March 30




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?




TGIF! The Group Is (having) Fun!

Hi Everyone . . .

Before we dive into today’s events and photos, we have some photos from the acrobatic show the group attended the other day.





Simply amazing!

And to tell us how things are going so far, and how weird it is to be in a land where you can’t understand most of what you hear, read, or see . . . here’s Julie:

March 29, 2007 -- Julie David, Sophomore

It’s 8:30 and Beijing’s sky is crying a river over us as we leave the city for Sichuan.

I have the impression that we spent those few days in a bubble: I discovered how frustrating it is to be in a country where you don’t understand --at all-- the language spoken around you. Knowing neither the codes nor what is written on buildings creates a very isolating feeling. But at the same time, American culture is so present: American brand names, McDonald’s, some stores with English names or even in the middle of an ad written in Chinese just one English word. The very Chinese food in restaurants is served with Coca Cola and Sprite, the hotel dining room has traditional decoration with two disco lamps in the middle of it. This awkward mix of two powerful world cultures is odd. The very Chinese habits and codes we sometimes don’t see and even if we do it is sometimes so hard to understand them; accept, apply and respect them. But this is the way it is whenever anyone travels and we have to follow the local code in order to avoid being disrespectful, rude or embarrassing.

We arrived in Chongqing around 2 PM. This place is so amazing: It feels like summer -- so warm and sunny, full of pretty green landscapes. Big city, wild city; lots of people. It looks to me a way more attractive, animated and welcoming city than Beijing.

Tom-the-beloved-boss and our local guides led us into the city for a discovering walk. He gave us free time to shop to Taylor’s greatest pleasure. This city is really like a Chinese New York: so big, beyond measure, colorful, lively, vast and crazy. If people didn’t speak Chinese, I would live here. J

For dinner we went to a great restaurant -- so classy and with FANTASTIC food. I loved it! We then formed two groups to start planning what we are going to present for tomorrow’s exchanges with two Chinese schools.

I like how the group gets less cliquey and tighter -- maybe especially today because we are changing roommates, but I really have the impression that kids are discovering and enjoying each other and, OK, sometimes finding clashing personalities.

The hotel is great. Scoop of the evening: Amy’s phone card doesn’t work; Andi wants to travel more; Ellie likes another singer besides Bob Dylan (Anything can happen, guys!): Chauncey wants a haircut; Johnny doesn’t understand the equivalent money thing and I want to marry a man who cooks Chinese food.


Do you think Julie likes the food?! Yeah, I think she does indeed!

The Journey East group has arrived in Chongqing. Chongqing is about 907 miles southwest of Beijing. But then, I have other references of 1,120 miles. So, about a thousand miles will do! Here is a cool link for finding distances to places from Beijing.

Chongqing means “double celebration” to commemorate Southern Song Emperor Guangzong to princely and then imperial rank (in 1189). says of Chongqing:

    “The city of Chongqing can be best described as southwest China’s commercial capital. Since 1997, the city has become the fourth municipality, independent from Sichuan Province, to be under the direct control of the central government. The major port of the upper Yangzi River and gateway to the famous “Three Gorges,” Chongqing now includes most of the former eastern Sichuan Province, with a population of 30 million. It is a major center of iron and steel production, motorcycle manufacturing and shipbuilding, as well as chemical and pharmaceutical production. The religious cliff sculptures of Dazu and Baodingshan and the Three Gorges scenic region of the Yangzi River are all nearby, making Chongqing an important center for tourism despite the scarcity of notable sights within the city proper.” []

Tom gives us some insight into their arrival in Chongqing. Tom:

    The plan ride from Beijing was about two and a half hours. Traveled over some beautiful, extremely mountainous terrain as we made our way southwest to Chongqing. it is warm, green, extremely hilly and beautiful down here. We are being hosted by the Stilwell International Student Exchange Program. They are very accommodating and have arranged a great schedule for us during our stay here. [The] photos [were] taken while we were waiting in the airport in Beijing and then some taken on our walk after we arrived or from the hotel that we are staying at, which is right next to the Yangtze River.

Let’s check out some of the photos:

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I am assuming the guys in the picture (top left) are engaging in two-person stretching exercises after a long trip to Chongqing!

And check out the photo (bottom right) with all the people in the street. Now that’s what I call rush hour! Did you notice the KFC and McDonald’s signs?

Okay, Tom goes on to say:

    Today: We visit the Three Gorges Museum and the Chongqing Bashu Middle School, the Chongqing FLS School, the Hongyadong Culture Center and then have Huoguo, (Spicy Hot Pot Dinner).

    This will be followed this evening by a Bayu Folk Art Show Performance.

    Tomorrow we tour the Stilwell Museum and tour the old town (Ciqikou) and have a river boat tour on the Yangtze.

    On April 1, we tour the stone carvings at Dazu, about a two hour drive from here, stop at a middle school on the way home, have dinner at Nanbin water front by the river.

    April 2 will see an early wake-up call and an 8:00 AM departure for Jinan and Qufu.

    We got everyone to bed by 9 last night so people should have some energy for the next few days adventures. [Tom]

Sounds like a busy few days ahead. Huoguo (Huo stands for Fire, and Guo stands for Pot) sounds pretty tasty, doesn’t it? This is also know as “Hotpot.” If you want to thrill your child when they return, here is the scoop (actually, this more than the scoop, this is everything!) on this interesting dish:

Hotpot recipe and instruction

And here’s a little background on the Stilwell Museum

    “General Stilwell Museum is housed in the former VIP guest house of the Guomingdang and residence of General Stillwell.

    “General Stillwell was an American General sent to China to help fight the Japanese in World War II.

    “During World War II, American pilot volunteers organized a squadron renowned as the invincible 'Flying Tigers' to airlift arms, weaponry and other war-time goods to help China in its struggles against Japanese aggressors. The US volunteers opened up a historical air corridor from India to the cities of Kunming and Chongqing in southwestern China via Myanmar (formerly known as Burma).

    “The Flying Tigers flew out of Chongqing and the Japanese looked for months for an airstrip but could never find one. In the Yangtze River, there is a permanent sandbar, this is the 'airstrip' the Flying Tigers used. The Japanese never figured anyone would use this sandbar for an airstrip.

    “Since 1991, the Chongqing Municipal Government has turned it into a museum, housing exhibits on General Stillwell and Americans in Chongqing during World War II.” []”:

Tom also goes on to tell us:

    JE 2000 alum Geneva Holden from Newfane met us at the airport here in Chongqing. Geneva was a member of the very first Leland and Gray group to come to China. After leaving L&G she went to McGill University in Montreal and is now working for a Chinese company in Jiangmen, a city in southern China. It is great to see her and to have her travel with us for a few days. Amazing to think that 7 years have passed, Geneva was in the 10th grade, since this program was initiated. [Tom]

I wouldn’t be surprised in ten years one of this year’s Journey East students is living or working in China. Many former JE graduates have continued to study, travel, and work in China.

Be sure to check back on these pages later each day. The arrival of photos and reports is random due to the busy schedule of the group and the twelve hour time difference.

That’s it for now!






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