They Say It's Your Birthday!

Trip Start Apr 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 02, 2010

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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Saturday, May 15, 2010

We drove up to a beehive of activity at the high school in the morning. It was Parents' Day for Senior 1 & 2. Students were waiting for their parents at the gate by classes. Parents were arriving by foot, by bike, by car, and by motorbike. They were able to visit with their child's teachers to see how he or she was doing. Also, during this time, a track event was being held. Classes competed against other classes, much like we do at JEI on Field Day. Students signed up a variety of competitions, including 100 and 400 meter races, relay races, jump rope, and others. Senior 3 classes were still in session.

When we returned in the afternoon for lunch, the campus was quiet. Students were resting after the morning activities. As we waited for the afternoon track events that some of our students would be participating in, other students gathered around us to ask questions and take pictures with them. They are so inquisitive about America and want so badly to speak English well. Ms. Long continued to receive numerous birthday greetings and gifts on the official day.

The track events began, and we went with Sally onto the field to view some of the races. Classmates were cheering each other on and had great team/class spirit. We saw some incredible talent, and kids just having fun on a day off. You could tell that they were enjoying the break in routine.

That evening, we were picked up by Vice-Principal Jiang and his wife, Wilma, and went to a beautiful restaurant for a dinner hosted by Frank for Ms. Long's birthday. Several teachers and principals from the high school attended. It was another wonderful feast of local cuisine, including a few new things to try (geese wings, some lip-burning spicy noodles, and corn juice). Frank even brought a wonderful birthday cake for Ms. Long. We all sang 'Happy Birthday' and wished her much happiness in the coming year. The cake was delicious, with fruit on top, and whipped cream icing!

From there, we walked to a local karaoke club, similar to the one we visited before. We spent several hours sharing songs, laughter, and friendship. We ended the evening singing a karaoke version of 'Happy Birthday' in English and Chinese to Ms. Long.

When we returned to the hotel, Frank presented Ms. Long with a beautiful embroidered picture of yellow chysanthemums. He has been so generous and kind to us during our stay. It was a birthday Ms. Long will never forget!
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Amy Barnett on


I sent you a birthday e-mail but it didn't go through. I'll try to send it from school on Monday. It looks like your birthday was a fun-filled day! Did you actually sing Karaoke? I know how you love to sing! It doesn't look like this baby wants to arrive on your special day, so I'll keep waiting. Miss you!


P.S. - Ceth and Allie send their birthday wishes too!

Rachel s on

Looks like you guys are having fun. I'm posting this from an iPad in the mall at the apple store. We miss you. Everything is going great here.only 6 more days of school. Can't wait ill summer.

jenksei2010 on

Hey Amy,
Yes, I actually sang! Can you believe it??? I'm sure you can because I sing all the time. You should hear me sing the songs that we are singing in a competition on Friday with the teachers. It's hilarious. I guess the baby didn't make it on my big day! Bummer! What if she comes on Allie's b-day???

jenksei2010 on

Oh, tell Ceth and Allie thank you!
Miss you, Shawna

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