Big Buddha Busyness

March 25, 2014

Always working hard to keep this trip under budget and ahead of schedule, Barstow and I opted for this exciting transportation option to get to school in time…


to meet the kids to go to the…


This isn’t the Grand Buddha, but what a cheerful looking fellow!



Our host teachers and hired guide were so helpful.  Chinese Buddha stands for kindness, wisdom, and peace.  Here are the kids on their way up.




Luke and Nate on their way up.


The Grand Buddha is carved from the riverside cliffs and is 71 meters (about 230′) high.  Joanna has been very interested in all our Buddhist sightseeing this week.



It was a nice walk to the top, and what a sight!



These two have become quite the pair this week…





Our kids continue to make friends wherever they go.  This man is a retired professor of Russian history from a nearby university.



Buddhist pilgrims from Tibet often make their way to The Grand Buddha.

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It is a steep cliff walk down to the riverbanks beside Grand Buddha.  Our guide told us that “Kindness people like the mountains.  Wisdom people like the water.”  I asked a few of our kids which they preferred, and most answered, “Both!”  I wonder if kindness begets wisdom, or if wisdom begets kindness.




Incense, fruits, and other food were all offered by pilgrims as gifts to the Buddhas.



Of course, Oreos are  a big hit with any deity…


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See anyone you know?  Your kids are doing a great job of living and learning, asking and listening, exploring new sights, foods, cultures, and friends, and spreading their good cheer.

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Here are a few more pix from yesterday.

Some of you may remember Stephen from his 2012 month-long exchange visit to Gould.  He and Danny were our guides on Monday.  Stephen has a photographic memory for every moment and encounter from his visit to our school and is a big Gould supporter!


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Ms. Barstow and I each taught an English class.  Here’s my class.  We opened with a study of  a few lines of “One Day,” by Obama’s Inauguration Poet Richard Blanco, who lives in Bethel.  It is the same poem that appears on the autographed poster that Gould gifted to the Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages School.  These Chinese students were eager to learn the poem and to learn about life at Gould.




3 Responses

  1. Avatar Tedd Brown says:

    Great update Jay. Pictures are nice.

  2. Jay Riley Jay Riley says:

    Thanks, Tedd! Amazing trip with super kids… eight kids, four nationalities, lots of learning going on. We’re headed home on Thursday, but a bunch of us would stay longer if we could!

  3. Avatar Bethany says:

    Another amazing update with great pictures. Thank you both so much for keeping our kids happy and healthy this week.

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