Guess who's back, back again

Top 112 photos of my year in China
Photo 1: Riding camels in the Taklamakan Desert (July 2016)

Six months (?!!) later and we’re back. Second semester went by so quickly and I totally fell off the blogging train. My bad.

I am actually currently in Yangon, Myanmar. I finished up in China a little over a month ago so this post is really really overdue. I’m in Myanmar for another PIA fellowship and I’m hoping to continue blogging here, hopefully with a higher succcess rate. However, before I start on the Myanmar updates I want to wrap up the China chapter.

In order to try to make up for all the words I missed between March and now I am going to use photos to show the highlights of my year in China. Some of them might be repeats from earlier posts, but the majority are from the second half of my year.

Photo 2: Finishing the year at Shihezi University, can’t help but rep the orange and black (July 2016)

Some highlights from second semester at Shihezi include:

  1. Teaching an international contract law class with no prior experience
  2. Going to a rando’s wedding
  3. Meeting up with Billy in Turpan and seeing the fantastic Dunhuang caves in Gansu
  4. Finding an outdoor swimming pool and team in Shihezi
  5. Camping in the mountains
  6. Traveling for 3 weeks around China with my dad

And so much more…

So without further explanation, here are my top 112 favorite photos (in no particular rank) from my year in China. I’ve organized the photos into 3 main categories: Shihezi, Xinjiang, and General China. For the most part I will try to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Shihezi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, PRC

Shihezi, Xinjiang, China
Photo 3: Winter on Shihezi University campus (December 2015)
Photo 4: One of the core values of socialism — freedom (December 2015)
Photo 5: Grilling kebabs in the dead of winter (December 2015)
Photo 6: Cutest puppy in Shihezi at the neighborhood convenience store. At least someone eats the hotdogs (December 2015)
Photo 7: Students photoshop a photo of Tony in his winter gear (December 2015)
Photo 8: Skiing with A Quiet Boy Named Sue (December 2015)
Photo 9: Shihezi’s Uighur Street (Laojie) (March 2016)
Photo 10: My buddies dancing in the dancing square (March 2016)
Photo 11: Sidewalk art in the central park (March 2016)
Photo 12: Sidewalk mahjong (April 2016)
Photo 13: Our neighborhood market. And now you understand why I want to go veggie.
Photo 14: Most popular aisle at the supermarket — oil (April 2016)
Photo 15: Local snack made fresh (May 2016)
Photo 16: Peach blossom festival (May 2016)
Photo 17: Peach blossom festival (May 2016)
Photo 18: Randos wedding. Still not entirely sure how I got dragged to this. Super interesting (May 2016).
Photo 18: Athletes Weekend (May 2016)
Photo 19: Athletes Weekend. Students were required to attend so that the stands looked adequately full (May 2016).
Photo 20: There are elephants in Shihezi? This place just keeps getting weirder (June 2016)
Photo 21: These lions were even bigger than the elephant in photo 20 (June 2016)
Photo 22: Lazy Shihezi afternoons — naps and cigs (June 2016)
Photo 23: Vocab quiz response. Incredible (June 2016)
Photo 24: Fake Hagen-Daaz? Must be almost Gaokao time! (June 2016)
Photo 25: “LOVE” from the sophomore scavenger hunt. The students were shocked that they were allowed to leave the classroom during classtime (June 2016).
Photo 26: My 23rd birthday at a French-inspired chateau in Shihezi (June 18, 2016)
Photo 27: Winery in the middle of a desert (June 2016)
Photo 28: One of the many cooking parties we had with students
Photo 29: Last day of class with the sophomore translation class feat. Bling Bling Little Star, A Quiet Boy Named Sue, August Rush and more (July 2016).

Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, PRC

Map of Xinjiang from Far West
Photo 30: Descent into Urumqi — don’t show China Southern, they don’t like you to use phones (Winter 2015–16)
Photo 31: Tianshan mountains about 2 hours from my apartment (September 2015)
Photo 32: Muslim graveyard in the Tianshan (May 2016)
Photo 33: Happy campers in the Tianshan (Heavenly Mountains) (May 2016)
Photo 34: Our students were really into hiking— check out that suitcase! (May 2016)
Photo 35: Horses at sundown (May 2016)
Photo 36: Tianshan mountains (May 2016)
Photo 37: A man, his motorcycle and his horse near Kanas Lake (September 2015)
Photo 38: Kanas Lake (September 2015)
Photo 39: Kanas Lake in Northern Xinjiang near the border with Russia (September 2015)
Photo 40: Horseback riding near Sayram Lake (June 2016)
Photo 41: Going over the Guozigou bridge to Yining (June 2016)
Photo 42: The amazing Guozigou bridge that leads to Kazakhstan and Yili (June 2016)
Photo 43: Riding horses in the mountains surrounding Sayram Lake in western Xinjiang (October 2015)
Photo 44: Springtime views of Sayram Lake (June 2016)
Photo 45: Herd sheep on horseback (June 2016)
Photo 46: Sunset at Sayram Lake (June 2016)
Photo 47: Taught this little friend how to play frisbee (June 2016)
Photo 48: Sunset over the lake (June 2016)
Photo 49: Riding Kazakh style (June 2016)
Photo 50: Midnight views (June 2016)
Photo 51: Sayram Lake — it was bloody cold (June 2016)
Photo 52: Tianchi Heavenly Lake (May 2016)
Photo 53: Just swimming my way through China’s alpine lakes — Tianchi (May 2016)
Photo 54 — Hiked around the whole Tianchi Heavenly Lake to escape the day trippers (May 2016)
Photo 55: Turpan Minaret — HI BILLY! (May 2016)
Photo 56: Turpan graffiti (May 2016)
Photo 57: Fire Mountain — Journey to the West (May 2016)
Photo 58: Turpan Grottoes (May 2016)
Photo 59: Stumbled upon a tomb in Turpan (May 2016)
Photo 60: Gotta love fish in the most landlocked part of the world (May 2016)
Photo 61: Kashgar Old Town (July 2016)
Photo 62: Kashgar Old Town (July 2016)
Photo 63: This man’s family has been living in this same house making pottery for over 500 years (July 2016)
Photo 64: Kashgar Old Town alleys (July 2016)
Photo 65: the new fashion (July 2016)
Photo 66: Kashgar fabrics (July 2016)
Photo 67: Fresh ice cream on the streets of Kashgar (July 2016)
Photo 68: Kasghar streetview (July 2016)
Photo 69: Night bazaar (July 2016)
Photo 70: Abakh Kohja Tomb (July 2016)
Photo 71: Checking out the quality of sheep at Kashgar Sunday Livestock Market (July 2016)
Photo 72: Livestock Market (July 2016)
Photo 73: Livestock Market (July 2016)
Photo 74: Kashgar Livestock Market (July 2016)
Photo 75: Tashkorgan Stone Castle (July 2016)
Photo 76: Karakul Lake at sunset (July 2016)
Photo 77: Camel on the Karakoram Highway to Pakistan (July 2016)
Photo 78: Overnight in a yurt on Karakul Lake (July 2016)
Photo 79: Yak crossing — Karakoram Highway (July 2016)
Photo 80: Karakul Lake (July 2016)
Photo 81: Beautiful Uighur knives in Yengisar — unfortunately you can’t take them on the airplane (July 2016)
Photo 82: Knife craftsman in Yengisar (July 2016)
Photo 83: Yarkand Tomb (July 2016)
Photo 84: Protector of the tomb (July 2016)
Photo 85: Constructing a grave-house (July 2016)
Photo 86: Karghilik central mosque (July 2016)
Photo 87: Roasted egg mixed with honey — Hotan night market (July 2016)
Photo 88: Handmade silk factory Hotan (July 2016)
Photo 89: Beautiful Hotan silk (July 2016)
Photo 90: Hand woven carpets of Hotan (July 2016)
Photo 91: Handmade mulberry papermaking in Hotan (July 2016)
Photo 92: The wife of the famous paper-maker with her handmade mulberry paper after it has dried in the sun (July 2016)
Photo 93: Hotan pilgrimage tomb (July 2016)
Photo 94: People bury themselves in the desert sand (HOT!!!!!) to relax by the tomb (July 2016)
Photo 95: Finally riding a camel in the Taklamakan — the desert of no return (July 2016)


Photo 96: Qin Shihuangdi’s Terracotta warriors (July 2016)
Photo 97: Xian Big Wild Goose Pagoda (July 2016)
Photo 98: Longji Rice Terraces, Guangxi (July 2016)
Photo 99: Handmade fabrics by the Zhuang (July 2016)
Photo 100: Yangshuo, Guangxi (July 2016)
Photo 101: Back of the 20RMB note at Yangshuo, Guangxi (July 2016)
Photo 102: Yangshuo village (July 2016)
Photo 103: Summer Palace Beijing (July 2016)
Photo 104: Wuzhen river town (July 2016)
Photo 105: Mount Emei, Sichuan (January 2016)
Photo 106: Yuanyuang Rice terraces, Yunnan (January 2016)
Photo 107: Shanxi, Yunnan (January 2016)
Photo 108: Shanxi, Yunnan (January 2016)
Photo 109: Dunhuang Caves (May 2016)
Photo 110: Dunhuang Caves (May 2016)
Photo 111: Gobi Desert (May 2016)

111 pictures later and maybe you have a little sense of my year. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. I will always look back fondly on zhuafan with yogurt, mahjong nights, 3am Chelsea games, cooking with students, horseback riding in the mountains, camping under the stars, dance parties with Kazakhs and making friends with students and people like our convenience store manager, Dave.

So with that, I will wrap up my China experience. I have now moved on to the next chapter in Myanmar (stay tuned for details), but I will always remember Shihezi.

Final shoutout to my cofellows, life savers, and best friends this year — Ricky and Tony. Thank you for everything.

Photo 112: My best friends and lifesavers this year. Thank you!


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