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Family ties from history remain intact Guling, a centuries-old resort town in the mountains about 13 km from downtown Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, is renowned as a place where foreigners settled after the First Opium War when the city was forced to open as a trading port to the West.
In February 2012, during his trip to the United States, then Vice-President Xi Jinping recounted an old story: An American man called Milton Gardner grew up in Guling. He had fond memories of his childhood there and wished he could return. Sadly, Gardner died before he could fulfill his dream.
Xi heard the story in 1992 when he worked in Fuzhou as the secretary of the city Party committee, and that year he invited Gardner"s widow Elizabeth to visit Fuzhou and Guling.
Recently, 19 people from seven US families paid a visit to Guling to track their ancestors and their stories. Here are four stories:
Karyl Condit, granddaughter of J. Bruce and Isabelle Eyestone, a US couple who came to China in the early 1900s and founded a middle school in Minqing, Fujian province
We came three years ago to Fuzhou for the first time. This is our second visit. We grew up with many stories and Chinese artifacts, books and treasures that they brought back. My grandmother had a diary. My grandfather had an autobiography. So we knew quite a bit about their time here, but it"s just a fraction of the amazing life that they led here with the Chinese.
Their courage and commitment to be here, to be with the Chinese people, and to be a friend of the Chinese, impressed me the most. My grandfather helped to establish the Tianru Middle School (in Minqing). He was the principal of the middle school. We are very proud of him. My grandmother left Iowa for China when she was 26 as a single woman, which was so courageous.
My grandparents made friends with the Chinese. They were always hosting people at their house for dinner. It seems that every night, somebody was coming over for dinner and friendship.personalized rubber bracelets medical bracelets uk fidget spinner bracelet charity bracelets custom livestrong bracelets