They’re back . . . back . . . back home again . . .
If you are reading this, then that means the JE 2005 group is back home, safe and sound! Yippee!!, No matter how great the journey, this is the best part -- the safe return home.
Not only were all the parents at the airport, there were a few Journey East veterans of ‘02 and ‘04 in the welcoming crowd as well! Now that is cool, really cool!
Tom, Ann, and Matt took the kids and chaperones on a magnificent journey through thousands of miles and thousands of years of China. We saw just a very small token of it through their pictures, through their writing, and through their hearts. Now, they are home again and the rest of the story can be told, in person. The journey now comes alive!
Before we close this part of the adventure. we’ve got to say thank you to three very special people . . .
Tom Connor, Ann Landenberger, and Matt Martyn
We can never thank them enough for all they have done, and continue to do . . .
We also want to give a big round of applause and a hearty “thank you” to our two wonderful chaperones, Elyn Bischof and Mimi Wright. There is a lot of personal sacrifice involved in being a JE chaperone. Not only do they leave their family and “life” for a month, but during the journey they must be a parent, a guide, a disciplinarian, a friend, a consultant, a traffic cop, a nurse . . . okay, you get the picture. And, most importantly, there are times when the kids just need a hug. Thank you Elyn and Mimi.
And we can’t leave without thanking all of the thousands of Chinese and Mongolian people who served as hosts, companions, and friends to our traveling family. Hohhot has become the home of our extended family. If I began to name everyone individually, we’d be here for a long, long time. Without their gracious, never-ending hospitality, this journey would not be what it is. Thank you.
We’ll get Ray’s report posted on this day, when it arrives, for all to read. We’ll also get the answers to the quiz posted one of these days soon. Normally, as in years past, the answers would be posted on this day. However, I thought I’d hold off a little longer, allowing those of you taking the quiz not to be tempted to look ahead too soon! Of course, I shouldn’t be concerned, because I know none of you ever peaked ahead to the next day during the journey, did you? That will be our own little secret. : )
This trip may be over, but the Leland & Gray “Journey East” program continues, bigger and better than ever! Since its inception in 2000, we now have over 100 students and chaperones/teachers who have traveled to China as part of the Performing Arts Exchange. Amazing! We look forward to another visit by the Mongolians this fall, and preparations are underway for the next Journey East trip to China. I am sure there will be other Journey East events, and we look forward to bringing them all to you, right here, same bat time, same bat channel!
Okay, so a month ago you said goodbye to your kids, and a few days ago the kids said goodbye to their friends in Hohhot. And now the time has come for us to say goodbye. We’ve all experienced a very special month together -- a journey of our own. For some, this is our third time together. Special thanks to Andi Anderson and Andrea Seaton for their continuous support, input and updates on events.
Well, as difficult as this is (what, to stop rambling?!), we must finish this chapter in the Journey East book and get ready to begin the next one.
And now, it’s only fitting that we close with a final “moment of zen” . . .