Friday 4/17 We met Ms. Li's parents and attended a fareweel ceremony with our friends. Every student received a Haidian jacket and Olympics polo shirt as a farewell gift from the school.
We are sad to leave, but at the same time, anxious to return home.
Thursday 4/16 Our last full day in Beijing. We visited the Beiing Zoo with a group of Haidian students and saw the giant pandas. At the zoo you could get your picture taken with a chimp or go on a speedboat ride. We returned to the school for lunch and then visited a hutong http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutong We finished the day by swimming in the school's pool.
Tomorrow morning, after a farewell party, we head for the airport and H O M E !
Tuesday 4/14 We started the day by having breakfast in the cafeteria and picking up a packed lunch for our tour of the Summer Palace. We explored the palace, had a dragon boat ride on the lake, crossed the Seventeen Arches Bridge to a small island. It was a beautiful day for visiting the palace. Next stop was the US Embassy in Beijing where embassy representative Alexander McClaren escorted us through three levels of security and gave us a brief description of an embassy's role. We finished the night at Hard Rock Beijing. Everyone enjoyed some familiar foods.
Monday 4/13 there was a school-wide assembly, then we went to Chemistry and Chinese classes. After lunch, we had a class in traditional Chinese painting and learned about the make-up used in the Beijing Opera.
4/12 Easter Sunday We dressed up and went to a church downtown for part of Easter service. Then we walked down Wangfujing Street - an exclusive designer shopping area - and entered a small street market where some exotic foods are served (seahorses, scorpions, chicken hearts, etc) Some of us sampled the food and we all did some shopping. Next stop was the largest Christian Church in Beijing after which we enjoyed lunch at McDonald's...YUM! Our next stop was a walking tour of Beijing University, followed by a stop at a huge shopping mall. When we returned to the school a huge Easter feast had been prepared for us - turkey, lamb, fried chicken, french fries, fruit and vegetables. Our host, Richard, thought of everything!
Saturday 4/11 We visited two of Beijing's city parks - Purple Bamboo park in the morning and Jing Shan Park in the afternoon. Beijing is a city of apartment dwellers who come to the parks for dancing, tai chi chuan, singing and many other activities. They made us feel most welcome.
Friday 4/10 We started the day with a Kung Fu lesson, then we took turns calling HOME :-]
After lunch, we toured the site of the Olympics - we went inside the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest, with plenty of time to shop for souvenirs.
Thursday 4/9 we set out early to visit Project Hope School - a rural school 4 hours away from Beijing, that is a partner of Haidian Foreign Language School. We met the students, had lunch and planted trees together. Ms. Li taught an English lesson to the Project Hope students. Our long drive took us through the mountains and beautiful scenery.
Wednesday 4/8 we visited the Confucius Temple, then returned to school for lunch and a weaving class. We met up with friends for basketball, free time and dinner. After dinner, a trip to a local mall and KFC.
Tuesday 4/7 we attended a Welcome Ceremony at the school, toured the school, met our friends and had music class
Monday - we climbed to the TOP of the Great Wall...Three miles - uphill both ways!
Our first day was packed with adventure -
We toured the Temple of Heaven, Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City.
Our journey from Detroit to Chicage, Chicago to Beijing:
This map shows many of the places we will visit