Taking in the sounds and sights of monks worshipping in a Buddhist temple are, from left, Aidan Schoff, Grace Rauch and Sarah Rodman.
Taking in the sounds and sights of monks worshipping in a Buddhist temple are, from left, Aidan Schoff, Grace Rauch and Sarah Rodman.

Before performing at Hangzhou School of Arts her last full day in China last week, Ripon High School (RHS) choir member Abby Grewal made a new friend, Lu Kai Wang.

After Abby unsuccessfully tried to get Lu on Instagram, the two realized they would not be able to communicate via social media.

Abby performed, said good-bye to her many new friends and then boarded her motorcoach, one of three 100 RHS students and adults used to shepherd them throughout east-central China.

“Soon after I was on the bus,” she said, “one of the chaperones called my name from the back of the bus, saying someone was looking for me.”

Lu had boarded all three busses, attempting to say goodbye to her American pal. Abby was in tears as she hugged her new friend, happy for the friendship but sad for the farewell.

“But that two-minute moment made the whole trip 1,000 times better,” Abby said.

Many RHS students in China spoke of their own moments that seasoned the 10-day journey from which they returned last weekend.

Read more thoughts on the trip from band and choir students in the April 20, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.