Before the National Holiday, a group of SCLS students left Shanghai to begin their exchange-visit to Punahou School, located in Hawaii, known as the Rainbow Isaland. Punahou School is Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Alma Master and sister-school of SCLS as well.
Blessings to China from 9000 kilometers away
The timelines before and after “Punahou School Visit”:
- September 26th, 12:50pm, SCLS national celebration
- September 28th, 12.00pm, exchange students depart from SCLS
- September 28th, 8.00am, Hawaii local time, the students arrived in Hawaii
- October 1st, Beijing time, military parade and national celebration held in Beijing
Our students were singing songs for China on our campus, and the next second they arrived in Hawaii. This exciting rhythm did not stop. The students sang and danced to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of China again in Hawaii.
The students’ singing voices rose to the street, mountains and beaches. The lyrics were “My country and I, like the relationship of sea and water waves. Waves are sons of sea, and sea is waves’ homeland”.
When our students were singing and dancing on Waikiki’s streets, the Chinese Americans, local residents and tourists from other countries were attracted to their amazing performances. They clapped loudly for our students. At that moment, we felt so proud of China.
Messengers of Chinese Cultures
Each group of exchange students had a special mission: to share Chinese culture and let people around the world love and know more about China. This time, our students did lots of preparation. They brought different things for Punahou School’s Chinese lessons, for example, Chinese tea culture, traditional Han dresses, Chinese foods and paper cutting, and so on. The whole series of interactive activities were interesting and exciting for the students of Punahou School. The teachers of Punahou School couldn’t help but praise our students.
Chinese tea culture is a kind of social etiquette and a communication medium for Chinese people. Our students brought a full set of equipment for the Chinese tea performance, and showed the Chinese way to make tea. The other students’ eyes were glued to this amazing show.
Discussions with American high school students about “Today’s China”
We were invited to attend a Chinese lesson at Punahou School. The topic was “The changes in China”. Our students introduced “garbage sorting” in Shanghai. And we were curious, what does an American high school student know and think about China? Where do they learn about China from? In the class, we found that they knew about Alipay, WeChat pay and high-speed rail in China. Also, we have lots of common hobbies.
We are volunteers at Manoa Heritage Center, Hawaii
During the trip, we visited a local non-profit organization, Manoa Heritage Center. It works on protecting local Hawaii cultures and the natural heritage. Our guide, a retired history teacher from Punahou School，works now at the center. He introduced the local climate, geomorphic features and plants to us.
Our students were willing to contribute and helped to do the weeding as volunteers. Wild grasses grow quickly and strong. If they are not cleared in time, they will affect the growth of other plants. Theory and practice are different: it was not as easy as the students imagined to clean up the wild grasses. They worked very hard and knew the work was worthwhile.
We attended morning assembly in the Primary School Division the last day there. Ms. Lauren Medarios, a Punahou teacher, shared her visits to Soong Ching Ling School in 2014. She said “I’ll always remember this trip in China and also my Chinese friends.” Although we are from different countries, the good friendship between us will last forever.
There is a famous building on the Punahou School campus. Inside the building, Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s stories of his study in this school are displayed on a nameplate. We follow Dr. Sun’s steps to keep bringing Chinese culture and friendship to Punahou. We will always remember this special trip from the bottom of our hearts.
Article: He Meiyun
Translation: Zhang Lifei
Photography: Li Guangfu