The Helms Go To China
My wife, Sue, and I spent the first 2 weeks of June touring China. The primary purpose of the trip was to visit our current students in their home country and let them show us the culture that they are proud of representing. We started in the southern part of China, near Hong Kong, spending time with Canson and Tommy. They showed us a great Chinese museum, good Chinese food, and we were able to meet one of Canson’s prior language teachers who would like to have some of our American students visit his school in the fall.
We headed north to the Beijing area, where Susan and her family hosted us. We were able to visit famous sites like Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China and experienced some traditional Chinese food, such as authentic Peking duck! In Beijing, we visited with one of our new students, James and his family, as well as met with a new agent who is interested in sending students to Campion Academy.
Susan escorted us as our interpreter and guide for the rest of the trip as we took several trains across the country, with our next stop in Shijiazhuang. We met up with Rain and his parents and visited another one of our new students, Annie and her mother. We enjoyed some site seeing experiences such as seeing the oldest stone bridge in China, panda bears at the Shijiazhuang Zoo, and several teahouses. Paul Niu and his wife, Abigail, hosted us for much of the time in this area. Paul is an Adventist agent, who will be serving as director of Campion Academy’s Chinese office for future Chinese students who wish to attend Campion.
Rain and Susan traveled with us by train to central China, to meet up with Zoe in Luoyang, home of the famous Longmen Grottos. The Longmen Grottoes are some of the finest examples of Chinese Buddhist art and are located in cave like structures on a beautiful river wall area. We also visited a local area Museum, and saw some beautiful peony sculptures in rocks and other art forms.
The three students traveled with us by train for our final destination to Shanghai. We visited Nanjing Street, which is a famous shopping area, as well as the setting for beautiful nighttime skylines showing off the ocean-bordered Shanghai business district. A day at Shanghai Disney, which is only one year old, let us experience massive crowds and lines, but it was a treat to visit. Seeing Buzz Light Year speaking Chinese was a new experience! Before heading to the airport for our long flight home, we stopped at Old Shanghai Street, which is a more traditional Chinese shopping area where we picked up some last minute Chinese souvenirs.
This was my sixth visit to China, all with the purpose of visiting students, schools, and agents and developing long-term relationships for future students to attend Campion Academy. It was my wife’s first Chinese experience, and the students did a fantastic job of planning, organizing and guiding us around this very large country. We developed life-long relationships with these students and look forward to them returning to Campion Academy in the fall.
Article By: Dean Helm, V.P. of Finance and International Representative
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HMS Richards Elementary, pre-K to grade 8
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