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Christmas 2006 (1/07)

Basketballs bounce in Xi'an

Zhangye, a deeper look (7/06)

China comes to Virginia (7/06)

Winter Conference 

Happy Birthday, Amity, 
Part 1

Part 2 (11/05)

Bringing Sunshine,
Part 1

Part 2 (10/05)

Summer 2005: (7/05)

Needed: China volunteers

Bluefield College in China

Lantern Festival (2/05)

Village of God (2/05)

Summer 2004:

FBC Richmond (5/20)

Opposites attract (5/26)

Mission Impossible (5/24)

Rules for a new mother (10/24)

Brocade Museum (10/24)

Barbara Diggs at NIM (4/4)

Fujian Earthen Houses (2/14)

Zhangzhou Puppets (2/14)

Merry Christmas

JIE's 50th Anniversary

Oral English Competition

Sam's Page

Virginia Baptists arrive for 2002 SEP, Shanghai - Nanjing

Part 2: in Jining, the program begins

Inner Mongolia's grasslands

Baotou and Wudang Temple

Abby and Sarah in Xi'an

Discovering the Nestorian Pagoda

Eating Zongzi June, 2002

Mary Washington comes to China, Part 1
Part 2 May/June 2002

Xi'an May 2002
Terracotta soldiers
   The Nestorian tablet





Mary Washington College students
come to Nanjing

For many months, we have been anticipating the arrival of Susan Blanchard, campus minister, and eight students from the BSU at Mary Washington College in Virginia. On May 24, they arrived for about ten days of cultural exchange, which is to say they will share from their culture and will gain insight into Chinese culture. They will make friends with Chinese people, learn about history as well as contemporary life, attend church, and visit places of interest. Their experience will include a weekend in Beijing before their departure June 3. Our new friends are: Meg Horne, Patrick Hiltz, Jermaine Lane, Amy Smith, Kristen Bridges, Sara Richmond, Sarah Amick, and Kelly Allsbrook.

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The group arrived at Pudong Airport in Shanghai on Friday afternoon around 5:30. All went well with luggage retrieval and customs and Rosie and I met them as they emerged from the secure area. We had decided they should cash travelers checks at the airport - not a good decision - only one cashier was handling the task and we were by far the last ones at the airport. But, we finally got that done and we took all the luggage to the van. We couldn't all fit in, so we had to call a taxi. Jermaine and I and a piece or two of luggage went separately. After we arrived at the Pujiang Hotel and got to our rooms (on the third floor in a back section of the hotel with no elevator) some of the students went out to enjoy the fabulous Shanghai skyline at night. Our hotel was right on the river with its famed Bund and the new skyline on the east side of the river. It's quite a sight at night.
   The next morning, we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel and went out to explore the Bund in the day time.
Photos above show: Jermaine and Susan waiting on the steps of the hotel; breakfast buffet; eating breakfast using chopsticks; group photos at a memorial honoring revolutionary martyrs, with the old Bund financial buildings in the background.
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In 1842, Shanghai was basically a fishing village, with most of the city's residents living behind a circular city wall in what is now just a small corner of the downtown area. After the signing of the Treaty of Nanking which ceded Hong Kong to Britain and opened up five treaty ports, of which Shanghai was one, the British arrived to set up a foreign community on Chinese soil. The area chosen was a little north of the walled city, just below Suzhou Creek, on the banks of the Huangpu River. The magnificent city which developed and expanded from this small beginning became known as "the pearl of the orient." After 1949, the city languished somewhat as much of the revenue from the city fueled development all over China. In the mid-1980s, Shanghai was again given a green light to develop. Shanghai people have long had a reputation for business and this prowess has given rise to a magnificent modern city, particularly east of the Huangpu River, which previous to 1990, had largely been undeveloped farmland.
   Our group walked along the Bund, which is the name for both the elevated walkway along the water's edge, and the old stately buildings, originally built by foreign financial institutions back in the 1920s and 1930s. Shown above: The green pyramid roof is the Peace Hotel, with its art deco lobby. Noel Coward wrote his play, "Private Lives" while staying here in the 1930s. Many of the other buildings are again financial institutions, but this time, they are either Chinese, or have been properly bought by foreign banks. The skyline east of the river shows the Pearl TV Tower, the tallest in Asia and third tallest in the world; also shown, but its distance belies its height: the Jin Mao Tower, third tallest skyscraper in the world, just ahead of the now-collapsed World Trade Center. While walking on the elevated walkway, some Shanghai high school students on assignment from English class interviewed our group members. And, finally, the British lion relaxes in front of the building which was originally the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, and is now the Pudong Development Bank. The interior has been preserved through the years and is a paean to western values and world-class cities, through mosaic images around a domed ceiling. The building served as the Shanghai city hall for over 40 years, but the city built its own new home at People's Square a few years ago.
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After walking down about half the length of the Bund, we crossed over to go inside the Pudong Development Bank to see the interior of the old Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. After that, we went a couple of blocks west and saw a couple of other historical buildings, and then walked on down to the old city, within the circle formed by Ren Min Road (the people's road) which is what has taken the place of the original city wall. A portion of that area is now a market and tourist area where the old Ming Dynasty style of architecture has been preserved and perpetuated.
   Photos: The City God Temple market area, with its old Chinese architecture. The teahouse, center, goes back 400 years. It was originally part of a garden which is now enclosed in a separate area. I am standing on the "nine-turnings bridge," a common traditional style of Chinese bridge (evil spirits can't go around corners.) We ate lunch at a small restaurant that serves traditional Shanghai food. We are eating a dumpling called "xiaolong," and bowls of huntun, known as wonton soup by most westerners, but the dumplings are much larger and more plentiful than in most American Chinese food restaurants.
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Saturday afternoon, we traveled from Shanghai to Nanjing by a large van. After settling into the hotel, we went to a restaurant on campus for our first multi-course Chinese meal. The first two photos were taken at that meal; I am showing off here, eating a duck head. After church on Sunday, we walked to a nearby mosque and were allowed to go inside to look around. We learned that there are three mosques in Nanjing and that this one is closed for renovation.
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Sunday afternoon included a trip to Sun Yatsen's mausoleum, a must-see for visitors to Nanjing. Dr. Sun Yatsen (known to Chinese as Sun Zhongshan) is credited with being the inspiration and initiator of the Chinese revolution which toppled the 2000-year long imperial rule of China. He held power briefly as provisional president, but lacked the financial and military backing to retain that power. He worked tirelessly most of his life for the benefit of the Chinese people. He is the only modern leader to be honored by all Chinese. He died of liver cancer in 1925 and was initially buried in Beijing, but when the Nationalist government established its capital in Nanjing, Dr. Sun's body was moved here and placed in the specially constructed mausoleum.
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Sunday evening, we went nearby to visit with Jim and Carolyn Higginbotham for a bi-weekly fellowship time, which included other American Christian friends in Nanjing. This was a meaningful way to launch our week in Nanjing and we enjoyed the fellowship and time of preparation for the days ahead. On Monday, we began the week of relationship-building with Jiangsu Institute of Education students. Each day, different groups of students were assigned to host the Americans, one American student for each group of six to eight Chinese students. Monday was the sophomores' turn and they did a good job. The group I accompanied crossed the Yangzi River by ferry, then traveled by this type of adapted motorcycle-taxi to the Yangzi River Bridge, built in the 1960s by the Chinese after Soviet specialists had been expelled by Mao Zedong. They are justifiably proud of this bridge, though newer and more technologically challenging bridges have been built in modern times. We also visited the branch campus of Nanjing University, which recently, along with several other Nanjing colleges and universities, celebrated its centennial. All of these schools trace their roots back to one college established by missionaries in 1902. Other groups went different places, as will be the pattern each day.
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Monday afternoon, we went by van to a suburb of Nanjing where Amity Printing Company is located. Here, all the Bibles sold throughout China are printed. This is a joint venture with the United Bible Societies, which includes the American Bible Society. My first visit there was in 1988, when it was very new. Now, the building has expanded, the equipment is mostly automated, and the variety of Bibles sold, in terms of binding and language, has increased. They publish Bibles in a number of the Chinese minority languages and in Mandarin Chinese, they have two or three versions, both whole Bibles and New Testaments, some in both Chinese and English. Shown above are the blind Braille operator and the book of Luke in Braille. It takes 32 volumes for one full Braille Bible.
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Tuesday afternoon, we went to the Amity headquarters building, pictured above left, for an orientation on the work of Amity Foundation. If you would like to learn more about Amity, please click on the link on the left side of this page. Tuesday evening the school gave us a banquet. We were too many to fit around one table, which made the dinner procedures a little more informal. The food was quite good and the friendship of the administration was very warm. The man to Susan's right is Dean Cao, the head of the foreign languages department; the man to her left is Vice-president Zhou. Two other administration staff members sat at the other table.

To be continued...