Friday, May 30, 2008

The Last Day of Class

Water Fountain Xiamen University Campus
Lake and reflecting bridge at Xiamen University

The lecture hall and last day of class.

Hosts and Class in front of the Chemical Engineering Building Xiamen University

Xiamen University Expansion

Helen and Sophia with Children's Day Gifts

Friends living in Xiamen
Chinese Student using a Diabolo's (Lg. Chinese Yo-Yo)

Fun Gifts for Children's Day in China!

All five of the students made it to the last day of class. The final exam was taken this afternoon and all that remains is the project that is due a couple of weeks after we get back. In class, we were joined by a number of graduate students from Africa studying for their Masters degree in chemical engineering. At least two of the students have expressed interest in further graduate school at SUNY-ESF and we may be seeing some applications from them. The students seem quite happy that class is done and are looking forward to our sightseeing trip in Beijing. In the picture, we are standing in front of the Chemical Engineering Building with our hosts.

We leave for Beijing tomorrow afternoon and will have three days of guided tours starting Sunday with visits to the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace. On Monday, we will visit the Beijing Panda House, a Hutong tour (old Beijing streets by rickshaw), and the Yonghe Lama Temple. Finally, on Tuesday, we will travel to the Great Wall at Badaling and the Ming tombs. It looks to be a busy three days of sightseeing in Beijing.

Today was Children’s Day in China. Every student got a special present from their teacher in honor of the day. Walking around campus in the afternoon, I saw a number of students with Diabolos, or Chinese Yo-Yo’s. The older children got these, while the younger children (like Helen and Sophia, my friends’ daughters) got monkey nerf paddles.

The other pictures are some more sights around the campus including the lake in the middle of the campus and the water fountain that is shaped like a stack of books. The university is also under construction like the rest of China. Two weeks ago, this road was lined with shops that were open and thriving. When we arrived, most of them were shuttered and closed. As we leave, the building is down to the ground to make way for an expansion of the university. The city has built a new “mall” nearby that will contain many of the shops, but it isn’t ready for occupancy yet. It seems that China is constantly changing and everywhere you look, there is building going on.

The next post will come from Beijing. Please be patient as it is sometimes an effort to reconnect to the Internet after moving to a new city.

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