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Drew's Blog

a night for the ages.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Today, being the last full day of adventure will be remembered forever. It started with a 5 15 wake up call. The past two mornings there was a light tap or two on the door, but this morning felt like some was trying to knock down our door. I woke up with a little bit of a startle, and it was time to get ready. We woke early again, yet for a different reason. Today we were able to learn kung fu with a Shaolin warrior monk. It was truly an honor to be able to take adive from such a talented young adult. We started off with a stretch routine, followed by a hold of three different positions. I can not wait to keep doing these at home, to build legs of a warrior monk. The excerises were not easy. And the holds were nearly impossible for me. I could only hold them for oh so long. The next thing was kicks. They were veru hard to do. We had to keep synchronized with our partner and had to keep our hands up and to the side. We finished in a sweat, just to take pictures on the steps of the temple. Some of the shots came out really cool. After we went back to the hotel and to breakfast. We had breakfast, which by the way was delicious (I finally had some cereal). Down time was next, and perfect for a nap. *fter waking up, we went to practice more kung fu with the warrior monks. This time we went on a special hill, that had been burn down in the ming dynasty. Our tour guide, riley, pointed out out two trees that were still naked without leaves. It was amazing to see the lasting damage. We practiced a special routine, that would be tested later. It was a similiar routine to the one we learned in the kung fu school, but was different at some parts. We finished under the hot sun of china, and had some lunch. We had another couple hours just to relax becuase our test was coming up. We traveled into the Shaolin Temple, and it was time for judgement. We practiced once more and then it was down to business. We had one partner and they watched us perform. I made some mistakes but I did my best, and I passed the test. I received my certificate for passing kung fu, and it was actually stamped with the seal of the master of kung fu. It was so cool to have, and will keep that forever. After we were done, we took more pictures. Theb everyone started to take single pictures with them. They all did special kung fu poses. I was the last to go, and I taught them my famous thinkin pose. It was one of the best pictures of the trip. We had to go back to the hotel after doind a little shopping. We soom learned that the monks and our kung fu teachers would be joining us for dinner. I was really excited for it. Dinner and arrived and it was awesome to understand the monks. They are just bormal human beings who have dreams just like us. One even wanted to be a movie star like the next jackie chan. His name was Andy, and I told him he should be a comdian. He was cracking us up. He spoke some english, so we could actually talk to him. The other monk was Tommy, he did not speak much english, and he wanted to be an abbot, which is one of the head monks. Then I made my way over to the kung fu students, they were really shy, and one of our guides, Mama Ping, told me that the chinese are really shy and it takes a while for them to get out of their shell. After an amazing dinner, we had a special talent show. There was a lot of singing and some absolutely crazy acrobatics. I was amazed by everything. We even sang a chinese song. Some monk warriors did special zodiac routines, basing it off a certain animal. There was a scorpion, and and a monkey. It was outrageous to see. I was going to beatbox, but there was no microphone. It was such a cool night, and I was almost flustered that I was witnessing it. I was the happiest kid in the world yesterday night.


Changing Connections said...

Your title says it all: "a night for the ages." You have so much to be proud of, and I have no doubt tht you will develop warrior legs. Would be interesting to see in another post what you valued most from this trip, and why. What are the unforgettable take-away and embrace-for-life experiences that China gave you?

RJ Stangherli
PA DEN LC Blog Coordinator

Karen Wells said...

Interesting comment about the burned trees on the hill. I instantly thought of a comparison between those trees and the people of China who are such survivors. They basically "Keep on Keeping on" (a saying from the 60's). I am grateful to you for such interesting posts. You have been very diligent in sharing China with me. Thank you. Karen Wells DSA South Africa

miggs said...

You shall teach me those moves great warrior drew. My thunder thys need to get stronger. Miss you budd

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 15 days
When August 4th - 18th, 2009
Focus History/Culture
Martial Arts
Modern/Ancient Architecture