Due to an unfortunate accident to a school trip leader, I was a last minute substitute on a Shanghai American School cultural immersion trip for tenth graders. And yes, chaperoning tenth graders is akin to herding cats.
But what an experience. Three cities in a little over four days or Planes, Trains and Auto...er.. Buses. The itinerary in four beat time:
Oct. 23 Fly a.m. to Hongqiao airport
Oct. 23 Transfer to bus and drive to Urumqi
Oct. 23 Afternoon Uiger (pronounce weeger) Dance Workshop
Oct. 23 Shop the market until you drop
Oct. 23 Buffet dinner with Uiger Dance Show
Oct. 24 Uiger Hat Workshop
Oct. 24 Lunch with local flavor...um....okay it was a KFC.
Oct. 24 Bus to Turpan
Oct. 24 Dinner in Turpan
Oct. 25 Sugong Pagoda
Oct. 25 Karez Irrigation System
Oct. 25 Visit Jiaohe Ancient City
Oct. 25 Visit Local Market
Oct. 25 Visit local Uiger family for refreshments and another dance lesson.
Oct. 25 Board overnight sleeper (as in cramped) train to Dunhuang
Oct. 26 Visit sand dunes. Camel ride. Sand dune sledding.
Oct. 26 Lunch at local silk road side road off the road and beaten path cafe.
Oct. 26 Visit Magao Caves
Oct. 26 Visit local market
Oct. 27 Wake up call at 2 a.m. morning flight cancelled.
Oct. 27 Scurry around to make flight arrangements.
Oct. 27 Spent a really long time getting new flights.
Oct. 27 Get home after midnight
A bit of commentary and some pics in me next blog entry. In the meantime, kids who grow up in an international environment grow up fast. At midnight dropping them at a hotel to be picked up by parents or their "driver", two of them had permission slips to "hail a taxi". Picture a 14 year old walking down to a city street, hand up in the air, whistles, hops in cab.
Fade to black.