Whirlwind trip

Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
Trip End Apr 05, 2013

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Flag of China  , Jilin,
Friday, March 8, 2013


after being whisked away to Jilin province Songyuen technical college north by road 2 hours to 'talk to the students, about anything - they don't meet foreigners' don't worry, just talk" i found myself the first day talking to students and faculty around a table, the second day to a group of 50 business students and the third day over 150 students of agricultural engineering, education, business etc. plus the President, Vice President, and being photographed, local tv station etc. I was an embarrassed celebrity and fell for this, 'just talk to them', hook line and sinker, no pressure HAH! Anyway this was arranged by Jianshang, who lives in Changchun, and who stayed with my parents for a few weeks 20 years ago, to learn English and to study the agricultural practices of Saskatchewan.  Anyway Mr. Rong, who also came to Canada 20 years ago and stayed on a farm, works for this College, and he speaks English and wanted to give these studentswho come from small communities and who are poor, a chance to meet a foreigner and get their eyes open to the global world and to hear about the importance of planning and taking small steps to succeed.  So I had a microphone, Mr. ROng interpreted and there was a planted Q and A session after. One 20 year old male student came up on stage, wanted to shake my hand and give me a hug and have his picture taken with me as I was the first foreigner he had ever seen in person!  There seems to be quite a strong connection in Sask. with Jilin province.  Also got three beautiful calligraphy scrolls presented to me on stage yesterday morning - I was present when each was done by dignitaries in their office - most have beds in their office and a table to do calligraphy! it is a big talent here. So today I need to ship back to Canada as too big to carry without damaging and I already have enough to carry.  So much more to say about this - from the 2 and a half hour lunches with baijiu and numerous toasts with various other dignitaries, i never did figure them all out, and every evening Mr. Cai, Mr. Wong (limited English), Mr. Rong and myself would go to a hotpot restaurant, drink peijiu and one night we all went for foot massages first and last night arrived back in Chongchun the three of us, Mr. Cai, Mr Rong and I, had another boozy lunch with the previous mayor of Songyuan who is principal of a school here. and several other people plus two women who are high up.  One of which I found out was in SOngyuen yesterday and heard my speech..and was very enthusiastic about it.  Last night went for more massages and then Mr. Cai's wife and son met us for hotpot (this food here is quite good, different region different dishes).  Alll expenses paid for me, including massages. Am in Home hotel here in Changchun now and I am paying my own way for three nights as they want me to stay until Sunday so they can show me around Changchun and today Zoe and her mother who also went to Canada are picking me up (Fri) for sightseeing, Mr. ROng and Jiansheng tomorrow and I will meet Jiansheng's parents and tomorrow night Mr. Cai taking us out or having us over for dinner. I leave Sunday morning on the D train fast 6 hour trip back to Beijing. They will meet me again at breakfast before I go and were concerned that someone should come with me as I was a foreigner in Beijing! I said no problem, I can find my way! Anyway thought i had to tell all I was still here and will need to complete my Nanning portion and send asap. Had to get this down before Zoe and her mother come - no internet in hotel rooms and am using the one in lobby here.   next friend Susan and mother took me 呕吐佛人特和day

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Linda M on

Goodness Professor Ecklund - you certainly don't lack for adventures!

Patricia on

I am a little busy this week. Sounds like you are having a wonderful Chinese experience. Similar to some of mine in China. Good stuff and interesting.
I am as always envious. Cheers.

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