Ancient Scenes and Sports Diplomacy

March 27, 2013

Quote of the Day: Chinese Tourist: “Where are you from?” Me: “Guess.” Chinese Tourist: “Well, the tall one [Jacob] must be from Russia…”

Over dinner this evening, Nancy Barstow commented to Evie, our guide for the day, that today was so busy it seemed like four days!  For the students the day started out with some time visiting with 7th and 8th grade classes. While Nancy and I weren’t there, we heard that the Chinese students sang a number of songs for our students and then our students got to return the favor and sing for them… a few of them even had solos!

At 10 we met to head out to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. It was a bit of a drive and a few of our students took the opportunity to have a bit of shut eye.

After a quick stop for lunch, we headed out to see the warriors.

This is my fourth or fifth time seeing the clay army of the first emperor of unified China and I find it more interesting and impressive each time I go.

A general in the army… you can tell by his fancy schmancy hair doo.  Each of the warriors is unique. A full army of warriors each slightly different. Some of them are non-Chinese. It is amazing.


Along the way today, this particular hat was purchased. I think almost everyone in the group had it on at some point or another… It may be the group item of the trip.

Looking out over Pit 1, the first place that the warriors were (re)discovered by a farmer digging a well in one of his fields in the 1970s.

Ali and Leela try out to be archers in the ancient imperial army. Do you think they look ready?

Our group with Qin Shi Haung Di, the first emperor of “modern” imperial China. He ruled over much of what is considered the heartland of China from 221 BC – 210BC. He was obsessed with his own mortality and his desire to live forever. He ruled harshly and forced many things upon the Chinese people that unified them into a nation. When he died, he had to have an army to protect him in the afterlife and the terra cotta warriors are actually constructed and set up as a full army in battle preparation to protect his tomb.

Early spring is a beautiful time of year in Xi’an. The fruit trees are starting to bloom and things are becoming green.

On the way home, we stopped for a walk in a lovely park. The weather was quite hot today (75ish and sunny… which may not seem too bad, but after leaving Maine in a hugh snow storm it is a big difference in a week!) so everyone was glad to find a bit of shady and have “a little rest,” something that is very popular here in Xi’an. Some student took the opportunity to do a bit of journaling.

After we returned to campus it was time for a basketball game! We played against a group of high school students who were having gym class. Suffice to say we didn’t have many basketball players with us, but everyone who got out on the court had a lot of fun and we tried hard.



The two teams.

Final Score!

After the game, Yutaro met one of the students in the school who is studying Japanese and wanted to practice her language skills with a native speaker.

A few more of the pictures with the host and our students. Ali and her host have managed to escape our cameras both days… but we’ll try to get a picture tomorrow!





Tomorrow we head to the Shaanxi History Museum and will have some time to explore the Muslim quarter.



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