April 9




A Beautiful Journey
(JE Performance Program)

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 2007

Tom Connor
Program Director

Ann Landenberger
Artistic Director

Matt Martyn
Music Director


Come see these magnificent performers on Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 pm. They will perform at Leland & Gray High School in Townshend, Vermont.

Click here to find out more about this amazing and fun evening!


Where Are They?




Happy Birthday Amy!

Good day everyone.

tn_Amy's birthday in Jinan 007First of all, we have another birthday today. Amy van Loon enjoys the wearing of the crown and the first bite of what appears to be a very yummy cake! I hope you are keeping track of the birthdays (remember, there will be a test at the end!). Happy Birthday, Amy!

tn_Amy's birthday in Jinan 001

tn_Amy's birthday in Jinan 002

tn_Amy's birthday in Jinan 003

tn_Amy's birthday in Jinan 006

The Journey East group took a lifetime of memories with them as they left Qufu and spent the day visiting Mt. Tai in Jinan. We’ll talk more about (and see photos of) this transitional phase of the journey shortly.

    Monday: Visit Mt. Tai and the Yellow River Bridge in Jinan

We have another load of photos and an insightful report from Karlie Kauffeld today. Let’s get right to work.

A week ago, the group experienced the thrill and excitement of their welcome banquet in Qufu. At first, many of the kids probably thought it would be just another week in China. For some, they found lifetime friends and the performances have changed others’ attitudes and confidence forever.

Yesterday the gang attended their farewell banquet in Qufu. It was a time to laugh, share stories, and reminisce about their time in Qufu. Oh yeah, it was a time to east lots and lots of delicious food! Let’s take a look at some photos of the event.

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 021

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 013

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 014

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 029

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 016


tn_Final Banquet Qufu 048

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 015

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 024

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 067

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 019

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 028

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 025

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 027

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 051

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 052

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 020

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 017

tn_Final Banquet Qufu 001

Look at all those miles of smiles!

As we wave goodbye, we’ll take a look at some of the villages and villagers of Qufu. The journey balances the places and people the group meets by visiting the villages as well as the cities. It is often the visits to the small villages and the interaction with Chinese villagers (who rarely, if at all, get a chance to see Americans) have the biggest impact on the kids.

tn_Ni Shan and Village 001

tn_Ni Shan and Village 004

tn_Ni Shan and Village 009

tn_Ni Shan and Village 010

tn_Ni Shan and Village 072

tn_Ni Shan and Village 077

tn_Ni Shan and Village 061

tn_Ni Shan and Village 091

tn_Ni Shan and Village 038

Up Close and Personal

tn_Ni Shan and Village 040

tn_Ni Shan and Village 059

tn_Ni Shan and Village 045

tn_Ni Shan and Village 101

tn_Ni Shan and Village 022

tn_Ni Shan and Village 023

tn_Ni Shan and Village 027

tn_Ni Shan and Village 088

tn_Ni Shan and Village 090

tn_Ni Shan and Village 062

tn_Ni Shan and Village 086

tn_Ni Shan and Village 070

tn_Ni Shan and Village 084

tn_Ni Shan and Village 096

tn_Ni Shan and Village 028

The impact of visiting these villages is reflected in this moving report by Karlie . . .

April 8, 2007 -- Karlie Kauffeld, Sophomore

“There are lots of opportunities to do a lot of good out there.”
-Tom Connor

Where to begin? I’ll start by saying that I wish I had gone through the village in a completely different manner. I walked along the main road, hand glued to my camera, ready to take a stunning picture. A few people glanced at us, but it wasn’t until I turned down a dirt alley that the interactions began.

The alley was formed by walls made of rock and mud. Corn husks lined the path; bits of garbage showed themselves here and there. We passed closed doors, and didn’t see much in the way of life except for a golden dog chained to a pole. It barked at us: “Why are you in my alley?!” A woman and her two sons walked nervously out of a doorway and the mom called, “Hello!”

We approached over-excitedly; we were so eager to give away our gifts.

Again, I found my camera plastered to my face as I snapped pictures of the adorable baby and his slightly older brother. We pushed our worthless trinkets at them as if by giving them a plastic thing-a-ma-jig we would suddenly become gods.

They weren’t taking them with much pleasure. The older boy stood with a heaping armful of goodies and sort of marveled at what they could be. When I tried to explain that my plastic elephant would glowing the dark, the baby stated to cry and the mom ushered the boys back inside.

Giving toys from America: What joy would that bring to the rural Chinese? Any student from a city would, of course, be overjoyed. She could walk around saying, “This is an American pencil: Someday I hope to use it when I study there.”

But for the young and elderly who have been left in the villages, this is not what fills their lives with light. Most likely others in their families have migrated to the city for jobs, for school, to have some sort of shot at being more than farmers. I suppose I don’t see why the villagers would appreciate us tromping through their homes and their streets. Maybe they weren’t supposed to love us; maybe that was the point. It seems they’ve been left in a village with nothing except the love of their friends to make them happy.

I could talk about everything we Americans take for granted, but it’s only talk. I can address it, anyone can; but the likelihood of a change in Americans’ way of living is microscopic.

So why are we here? You know, I feel ridiculous writing this right now. I’m lying in the grass in the middle of a huge campus. Our coach bus just pulled out of the parking lot in front of the building where we eat three meals a day. Everyone else is back in our huge hotel, maybe eating chocolate they just bought at the market down the street.

Cars are scooting along the road as well-dressed college students stumble along the sidewalks. To my right is the huge theatre we performed in last night. Its glass windows reflect the sun and the blue sky.

How can these worlds be so far apart? It was a 40-minute bus ride to the village. It has the same sun and the same sky. How does this happen? The difference between poor and middle class?

How is it that no one stops to say: “Whoa, wait a minute, this isn’t right.” I suppose it’s an awful lot like one of Ms. L's favorite lines from Galileo [which we produced in March at Leland and Gray]. “So much is accomplished when just one person stands up and says “no.” “

We as Americans have so much power and, as Tom said, there are so many opportunities for us to change the world I’ll end by saying saying that I wish we had gone to the village sooner. I think it would have changed the whole way we’ve looked at this trip.

Today is the halfway mark and I know, at least for me, the village visit has made all the difference in how I’ll live the rest of this trip—and the rest of my life.

I feel like my mindset and outlook on life is so much clearer. It was an amazing experience to visit the village. I’d do it again in an instant.

-- Karlie

It can’t be stressed enough the powerful knowledge and awareness these kids are gaining from this experience. Every day these kids are being bombarded with challenges (externally and internally). And it is obvious, based on the group ni shanreports from the students, these challenges are being met head on. And hey, we are only halfway through this Journey! This show has only just begun!

There is photo of a cave in the top row (top right, above). Moments after that picture was taken, our group of world travelers moved in for a photo op.


Okay, so now the group is visiting Jinan, Mt. Tai, and the Yellow River. Mt. tai is a very special place. It is one of the five sacred mountains of Taoism. There are 22 temples, 97 ruins, 819 stone tablets, and 1,018 cliff-side and stone inscriptions located on Mount Tai. Wow.

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 001

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 002

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 015

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 025

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 026

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 039

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 041

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 035

tn_Mt. Tai and Yellow River plus Jinan 043I could not find the meaning of the word “precippous.” it is likely the sign meant to use the word, “precipitous,” with one of its meanings: Extremely or impassably steep.

The group will continue to explore Jinan and then it is off to Beijing, where they will enjoy a few hours in the city before flying to their final, and another very important destination of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.

As we watch read about the group’s journey through China, each of the members of the group is going through a “journey within.”

Enjoy the day everybody!









[JE2007] [April 8] [April 9] [April 10]