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I snapped a picture of the commemorative plaque on the table below the window that framed hundreds of children in the schoolyard of Hong Wei School. Above the Chinese characters engraved on the plaque was the dedication in English:
This Library is Donated
By the American Women’s Club of Shanghai
in Loving Memory of
Earlier, I and other expatriate women attended the dedication ceremony taking place in the schoolyard. We not only represented the American Women’s Club Shanghai (AWCS), but all who helped raise the funds needed to give Hong Wei School a library.
During the dedication ceremony, some of us expat women sat with the principal of Hong Wei and Carolyn’s husband, son, and daughter. We faced a makeshift stage surrounded by rows of Hong Wei’s students, girls and boys from kindergarten age through young teens. Soon, a group of girls came onto the stage and did a graceful traditional dance. Next a young boy demonstrated his martial arts skills, making impressive leaps. Both performances were in honor of the occasion and a way of saying xie xie, thank you. Though appreciated, the smiles and laughter of the children were more than enough thanks, just as they’d been months earlier.
In the Making a Difference photo essay.
Also by Deborah Downes
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