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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Hiking in China!

On April 21st nine students from the group went on a hike to Wenhai with  Tomasito’s host mom, a native of that village. Four students stayed in Nanyao, our homestay village, spending time with their host families, and some even made vegetarian dumplings together. Hiking up the mountain was breathtaking and beautiful. Pine trees towered over us, while small bushes pricked our legs as we brushed past them. As we looked back, we saw Nanyao in the distance, surrounded by farm land and a beautiful lake. After a few hours of walking and lots of water breaks (in which our guide joked that we were weak for needing so many breaks), we stopped at a Yi village that consists of around 10 families. Our guide explained that the land in this Yi village has unique soil that allows Chinese medicine plants to flourish. These plants are the source of income for this village, enabling the villagers to enjoy the luxuries of electricity, hot water, and concrete houses. We continued our journey up and stopped near a mound of rocks and sticks, that the Yi and Naxi people would put offerings to protect themselves during their long journey. While taking a break Jeff re-bandaged Alyssa’s blister.  Then after few more hours we arrived in a v shaped valley in between two mountains. We had lunch with the local goats 😆. After lunch we decide to give rest of our food to the goats. The goats ran off scared. Hopefully they went back to eat the food. Near the end of the trek we lost Maia. Maia walked back a few meters back of the trail. The last few hours of the trail it started to rain. We saw lots of YAKSnear the village Wenhai. When we arrived the villagers welcomed us with hot tea and little snacks. The boys (plus Isa) Asa, Sawyer, Noah and Tomasito played basketball with the locals. We stayed in the village for few hours before the cars came to return back to the village. The drive down was fascinating. We saw  little villages, locals on little red motor bikes. The trek was fantastic I enjoyed myself. All together the trek was five and half hours.