Hi Everyone!

We have pictures a report from Tom, a short note from Ann, and the first student report. The gang has obviously settled down in Qufu. We can now look forward to some photos of their first performance while they visit Qufu. They have a homecoming banquet Sunday night and their first performances will be Monday night. They’ll be so happy to get that first show “under their belts.” For those of you who watched the dress rehearsal, before they left, you’ll see the change to a seasoned troupe when they perform back home the end of April!

Let’s get on with the reports from China:

We are having difficulty with photos from Qufu but hope to resolve that soon. The weather is great; sunny, blue sky, a little cool. From what I hear Vermont is experiencing some nasty weather. The students are in our first performance hall for a rehearsal. The place seats about 900. I expect that there will be a thousand there for our very first performance in China. Things are a lot more relaxed here. The kids are very comfortable walking around, going to "the mall." Ask kids from 2002 about "the mall." Quite a scene! The changes on the campus in the past two years are pretty amazing. New buildings, new green space, new and beautiful soccer field with stands, etc. Quite impressive. Well, time to attach Cody's entry.  I'll be in touch.


Sounds like things are going quite well for everyone. One of the most exciting elements of this “web journey” is receiving the reports from the students. Here is our first report from

April 2, 2004

Today’s full agenda included visits to the Temple of Heaven, Ti An Men Square, the Forbidden City, and the Beijing Opera. We went to the Temple of Heaven first, in the morning. The name indicates that it is just one temple, but there are many others surrounding it. One of our guides, Jenny, told us that the Temple of Heaven is shaped as a circle to symbolize the heavens, and the other square, green-roofed buildings symbolize the earth. At the Temple of Heaven, everything is supposed to be in harmony.

Emperors would go to the Temple of Heaven to pray for a good harvest. A good harvest could mean the difference between feast and famine, so the Temple was very important to the emperor and the people of China. If a good harvest did not follow the emperor’s prayer, it could mean that the emperor had lost the mandate of Heaven, meaning he is [no longer the authoritative figure with unanimous societal support].

Today’s visits [served to remind me] how important it is to be informed when visiting any site. Without background, even the Forbidden City or Ti An Men Square could seem boring. Everything is more enjoyable with prior knowledge.

-- submitted by Tessa Anderson

EDITOR’S NOTE: As foreigners, we received odd looks throughout the day – Dan Rosow’s “dredded” hair combined with Gordon Landenberger’s bare calves and Teva-clad feet were undoubtedly a spectacle. Various blonde-haired girls from the JE troupe were stopped and asked to have their pictures taken by and with random Chinese, and curious fingers were consistently pointed at us over the course of the day. We’ve got a month left to feel like teenage heartthrobs! -- Emma

This is great stuff. Can’t wait for the next batch of photos! And finally a short note from Ann:

April 3…We made it safely to Qufu where the atmosphere on this University campus is relaxed, warm, friendly and engaging. It’s a wonderful place for the kids — and us adults — to enjoy genuine interactions with our Chinese peers. We’ll post Jeanne and Izzy’s report on that later today. – Annie.

 PS: We’re remembering that as of your Sunday AM we’re only 12 hours apart.

Looks like we have a couple more student reports on their way. Yippee!

So, until tomorrow or whenever we hear next from our JE gang, whichever comes first, the anticipation of the first performance builds . . . don’t forget to set your clocks forward!

Have a great day!