August 20, 2000 Sunday
Again, besides a couple of cases of diarrhea (which, unfortunately, kept a couple of our students from participating in the farewell dinner), there have been no other reports of ill health. Those two students are doing better now so they should be good to go for Monday's departure.
I've got a First Aid Kit that has been rejuvenated and should serve quite well if the need arises during the Silk Road Trip.
Everything's done. YAH!! On Thursday the students took their last Chinese language exam, and on Friday they performed their final project skits. Whew What a sigh of relief they can breathe now.
After Friday's farewell dinner, lots of the students went out to relax. Many FSPers took advantage of the weekend to do some last minute shopping or see some attractions that they somehow missed during this summer. Some went back to the Summer Palace or Bei Hai Park. Today, about 7 of us went to a very nice exhibit at Beijing University's Sackler Museum of Art and Archeaology. For the next week, there is a rare exhibit of 2500 year old bamboo slips with Confucian and Daoist texts. These texts are here in conjunction with the Dartmouth College sponsored Conference on newly discovered ancient texts. Dartmouth professors Sarah Allan and Crispin Williams are both there as speakers. This is an extremely important conference because new texts of this kind were not known previously and their existence raises many questions and controversies about the nature of Chinese philosophy, culture, law, language, and a myriad other areas of interest. When we were at the Sackler Museum, we were fortunate to have Professor Allan take time out to give us a personal tour. She explained the process of tomb excavations and what significance these discoveries have in the realm of sinology and beyond. Yes, we are living in such exciting times!
Parents, the Silk Road Trip starts at 12pm on Monday, the 21st. Tonight I'll be busy making last minute preparations so that this trip will go smoothly and everyone will have wonderful trip. I'll be taking my computer along during the trip, so hopefully I'll be giving you daily reports and pictures. So please keep checking the website so that you can "tag" along and have fun alongside us.