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Willmar students are Beijing bound

WILLMAR - Eighteen, third-year Chinese language students at Willmar Senior High School departed by bus Saturday from the Willmar Middle School for the airport and an 11 a.m. flight to Beijing, where they will spend eight days.

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With snowflakes falling at 6 a.m. Saturday, Adi Gunderson arrives as Chinese language teacher Todd Lynum greets her parents Gail and Chad.

WILLMAR - Eighteen, third-year Chinese language students at Willmar Senior High School departed by bus Saturday from the Willmar Middle School for the airport and an 11 a.m. flight to Beijing, where they will spend eight days.

It's the third such China trip for Willmar juniors and seniors led by lanquage teacher Todd Lynum. "The purpose is to experience first-hand the country whose language and culture they have been studying for about three years," Lynum explained.

By the time their flight lifts off at Minneapolis-St. Paul, it will be midnight Saturday in Beijing, a 13-hour time difference.

Jet lag? Lynum was asked.

"Not really," he responded. "When we get there it's just go-go-go! Coming back is tougher."  

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Zachary Rende gets a hug from his dad Rob, who advises "Have a good time, but be good."

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