The two weeks in China were enlightening. From the time Norris McDonald and Derry Bigby left Dulles Airport through meeting China Office Director Zhang Xiaoping at Beijing Airport, this trip accomplished all of its missions and has led to opportunities for future partnerships. At the end of each day and for a full day on the last Saturday, the Center team experienced the rich nighlife and sightseeing that China and Hong Kong have to offer.
One of our favorite places in Beijing was Houhai, which has a huge lake in front with stores, restaurants and outdoor seating. The video at left captures some of the atmosphere at this special location. Center President also had his picture drawn while peasants from nearby looked on completely fascinated.
The Center team was joined by Zhang Xiaoping’s daughter, BoBo (she said she prefers to be called this), who is s college senior. As impressive as the Great Wall are the terraces dug into the surrounding mountains to obtain the stone and materials for the wall. MIles and miles of terraced mountains show that millions of people particupated in constructing this wall over hundreds of years. It is truly a wonder of the world and an incredible human achievement
The Center team operated from the Xiuan Hotel, which happened to be about three blocks from the Beijing Zoo (See below)
The crowds at the Mall are unlike anything you see in the United States. They are packed with goods and people. There are people everywhere, both inside and outside. It is a tradition to bring your host a gift so we went shopping for a gift for one of our hosts.
We travelled all over Beijing by taxi. Xiaoping was invaluable in communicating with the taxi drivers. Of course, she was invaluable everywhere we went because her translation skills smoothes out any wrinkles that migh have occurred in our travels. See taxi video below.
One of our favorite stops was the Lotus Blue Bar and Restaurant.
We travelled on to Weifang after Beijing and the adventures continued. One of the best stops was at a greenhouse that was growing tomatoes. The peasants were very friendly and the garden inside the greenhouse was awesome.
There was also a very funny taxi cab ride. Derry Bigby had trouble getting out of the taxi
The nightlife in Weifang was fascinating and the sightseeing in Hong Kong on the last leg of the trip was exciting.
A lake in a park across the street from our hotel in Weifang