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My American Experience: Qipeng from China

Qipeng Zhang, from China, just finished one-month volunteering at Buttonwoods Museum in Haverhill, MA as part of CHI’s Short Term Enrichment Program.  The Buttonwoods Museum is a museum operated by the Haverhill Historical Society.  The museum includes a John Ward House, a Duncan House, and the Daniel Hunkins Shoe Shop.  Qipeng shares, My American Experience.

My American Experience

Part 1: Volunteering at Buttonwoods Museum

The scope of my projects included directed access to and handing of artifacts in the collections. I worked on a collection of materials including photographs, documents, maps, 3-dimensional objects, and textiles. I photographed many of these objects as part of documentation process. One of my primary tasks was attaching these photographs to individual records in Buttonwoods Museum software database. Additionally, I assisted with and observed several children’s programs conducted by our Program Coordinator.

I was required to translate Buttonwoods Museum tour script with the intention of giving the tour in English to my host family Nancy and my friend Jennifer. That was very meaningful to me, I not only practiced my English, but also shared the information I had learned about the history and culture of Haverhill, I was so happy when I finished the tour guide. I also made friendship with the stuff and volunteer of museum. Jan is the director of the museum who is a wonderful person and gives me a great help, such as loaning me a bicycle, asking somebody to pick me up in rainy weather and speaking to me so clearly and slowly. I am grateful to Jan.

Part 2: Living with a host family, Nancy and Karl

When I arrived at my host family house on first day, I am shocked because the garden is so pretty, the green lawn and colorful flowers and different kinds of vegetables. And Nancy prepared the map and towel and soap to me, she is so thoughtful. She often talked with me, she make me know more about American life and culture, almost every clear day she will take me and her daughter to walk after supper, that was a beautiful time for me because I can see a series of pretty houses when we walk and Nancy will answer my question about the American life.  Sometimes we will talk with people we meet on our walk. Nancy and Karl took me to Rhode Island where there are a lot of beautiful houses.

I like to go on bike rides, so on weekends Karl would told me better route to different place which are not very far away from Haverhill such as Plum Island and Hampton Beach. I always enjoyed the riding along the coast in Plum Island and Hampton Beach, I like ocean and beach, I can’t forget the riding and saw one of my most favorite beach is Sawyers Beach in New Hampshire.
I made friendship with my host family members, such as Nancy, Karl, and their grandson Mickle who is a so cute boy. Nancy’s friend Jennifer is a nice person, I met her in my host family house in July. She was so interested in China and communicated with me for several hours, I enjoyed talking with her, she is a second language teacher, also a good listener and speaker, I was grateful that she joined my tour in Buttonwoods Museum.

Part 3: Conclusion

I am sad to say goodbye to Haverhill and Buttonwoods Museum, I enjoyed this meaningful and different month in such beautiful city and Museum, I think this experience will become one of my most precious memories. Thanks to all of my new friends in America, I am so lucky to meet you, thank you very much for your help. I welcome you to visit me in China!

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