Monday, April 11, 2011

April 10, 2011

Although several activities were planned for today, including shopping at the jade market and a tour of a beautiful mosque, none can compare to the morning we spent visiting the Pangliu Village and school. The time spent here was both humbling and inspiring. I doubt that I can adequately describe this visit. Pangliu, is a poor rural village with a population of 2500 people and is home to about 630 families.  It is the birthplace and home village of our tour guide, Richard Wang. He brings tourists to the area so they understand what life is like outside the modern cities of China and to honor and support his former school and community. As we entered the village, we were greeted proudly by the Pangliu School band. This group of elementary school students came to school on this Sunday morning to welcome the American friends of Richard. Richard is in many ways the hero of this town and now of this delegation.   In his early sixties, Richard’s mission is to ensure the future success of Panglui students. Through his generosity the village has a brand new medical clinic and the school a beautiful library. We were fortunate to hear and record Richard’s heartwarming story.

Our village visit included a visit to the brick factory, a privately owned company employing many of the Panglui residents. We especially enjoyed spending time in the school, where we received a warm welcome from the principal and spent precious time with the students. One boy stood proudly to entertain us with his version of BINGO!  We responded by singing our best rendition of Old MacDonald had a Farm. At noon we split into three groups and were treated to lunch in various village homes. We agreed that this, by far, was the best meal in Xi'an! All in all, this was an amazing afternoon. We will not forget the wonderful spirit and joy of Panglui!

Here are some pictures of the students at Panglui school.

Panguli school band

Panguli school classroom

Panguli school library

Panguli school principal

Panguli school student

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