The morning began with reflections about what we had learned on the trip as we all sat down with Leon for individual video sessions. Words representing our thoughts about China as a country and culture were shared as well as thoughts on Chinese and American education. Sharing these thoughts really helped us understand the importance of this trip and how we have been able to grow as educators.
We began the day at the Jade Buddha Temple. It’s amazing that the temple is considered new by Chinese standards but was built in 1918 – just one more indication of the strong culture and history that exists in this country. During the Cultural Revolution, the Monks ensured that the temple couldn’t be torn down by pasting portraits of Mao Zedong on the outside walls. The Jade Buddha Temple was extraordinary. It was a truly cultural experience watching visitors present offerings and pray to Buddha.
After the Buddhist Temple, we made our way to a Shanghai mall to explore a modern Chinese food court representing all of the worldly cultures that can be found in this international city. Lunch was followed by a visit to Tianzifang marketplace for an afternoon of wandering around a labyrinth of narrow sidewalks flanked by both modern and traditional Chinese arts and crafts.
We toured the area along Nanjing Road, ate a lovely last dinner, and enjoyed the vibrant colors along the Bund from the deck of our river cruise. What a lasting memory for our final evening in Shanghai and in China. We are all sad to see this wonderful trip come to a close.