June 4, 2012
Re: China trip
I must say that the trip did exceed my expectations, as I expected it to be very good, but it was thoroughly great. We have read and discussed the China population, but I had never seen it, and it was mind-boggling with regard to the transportation / driving challenges there, and the apartment buildings, and no individual homes seen. It certainly creates a lot of challenges to their government. It was good to use a bus or subway. The rapid train was awesome.
The people on campus….students, faculty, and staff, were quite friendly and enjoyable. The teachers were very good, and I enjoyed the classes…and wish some of them had not been cancelled.
There is a challenge for me in deciding what was best, as I did enjoy classes as much as the sight-seeing, so it was good to do both. It certainly was great to see the Great Wall, Tian’anmen Square and The Forbidden City, which itself was incredibly amazing due to its time of existence. I would not trade away the Botanical Garden either.
I would say that the traveling three days in a row did result in tiring us….I think that had something to do with the frustration suspected from the Guide on the trip to the 2008 Olympic facilities. I preferred the alternating schedule of classes and travel. There isn’t anything I would delete from the trip.
The experience has been helpful in understanding the Chinese who come here, and they are no different…usually quite friendly people. We will understand their culture and history.
Thanks to everyone for the trip…you, Terrill, for managing the trip, as well as the Confucius Institute people, the North China Electric Power University (which is a good campus) and its faculty & staff, as well as WKU for sponsoring the trip.
Michael Stephens MD