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2002 China SST retrospective

To conclude our SST China web updates, we're posting a few photos that we were unable to use earlier in the term.

Group photo at Tiananmen squareTwo days after their arrival in Beijing, the group posed in Tiananmen Square, just outside the forbidden city. The square is known around the world because of the significant events that have happened there, including the official pronouncement of the formation of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The five Graber Millers posed with ... ummm, is that an additional family member? ... outside the gates to the Forbidden City. The painting of Mao is one of only a few publicly displayed in the capital city.

Great wall at Badalingmen squareKent, Ben, Ryan, and Matt hung from the Great Wall at Badaling, reenacting the invasion of the Mongols centuries ago. The SSTers were less successful than were the Mongols.

Matt leads group in taijiquanOnce in Chengdu, we settled into the routine of regular cultural lectures, Mandarin learning, field trips, English teaching, and special tutoring. Here Matt led the group in one of the taijiquan moves.

Sasha, Ruth, Tang Ting and friendDuring the national holidays in early October, all of the students had the opportunity to travel somewhere in Sichuan Province. Sasha and Ruth spent the holidays with their friend Tang Ting, shown here at the Four Girls Mountain. Also, Sasha dressed in Tibetan winter garb for a photo shoot. Kent rode a horse in the picturesque moutains outside Kanding.

Marth in the countrysideNearly all of the students had opportunities for spontaneous or arranged visits to the countryside at some point during the term. Here, Martha talked about the local flora with new friends.

Sophie at a Chengdu teahouseSophie spent a good part of a November day playing mahjong, and observing mahjong, at a teahouse outside Chengdu. Students spent many hours in teahouses throughout the term -- playing mahjong, writing in journals, relaxing, and conversing about their experiences. One of the favorite haunts was the bamboo-studded, multi-tiered, open-air teahouse a 15-minute walk from the back gate.

Ben and Mr. Yang with Halloween party advertisementAt waiban officer Mr. Yang's request, Ben posed with his sandwich board advertising the Halloween party SSTers threw for their friends October 31. Ben learned late in the term that most people on campus were calling him a Chinese name that translates roughly as "Barefoot Immortal." Not bad. The Halloween party was one of the highlights of the term since it gave SSTers an opportunity to give something back to their new friends.

Liz and Abby at LeshanThough most photos on the website this fall were taken by Keith, Ben and Sasha also contributed a number of excellent shots from their digital cameras. Joel Fath, who visited from Hong Kong the weekend that we visited the Great Buddha at Leshan, also took several of the images that appeared that week, including the one below of Liz and Sophie.

SST in China has been a tremendous experience for the SST group and the Graber Millers, with much transformation, cultural understanding, relationship building, and language learning. Now we're looking forward to returning home with our photos and stories. Thanks for participating in this journey through your prayers, support, and encouragement along the way.

Liz and Sophie at temple, Leshan