During the 1993-94 school year, the foibles of which you can read at China Grunge, I taught all of the Fuzhou University Foreign Language Department’s sophomore (2nd year) and senior (4th year) students, over 160 young people in all.

I’ve heard tell of a few of them in the nearly 12 years since then–and in case you’re reading this, “Julia,” the student who wrote last year through my site’s Contact page about her new life in Germany, please write again: you forgot to include your e-mail address!–but during my recent week-long visit to the city of Xiamen, I was able to get together with about 10 former “4th year” students who live there for dinner and learn what they are doing now.

Of the two fellows who live in Xiamen and were able to make it to a gathering, one is now a policeman in Xiamen and the other a “sales executive” (he travels a lot) for a high-end Chinese jewelery manufacturer (and got married just a month ago–congrats!).

Of the gals, one describes herself as a “stay-at-home Mom”; a few work for trading or shipping companies; one is the manager of a particular department in a travel agency, overseeing “outbound” travel packages (rather than in-city Xiamen tours and arrangements, that means); one now works for the Chinese tax bureau in Quanzhou.

Another gal is the owner of her own trading company, and doing quite well–she drove us back in her stylish new Honda sedan to the apartment we were staying in after dinner that evening. (This is the student “Helen” who jumped in to help me negotiate commerce with sellers in a vegetable market back in 1993. I guess she had that go-getter spirit even back then.)

Another of my former female students and her husband have opened and are running three import-export companies. I’m not clear on why they have two in China, but the third is registered in Hong Kong, mainly for what I’ll describe as “tax shelter” purposes.

Here are a few photos from one of the “reunions”: