Greetings from the Far East Andover High! My name is Zach Perry and I’ll be writing a daily blog for Warrior Weekly from the China Foreign Exchange Trip about the adventures of me and nine other Warriors. The China Exchange Program is in its second year of sending students to Hengshui High School.

Day 1 began at 6:15 am Eastern time at the high school where we all boarded a bus, said goodbye to our families, and took awkward photos while trying to look at 12 different cameras. Our flight took off at 9:30 from Logan to Dulles airport in Washington DC. We caught two hours of much needed sleep on the short flight and then we boarded our luxurious international flight straight to China where we would reside in for the next fourteen hours… Luckily, each seat on the flight came with a television stocked with movies, games and TV shows.

Surprisingly, there were entire empty rows on the flight which some people took advantage of in order to stretch out and have a makeshift bed. Others were more creative- Larissa Kreismanis slept on a row of seats while Nik Chaudhary curled up on the floor. Innovative, creative, but uncomfortable for sure. Mr. DiGloria, a middle school history teacher chaperon, even caught some z’s while curled up on a row of seats.

What was possibly the most interesting part of the flight was that the entire time we were on the plane, there was light outside because we flew over the North Pole where, at this time of year, it’s daytime for 24 hours of the day.

We landed in Beijing at 2:00 PM- 2:00 AM for all of our Andover body clocks. The 12 hour time difference hasn’t seemed to be troublesome for anyone however, as most people were undoubtedly unconscious for some portion of the flight.

As soon as we stepped off the plane in Beijing a clear cloud of smog covered the sky, blocking out the sun. The airport itself felt like an enclosed stadium with enormous rafters. We met our student guides from our sister school, Hengshui High School and then it hit us…we were in China! Let the fun begin!

Our first meal consisted of a traditional Chinese “lazy Susan” style meal with a circular turning platform on the table and plates upon plates of chicken, rice and vegetables all cooked in various ways with different sauces. None of your average General Gao’s chicken from Teatone. What was interesting was that we were the only group served French fries and chicken fingers on our lazy Susan. I guess they know how to make you feel at home here in Beijing.

Well, we’re off to the hotel now for some practicing of our performance and resting before we head to Hengshui in the morning. Remember to keep up with my blog to hear about our trip and how you can get involved with future trips around the world at AHS!

By Zach Perry