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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?




Up Against the Wall . . .

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It’s Friday, March 26. Do you know where your kids are?

Knowing everyone is “safe and sound” in China helps settle everyone a bit. And seeing them is even better. We have lots of pictures to share today, so let’s get started.

After such a long trip (14 hours in an airplane!), jet lag, 12 hour time difference, and I’m sure a lack of sleep, are surely taking their toll. But no matter how tired everyone might feel, the excitement of experiencing one of the most iconic structures of China (and the world) will keep these guys pumped for another day!

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 074Lots of walking and climbing is on tap for tday as the group visits the Great Wall of China. This wall stretches from Shanhaiguan  in the east to  Lop Nur  in the west. Including the trenches and natural barriers, the length of the wall is about 5,500 miles. How long is the actual wall itself? (Remember the quiz!)

Okay, so before we check out the first photos of the visit to the wall, we have birthdays to celebrate!!

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And here’s a special treat: Listen to them sing “Happy Birthday!”

We are going to dig into our JE archives to find out the record for the number of birthdays on one journey. Do you remember which journey and how many?

And now that everyone’s full of cake and ice cream, let’s get out to the wall!

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The Wall

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Breathtaking! Can you imagine? Very cool!

tn_Great Wall at Mutianyu 025A tradition was started a couple of journeys ago with the Jones sisters and it appears that tradition has continued to this journey -- An acrobatic pose on the Great Wall!

Let’s hear what the kids have to say about the Wall and the journey so far . . .

...the wall is beyond amazing...

Today will be the group’s only full day in Beijing until they return at the end of the journey. Tomorrow they head off to Chongqing.

We’ll close with a few miscellaneous pictures of the group at an evening meal.

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More food

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Even though these students have only been in China for two days, this new culture has already impacted them in so many ways. Yesterday, Brandy wrote: “China is so foreign to me; everything, from the smells, the sounds, the street sounds and the overall feel. It’s like nothing I’ve ever known. It’s new, and exciting and fun, and yes, so foreign.” By the end of the journey, China and Inner Mongolia will feel so familiar to her. She’ll feel like she belongs there. Many of these students will have a difficult time saying goodbye.

    Reminder: New material “might” be added to the site throughout each day,, so when you return to a page, be sure to refresh the page, making sure you are seeing the latest page and not an old one stored on your computer. I’ll try to get something up each morning. There is a good chance that photos and reports will arrive by noon each day. But, because of travel, Internet connections, and time restraints, please don’t count on consistency.

Alrighty, then. Each day will be filled with so many activities and adventures that most of the kids will actually be looking forward to going to bed before midnight! Can you imagine that?

Seeing and walking on the Great Wall must be breathtaking. And that experience alone is priceless. In fact, each day’s experience is priceless.

Right now, the students are enjoying the tourist part of the journey. They are experiencing and learning about China and its history. it is mind boggling to think about all they will see, hear, and experience. These first few days will help give the students a sense of appreciation and understanding of the people and culture.

This part of the journey helps to “set the stage” (okay, you got me - pun intended) on which they will be performing in the weeks ahead.

This is such a marvelous exchange of cultures. And we know that our young ambassadors are serving us proud!

Okay, Jackson, let’s get going!

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Ya’ll come back now, ya hear? 

[JE2010] [March 25] [March 26] [March 27]

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