For this post, I’ve decided to try a new approach and actually write about something that is up-to-date with my life in China! As all of you know (in the Northern hemisphere anyway), summer is in full-swing which, in Dalian, means that it’s time for the beach. A couple of my good friends at SiceYourLife have been hitting the beach hard all summer long but I haven’t been able to join them until just recently because the semester had been wrapping up and it was crunch time. But now, finally, four engineering courses later, my first year as an engineering instructor for Valparaiso University in Dalian, China has come to a close.
This beech was tucked away about 3 km through the woods to the left of the beach you can see in the photo above. It was a very cool place complete with rocks to climb up and dive off of, caves that are accessible to an inflatable kayak, multiple places to hang a hammock, and best of all, it was for the most part just us.
All that’s left now is to finish grading finals and post the final grades. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m not allowed to take a day or two to celebrate, right? Plus, one of those days happened to be the 4th of July and no self-respecting-lover-of-freedom would find themselves cooped up grading this day. And so, my friends and I decided to just go to the beach and invite anyone we thought would like to come. We got there at noon with 4 people, and ended the evening on the beach around 8:30 with nearly 20 people! Everyone got along well, and despite this being an American holiday, we had diverse representation from all around the globe, and that is one of the greatest things I’ve had the pleasure to experience during my time living abroad. Often, these situations serve to highlight the true values that these holidays represent.
It was a fantastic day at the beach and a wonderful way to celebrate Independence Day. Everything just worked out! We thought we’d be able to BBQ on the beach, but it turned out we weren’t allowed to. Instead, I was able to negotiate with a food stall owner to cook our chicken on his grill! Just when we’d be about to run out of beer, someone else would show up to the party with beer! Instead of fireworks, we had a stunning sunset.