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Carson China Blog – Entry 1

Jesse Carson High School Principal Henry Kluttz and Assistant Principal Kelly Withers are visiting China as part of the ě2009 Chinese Bridge Delegationî comprised of approximately 400 school representatives from across the United States. Carson will begin a new international program with China during the 2009-2010 school year with a partner high school, Jiangsu Qingjiang.

Kelly Withers
Assistant Principal, Carson High School

Hello, we finally have internet availability. The hotel in Beijing had internet but it was very expensive. So here is our update thus far regarding our trip. You will need to keep in mind that we are 12 hours ahead of you, so it is 9:22 pm on Thursday as I type this.

Our flight arrived at 2:20 pm on Tuesday afternoon, after 14 very long hours. As we arrived at our hotel, the delegations were greeted by Chinese news cameras that even followed us into our elevators and onto our floor. Our arrival is quite a big deal here. We then spent Tuesday evening getting acquainted with the area and purchasing phone cards.

On Wednesday, we had a very full day. We began our day by visiting Tian’ an men Square and The Forbidden city. We were struck by the size of the square and the many people who were visiting. The Forbidden City was interesting and watching the Chinese people’s awe of it was also interesting. One of our group members from the Center from International Understanding, Shijun, is from Beijing and stated that it is every Chinese person’s dream to be able to enter the gates of The Forbidden City.

After our visits on Wednesday, we returned to our hotel and changed into formal dress for our official reception. We visited Hanban Headquarters (the Chinese agency sponsoring our trip in conjunction with The College Board) and the Confucius Headquarters. We had a great time learning about Chinese culture – we were able to get Chinese paper cuttings, pictures in traditional Chinese wedding attire and many other souvenirs.

After wading through the unbelievable Beijing traffic, we arrived at our formal reception at The Great Hall of the People located just off of Tian’ an men Square. It was explained to us that this was the equivalent of being invited into our Congressional buildings for a reception. We were entertained by displays of Chinese culture, including opera, school choral performances and instrumental performances. In addition, we were able to see Chinese masters paint silk fans. These fans were prepared with our names if we would like in Chinese calligraphy. Our evening included a traditional style Chinese meal.

Today (Thursday), we visted Beijing University for a lecture on Chinese Culture. In addition we heard of two programs that could be used to supply Chinese teachers for our schools. After our visit to Beijing University, we returned to our hotel for lunch and then to check-out. We then travelled to the airport and flew from Beijing to Nanjing in the Jiangsu Province. All of North Carolina’s partner schools are located in the Jiangsu province. We have just arrived at our hotel and will be venturing out tomorrow afternoon to our partner schools.


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