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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yangshuo Experimental Middle School

JULY 2nd, 2007 (again!)

On the agenda for the day was a visit to Yangshuo Experimental Middle School, in which we would all stay for an entire school day. Please note, while the title says "middle school," it's actually a combination of our middle and high school.

The school was a lengthy walk from where we were staying. As we walked the small slope up to the school, we were greeted by a good-sized banner that made us feel very welcome. JK and Matt's "mother" (Jessica), the honorary principal, and a few selected students showed us around the campus of the school. During the tour, I was extremely impressed by the beauty of the school. To give you an idea of the campus, picture many buildings (including a dining hall, auditorium, dormitory, and classrooms) making a half-moon formation around basketball courts and a garden with winding stone paths. The waving trees and blankets of green grass were a perfect foil to the stark school buildings. Yangshuo Experimental Middle School was gorgeous.

After the raising of the flag and a short speech by the principal, our group gathered in a meeting room with Jessica, the principal, the honorary principal, and (at my request) the Blessing Hands students. I seized the opportunity to give the principal and the Blessing Hands children gifts donated by businesses around Morehead. They were very appreciative.

Throughout the day, we had many different activities, including a lunch at the school, a basketball game (as they put it on the scoreboard, "U.S. vs. China"), tire races, and music/drama/dance performances by the teachers, schoolchildren, and our group. Mr. Franzini led our group in a singing of "My Old Kentucky Home." The day was punctuated with several photographic opportunities.

At the end of the day, the honorary principal and principal sent us away with some nice gifts. We were tired but very pleased.

Tomorrow: Putao Primary, Putao Middle, and Yangshuo Middle!