Haopeng Yan ’16- During my first two days in Savannah, Georgia, I have had a wide range of unique experiences. In the meantime, I was amazed by the creativity and ingenuity of each site that we visited. For example, we went to Sapelo Island in the first day of our trip. This is an isolated and protected island that no car is allowed on the island. Also, only organized visitors are allowed on the ferry. Because of the islands particular location, the fifth generation of Gullah Geechee people that live there, make a living there and retain their culture from one generation to another. Our tour guide, JR, took us on a five-hour tour and invited us to an authentic low country meal made by his sister. Low country cuisine is the cooking traditionally associated with the South Carolina and the Georgia coast. While it shares features with Southern cooking, its geography, economics, demographics, and culture shape its culinary identity in a different direction from the other regions. The meal we had includes buffalo chicken, green beans, and corn bread.
On the second day of our trip, we were invited by First Black Baptist Church in downtown Savannah to have Sunday worship. First Black Baptist Church is the oldest black church in North America and was established when the Baptist Church was laying its foundation in America. This is a very memorable event for me because this is the first worship that I have ever attended. During the worship, two pastors led the worship through storytelling and prayer. In addition to this, there was a lot of call-and-response singing. Four African American women guided the entire church to sing the anthem with them, making it a very unforgettable scene for me.