The community turned out to welcome 25 students and faculty for a two-week visit and to celebrate the 13th year of the exchange between Stissing Mountain High School and High School #29 of Nanjing.
The head of the delegation, Ying Aimin, made the opening remarks.
Michael was followed by the author, Da Chen, who also lives in our area. I have met Da Chen several times over the 13 years of the exchange program and I always look forward to our just-about annual reunion when he’ll give a little talk and — my favorite — play a little traditional piece on his Chinese flute. I definitely would have included him in this video, but we had to rush off right after Michael spoke in order for him to catch a train and be back at work in DC the next morning.
The following day the visitors were given what I can only describe as a “participatory” tour of the high school. They went to regular classes but, as you will see, they had plenty of “hands on” experiences.
I posted this story under the category of Economic Development for several reasons. The most apparent is the growing interdependency of the economies of our two countries. But communities like Pine Plains, no matter how small or rural, are turning out young people who will be entering the world at large, not just a local job market. They can see other cultures as competition for resources or as opportunities and markets. Exchange programs can prepare our young people for their smaller “flat” world by giving them the experiences and exposure to new opportunities and careers.