By Stephanie He
 
I came to Minnesota in August 2009, so this is my first summer in St. Cloud. The June weather is delicious in St. Cloud. During the summer, the temperature generally stays around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I enjoy the warm and sunny weather because it is totally different from my hometown, where June is hottest month in the summer. In St. Cloud, a lot of local residents choose to do some sports or have fun around the Mississippi River in the summer. Even I have experienced canoeing on the Mississippi River. By Stephanie He
 
I came to Minnesota in August 2009, so this is my first summer in St. Cloud. The June weather is delicious in St. Cloud. During the summer, the temperature generally stays around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I enjoy the warm and sunny weather because it is totally different from my hometown, where June is hottest month in the summer. In St. Cloud, a lot of local residents choose to do some sports or have fun around the Mississippi River in the summer. Even I have experienced canoeing on the Mississippi River.

I had never gone canoeing before. Canoeing is not popular in my hometown, because there is no big river. When I heard about canoeing trip from IEC [the Intensive English Center at St. Cloud State University], I decided to go canoeing. I was so excited. I thought it would be fun and easy. Friday of the week, when I arrived at the banks of the Mississippi River with my friends, I found some students already had gone canoeing in the river. It made me more excited. I could not wait to go canoeing.
 
At the beginning, I took pictures and shared my happiness with my friends. The clean sky and fresh wind were the best weather for canoeing. The Mississippi waters were so clear that I thought I cloud drink right from them. A lot of trees and woods lined the banks; I even thought I heard some animal sounds. After we had been canoeing around one hour, I found it was harder than I thought. There was not any shade in the middle of the river. My canoeing partners and I felt very hot and sunburned. We had not used any sunscreen to protect our skin, because we lacked experience canoeing. Even worse, the river was so slow that if we did not paddle hard we could not move. We have to use all our energy to paddle through the water. At the same time, we could not enjoy the scenery during the four-hour trip. We could not stop paddling; we had to watch out for rocks and trees and avoid them.
 
But there was a lot of fun as well. I will never forget falling into the Mississippi River. Because we lacked experience, we did not know that there were some rocks under the water. Our boat hit the rocks, the canoe tipped over on top of us and we fell into the river. When I fell into the river, I was so scared and thought I would die.  At that time, I could feel water coming from all directions. I did not know how to swim, so I shouted and waved my hands. Suddenly, one of my friends caught me and pulled me up, I stood up and I found that the water was only waist deep. My other friends stood in the water not far from me and laughed loudly.  As a result, there were three girls standing in the Mississippi River and laughing loudly for a long time.
 
Obviously, it was an interesting and amazing experience. I love summer in St. Cloud.
 
Editor’s Note: Stephanie (Yan) He is currently a graduate student attending the Intensive English Center at St. Cloud State University. She graduated from Changsha University of Science & Technology (PRC) in 2009 with a degree in Economics but has a great interest in mass communication. Stephanie will periodically submit articles on her experiences as a student from China attending a U.S. university. Stephanie may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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