The trip to China was an experience of a lifetime for me. I have read many books on the history, culture and people of China; however, experiencing the impact of the history and culture of China on its people was definitely the most intriguing thing I learned on the trip. Due to the youth of America, Americans cannot grasp the impact of 5000 years of history on a society. The Chinese people seemed to be comfortable in their station in life and this is unlike many Americans as they struggle with identity and understand who they are in the world. There seemed to be a peace to all the people as they went about their daily lives.
The most enjoyable part of the trip was working with Leonard and Sooki. Having these two as guides for the group really enhanced the educational opportunity for myself. They were extremely hard workers, conscientious and fun to be around during our trip. They are very exceptional individuals with bright futures. The trip would not have been the same without them.
Suggestions for Future Trips
The mains suggestion I have for future trips is to slow down and not do so many places during one day. The Great Wall, The Forbidden City and other locations are special locations that need more time to be explored and visited. It seemed like we literally ‘ran’ through the Summer Palace.
The other suggestion I have concerns organization. I do appreciate the flexibility of the CI staff to change the schedule to accommodate our desires to visit various locations like the Beijing Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, etc. However, there were times when participants did not know where to be or when to be there. This can be attributed to a lack of communication from North Power university leader to our group leader. On many occasions, phone calls were exchanged minutes before participants were to be at a new location either for class or other business.
One Final Item
Terrill Martin was excellent. He was well prepared and concerned that each member had a great experience. Western Kentucky University is blessed to employ his services. Terrill really made the trip exceptional.
Thank you for the experience of a lifetime,