Greetings from Lindinhlanhla Mngadi (Rollins Scholarship student)September 22, 2010
Greetings from Shanghai, we have been here for three weeks and have enjoyed every moment of it. I am spending the first semester (August – December) of my 4th and final year in Shanghai, China. I came to have this opportunity through a study abroad program at Rollins. During our first weekend we were taken on a walking tour around the city. We visited sites such as the Shanghai Urban Museum where we were able to see what Shanghai looked like in years past. It is difficult to comprehend the enormity of the city. One of my professors tells me it is the size of New York City (including its 5 Boroughs) and Chicago! Upon our approach to the city from the airport, although the air pollution is bad, I could see skyscraper after skyscraper as far as the eye could see. It truly is a modern city. Also it is one of the safest cities in China, crime is almost nonexistent.
I have been learning Chinese at Rollins for the past two years, unfortunately, in the short time I have been here I have realized that my Chinese skills are not quite up to scratch; luckily Rollins is ensuring that we get more than our fill of the language. Everyone on the trip has to take 1.5 hours of Chinese every day. It is strange to be taught by Chinese nationals as they have an aversion to conflict; if you say something incorrectly they will simply correct you but will not say you were wrong. Often I have found myself quite proud having contributed only to hear the teacher repeat what I said but in a completely different way. I am getting used to it though.
The Chinese are very inquisitive and generally friendly people. In June I broke my ankle whilst playing rugby. I have been recovering for the last twelve weeks and now have a pneumatic walking boot until I am fully healed. I thoroughly enjoy walking down the street and seeing people’s reaction to my walking boot. They will not try to steal a glance when I am not looking. Instead they will walk over to me and stare at my leg in the hopes of figuring out what is going on. Also, many Chinese have never seen a black or white person before so every now and then we get approached for photographs. This happens mostly at the heritage sites where there will be tourists from outside the big cities. I enjoy the attention; it makes me feel as though I am some sort of celebrity. Also it is good practice for when I am famous in the future.
I look forward to sharing more about my experience when I get back.
Reverend Susan Valiquette, chaplain, seconded to Inanda Seminary since 1999.
Reverend Dr Scott Couper, development manager, seconded to Inanda Seminary since 2009.
Lindinhlanhla Mngadi is a student from Inanda Seminary and is sponsored by Rollins College, First Congregational Church of Winter Park, FL, and Global Ministries.
Scott Couper serves with the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) as a Development Manager of the Inanda Seminary. Susan serves with Inanda Seminary, Durban, South Africa as the chaplain.Make a gift for this Mission placement
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