Under the auspices of our Entrepreneurship class affiliation with Global Achievers, we took a field trip to China along with some members of Griffin/Spalding schools.
Here are some highlights of our trip. There are a LOT of pictures here so it takes a little while to load.
The first day we flew from Atlanta to the Shanghai airport, stored our luggage, and took the Maglev train to the city (this is the fastest train in the world). We took the subway to a Chinese fast food restaurant and had dinner, then came back and eventually caught our connecting flight to Beijing. Several of us stayed awake for the duration so we could get used to being on Chinese time. I think it was worth it :)
The second day we were in Beijing. We went to a pearl shop, learned how pearls are cultivated and harvested (our students each received a freashly-harvested pearl), an dshopped a little. We went to Tianenmen Square and then to the Beijing section of the Great Wall.
The third day we stayed in Beijing. My student, a future videographer, was able to have an hour of time with Mr. Li Xin from CCTV, the largest TV network in the world. He runs the news division of CCTV and he and several of his producers met with her to discuss her career plans. We later had lunch down the street from the Bird Cage, and visited a herbal health clinic where many of our party had a satisfying foot massage and consultation. We met Mr. Li later, where he hosted us for a lavish dinner.
The fourth day we went to Chengdu, where we met with students and staff from one of the Griffin/Spalding sister schools. Our students got to participate in a Q&A session on education in America, and a couple of us teachers did a presentation on achieving career success in the global marketplace.
We stayed in Chengdu the next day. The highlight of this day was our visit to the Panda Breeding Center (this is where our pandas in Atlanta were raised).
We went back to Shanghai the next day. We visited the Pearl Tower and went up to look around from the Observation deck at the city spread out before us.
We went to Suzhou on Sunday and visited staff and students at the "Star School" - the High School that serves this community which is a joint venture free-trade zone between China and Singapore. We later took a boat tour around the city.
We went to Hangzhou next. We visited the Yinglin Temple (had a way cool building with tons of different Buddas). We visited a tower that has many more floors than it appears from the outside. Was fun to explore how to ascend the top! As usual - we had a magnificent dinner.
The next day we stayed in Hangzhou. We visited our proposed Sister School there; meeting the staff and students and presenting the signed picture from our Entrepreneurship students at PHHS; as well as letters of introduction from Mr. DeWolf, Governor Purdue, and Congressman Westmoreland. We went to lunch (on a converted ship - very nice!) and toured with some of the staff and students from the school.
We spent our last day in Hangzhou. We did some serious shopping that morning. We then visited an old aristocrat's villa that had been taken over by the government and turned into something of a museum. Unbeknownst to us, Mr. Wu, our powerful host, had reserved it for us that evening and hosted a going away party for us on the premises. Very cool!