Periodically, the Nankai University would invite the foreign teacher to participate in an activity. In the spring of 2010, all the foreign teachers from Nankai, as well as the teachers from University of Tianjin, were loaded onto buses and driven outside of the city to plant trees. It turned out to be near where they were constructing a new campus for Nankai University. When we arrived, we marched down through a field behind flags representing our respective universities. It was a cold and windy morning.
|We all marched behind the Nankai University Flag.|
|Have shovel will dig.|
|These are the foreign teaches at Nankai.|
We were shown how to position a young sapling in a pre-dug hole, push some dirt around it and then carry water to soak around it. In every direction, there were acres and acres of trees planted in neat, straight rows. This was part of the Dongli Lake Ecology Park, part of an effort to reclaim swampy land for a new community.
|I am checking to see if the tree is level. This is Doerte Luetvogt one of our good friends who taught German.|
|Mom was so helpful. The trees had no limbs and very few roots. I'm not sure they survived.|
|We are working so hard. Not.|
After we had each planted a tree, they invited us to an area where several speeches were offered. Finally, a large stone monument was unveiled, designating the area as the Friendship Forest of Tianjin Overseas Talents.
|We listened to speeches and then the monument was uncovered.|
|The big stone monument is covered in red cloth before it is unveiled.|
|L to R Cheryl Edmonds, Carol Larson, mom and Doerte Luetvogt. The monument is in the background.|
We then boarded our buses and were taken to a fancy restaurant where we enjoyed interesting Chinese delicacies.