Our group has several students with July birthdays, so today the program had a birthday celebration! Instead of having dinner in the dining hall as usual, we ate in the restaurant on the first floor of our dorm building. We had the delicious cakes and sang “Happy Birthday” for each student. Although all the commotion probably seemed a little strange to others in the restaurant, we all had a lot of fun. Justin brought along his guitar, and each birthday student received a small gift, as well as thoughtful cards from their peers, teachers, and chaperons. Next month, the group will have two more birthdays to celebrate!
After dinner, we returned to Xiamen University’s Performing Arts Center where we watched Daniel Epstein’s piano recital last week, this time for the tenth anniversary concert of the Youth Orchestra of Xiamen Foreign Language School, the local high school we recently visited. Tonight’s performance included both current students and alumni who rejoined their high school orchestra especially for this occasion. The orchestra, which has won both national and international awards, played an excellent and exciting concert consisting of both Western and Chinese pieces. They even played one piece entitled “The Explorer”, which was composed and conducted by one of the orchestra’s own alumni. After a long day of studying and working hard, everyone definitely enjoyed the entertainment and relaxation that this evening’s activities offered!