Thanks to the Hustons for sending the above photos of the reunion at Bradley Airport! What a moment!
Before we close this part of the adventure, here are some links of some fantasic and amazing photos of the group’s FINAL PERFORMANCE. Check these out!
The following pages are from the website of the Art College of the delegation in the news (Thanks again, Xiaoyan!):
So, with the journey behind us and everyone back home “safe and sound,” we’ve got to say thank you to three very special people . . .
Tom Connor, Mike Roberts, and Meg Van Dyck
We can never thank them enough for all they’ve done . . .
We also want to give a big round of applause and a hearty “thank you” to our three wonderful chaperones, Vera Gervais, Kurt Tietz, and Carol Bailey. 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 Vera, Kurt, and Carol.
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.
And thanks to Andi Anderson and Rick Jones for their support, photos, and insight during the journey.
We might get more reports (and photos) before the journey (officially) ends, and if we do, we’ll post them for all to see. The answers to the quiz will be available soon (see link on main page). I was going to put them up today, but I wanted to give those of you still 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 200 students and chaperones/teachers who have traveled to China as part of the Performing Arts Exchange. Amazing! We look forward to possibly another visit by the Mongolians in the fall, and preparations are underway for the next Journey East trip to China in 2010. I am sure there will be other Journey East events, and we look forward to bringing them all to you, right here (www.thejourneyeast.net), 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 fifth time together.
Well, as difficult as this is (what, to stop going on and on?!), we must finish this chapter in the Journey East 2008 book and get ready to begin the next one.
And now, we give our final thanks to all of the students of this journey: Cassidy, Bo, Maggie, Graham, Sarah, Victoria, Shelby, Alyssa, Greg, Landis, Amanda, Tyler, Lena, Taylor, Jake, Rachael, Audrey, August, Eliza, Lauren, Sarah, Melissa, and Michaela. Without them, this journey would be an empty bottle. Our hats are off to you and your accomplishments. It’s only fitting now that we close with the JE 2008 group leaving their mark on China . . .
Thanks everybody, you’ve been great!
John Reinhardt, Journey East webmaster
April 24, 2008