Today we said goodbye to our wonderful friends at Sanda and “Hello” to our new friends at Shanghai University of Electric Power. When we arrived on campus we were greeted by a large banner that read “Welcome Lander Students and Faculty” – so nice and it certainly did not go unnoticed by the group. Students greeted us with a very vocal reception and we moved right into activities once our luggage was in our rooms. The first order of business was some time in small groups to introduce ourselves and “talk – this proved to be a very good activity that our students really enjoyed. Now the most important thing lunch! In our small groups we were given precut dough and pork mixed with cabbage so we could make our own Dumplings for lunch! After we ate there were a few more games/activities designed to help us all relax; we all had a blast and we discovered that TJ could not hum a tune! We were then taken a tour of their beautiful campus. Their campus is a very clean and modern campus and is still considered to be on the fringe of Shanghai. After the tour it was time for us to do as we wished; some relaxed in their rooms, some played basketball and soccer with some of the students while others explored the campus more thoroughly. We were invited to dinner at a local place by an American couple from the state of Washington who were teaching English – of course we agreed. What a fun night we had! June, the leader of their group, told us that rather than plan the normal “tourist stuff:” they had planned for us to see more of what traditional life was like in China
May 4, 2013
Our schedule today called for a trip to a local farm which was supposed to include activities such as feeding animals (poultry, pigs and sheep), boating, milling, weaving, fishing for crabs and crayfish; however due to the potential Bird Flu threat we as leaders respectfully asked to change the plans. Our day began with a drive thru of the new Pudong area where we saw China’s largest artificial lake, Dishui Lake. After the drive through tour we visited the East China Sea. Don’t get excited it was not a beach as we had envisioned but rather a manmade shoreline made of concrete. What was amazing was at how far out the tide would travel and how flat the area was – I can only imagine what a “stormy high tide” would do to the area. Moving on to lunch we found ourselves once again at Shuyuan Village - it was Just as good as before! After we gorged ourselves were treated to a marvelous flower garden that would make Mr. Park of Park Seed Company jealous; unfortunately I think we missed ”peak time” by probably two or three weeks! While there we did engage in a bit of rivalry in the form of paddle boat races – not sure ANY of us were quite ready for that but we all very much enjoyed the visit. When we arrived home we relaxed (washed cloths, pack, nap, etc) for a couple of hours before dinner and ended up back at the Pink Table Cloth (same restaurant as last night) for another spectacular meal. One again Jeromy and Rita joined us and brought three students with them. I cannot brag enough on our students; they have been absolutely AWESOME! The have completely and freely engaged in the culture and people and are changing not only their lives but also the lives of the people they meet. An interesting aside – while at Shanghai University of Electric Power internet has been non-existent for us which has forced us to look within (and out) for things to keep ourselves occupied during downtime. This, I believe, is truly a blessing as I have …are you ready for this…heard actual conversation and not the clickity clack of keys on computers!