The sun came out in full force today - beautiful day to drop the 5th graders and Hong at the boarding school. We arrived a little before 9 am, greeted at the gate by about 25 Blue Tassel 5th graders and a few teachers. We were escorted by this entourage up the circular driveway to a meeting room, where the rest of the 5th graders were waiting. After the usual general greeting, we watched a video on the Blue Tassel School. Lauren and Katie then introduced our group. Individual TIS students were called up to give an introduction of themselves. Fisher was first up and very nervous - continually backing away from the microphone. The Chinese kids liked the pictures of Fisher's house and snowshoeing. Fisher's penpal
was then called up and he briefly introduced himself, both boys shook hands and sat down. Theo was next up and charged ahead with his presentation which included impressive pictures of his family at Mt. Everest base camp. Hughes wowed the crowd with a picture of his father standing next to Barack Obama (Marcus said he was just a senator at the time). Keiran was the last one up and with good reason - his presentation included a video of Officer Mike (aka dad) getting tased! Other presentations were well received and after each, the penpal was called forward and formally introduced to TIS 5th grader.
After this assembly, we were all given a short tour of classrooms and then went onto the dormitories. The boys, at least, were 5 kids to a room, with at most 2 TIS kids in a room. Every two rooms shared a bathroom with one western toliet and 3 squat toliets. The 5th graders and their penpals then went to their classrooms to drop their backpacks. Back down in the courtyard, we said goodbyes and walked back out to the bus. There didn't seem to be any tears on the 5th graders side, but I'm sure there were a couple of moms who were very misty!