Plans for the TripThe journey of seven high school students to Beijing, China began at 6:30 am on May 29, 2008 when they gathered at the bus to travel to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The two week journey actually began in December, 2007, when each young person was selected by individual clubs of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. In addition to being nominated by their individual clubs, interested students had to apply in writing and successfully complete an interview process with project leaders and staff. Georgia Graduation Stories blog posts for May 16, 2008 and May 19, 2008 have more complete details on The Beijing Program.
Linden Longino with tour guides, Mr. and Mrs. Krebs
The Youth Art Connection is a program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. Director Rebecca DesMarais and her team designed monthly meetings on language, customs, geography and a trip to an authentic Chinese restaurant to help students prepare for the two week educational experience.
Nicholas, 16, Warren Holyfield B&G Club Asa, 16, Carver Boys & Girls Club
Janelle, 16, Paulding Co. B&G Club Alexia, 17, Samuel L. Jones Boys & Girls Club
Portia, 15, Whitehead Boys &Girls Club Rashad, 15, Brookhave Boys & Girls Club
Cedric, 16, Youth Art Connection
Here are some of the travel tips that Rebecca has shared with these sleepy but excited teenagers:
Don’t pack too much. Keep your luggage light – you will be responsible for handling it.
Place your MP3 Player in your carry-on. Be sure to also pack all its cords and attachments.
Pack a journal and pen/pencil to keep a daily accounting of your trip.
Don’t take anything that you will be devastated if it is lost or broken.
Wear comfortable clothes on the plane. You will be in them for 20 hrs!
Pack all liquids, pastes, and lotions in your luggage; pack smaller amounts in a ziplock bag in your carry-on -- no larger than 3 oz.
Pack comfortable shoes and shoes easy to take on & off for the plane trip.
Place your money in a safe wallet, purse, or money belt. You are responsible for it.
Pack a book, magazine, snacks, download music on the MP3 player for the long plane trip.
Take the addresses of your family and friends so you can send them postcards.
Practice your Chinese!