Today Michael had all day meetings away from the hotel. While the older children were in the children's program making fans and flying kites, Sophia and I accepted an invitation to join some other spouses of Fulbrighters on an outing to the Temple of Heaven. This Ming dynasty temple is one of the largest in China. The buildings are wooden, but have been recently restored with vividly detailed repainting of the details and were quite lovely. This is where the Emperor would perform ceremonies to pray for a good harvest. There were a number of groups of amateur musicians playing together and singing traditional music.
Tonight we had an official dinner with member of the Chinese Ministry of Education, which was a nice banquet -- not too formal. The kids did very well back at the hotel with the orientation staff and tomorrow morning I must stuff everything we have unpacked -- which unfortunately is everything -- back into our suitcases for the trip to Xiamen. We are sorry to say good bye to the other Fulbrighters and their families, especially the family who is going to Xi'an and whose 11 yo son has been Thomas's buddy. We'll just have to visit and see those terra cotta soldiers after all. I'll post when we figure out our internet in Xiamen. I think I may be having trouble with comments on the blog - I screwed it up when all the commands were in Chinese. I am working on it.