This morning I watched the flag raising ceremony at the school. This is a significant event on Monday mornings, kicking off the week for the students and staff. All of the students arrive early, at 7:30 to line up by classes. Seeing 3000 students lined up in the school's courtyard was quite impressive (I did not have a good angle to get a picture to do this justice). At each of these meetings, classes who have done well in the community are honored (their class representatives come up and receive a special banner to hang in their classrooms for the week). Announcements are shared with students and staff by different members of the administration and students. One of the highlights was the student speaker: a student is selected to speak each week, writing a specific piece for the event, inspiring the students and staff.
Students then watch the raising of the flag and are dismissed to morning reading.
After the ceremony, Ms. Xiao took me to a local primary school and local kindergarten. The welcome at both places was very warm and had a wonderful time meeting students and teachers at both places. My camera battery died at this point, so I have a few pictures on my phone that I will upload later. The kindergarten students were beyond adorable.
Mr. Gao, Julia, and I then went to two special places: Yuanjia Village and the Hanyangling Museum. The village was an ancient village that they have restored and opened to tourism (for my San Diego friends, very similar to Old Town). It was beautiful and very interesting. We watched artisans make vinegar and other special foods native to the region.
The Museum is underground and showcases the tombs of leaders of the Han dynasty. I don't have any pictures of this because everything was dark and enclosed in glass... It was a bit like the terracotta warriors but included everything ( animals, people, utensils) that they would need after death.