Hello everyone! For those who are parents of the delegates, and have not talked to them, we have boarded the flight home and will beginning take off shortly. Hopefully, we will land around two o’clock as the flight was delayed about forty minutes. I will be writing posts on the long flight home and sending them once we arrive back in America. See everyone soon!
Posts tagged ‘China’
It ended bittersweet. We had a day in Hong Kong filled with strange food and rain clouds. Umbrellas were a common sight as were motion sick delegates, but the day was made better by Maggie’s speech at the end which brought me to tears. So, instead of writing a description about our day or a life lesson I learned I’m going to write Maggie a thank you letter and, hopefully, all of you will understand what a large part of this experience she has been.
I remember meeting you at the airport and thinking “This woman is the cutest asian and I can already tell I am going to love her”. Nothing has changed except to that list I would add sassy, hilarious, and the best person to have you take around China.
From day one you enforced the rules, but always had a sense of humour about you. You told me, and everyone else, that the only thing you wanted us to learn was appreciation, something you reiterated in your speech tonight. I have learned to not only appreciate this trip, the opportunity that has been afforded to me, and the sacrifices my parents have made to get me here, but also the culture of China and particularly Beijing. You mentioned tonight that it isn’t about the date the Forbidden City was built or the exact population of any given city, it is about appreciating what we saw and how we saw it. I climbed the Great Wall, I created amazing friendships, and I learned about a people I’d only ever read about. But Maggie, I didn’t just see them, I experienced everything and you helped me see why this culture is so unique and special. You, and your sass, made our group feel like an extremely dysfunctional family in which you were our lion mother willing to do anything to protect her cubs.
I can’t think of seeing this country without anyone but you. Your smile and laugh made every long bus ride more enjoyable. You went along with any hilarity we threw your way, catching onto the sassmaster quips and the squirrel jokes. Your squeals of surprise when we scared you with a snake made me want to pack you in my suitcase and share you with everyone I know. You went off program to give us a true Chinese cultural experience from the Shanghai mall to the Hong Kong market making the trip more exciting and spontaneous. I am gratefuI I had the chance to meet you and if this was your last delegation with People to People I am glad it was with us.
This experience of a lifetime will forever be cemented in my story and I am glad I had a chance to add you as a character. There is a song from Wicked, a breath taking musical on Broadway in New York which you should see if you ever come to America, and it is called “For Good”. There is a line in the song and for me it sums up everything I can’t say without crying:
“It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime, so let me say before we part so much of me is made of what I learned from you, you’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart”.
So, zai jian Maggie. Thank you for all you have done and don’t forget us, because I know myself, and everyone else, will never forget our favourite amasian.
Before our trip to Suzhou we headed to a silk factory where we were taught the process of creating silk from silkworms. We were then able to watch the creation of a bedsheet before we headed off in our directions to shop where popular purchases included silk boxers, ties, and scarves . We then began our long bus ride to the city of Suzhou.
After our arrival in Suzhou, we learned calligraphy at a garden, pictured here, and were able to do a bit of exploration. The trip ended with everyone pausing for a photo op with Maggie on a bridge in the garden.
Today, early in the morning, we headed to an opera museum where we were taught steps for a traditional opera and treated to a small performance. Again Matt, was heads and shoulders above the rest in the dancing department when we were being taught the opera walk. Afterwards, we headed to an embroidery factory where we saw beautiful pieces of artwork that take over one year for the technicians and masters to create.
As you can see, we are receiving an extremely well rounded experience here seeing many different trades in action as well as all types of lifestyles. Instead of a one dimensional look at China, we are getting a full view of the country no normal tourist can say they have had. Maggie said at the beginning of the trip the one thing she wanted to teach us was appreciation, and as we arrive at the end of the trip I am truly savoring each one of these unique experiences no matter how small.
We are now heading to “little Venice” or Wuzhen, a water town. Maggie has given us the task of finding the post office there after check-in and the usual suspects: Matt, Patrick, Austin, Meg, Jon, and I are up to the challenge.
This is a photo of the two ballet dancers who flew above the stage on the two white pieces of fabric. I loved the power, beauty, and grace that is exemplified in the performance as well as in this picture.
I would like to thank Jon for this picture as well as the rest of the circus ones. I was intently video tapping the whole performance for my mother so she could feel like she really went to China.
Here you can see four different motorcyclists going in a circle inside the metal wire ball. This was by far the most exciting and heart pounding act. It had everyone talking and feeling as though they had just truly witnessed a wonder of China.
This picture is of the Chinese acrobats who were more gymnast than anything else. Here one gymnast is jumping through a ring stand over several others as the final trick. Their red and gold costumes were reminiscent of Power Rangers with gold flames on bright red fabric, adding to the excitement of their performance.
This is the magician who performed at the circus to much applause. Besides creating two doves out of one, she brought out a clock and put knives into it leaving no space for the trapped princess to escape. After opening the door not one, but five princesses emerged to roaring applause.
These acrobats performed multiple stunts and this was their finale. They piled onto one bike and created a figure reminiscent of the thousand-armed Lady Buddha.