Now the fun begins! Deanne Edlefsen (New Principal at Roosevelt Elementary School), Lauren Smith (Teacher-Harrison Elementary School), Jessie Hou (Visiting Teacher from Beijing), Steven Zheng (Visiting Teacher from Beijing) and Patrick Finster, (Parent of 2 PHS students and massage therapist at Ahvia) boarded the Van Galder bus at 2 p.m. yesterday to travel to O’Hare Airport to welcome our visitors.
Travelers were weary after the long flight but happy to be with us. Also traveling back to the USA was UW-Whitewater student, Nick Kliminski who has been active in orienting the Chinese students to American culture before they made the trip. They were greeted by us plus were given homemade chocolate chip cookies baked by Principal Veronica McMahon and bottled water generously donated by E + D Water Works.
While the bus was en route back to Janesville, Dr. Smiley was giving the host families one last bit of information before their student(s) arrived. All of the families then waited in the parking lot for their student(s) holding pictures of them and greeting them warmly. It was an awesome sight as everyone connected with each other. We have three weeks of activities for our Chinese friends and our Janesville students that will begin the journey of lifelong friendships across the ocean.