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2016 December: WCE China Softball Trip Report

2016 WCE China Softball Trip

12/26/2016 Monday (Seattle) Our 36 member WCE China Softball Delegation led by Coach KT Allyn (WCE Board Member/former Marysville-Pilchuck HS Coach) and Coach Mindy Cleeland (Columbia River HS) departed from Seattle, will transfer planes in Beijing, and arrive in Guangzhou for their tour of China. The Softball Delegation will visit Guangzhou and Beijing, China. The Guangdong Softball Federation will host Softball Competition for our WCE team in Guangzhou, China. Pictures and emails will be posted on this page during the trip!

12/27/2016 Tuesday (1:30 AM next day, 9:30 AM Seattle) Jessica Chen (our wonderful China Tour Manager) has emailed to say that our Delegation has arrived safely in Guangzhou! They have gathered their luggage and are traveling by bus to The China Hotel where they will check in and get a well-deserved night's rest. Tomorrow morning after an outstanding buffet breakfast the group will visit Guangxiao Temple and the Chen Clan Temple. Then after lunch in the afternoon they will visit the Guangzhou Sports Training and Technical College for a campus tour to view demonstrations in multiple sports followed by a buffet dinner at the sports school with the athletes. Encourage family and friends to view this web site for daily updates and pictures!

12/28/2016 Wednesday (11:59 PM Guangzhou, 7:59 AM same day Seattle) We have received an update from Peter (our outstanding Guangzhou guide) about our WCE Softball delegation's first day in Guangzhou. "Today was a full, happy, and exciting day! In the morning, we went to the Guangxiao Temple. For most of us, this is the first Buddhist temple we've ever been in. The temple is great and the knowledge we get there is interesting. Then we went to the Chen Clan Academy which is also the local folk art museum. The sculptures and carvings there are really vivid and we learned a lot about the architecture culture. We also experienced traditional Chinese culture there. We tried paper cutting and making Chinese knots. It was difficult to do but we had lots of fun and we all learned something from this. For lunch, we've tried our first Chinese meal and it is ¬†special — the Cantonese Cuisine. The food is different from what Americans eat in China Town but it was all delicious and we all liked it a lot! In the afternoon, we went to the Guangzhou Vocational and Technical College of Sport. We visited the campus and watched training of the Chinese students and athletes. They really work hard and impressed us a lot. We also participated in ping pong and badminton and the friendship match went on well as the friendship will go on. We had a buffet dinner at the dining hall with the Chinese athletes and the food was good as well as the talk with future champions. Tomorrow, we will visit No.2 kindergarten and have our first softball game. Looking forward to it!"

12/29/2016 Thursday (12:00 PM Guangzhou, 8:00 AM same day Seattle) Peter has sent another update from the day's activities. "We've had a wonderful day today and we were communicating with the local softball players and kids all day. That's a really good way to know more about China and Chinese culture. In the morning, we went to the Guangzhou No.2 Kindergarten. The kids were so cute and we really had a good time having class and playing games together with them! When it was time to leave, it was really hard to say goodbye to all the lovely kids there. Then we went to Dr. Sun Yat-San's Memorial Hall. We now know more about the founding father of modern China and the history of that time. The architecture there is just great. In the afternoon, we played softball with local students. It was really fun and we all enjoyed ourselves! After the game, we had already made some friends! For dinner, we've tried dim-sum. They serve everything in small but nice pieces and we tried tens of different kinds of dim-sum. It's one of the things you must try in China. Tomorrow, we will play another two games! Really looking forward to it!"

12/30/2016 Friday (12:00 PM Guangzhou, 8:00 AM same day Seattle) Our wonderful guide Peter has updated us on the day's activities. "It was a happy and long day today! We played softball games all day with local teams. We had games with the Guangdong Team and the Nanfang Team. We really had a great time! For lunch, we tried dumplings. There are many different kinds of dumplings to try and they are really tasty. In the afternoon, we switched teams and played again. Time flies and we had to say goodbye to our friends before we realized it. For dinner, we had another grand Cantonese Cuisine at the Panxi Restaurant. It is really a nice place and we liked the food there very much. Tomorrow we will tour with local school students! Really excited about it!"

12/31/2016 Saturday (12:00 PM Guangzhou, 8:00 AM same day Seattle) Peter, the outstanding guide for our WCE Softball delegation, has sent us an update from the day's activities. "We have had a full and wonderful day today! We toured around the city with local students! In the morning, we went to Peizheng Middle School first. At the school, we met our local friends and toured around the school with them. We now know about the school and we learned more about their daily life. Then we went to the symbol of Guangzhou, the Five Ram Statue and Guangzhou Museum, for more knowledge about the local history. We learned a lot and we had a good time there. For lunch, we tried another Cantonese lunch and we are getting used to local food and we like it a lot. After lunch, we went to Up-and-Down Nine Pedestrian Street for shopping. It was interesting to bargain there, and we got some nice things. Then we went to visit Haixinsha Square—the opening ceremony pavilion of 16th Asian Game and also the new CBD (central business district) of Guangzhou. At Haixinsha Square, we also saw the newly-built Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Theatre, the 600-meter high Guangzhou TV tower, as well as the new Guangzhou Library. All the buildings were built recently (in the last 7-8 years) and they witness the development of Guangzhou very well. After a day's visit, we had to say goodbye to our local friends though we really didn't want to. Then came another highlight. We had a boat cruise on the Pearl River! We also a had buffet dinner there and the food was nice. We enjoy the beautiful sights along the banks and we really liked our cruise. Tomorrow, we will learn Taichi and be ready to go to Beijing. Can't help thinking about it!"

1/1/2017 Sunday (12:00 PM Guangzhou, 8:00 AM same day Seattle) Late yesterday afternoon Jessica (our wonderful tour manager in Guangzhou) called to say that the flight from Guangzhou to Beijing had been cancelled due to weather conditions in Beijing. She was at the airport at the time with all of our flight record locator numbers and also our ticket numbers making arrangements to move the group to another flight. Due to the size of the group they have had to place to group on two different flights. KT Allyn will be with 16 members. They will fly to Beijing on HU flight # 7802 on January 2nd. The flight departs at 8:30 PM and arrives in Beijing at 11:35. Mindy Cleeland will be with the other group of 20. They will fly to Beijing on HU flight #7810 on January 2 nd. The flight departs at 11:40 PM and arrives in Beijing at 1:45 AM. Peter will be flying with KT's delegation to Beijing. Jessica will be at the airport to see Mindy's delegation off to Beijing. Our Beijing guide will meet this delegation. Mindy will also be carrying Jessica's mobile phone so that she can reach her at any time.

On January 3rd the group will do a Beijing city tour including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. They will also have a Peking Duck Dinner and watch the Acrobatics Show. On January 4th before the group departs they will go on the Great Wall Tour.

Peter sent us an update of the day's activities in Guangzhou. "Sorry for the cancellation of the flight. Anyway we still had a full day in Guangzhou. In the morning, we practiced Taichi first. We followed the master to do lots of movements and enjoyed the knowledge and energy in the Taichi class. All the movements and skills are so cool and they actually help with health a lot. We not only learned how to play Taichi but also learned the culture and manners in Chinese Martial Arts. It is really special and interesting to experience Kongfu in the Kongfu kingdom. Then we went to Shamian Island, where it used to be a British and French colonial place with lots of western style buildings. We took a walk there and enjoyed the local people's life. In the afternoon, we went to a big local shopping mall to experience the local life there. It was interesting to see and experience and we had a good time there. For dinner, we had another dim-sum dinner in Panxi Restaurant. The restaurant is big and fancy and we all liked the food there. After dinner, we went to Lichi Bay Park where local people used to live and have a look at what their life was like. It's a nice place to enjoy the Canton view. The scenery is really beautiful in the evening. Tomorrow, we will visit the Guangzhou Zoo and be ready for Beijing, really looking forward to that!"

1/2/2017 Monday (12:00 PM Guangzhou, 8:00 AM same day Seattle) Jessica (our great tour manager) just sent the following email. "The group finished their tour here today with a trip to the Guangzhou Zoo. Flight HU7802 was delayed till 22:20 while flight 7810 departed at 22:35. They should arrive in Beijing at almost the same time. Our guide in Beijing is waiting for them at the airport already."

(10:55 AM Seattle) Jessica has just emailed that both flights have now arrived safely in Beijing. The delegation is headed to The Lake View Hotel.  In the morning they will do a Beijing city tour including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven.

12:40 PM Seattle) Pictures just arrived from Peter of their time at the Guangzhou Zoo!

1/3/2017 Tuesday (3:30 AM Beijing next day, 11:30 AM Seattle) Peter has updated us on their day touring in Beijing. "We had a very full, rich, and wonderful day today. In the morning, we went to the largest square in the world — the Tian An Men Square. The buildings there are all grand and we finally see what the "heart of China" looks like. All the architecture there is worth seeing and enjoying and we now know for sure what "people mountain people sea" means. We also visited the World Cultural Heritage Site — the Forbidden City. This is really a royal trip! It was educational and enjoyable to see the place where emperors once lived. The buildings inside are really impressive. For lunch, we had a buffet style lunch with lots of pizzas, which we all really liked a lot. In the afternoon, we went to the Temple of Heaven. It's another Chinese culture time. The buildings inside are really Chinese style and the scenery is so beautiful. In the evening, we went to watch an Acrobatics Show. It is so amazing. All the movements and activities they perform are challenging and exciting for people to enjoy. We all loved that! Tomorrow, we will conquer the Great Wall and we are really getting excited. Then it will be time to head home. We hope everyone has another chance to come back to China!"

For Parents Meeting the Delegation tomorrow: First check online at www.hainanairlines.com and check the Flight Status of Hainan Airlines Flight #495 (or call Hainan Airlines at 1-888- 688-8813) to make sure the flight is on time. The flight is scheduled to arrive in Seattle at 10:30 AM. You can meet the Delegation as the walk up the stairs from the South Concourse, between baggage carousels 7 and 8 on the Baggage Claim level. Remember they will need 45–60 minutes to clear US Immigrations and US Customs after their flight arrives.

1/4/2017 Wednesday (11:30 PM Beijing, 7:30 AM Seattle) Peter sent us our final update from our last day in Beijing. "We had a wonderful and nice day today! We went to the Great Wall in the morning. Chairman Mao said "He who never climbs the Great Wall can't be called as a true hero", and we are heroes today! The Great Wall is very steep and hard to climb but we all tried our best to get to where we can get. We've conquered the Great Wall! It is a really interesting and healthy trip to visit the Great Wall. Then after lunch, we headed to the airport for our flight home. Hours later, the WCE Softball Delegation will be in Seattle again. The time in China really passed very quickly and we have to say goodbye before we realize it. It's such a great experience and we really loved the whole trip. We have made great memories here and also made lots of friends. We played softball games and enjoyed all of the sightseeing and culture at the same time!"

WCE will post emails and pictures from the 2016 December WCE China Softball Trip while the trip is in progress! Please encourage your family and friends to view the WCE web site and follow the trip!!