For the record, this is not a joke and is not in any way disgusting. With that being noted, several weeks ago, a friend asked me if I'd be interested in a Flat Stanley. Yes, your reaction was the same as mine....what on earth is a Flat Stanley? Flat Stanley is a paper doll character in a children's book who's so flat, he can go anywhere. Flat Stanley was part of a school project from somewhere in California. The object of the project was to educate these children about US geography. We cheated a bit using China. I went beyond the project suggestions which was to send a postcard from wherever he visited.

This is my adventure with Flat Stanley. He was supposed to go to the Great Wall but the friend I arranged to take him to the wall, forgot Stanley. If you look carefully, you will find Stanley in all of the pictures in the story.

Fortunately, I had both Sunday and Monday off during this week. This left ample opportunity for sightseeing. We took a car to Stone Flower cave and Marco Polo Bridge (both southwest of Beijing - ninety minutes through the city). On the way back they dropped me off at Tiananmen Square. This was a perfect opportunity for Stanley to pose in some really touristy spots.

As a side note, I took Stanley to Mao's Mausoleum and the guard saw me clipping Stanley to the security tape with my cell phone belt clip. He shouted something and the thought of another international incident rang in my brain (anybody remember the Israeli Embassy photos?). I removed Stanley from the tape and showed him to the guard who let me go about my business.

Next stop for Stanley is Macedonia From there, India.

Dear Mrs. Lindemann,

I found your email address from your web site. I received a Flat Stanley Doll that started in your class and wound up here in Beijing China. I've taken the liberty of taking Stanley to a number of historical places near by. I'm sending Stanley to a friend in Germany and then it will go to India. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I doing this project. Please, feel free to share them with anyone you wish. If you have any questions or need anything else, please don't hesitate to ask.

Louis G. Des Rosiers

Dear Friends,

Oh, it's been a long trip since I last saw you. Alyson Wood sent me to Kodiak Alaska where they have lots of fish and really big Kodiak bears. From there I flew to Washington DC and hopped aboard an airplane bound for Beijing, China. Some of you may remember that China has been in the news lately. Our country will be signing a trade agreement with China so that goods may flow freely between both countries.

I'm staying with my friend Louis. He works here in Beijing. He travels the world working on construction projects. He's worked in some really neat places; Turkey, Georgia (the country not the state), Armenia, Tanzania, Jamaica, and now, China.

We've been to some really cool places.

First stop was the Stone Flowers cave just outside Beijing. This cave is a really large tall as a 14 story building and 3/4 mile long.

The next stop was the Marco Polo Bridge. This bridge is over 850 feet long and 700 years old. It has 485 lions like the one you see in my next photo. The bridge was nicknamed after the famous Venetian traveler, Marco Polo. This bridge was Marco's favorite and he traveled here often to see it.

The next photo was taken out front of the Forbidden City. Built in the early 1400s, this palace was home for the royalty to entertain their visiting guests. It's been restored twice since it was originally built.

A five minute walk south of the Forbidden City is Chairman Mao's Mausoleum (tomb). Chairman Mao is a hero in China. He founded the Communist government over sixty years ago.

Just to the south of the mausoleum is the Tiananman gate. The Tianamen Square area has been the location of several freedom rebellions in China's history.

This photo was taken just before we wrote this report...right in Louis' home.

Louis and I taking a well deserved rest...we've had a busy trip and I have many other destinations to go to!
We'll be sending you more reports from other places. Until then, I'm having lots of fun.

Hi Louis,

We just got back from our computer lab and seeing Stanley on our big projection screen! What an exciting thing for us! Alyson's Grandma sent Stanley to so many places! Last week her friend sent us some chocolate covered macadamia nuts from Hawaii. Many of us had never had them but boy were they yummy!!! We thought you were clever to take Stanley's picture at the famous places and that you deserved to rest at the end. A funny coincidence is that Mrs. Lindemann's daughter is in Beijing, China teaching English as a second Language to university students and she thought the message was from her at first!! Thanks for helping us with the project.
Alyson and all her friends in Mrs. Lindemann's class

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