14 Aug Emerald Island With the heat blazing down in Beijing, GAC organized a weekend trip to Emerald Island for our internship in China program candidates. Going there was an hour long car ride. Emerald Island although very close to Beijing is actually situated in a region that is now considered to fall under Hebei Province; this is the province that shares a border with Beijing. This small peninsula covers as area of 7 square meters; it is a unique island formed by sand and green vegetation and is also a tourist spot for many Beijingers who want to take a quick trip outside the city. Coming along with us were also a few students learning Mandarin in China. Off we went with bags packed with swimsuits, beach balls, towels and some food. Starting off at the amusement area, we got to watch wrestling performances; they were loud, with people even placing small bets on their favorite wrestlers. Next up was an acrobatic show involving the sphere of fire! This definitely got a lot of people nervous about watching it; here and there we held our breaths, but the flexibility and all the movements made for a great show. Next day was spent at the beach; we played volleyball, others lay in the sand laughing and practicing their conversational Chinese that they learnt from their daily Chinese language lessons. The clear, calm waters of this island are perfect for swimming as some of our clients indulged and played in the water, quite refreshing on a hot summer’s day! On this day, the whole day was spent on the beach. Off to another section on this island, some people were fishing and catching other sea creatures. This island is also home to many species of birds unique to this area, most of which are under protection as this area is for conservation. The vegetation was also lush and green, with hills rolling in the distance. Quite a view! As the sun looked to set, we also headed out back to the noise and bustle of the city and our normal routine.