The China Rowing Trip: Part 5

Didn't start from the beginning? Go back here to Part One.

When we woke up, a shift in the rotation of the Earth was suddenly apparent. Messages on WeChat* must have been flying all night long between the officials expecting us at the Sports College, Elaine, the group of passionate rowers and our delegated sports agency chaperone/photographer. What had been a small opening in a somewhat rigid and busy schedule of hospitality and official moments had been blown open by our friends who wanted to ensure we had the best possible stay in China. The official visit was neatly circumvented, the College placated with promises of our club banner to hang in their office, and the now-free schedule was packed to the gills with adventures.

* (China's Instagram, Facebook, Google Translate, Blogspot, ApplePay and Messenger all wrapped up in one, needed on every phone to stay connected in The Middle Kingdom, and outside said Realm if one works with China.)

We had the illusion of a calm day at least until a leisurely 9 AM breakfast was over...then with a glint of excitement in their eyes, our friends pointed towards the bus and on we boarded.

First stop: the Jianlan Middle School that had hosted the picnic and rowing the previous day. They especially were delighted that we now had time to visit the school and had found the time to prepare a welcome sign for us at the school on their gigantic LCD screen.