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Journey East web site




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.

We wish to thank Holden Waterman, Director of the Asian Studies Outreach Program University of Vermont, and Dr. Juefei Wang, (former Director of the ASOP).

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

Leland & Gray
Journey East 2010

Tom Connor
Program Director

Jenny Connor
Ron Kelley


Mary Martin
Diane Newton
Bahman Mahdavi


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Where Are They Now?




Lookout Hohhot, Here We Come!

The group leaves behind the experiences of the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, and Qufu, and settles into down-to-earth life in Inner Mongolia. While the kids have been affected by all they have done and seen so far, it is in Hohhot where these kids will truly find themselves and the meaning of Journey East. Everything they have done up to this point has been preparing them for what they are about to encounter over the next week and a half.

The kids have experienced many highs and lows so far. They are now getting comfortable with themselves and with being in China, enough so they can focus on the real job that lies ahead.

While in Hohhot, they the group will unite with some Inner Mongolian students, with whom many kids from prior journeys east have come to know as friends. These guys will work side-by-side with students as they study, create, and rehearse their collaborative performance pieces. Our students will perform several times in the days ahead, so many wonderful performance photos await!

Lifetime friendships will be created in the next dozen days. Many of the past JE kids (gosh, they are adults now!) still communicate with their Mongolian friends they met on their respective journeys.

So, while we wait for the first photos and reports from Hohhot, Here are a few things you should know about Inner Mongolia and Hohhot:

  • Inner Mongolia is bordered by Mongolia and Russia on the north.
  • Inner Mongolia covers 425,000 square miles (almost five times the size of Vermont), with a population of nearly 23.8 million (Nearly 40 times the population of Vermont!).
  • Hohhot (pronounced (hoe-haught) is the capital of Inner Mongolia. Population 2 million.
  • Hohhot is often referred to as the Blue City (remember the quiz!).
  • Here is a street map of Hohhot.

Do any of you know the symbol of Hohhot?

Hohhot travel map1

The group has a busy start to a very long stay in Hohhot. After being tourists, for a large part of this journey, these guys will now get plugged in and get their pent-up creative and performance juices flowing with lots of music, dancing, singing, collaborative exercises, and lots and lots of learning.

Note to parents: The coming week is the part of the journey that is similar to hitting the wall in a marathon. The first week is filled with all of the anxiety and anticipation of the trip. Each day during the first week brings news and relief as you deal with the absence of your child. The second week is filled with the many reports and photos of your child in Chongqing and Qufu. And now, after 18 days (yes, it’s bee 18 days already!), with the gang settling into a long run in Hohhot, it is easy for your emotions to begin to struggle a little. At this point the trip has lasted (for what seems like) forever and yet, there is still forever to go.

So, hang in there everybody. You are all doing great so far. The stay in Hohhot is fun and exciting and the coming week will fly by. The coming days will bring us many wonderful photos of the kids and their new Mongolian friends that will join our ever-growing Journey East family.

We’ll do everything we can here at JE Central to keep things lively.

The group should be settled in by today and the photos and reports will be should be flowing our way like a faucet turned on high! Can’t wait!


So, for all you musicians out there . . . Stay tuned!


[JE2010] [April 9] [April 10] [April 11]

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Program Director: Tom Connor
webmaster/narrator: John Reinhardt