The kindness of strangers

The kindness of strangers

Deanna Barnes We arrived at the University around midday. As soon as we got off our bus, we were greeted by several University students who helped us with our bags.

We made our way to the dorms, and to our surprise, it was one big three-bedroom dorm for the girls and same for the boys. We’re staying in the international students’ dormitory along with several other Korean students.

Our room was much nicer than we had all expected, and I was so glad we would be so close together. I saw the bed and immediately wanted to lie down for a good nap, but we had plans for a banquet hosted by the Dean of International Education.

Once we had all taken our showers and changed clothes, we headed off for the banquet with Alex — a university student who would be helping us out during our trip.

The banquet room looked beautiful as we walked into it; traditional Chinese decorations and place settings made it seem a little unreal to me! All of the students sat down wherever we wanted, unaware there were specific places that had to be filled by specific people.

So after some rearranging, everyone was in their right spots. Our host sat at the head of the table with our professors on either side of him. The food was amazing! I really loved the tea; it was served hot in a glass with loose, fresh green tea leaves.

After our wonderful dinner, Alex and Chiu Qi took us to the University school to get some towels and other necessary things. Even though the trip to the store was only supposed to last a few minutes, we ended up staying for about an hour just looking around at all of the different objects in this little store.

Alex and Chiu Qi were so patient with us and very helpful as we left the store. Everyone has been amazingly kind and hospitable to all of us.

I am so grateful.

    — Deanna Barnes, junior art history major