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The Auroran Today

The Auroran Today

Bonnie Drive and China: What’s The Connection?

2911 Bonnie Drive. You might recognize this address, or at least the street it is on, as one that many MHS students drive on every day when going to school. It may not have occurred to you how important this seemingly simple house is, but it represents the start of Muscatines ongoing close relationship and exchanges with China.

President Xi Jinping and Sarah Lande reuniting after his initial visit

In 1985, current Chinese President Xi Jinping was hosted for only two nights by Sarah Lande in this home. The warm memories he made in those two nights alone made such a lasting impression on the now president that he continued to visit and regularly keep in contact with Sarah Lande and others from Muscatine, even referring to all of us as his “old friends.” As the years continued, his relationship only got deeper, writing to Sarah and helping her to visit China multiple times to connect with other schools such as our sister school in the Hebei Province.

In early January of this year, Xi made a speech talking about the importance of continuing the relationship between the US and China, a large focus on how young people are the future of the connection. To take action on this idea, Xi announced that over the next five years he intends to bring 50,000 American students to China. In his speech, he mentioned his support of the students from Muscatine High School being included in this offer specifically as per the request of Sarah Lande.

Not much later, on January 22nd, 24 students and four chaperones headed to China on an all-expenses paid exchange to Beijing, the Hebei Province, and Shanghai to learn about Chinese culture over the course of a week. On this trip, they visited with many of the important people behind the connection. Most importantly, they went to multiple schools so they could interact with students directly, a way to start friendships between young people in the US and China early just like President Xi hoped for.

Doing many activities while in China and trying lots of new food, the students and staff had a great time and are advocating for more students to have the same opportunity. So, watch out for more information about the trip and more trips to come as we continue to cherish this special history we have with China.

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About the Contributor
Arabella Fourneau
Arabella Fourneau is a sophomore here at MHS and a first-year staff writer for the newspaper. She is very passionate about her grades and challenging herself academically. She also enjoys being a part of the orchestra, playing the cello, and enjoying the fun break it gives her during the day.
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