Final Hours in Chengdu and an Invitation
Well, I’m not sure what everyone else did this weekend, but Martha and I were treated to a day in the city followed by a day in the country. On Saturday we got a taste of weekend life in a city park, with lots of families relaxing and playing. On Sunday we got a real treat, when Joyce, one of the CEFLS teachers who visited Gould last fall, and her family, took us to the country for a barbecue. Words cannot describe the scene as hundreds of city folk converge along a riverside bike path and farmers turn out to open their homes as teahouses, restaurants, and picnic grounds. After a harrowing trip along the path on bikes (only slightly less nerve-racking than driving through the city) we relaxed to grilled meats and veggies, before getting a lesson on the finer points of Mahjong. We played for a couple of hours before heading back to the city for hotpot and packing. Here are some images of our weekend. There is information about our return after the pictures.
So, the countdown has begun on our remaining time in Chengdu. Tomorrow morning we rise, bright and early, meet at the airport, and fly to Beijing ( 2.5 hours), where we will meet the Xi’an group and begin the sharing of stories. Then it’s off to Newark (just under 14 hours in the air), a bounce to Boston (another 1.5 hours) and finally the 3+ hour bus ride back to Bethel. With layovers we will be traveling for roughly 30 hours, start to finish. At least we get a little sleep-in on Tuesday before starting spring term. The 9th grade has a modified scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, as we gather with the groups from Tanzania, India, and the Southwest US to reflect on the past two weeks and share our experiences.
Here is the schedule for our first days back. Please note that parents are welcome at brunch on Tuesday and presentations on Wednesday:
10:30-12:00 Brunch in Ordway Living Room (parents welcome)
1:00-3:00 Group meetings to share photos and create presentations for Wednesday
3:00 Free for the rest of the afternoon
6:00 Formal Dinner – China trip excused
7:00 Mahoosuc Arts Performance – China trip excused
7:45 Assembly – required for all
8:00 Group Presentations in Ordway Living Room ( parents welcome)
After presentations – students and faculty to Bingham Gym for an activity, parents reception in Ordway
After lunch Wednesday, everyone returns to spring term regular schedule, as able.
Hope to see some of you on Tuesday and Wednesday.