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Donald Granger | profile | all galleries >> China >> Viking School at Jingzhou tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Viking School at Jingzhou


10-10-2005



After our time in the market we boarded a very crowded bus with legroom made for short Chinese and not a long-legged guy like me. As we neared the school I spotted a camel in the road a couple of blocks aheadÖ sure enough the bus turned right and we didnít come up to it. Nobody on the bus believed me.
When we reached the school we were greeted by a band made up of the children. They played the same monotonous tune while all the busses unloaded, but it was a very cute scene in spite of the cacophony. We then proceeded to the playground where the children put on a musical show for us. Each grade gave a performance. I spent more time photographing kids than watching the show.
There was one group of small children who were inside a playground. The bars of the fence gave me the impression that they were imprisoned; Iím sure it was just that they were deemed too young to be running loose in the crowd. When a member of our tour began distributing candy their little hands sticking out between the bars accentuated the feeling even more.
After the show we broke up into groups and went to individual classrooms where the kids demonstrated their reading skills (Chinese of course) and sang again. We then put on a show for them singing a couple of songs. The Hokey-Pokey song was a huge hit with some of the kids standing the isles dancing along.

There was one little boy in the front row who was quite a little trouble maker. Any time I tried to take a photo near him he would stick his book up in front of the lens. Another man was looking into the classroom through the window. Upon noticing this, the kid slammed the window shut. He was also annoying the girl seated next to him. He did not look like a happy child. Heíll probably end up in jail or the army.

We left at the same time the kids were let out: Quite a traffic jam, kids riding bikes, walking or riding double with parents on bicycles.
When we reached the intersection my camel was still down the road. This time others saw it and my sanity was vindicated. Unfortunately he was too far away to photograph.

What sounded like a boring outing turned out to be one of my favorite features of the trip.

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