Silk Road Excursion: Reflections with Jordan
One of the destinations along our Silk Road excursion with Elon University students was Dunhuang city, which lies at an important crossroads of several ancient silk road routes into China. There are many famous destinations in the area surrounding Dunhuang, including the Mogao Caves, Crescent Lake and Singing-sand Mountains. However, what student Jordan Horton appreciated most about our time in Dunhuang was the chance to dine with local farmers, play basketball with peers, and learn a regional dance at Northwest Normal University's Dunhuang campus. Jordan explains:
"I had an absolute blast in Dunhuang. By far one of the best experiences I have had, and one of the most authentic while I have been in China. The hospitality that the family who made lunch for us will never be forgotten, they made me feel right at home. The food was delicious and fresh! After goofing off with the camels out back, I showed the grandmother a photo I took, and she dragged me right back and pulled a camel out for me to hold! I was beyond excited, since they were one of the animals that you only see in photos in America.
Following that, I had a great time showing off at Northwest Normal University. The campus was beautiful, and I got to play a fun game of basketball with the local team. After the game many people took photos with me and wanted videos, and it made me feel like a celebrity. Learning a new style of dance was also fun, although I don't think I captured the same elegance that the dance students had. During the small bit of free time though, I chatted with them and got to teach them the basics of East Coast Swing and Waltz, which they picked up super quick.
The free time was spent walking around the town and the local market. It reminded me a lot of home, with not too many tall buildings around, more quiet, and just an all around wonderful place to be. I am not used to the big city lifestyle, and I got to actually relax and had probably one of the best days I've had in China." - Jordan Horton