A Warm Welcome in Quanzhou
“Welcome to China! Welcome to our school!” That was the message from the 3000 students, in unison, as they were assembled in the schoolyard for our welcoming ceremony. The day started in grand fashion with a series of speeches, an exchange of flags, and the presentation of school pins to the Gould Academy “team.” Earlier the Assistant Head of School, Mr. Wang, introduced the Quanzhou Foreign Language Middle School, with a slide show, and we shared a bit about Gould. The local T.V. channel and newspaper, and a fleet of school photographers covered all the day’s festivities.
A tour of the campus and a Chinese lesson completed the morning activities and all went off with their hosts for lunch and a rest. We met again in the early afternoon for the religious tour—a wander through a thousand-year-old Buddhist Temple, followed by a fairly modern Christian church, and then finishing with a thousand-year-old mosque. Actually a thousand-and-three years, and still counting. In moving from one to the other we walked down the historic market street, where we were treated to hand made spring rolls from the couple that now run the family business, started in 1912.
The rain did not dampen our enthusiasm—probably because the temperature was in the 60’s! We are learning much about this area and its rich cultural heritage.