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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Heilongjiang, China

Jan 17, 2015 - Harbin la ville de Glace et de Neige - Harbin City of Ice & Snow

English below ----------------- Mais ils sont fous ces gaulois? Pourquoi s'exiler du Canada si c'est pour retourner dans le grand Nord de la Chine par -20 degrés? Pour voir si les enfants résistent au froid Pour voir ce que c'est qu'une ville encore plus polluée Ou tout simplement pour partir entre amis découvrir les majestueuses sculptures de neige, les incroyables et too much palais de glaces, glisser assis sur des chaises sur la rivière gelée, voir ce qu'il reste de l'église orthodoxe et assister au repas des tigres, poulet vivant dans...

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Jan 6, 2014 - Snow play

We took our time getting sorted this morning and I finally had internet usage and a decent wifi to catch up on the blog. Piled on the layers and headed out. Walked up to the river (or frozen walkway),along the pedestrian street. At the river they had all sorts of rides and games going on ontop of the ice. We had a go at the sledging on inner tubes. It was an absolute blast! You took the tube and stepped on a flat esculater to the top of the hill and lined up along the edge. On the whistle off you went at great speed, awesome fun!! Spent the...

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Jan 5, 2014 - Beijing-Harbin, Ice Festival

Off to another airport. The security here at Beijing Airport was pretty full on with scanns of everything and body patdown just for a domestic flight. The flight to Harbin was only about 1 1/2 hours. We had made sure that we had our warm layers with us to put on for arrival and were told that it would be -20 on landing. It was cold but not as bad as we had expected and got quite hot all loaded in a taxi with some of the packs on knees and about 25kms to town with the heater on. After having to talk to a translater on the phone to help the...

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Dec 14, 2012 - Haerbin with Chinese Curling Teams

Haerbin, China is a big destination for us. All Nick's curling friends from the Chinese national team are in Haerbin! They just happened to be all in town. We had a great time visiting them. We were staying in the city center, close to all the shipping and traditional treats! We also went to see Dongbei Tigers:) Nice to be with friends we haven't seen for some time! So happy that all the friends we are able to see are a part of our round the world wedding! Even though the weather is cold in Haerbin, our hearts are warm because of all the...

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Jul 21, 2011 - Trip 1: Mingshan

The next day, Tuesday, we had a quick breakfast then hired a “bread car” – basically a minivan – to drive us up to this lookout point of the river. It used to be a lookout for wildfires. According to Eugene, the old structure was wooden and rickety but pretty safe – built for drunken forestry men to be able to climb in the middle of the night. The old one, however, was torn down and turned into a big RED metal touristy lookout point with an elevator and many places where little cute 2 ½ year old Russian boys could fall off from. From the...

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Jul 18, 2011 - Trip 1: Taipinggou

On Saturday, I came to work around 10. A few hours later, Kristen McDonald, Pacific Environment’s China Director, came to the office. Because of problems with the weather, her seat had been given to a passenger whose previous flight had been canceled, so she didn’t get in until really late on Friday night. We were all starving and went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. She too is a vegetarian, which is convenient and was good inspiration to reduce my meat consumption. After lunch, I took a bus home to get my stuff ready. On my way home, I...

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Jul 16, 2011 - Bird watching, interview

Tuesday night, I tried going to bed at 8:00, so that I would get about 6 1/2 hours of sleep. However, my body just would not let me. After reading for about an hour, I laid in bed until after 10 before finally falling asleep. At 2:30 my alarm went off. I got out of bed at 2:45 – well before the time that I had gone to bed on Saturday night -- put on my long-sleeve shirt and pants, ate some yogurt and hit the road. After one taxi refused to take me across the bridge (work is on the other side of the Songhua River), I found a pimped-out cab...

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Jul 8, 2011 - Pre-Beijing Catch-Up (Spoiler: NEW HOST FAM!)

Sorry that I haven’t caught up in a while. Here’s a quick low-down on my past couple weeks: Monday the 27th, I got to class and just decided I was fed up with the Russians who didn’t care. The class was too slow, my fellow students not very good, and it occurred to me that I could tell others’ tones and pronunciation were awful but the teacher wasn’t saying anything. I had chosen a group class because someone had convinced me that it would save money, but honestly the one-on-one classes aren’t that expensive and this class was frankly just...

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Jun 26, 2011 - First Weekend

Friday morning I went to class nice and early as per usual. I then took the bus to work and did some research on dams. I left work early to get ready for the night in time to meet Josh for dinner. I took one of my little sponge baths that I’ve gotten so good at, got dressed and hit the bus back to the bus stop that I get off at to go to school. The school I go to is only a block or two from HIT (Harbin Institute of Technology or 工大) where the CET kids go to school. I met up with Josh, who sheepishly let me know that he’d already eaten...

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Jun 23, 2011 - Getting Settled: Classes, Registering, etc.

Tuesday morning, Yadong had to go downtown early so Lang Dezhong came over to bring me to work (I didn’t yet know the way). We went to a breakfast hole-in-the-wall on the way. We had baozi (stuffed buns) and doujiang (soy milk, but unlike anything you’ve ever tasted if you haven’t had it in China mmm). We then took the bus to work, where we hung out for a bit (well, I hung out, Lang Dezhong worked… I was told that today I would be “introduced” to the organization and their many projects). After a couple hours, Lang Dezhong and I biked back...

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Jun 20, 2011 - Day 1

Monday, the first day of work. Yadong and I wake up early and head to the China Mobile store near his house to buy a SIM card, which I later realized won’t work with my American phone. He then brings me to a little store, where I buy a little packaged cake for breakfast. We walk for a few minutes, get on the bus for two stops, go through a gate that you need an electronic key for. There’s construction going on next door and this looks like an apartment complex. We go into a building (again, electronic key) and head upstairs to the office,...

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Jun 19, 2011 - Arriving in Harbin

I arrive in Harbin at around 6:30 PM. I was one of maybe four or five foreigners on the flight from Beijing to Harbin and was trying to look as confident as possible as I retrieved my bag from the belt and went to find the bus that Yadong (the director of Green Longjiang, the NGO that I’m working for) told me to take. I walk through the crowds outside the baggage claim trying to look like I know what I’m doing. I look over the signs – Taxis, Police, First Aid, Rest Rooms – and see none pointing to an airport bus. A man approaches me with a...

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