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Published: October 8th 2006
Friday, September 29: 7:20 a.m.
I meet my LNU-School of International Business group, along with thousands of other people, outside the stadium of the south LNU campus. I am made to hold a sign at the lead of my group. I am instructed to walk very slowly. I am told several times how to hold the sign and when to turn the sign to the right. After waiting for about 1/2 an hour, the line of thousands begins to move. We enter the side entrance, into a stadium filled with thousands more. Drums are beating as we walk, slowly, between girls shaking flowers to our left, and the stadiums and the major platform to our right. "Turn the sign!" I turn the sign. A loudspeaker announces something in Chinese and the stadium applauds, yells, and whistles. We march around half the stadium and I lead our group onto the grass. There, I hold the sign and wait. As the last groups finish their marches, I deeply pay attention to some speech in Chinese about the LNU campus, made by some important person. Afterwards, we take a group picture, and are allowed to leave.
I go back to my apartment,
change clothes, and head back to the same place for a relay competition. I arrive and then am swallowed by a large, orange jersey. I am shown my place on the track by a couple of eager guides. One in particular, gives me thorough encouragement. "Are you nervous? Don't be!! When I'm nervous, I have to go to the bathroom, do you have to go to the bathroom? You nervous yet? You don't need to be! These are first years (college freshman), they SUCK!!!" I laugh but quickly look around, the first years must not know english. She proceeds, "They suck! They can't run! Are you nervous? Don't be nervous! I'm nervous for you!!! I have to go to the bathroom!!!"
Her partner shows me how to recieve the baton, only for the 4th time.
"She knows, she knows!!! Just don't be nervous!!!" The other girl says. The race starts, I recieve the baton, exactly as told, and pass it on to my waiting teammate. We recieve 5th place: out of 8 teams.
I watch the guys, Jeremiah, Tyler, Jonathon, and Mike compete in their relay. They recieve last place. The chinese are very fast. More pictures are taken,
a water fight follows, and everyone, EvErYoNe, leaves the stadium for lunch.
I go home and sleep. Later in the evening, I wake up and get some food. While eating barbequed corn-on-the-cob, I turn on the television. (A very rare thing.) Tired of CCTV 9, the only English channel, I flip it to the next. I see the morning march being replayed on television. I even see myself, walking very slowly, leading the International Business group. Huh. Only in China.
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