Saying goodbye

Diku Rogers '12

Tuesday was a really emotional day. It was our last day in Shanghai,and everyone could agree that the last ten days went by faster than we expected. But, of course, time flies when you're having fun.  In the morning we got a chance to sleep in (woohoo!), and around nine o'clock we went to a market to shop.

If there's one thing I love in China, it's bargaining (but dumplings are close second)! We get to show our aggressive side, battling prices with vendors for all types of valuables: wallets, glasses, notebooks, and even jewelry.  To put the icing on the cake, we had bao zi (huge dumplings) and bubble tea before we got back on the bus to EFZ.

After sitting through a question and answer session with Mr. Green and EFZ students (Mr. Green answering extremely deep and thoughtful questions- props to him), we had our celebration. As we exchanged with our partners cultural activities, such as tai chi and the "dougie", smiles were on each student's face.  Words I overheard as we slowly said goodbye to our partners:

"Please keep in touch"
"I am very happy I met you"
"I can't wait for you to come to Peddie in the fall"
"Thank you for everything, I mean it"
"This has truly been the best experience of my life"

To think, in just ten days, these students have given us so much generosity and love! It can take months or even years to build this type of bond with a person, and we all clicked in ten short days. Saying farewell to my partner was extremely difficult, I had to  hug at least four times before I actually tried to start saying goodbye. It saddens me that I won't be at Peddie next fall to greet the EFZers when they arrive on campus, it saddens me even more that I won't be at Peddie next fall! But all good things come to an end, and as we glide through our last days in China, let me tell you that the experience gets brighter and brighter with every moment!