Cultural, Discover Chinese culture

Ben’s First Week in Zhuhai

Ben studies International Business and Mandarin at Bryant University Rhode Island. He is taking part in an extensive language and cultural exchange program in Zhuhai with 14 of his peers. Offering homestays and campus living alongside internships and University study, the program provides a fully immersive Chinese experience. When not enjoying downtime with his Chinese family, Ben gets to take part in InternChina activities like ‘wingshun’ or cooking. Moreover, the program also includes trips to Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai to mention but a few to be excited about. Arriving a little later than the rest of the cohort, and during a typhoon no less, Ben tell’s us his first impressions of Zhuhai …

Ben’s Arrival to Zhuhai

When I first arrived in Zhuhai nearly three weeks ago, I was kindly welcomed with a heavy typhoon. I had become fearful for the rest of my five months in China. My host parents held flashlights close to their faces as if telling a scary story, which I continued to think was coming true all around me. But the next morning, with my camera around my neck, I aimlessly roamed the streets of Zhuhai.

With toppled trees, smashed car windshields and trash covering the streets, it was hardly the paradise city I had envisioned. I thought it almost comical to see people in the streets even attempting to clean up the mess of the typhoon. It seemed it would take a lifetime to clear just one street. I was, however, very wrong in my assumption. Just like my mother had said to me growing up, “Many hands make light work”. 

I have never considered myself a “cat person”, but that’s just because of the negative connotation it often comes with. I personally prefer dogs. Dogs are more active, loving and just the superior pet. However, my love for cats deepened after having found two stray kittens crying and whimpering on the side of the road. I frantically ran over and bent down on one knee, waving my hands over them to keep away all of the flies. I rushed them back home and contacted the Intern China staff to ask for their help. Together we took them to the vet and a charity, and they are now growing and healthy.   

 
Just as we nurtured the cats, the people of Zhuhai came together to rebuild the city. I already love Zhuhai. I have met lots of friends from all over the world through InternChina who offer lots of trips and activities. The program is helping sponsor trips to Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai – I can’t wait to bring my camera and explore these places too.
Words and photography by Ben Murphy