The Homestay and school exchange ended wonderfully. The 5th grade held a goodbye assembly with multiple performances. They sang, played music, did a rhythmic gymnastics performance and...yes....our 5th graders have a command performance of their Winter Festival play, Snow White. With an audience of about 500 kids, our students were in heaven. They were such hams! It was great.
Their school experience ended after lunch on Friday. The children, who were strangers a month ago, have now formed meaningful friendships. Most regretted saying goodbye. Hopefully, with email, etc., they will keep in touch.
The following day we flew to Xian. Leaving Suzhou's beautiful gardens and almost clean air was hard! We are now in the thick smog of a busy China city. But Xian is the "cradle" of China and full of history. An awaited highlight, biking the city wall surrounding Xian, was the first day's event. We rented bikes and rode the 9 miles around the wall. What a delight!
- Sharyn Marcuson, TIS Parent