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Madeleine Vella's picture
Day two at the microcampus was amazing. We explored Xizhou the whole morning and took a look at the new microcampus site- to all of the seventh granders out there, it looks like an incredible place! We're not staying there now because it's under construction. Instead, We're staying at the Yang's Guesthouse. At the guesthouse, there are beautiful wooden carvings that are extremely impressive! For lunch, I ate noodles at sifangjie- the town square. It was very delicious. Here in Xizhou, they have two types of noodles- mixian and ersi.
Madeleine Vella's picture

Tonight we got into Xizhou. It feels somewhat unreal. After a long plane ride and and even longer bus ride, we put our bags in the Yang's Guesthouse and went to the Linden Centre. I was immediately impressed with the whole place. It's beautiful here, and very relaxing. Plus, the food is amazing. It's organic and delicious and it sure beats the cafeteria food. After dinner, we sat out on the terrace and looked at the stars. It was incredible. We saw so many stars, and Mr. T's expertise really helped us get the most out of that. I'm here back at the Yang's Guesthouse.

craigtafel's picture

The students and I are connecting with our main campus (SAS-Puxi) via Skype, and we (and the classmates back in Shanghai) are listening live to a presenter Carl Wilkens who was an eyewitness to the recent genocide in Rwanda. Such a team effort to make it happen: Their classmates Bridget and Cookie, their teacher Mrs. Greer-Wegener, Mr. Marks filming the presentation (just in case), Shane from the Linden Centre setting up the projector, and the Microcampus students themselves, who finished their day of study with focus, energy, and total attention.

craigtafel's picture

Well, I'm not exactly a father, but for the next four weeks I will sure feel like one. Having 11 grade 8 students here will surely be an interesting test, but it has been wonderful so far.

craigtafel's picture

We are in our second full day here in Xizhou after a long travel day on Saturday. Today is our first "official" day of school, with students working on their Algebra I packets, supporting one another in the learning process.

Another beautiful day in paradise here, with the bluest skies in the world. The air is clean, crisp, and (at nearly 2000 meters above sea level), just thin enough to make even simple exercise a bit more interesting.

Sabrina Choi's picture

After a three hour plane ride and a rather uncomfortable five hour bus ride, we have finally arrived at Xizhou. I barely payed attention to anything the first few steps from the bus, only too glad to be out in fresh air and on my legs again. It wasn't until a little while later until I first began to notice my surroundings. For someone who just left a metropolitan city with its grey skies, massive buildings and crowded the streets, I felt I have arrived at a different world. The first thing I noticed was the outer walls of the low houses that surrounded us.

Meera Kolluri's picture


We have arrived in Xizhou! ( After our 4 hr. plane ride and our 5 hr. bus ride ) The Linden Center as well as the Yang's Guest House ( our "hotel" in the area) gave us a warm welcome and made us feel like we were home extremely fast. Looking around the village, and exploring the Linden Center makes me confident about my inquiry project. I am excited at anxious to start capturing this beautiful weather in my camera. Overall, no complaints … and look forward on sharing my adventure/photos here!

craigtafel's picture

Well, in twelve hours I will be meeting the eleven students at the airport. Our three hour flight will take us closer to India than we are here in Shanghai!

We had a great sendoff from the school at the assembly this afternoon, and I had so many folks come by my classroom after school that it has been a challenge keeping focused on the last-minute details. Oh, I suppose I will need to pack at some point, too! Details, details.