Journey East Trip to China 2005


Created at Leland & Gray High School in Townshend, Vermont, supported by the Asian Studies Outreach Program (ASOP) at the University of Vermont (UVM), and funded primarily through a grant from the Freeman Foundation,

Journey East, as a whole, consists of the Asian Studies Academy and Sino-American Performing Arts Exchange at Leland and Gray Union High School; the integration of an Asian Studies curriculum throughout the Windham Central Supervisory Union, and the introduction of Chinese language programs into the district.

Dr. Juefei Wang, Director of the Asian Studies Outreach Program University of Vermont, is a recipient of the prestigious Goldman Sachs Award for Excellence in International education, on behalf of the UVM, Asian Studies Outreach Program.

The Leland and Gray Journey East program is deeply indebted, and extends its heartfelt thanks, to Dr. Juefei Wang, without whose effort and support this program would not even be possible!

Thank you Juefei!

Leland & Gray
Journey East IV

Tom Connor
Program Director

Ann Landenberger
Artistic Director

Matt Martyn
Music Director


T-minus 3

Gosh, that sounds pretty good, doesn’t it -- three. How about this -- 72 hours. That’s right, the return of your kids is only hours away!

We said at the beginning that the stay in Hohhot was the “heart” of this journey. It is where the wonderful lifetime friendships are created. And those relationships that already existed, become even stronger.

At one time, we referred to the people of Hohhot simply as our hosts. They, in turn, traveled to the U.S. and were our guests. Now, after several exchanges between the two, Hohhot has become our “home away from home.” And our Hohhot friends have become much, much more, they have become family. We can never thank them enough for all they continue to do for our kids, our group leaders and chaperones, to say nothing of the overall success of the Journey East program.

We will say, as we do each year, collectively and from our hearts:

Thank you, Hohhot!

Simply said, Hohhot Rocks!

Hard to believe, but today is the last day in Hohhot for the gang. They’ll spend the day shopping and enjoying free time, recovering from their powerful and exhausting final collaborative show last night. They will celebrate tonight with a farewell banquet.

We probably won’t have any reports until tomorrow. But . . . we DO have plenty of wonderful photos of the final performance. Yea!

Let’s hear from Tom as he tells about the show:

    The photos should give a glimpse of the evening. We got back to the hotel at about 11:15 last night. The performance was grtn_Concert Hall on the 23rd 047eat!

    As Ren Li Gang said, there were some very “big potatoes” in the audience, which is sort of a rarity. Many leaders for the whole Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have taken an interest in the program. The #2 man in this region of 23 million people talked with President Xi Hu Er after the performance and encouraged her to keep this relationship going.  They were very impressed with our kids and with the collaboration.  —Tom

The photos will appear in four waves. The first wave will be our performance. The second wave will be the Mongolian performance. The third wave will be the collaborative performance. The fourth wave will be small group shots taken after the show. And we’ll finish with Tom and a special presentation. Here we go . . .

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And now the Mongolians . . .

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And now everybody . . .

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and now, some special moments following the performance . . .

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And now for something very special . . .

In a continuous effort to expand the effects of the program, and to reach out to as many people as possible, Tom Connor, on behalf of the Leland & Gray Journey East program, presented the first of its scholarships to the Inner Mongolian students after the performance last night:

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Next Saturday, April 30th, this Leland & Gray Journey East 2005 group will present its “Rock ‘n Roll Society” performance to the public (in the L&G Gymnasium). There will be no admission fee, but we would really like to encourage people to donate to the scholarship effort.

This unique scholarship program has been established for students, in financial need, to attend the Arts College in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. We will have photos of the students and some printed material about the scholarship at the performance on the 30th.

The people in Hohhot treat us fabulously and there are many very talented students who would not be able to develop their skills without financial support.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to contribute to the scholarship, you may do so in the form of cash or with checks made out to "Maple Scholarship for Art Education."  Our hope is to be able to make this scholarship available annually.

Thank you . . .

Okay, so this is it folks. Even though we still have three more days of the journey, this closes a really huge chapter in this fabulous journey of ‘05. Soon you will read the reports telling of the difficult goodbyes and the sadness of leaving what has become home for the past twelve days.

A short note from Ann as they head out for their final day in Hohhot:

    We're off now for our last day in Hohhot after a successful show -- or so the accounts have it :-) -- last night. I was so proud of the kids. We're dog tired, but happy; eager to head home, but feeling melancholy. It's always hard to leave Inner Mongolia. —Ann

Says it all.

And so, tomorrow the gang has a 6:00 am departure for Beijing. They will visit the Summer Palace when they arrive and then will visit School Year Abroad and see Johnny Redmond (JE 2004 vet) in the early evening.

Tuesday will be a day of shopping and taking in their last day in China. Wednesday morning they will take to the skies again . . . heading home. : )

That’s all we have from JE headquarters.


Moment of zen . . .   

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[JE trip 2005] [Dress Rehearsal] [Itinerary] [Press release] [March 29]