On October 18, 2014 Innovation Central High School had three students from the Academy of Business, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship and two chaperones hop on a plane to head off to China. There they took part in Model APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation). Innovation Central was the only American High School to have this opportunity. The chaperones were none other than Innovation Central’s Gideon Sanders and Natasa Karic. The students were none other than Justice Shoals, a sophomore; Hannah Jones, a junior; and Theresa VanDyke, a senior. They were assisted by a list of sponsors such as: Meijer, Heritage Hill, Wolverine, and many more.  

The following are blog posts about her feelings on the Great Wall and on the last day there:

I am super exhausted. The Great Wall just kept going and going and going. With the help of our supervisor and some local vender girls we made it to the end. Speaking of the vender girls we all have our different stories. Each girl singled one of us out. They kept saying "after this you go to my stand and buy only from me.” After the first time she said that I felt as if I was buying their assistance and it was hard to take her help after that.

When it was time for us to "do the buying" the vender tried to sell me a pack of chopsticks for 120 RMB. When I politely declined claiming that the price was too much she blew up at me. I attempted to walk away, but she still was not done. I asked Mr. Sanders how much I should pay and he said 40- 60 RMB for a T-shirt and the pack of chopsticks. I explained what he said to the vender and she walked away in a huff, still yelling back at me.

As soon as she was away she walked right back, but this time with reinforcements. She offered me 100 RMB while her two friends tried to herd Mr. Sanders and Sean (our supervisor) away from me. I declined again and she started to scream and yell again. It all worked out in the end (kind of). She offered me 60 RMB for the T-shirts and the chopsticks. I accepted (mostly to get her off my back).

   -Theresa VanDyke

It is the last day that we will be in China. Even though I will miss China (mostly Tianjin), I feel that it is time to go home. We started our day off at around 5 a.m. by walking to Tiananmen Square (or the Forbidden City for us girls who got lost) to watch the military raise the flag.

After the flag we went on the Beijing metro (subway) to a place you watch traditional Chinese exercises. For example tai chi and a game like hacky sack. Mr. Sanders played the hacky sack game with the locals and he actually wasn't that bad. I enjoyed watching the tai chi because it looked so relaxing.         

When we were done with that, we met up with the others at our hotel and had a very, very quick breakfast. Then, after finishing breakfast, we headed to the van to be taken to the summer palace. The summer palace was full of interesting history. There were stories about the last emperor and the dragon lady. Our "tour guide" was not a very good tour guide because she would not slow down. I would stop and take a picture and when I looked back everyone would be 20 feet away. Even though we were rushed in the summer palace it was a extremely beautiful place.

All of our feet hurt when we finished the summer palace. We walked to our van to be taken to the airport. It was finally time to go.

-Theresa VanDyke