Fujian takes spotlight at New Jersey ceremony
Perle Desir (first row, second from left) and Mrs Juping Tomazic (second row, second from left), on a tour in 2013 to Tulou, visiting earthen buildings in Fujian province, China. [Photo provided to China Daily]
"It was in Xiamen that I learned how to make my first dumpling, took my first calligraphy class and experienced my first-ever live kabuki-style theatre, which blew my mind. And it was in Fuzhou that I saw my very first pandas, experienced my first natural hot spring and walked my first Chinese market," she recalled.
"To this day, despite traveling to most of Europe, America and the Caribbean, whenever I mention visiting China in my youth, people are intrigued. That is to me the magic of China, and I truly hope more students get to experience it," she said.
Yelena Horre, principal of Linden High School, vividly remembered her trip to Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province, when she was invited by Fuzhou High School No 3 to join in the school's 75th anniversary celebration.
"A visit to the supermarket was definitely eye-opening. It looked very different than ShopRite (an American supermarket). Everything was so fresh. So fresh in fact that fish were in open aquariums. While I was perusing the unique feel of the market, a huge fish leaped out of the tank and began flopping vigorously on the floor. I will tell you that I almost leapt right into Doctor Tomaic's arms! I was so frightened. He had a pretty good laugh."
Antoinette Modrak, former LHS principal, said her heart is full from the experience of bringing students to China as an administrator. The stops in 2013 included Beijing, Hong Kong, Xiamen and Fuzhou.
"The opportunity I had while staying at the school dormitories and being with families not only gave me more appreciation of the people of China but our own students as well. Our group has a saying, 'We will always have China.'