Updated: Mar 4, 2020
Our latest cultural event took us out of Shenzhen to Qingyuan, a place known for its rafting! I must admit, when we all first got there we were a little taken aback about the difference between what we as foreigners all considered to be rafting and what the Chinese definition of rafting was, but once we learned what we were doing, we were all very excited! The rafting we did that day was like if a giant water slide and a rollercoaster had a baby, and it was an absolute blast!
On a very hot, August day, the cool water was a welcome as we slid into our two person rafts, clad in our bright orange helmets and vests, and set foot down the water ride. I had the fortune of going down backwards first, and to say the least, it was equal parts terrifying and exciting all at once. What looked like a log flume turned out to be very much like white water rafting, tossing us left and right, completely drenching us in water as we screamed in glee down the ride! After about 30 seconds of adrenaline pumping rafting, my raft buddy and I splashed down into a pool at the bottom, cheered on by the other Edu-Pals that had gone down before us.
In these pools, others are armed with buckets and water guns in order to start water fights with whoever was in range, and we were quite easy targets since we had no clue what to expect! We still laughed and had plenty of splash battles and laughs with other people visiting before getting sucked down the next slide and experiencing another heart pounding raft ride. We did get separated a few times from the other Edu-Pals, but afterwards, everyone joked that they always knew where I was because they just had to listen for the screams of joy!
After an hour of pure fun, we came to the bottom of the ride where a huuuuge pool collected everyone's boats, and where we proceeded to swim around in, messing with each other and enjoying the afternoon (and took a ton of hilarious pictures of course). Afterwards we got cups of delicious ginger milk tea to warm us up after the being in the cool water (I had three of course), and we got back on our tour bus where we enjoyed each other's company until we arrived back in Shenzhen!
Although we initially had a culture shock on the different definitions of rafting, we all still had such an amazingly fun time, even with the tons of water being thrown in our faces. I can't wait to see where our next cultural event takes us!
(You can check the video here: https://youtu.be/Sp-nTlNh7CQ)