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Expo Blog: September - The USA Pavilion at 5 Million

A collection of the best Student Ambassadors blog posts from September

September 30, 2010

A Real Man at the Inner Mongolia Pavilion              September 30, 2010
By LAWRENCE VALVERDE - Harvard University

If a Mongolian were to ask me if I’m a real man, I’m afraid I would have to answer that I’m only two-thirds. In a trivia game at the Inner Mongolian Pavilion, I asked guests what three qualities a real Mongolian man should possess. As the trivia game continued, my friend and I asked many other questions about Inner Mongolia and its culture, and guests who answered correctly would receive a coveted Inner Mongolia Pavilion pin. While the two of us were transported to Inner Mongolia for the day, our two Mongolian counterparts were back at the USA Pavilion as part of our pavilion exchange program. Read more of Lawrence's post...

Pavilion Tours                                                             September 22, 2010

Today I had the privilege to tour the Russia Pavilion with local Chinese students from the Yangguang Haichun School (阳光海川学校). The kids enjoyed a special visit to the USA National Pavilion and the Expo as part of our Community Outreach department’s Kiddie Corner Day. The Russian Pavilion’s exterior was very impressive with towering white and gold walls, embellished atop with ornamental designs. As we toured the pavilion, the kids became very excited and happy to enter a new world very much resembling “Alice in Wonderland.” Giant trees, flowers, fruits, and strange bugs all amidst a floral background and purple lighting created a strange yet magical environment. Moreover, the Russia Pavilion holds a special exhibit showcasing extremely tiny ornaments—so little that a microscope is required to see it clearly. Overall, the Russia Pavilion was aesthetically pleasing, both inside and out, and I was very happy to see the children enjoying themselves in the dreamlike environment. Read more of Michael's post...

A Shaanxi Wedding                                                     September 16, 2010
By ALEXIS MURPHY - University of Arizona

There are things that I would never be asked to do in the U.S.  Being asked to act as a bride in a traditional Tang Dynasty wedding at the Shaanxi Pavilion was among the bizarre activities that I have been asked to participate in just on the lone fact that I am—and look like—a foreigner.  The night before the fateful ceremony, I was out to dinner with my Operations shift, along with our managers.  Nearing midnight, Peter Winter casually asked us girls if any of us would be interested in participating in an event at the Shaanxi Pavilion for Chinese Valentine’s Day the following morning, in just eight short hours.  Fellow U.S. Student Ambassador Lawrence had already volunteered to play the part of the husband.  When I replied that I was on shift the next day, Peter assured me that someone would cover for me.  What should I do?—another day in Operations, or the chance to get married?  Duh.  At the time however, I didn’t know that adorning a ten-pound hat that caused my neck to be slightly tilted for over an hour was part of the agreement. Read more of Alexis's post...

Out to Qibao                                                                September 13, 2010
By CATHERINE GAO - University of Southern California

After a month in Shanghai, I decided to get away from the craziness of the Expo and the restlessness of the city. The ancient town of Qibao lies about an hour south of Shanghai, a perfect destination for a one day adventure. Qibao is built around two intersecting canals and antiquated wooden houses make up most of the town. A tourism site I found on Google deemed the town the “Venice of China,” accompanied by beautiful pictures of serenity and peace. With these images in mind, I set out to experience this water town for myself. Read more of Catherine's post...

Junior Achievers                                                          September 5, 2010
By BRANDY AU - University of Southern California

Last night, I went to a Junior Achievement volunteer training session in preparation for the JA Green Innovation Challenge. What is this JA business all about, you may wonder. In short, JA stands for Junior Achievement, a global non-profit organization that focuses on helping elementary and junior-school age children foster skills applicable to the “real world” of business and finance. The idea is to bring learning beyond the classroom and encourage students from an early age to develop a set of creative and entrepreneurial practices that will carry on with them later in life. Read more of Brandy's post...

Sounds of Donghu                                                        September 2, 2010
By VALERIE CHEN - University of Southern California

I went for a night stroll around the Expo Village with a glass of instant coffee in hand. I walked to the playground near the gym, but was disappointed to find that there are no swings there. There were some Africans nearby playing drums on the grass. There is a lot of African drumming around here. In the Expo, it's commonplace to hear their radical drumming thundering throughout the grounds. They always whip out their drums at Angola parties every Thursday night. I can still hear the drumming now from inside my room. I like it. I walked by building 15. There was a kazakh, it may have been the nice one who gave me his seat on the bus, but it was too dark to tell from a sidelong glance, outside yelling into his phone in russian. I think he said что ты не помнишь but that may be wrong. I like standing on my balcony with the river view, daring myself to look straight down. Read more of Valerie's post...

A Bridge from Expo to the Conscious World             September 1, 2010

At the time of this writing, it’s been a month since my service at the USA Pavilion ended. Only now do I feel like I’m starting to wake up from that long four-month waking dream – a fantasy world in which children and their gardens are metaphorical representations of an ideal world, where in a sea of Haibao’s we find ourselves oblivious to the rest of our problems at home and around the world. That brief moment of clarity you get each morning after a long night of dreaming is what I wish to capture here, before it is forever lost to the recesses of my unconscious mind. Read more of Alex's post...