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When we arrived back for lunch at the hotel, after the morning parade, a SAFEA representative asked if Freda and Edie would like to join us at Tiananmen Square in the evening. What a surprise! They didn't have passes for any of the other events, and were resigned to spending the week in our albeit lovely room. Eilidh had spent the morning with them and was about to be relieved of her afternoon/evening duties, when Kruti arrived to spend a little more time with us. Finally we suggested they hung around to see if there were any more spare tickets. Just as the buses were leaving the hotel Ms Li, the Director of a Beijing division of SAFEA, ushered them onto our bus. Freda and Edie were dressed up in their school uniforms for the occasion as we sat on the front row of the banstand. Edie fell asleep half way through. Having got up at 5am that morning Ali and I were also falling asleep as we returned to the hotel for dinner at 11pm. It was well worth it and we are exceptionally grateful to SAFEA for allowing our family to be together for this special event.

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Eilidh (from Kingussie) and Kruti (from London) outside the Forbidden City, just before we took our seats for the fireworks. Kruti is clutching her invitation, knowing that if she loses it she won't have access to the seating area. The organisers were handing out bottles of water and mini radios (for English versions) to guests. The water was essential during the morning parade when we all frazzled in the sun.

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LEAF posing outside the main entrance to the Forbidden City, just before the evening performances began. Lesley is wearing her medal, as instructed by SAFEA, and Ali has a "60th" badge on his lapel, another gift from SAFEA (as is the silk dragon tie he's sporting!).

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Paul
3/10/2009

Awesome!!

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