This page is mainly about the "good old days" (my
time as a student at XMU, 1985-86) and about
reunion I had in 2005.
Above, you see the
Xiamen University campus in 1986 and in 2002, as seen from the mountain
behind campus. In 2012, I taught at the
Zhangzhou campus, which was on
the other side of the hill across the water (in the photo on the right;
that campus is now home to Tan Kah Kee University).
I've also got some 1980s photos below, and on my Xiamen page.
This 1987 photo
presents the teachers, administrators,
classmates and friends Michael knew at Xiamen University (1985-87).
The next picture
shows a closer view of Mr. Chen (our administrator), Michael and teacher Mrs. Xu.
February 2005 Reunion
went back to Xiamen for a reunion in 2005: (from the right) Barb flew in from Beijing;
Margaret flew from New Zealand; Vivian came with me from Xi'an; and
Shannon flew from Canada (her husband Gideon is on the far left). We
received a warm welcome by a senior representative of our old department
(next to Gideon), as well as by Mr. Chen and Mrs. Xu (see above). One of
the highlights of our reunion was a banquet on our
last evening together. Several of our former Chinese teachers and
administrators were among the 19 in attendance!
The left-hand photo was taken in 2005 as we toured campus; Michael is
standing with Mr. Chen in front of our old community refrigerator, which
is still in use at the college!
(right) Vivian, Andrew and Michael enjoy a spring-like day
on Gulangyu island; you can see the university's tallest building in the
Here are a few
photos from the reunion. First, the four of us were standing in front of
our old dorm building (Nan Guang 4, pictured below). At the banquet, many people showed great interest
in all of the photo albums being passed around. The group also sang and
presented gifts to our former teachers and administrators.
Below, I've posted more photos of the
Xiamen area, taken
sometime in 1985 or 1986.
This was the
university's main gate in 1985 (next to the Nanputuo temple). Today, the
gates have guards and tourists all-but flood the campus at times, but with
almost no tourists back then, guards were not needed.
My dorm (Nanguang
4) was built during 1985. We were among the first to move in (my
classmates and I lived on the top two floors). You can see
(below) that this building has changed a lot, though a 2005 look at the
interior reveal fewer changes.
airport was not even 1.5 years old when I arrived (opened Oct 1983, I
arrived Feb 1985). As I recall, there were few planes back then, so a
friend said he had ridden his bicycle down the runway! Apple travel has a
nice photo of the new airport here: (www.appletravel.cn/news-10111.html)
We saw "junks"
(sail powered fishing boats) every day. I love this 1980s sunset photo,
showing both a junk and the floating hotel that was anchored near the Lu-jiang hotel. That's
Gulangyu (islet) in the background.
traveled between Hong Kong and Xiamen by overnight cruise ship. This 1986
photo, taken from atop the Lu-jiang Hotel (which is still a popular luxury
hotel), shows a cruise ship in front of Gulangyu islet and the "hotel
ship" (see right).
Xiamen in the 1980s from Sunlight Rock (Gulangyu), you'll notice that
there is no "Hai-cang Bridge" and no tall buildings. The ship (mentioned
on the left) sitting in the channel was actually a hotel and disco (though
I'd heard that it was too expensive for "poor students like me" so I never
went over there!).
These two photos are from our February 2002 visit. Next
to Vivian are Mrs. Gao and Mrs. Xu, and Mrs. Yao is in the other
photo with Michael and Andrew. These wonderful ladies taught Michael
to speak Mandarin from 1985-87! Boy, did they have patience! Yao Laoshi
came out of retirement to teach us, and was the only one of these three
who spoke any English.
I'm glad we got to see Mrs. Yao in 2002, for she passed
away the following year (at age 83). Her coworkers told us that her
final days were spent singing hymns and telling people about Jesus.
Another 2002 photo.
teachers (Gao and Xu) stand in front of his 1986 dorm
(Nanguang 4). It never looked this good back
then! Today, the rooms even have air conditioners (I can't remember
any air conditioners in places I frequented in the 80s)! After a personal tour of the campus, we also got to see Mrs. Xu's album of photos that had been sent over the years by
Michaelís classmates. (Many of these classmates still work in China.)
I get to see Xu
and/or Gao Laoshi from time to time, now that we live in Xiamen again.
And we also try
to keep in touch with other former classmates:
Teachers Gao and Xu greet Andrew on his return to Xiamen in
2011--during his first Christmas Break at the University of Akron.
Christine is standing next to Xu Laoshi in the above 1987
photo. Now she and her husband Allen work in Tianjin (this was during a
quick visit to Xiamen in 2012).
Bridget and Don are also in the 1987 photo (look for Xu,
Christine, Shannon, Bridget; and Don is above his wife). They returned to
England many years ago, but got the chance to show their boys around China
In the 1987 photo, Julian (Michael's roommate at the time)
is in the upper left corner. Monica is wearing a white sweater, toward the
right-center of the middle row (above Peter Anderson). We've seen them
often since 2000; this time in Hangzhou, summer 2012.
If you studied Chinese at
Xiamen University in the 1980's, please write to me.
We would love to show you around campus if you can manage a visit like the
friends above did. Who knows, we might even be able to plan another
reunion! Write and I can keep you updated
develop. (My email address is on the home page.)
For more info about Xiamen & Fujian,
these sites were created by our colleagues, Bill & Sue Brown:
http://www.amoymagic.mts.cn (within China)
http://www.amoymagic.com (outside China)