student Natalie Sammarco sends an update on her activities outside of class this spring:

"Spring is busting out in Nanjing and it has brought some good weather with it! Since I’m from Ohio, and have spent a good number of years in the northeast, I am used to the cold weather. Yet, there’s something so nice about waking up, seeing sunshine, and having the weather hover around 55-60 degrees F for the first time all year. It’s not especially warm outside, but so nice to see the weather changing and see blossoms on the trees.
Natalie on the Sacred Path to the Ming Tombs in Nanjing

The last couple weeks have been really enjoyable. A couple friends and I hiked up to Sun Yat-Sen’s Memorial on Purple Mountain and had lunch last Friday. It was beautiful out and was the first time I’d gone back to that site since I studied abroad in 2007. Taking a picture at the same spot where I was before reminded me how much China (and I) have changed throughout the last 6 years. We also walked across the mountain to the Ming Tombs and took photos with stone animals, and then headed home.

Easter Sunday was a special day for me and my friends. A generous friend offered to host an Easter Brunch at his house and there was a smörgåsbord of food to eat when we went over there at noon! Everything from chocolate-Nutella french toast with real maple syrup to breakfast burritos with bacon and fried onions was on the table for us to munch upon. It was complete with mimosas and pastries to boot! I can honestly say that most of us rolled ourselves out of the apartment afterward to lie in the sun on the HNC courtyard across the street for a couple hours. It was an amazing day. 

This week we celebrate Qingmingjie, Tomb-sweeping Day. This is when our Chinese classmates go back to their hometowns and sweep the graves of their ancestors to show reverence. I plan on going to my friend’s home in Changzhou (40mins by train) to pass the holiday with her family. Since this is my first time being with a Chinese family during this holiday, it will be nice to see what their traditions are and see a smaller Chinese city where I have not been before. We are getting geared up for Spring Break next week, as well! All in all, things are moving right along here :-)."