by Jordan Metoyer
The Great Wall
Last weekend was by far the highlight of the entire Maymester experience. The Beijing Fellows headed out for the Jinshanling section of one of the world’s seven wonders: The Great Wall of China. Jinshanling is a less tourist-populated area that holds both breathtaking views rugged trails.
When we arrived at Jinshanling after a two-hour bus ride, we were surrounded by sprawling hills, mountains, and greenery. With every stone step I climbed and bridge I crossed, it was easy to see why the wall required 600 years to erect.
After obligatory photoshoot and a filming of the Harlem Shake (coming soon to a YouTube address near you), we headed to a nearby village for our overnight stay.
Seeing the way that other families in our global society live reminded me of Ghana and of privilege. There is so much opportunity for social innovation in the village, from turning waste into reusable energy to creating a running water system. As with the Ghanaian village that I stayed near, the people of Jianshanling are a close knit-community with potential for collective and sustainable development.
The night was spent eating delicious locally grown food, playing a card game called “Killer” (that I am forever addicted to), and having in-depth conversations about life. I had a great fall, in love with the experience.
The morning after staying up all night, we hiked 1500 feet up a 3000 foot mountain in the Jinshanling region. During the hike, I felt completely at peace with nature; so much so, that I had an emotional reaction to the beauty around me. It was life changing.