Qianqian responded to a post that Jiang put on social media and she came to meet us as soon as we arrived in Chengdu. You can read in the November blog about our day with Qianqian’s friend (and dentist) San Lang and her 76 year old mother. Qianqian teaches English at Jiaxiang high school and she arranged for us to spend an afternoon with two of her senior classes. Ian took his guitar along and we told stories about our lives and sang in Portuguese, Spanish, French, English and Chinese. We invited questions and had some good discussions about family and relationships, about music, social media and censorship, about consumerism and democracy.
The students, who were only told of our visit the day before, presented us with touching gifts. The science students clubbed together to buy a big box of moon cakes
Some girls from the liberal arts class had spent the evening making a beautiful book of poetry in Chinese and English, with exquisite calligraphy.
We spent several evenings with Qianqian and her friend Shanshan, eating all kinds of food. One meal included arrowroot jelly, sweet iced soup with peanuts off-setting the hot chilli sauce, pigs’ brains, bits of chicken feet and gristly beef and veg on sticks.
Later on, one of the students made a video of our “7 day tour in Chengdu”, using film clips from our school visit and from our visit to the Nightingale Music School where Qianqian took us to meet her guitar teacher, Miss Wen. Ian had a lesson on the Gujeng and we all sang and played together all afternoon, until Qianqian took us to a restaurant for hot pot.