It was a warm Saturday afternoon when 6 foreign torchbearers with their friends and family set off to a town a 100 kms away from Lanzhou. These torchbearers were armed with bags, toys, notebooks, pens and all other school supplies to share with 206 primary school students and 21 teachers of Gaolan.
The trip was long and bumpy but the scenery was spectacular and amazing. I was hoping we could stop so that we can take some pictures but we weren’t that lucky. When we arrived our destination, the students were waiting for us, waving flags, playing their instruments and chanting “welcome to our school”. You can feel the warmth and the joy in their actions and faces as they welcome their guests to their humble but quaint learning place.
We unloaded our gifts and you can see their eyes getting bigger by the minute with the abundance of it. We were then offered fruits as snack and the show began. The headmaster gave a speech followed by the six torchbearers. Each of them offered words of encouragement, advice and gratefulness for the opportunity to be able to meet them.
Dierdre Smyth Brady, a Venezuelan breast cancer survivor, played the Quatro and sang a native Venezuelan song. Yuri Ilyakin, a Russian enterpreneur, sang with his wife and daughter a Russian song. Marco Torres, gave the school a painting by one of the famous painters in the Philippines. The kids in return honor them by putting on the red scarves which is a symbol of Young Pioneers in China.
As it was sponsored by Lenovo, they had a mini-torch relay without the flame. Everyone was excited with this relay even though it was only a short distance. They passed the torch from one student to another interspersed with the torchbearers and the teachers. Afterwards, everyone had a chance to have a photo opportunity with the torchbearers.
It was quite heartwarming to see all the students and the community. You can see some of them on top of the hills looking over all the activities. I’m glad for this opportunity to be able to share with these people as they were quite isolated and you can really see the need for these supplies which we brought.
Thanks Lenovo and thank you Gaolan Primary School. I hope you will make good use of all the gifts we brought you and may it last long. To the students, aim high and study hard.