What could possibly go wrong when you are going to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World? Well, how about rain! Yes, rain causes a few discomforts when you are visiting the Great Wall of China, like getting wet, walking on slippery stones, and not being able to use the toboggan slide coming down the mountain.

But there is good news! The crowds are smaller, it is cooler, and it gives a completely different perspective of the Great Wall. Would you like to see what I mean?

Taking the Good with the Bad

I have been to the Great Wall of China on perfectly clear days, and you can see all of the surrounding mountains and valleys below. To some, it may seem a little disappointing to go to the Great Wall when it is raining, but I appreciate the change the rain brings and the unique views it offers. I have read that the Mu Tian Yu section of the Great Wall is about 3425.2 feet above sea level, so you can understand that you are literally in the clouds.

Taking the Good with the Bad

Since the Great Wall of China is over 13,000 miles long, you can’t see all of it anyway, so I enjoy the eerie yet calm view on days when it rains. It is hard to believe that the section in the photograph above is over 2,000 years old!

Taking the Good with the Bad

When I am at the Great Wall, the view off in the distance reminds me of the beginning to the old television show MASH. If you can recall the scene as the helicopter flies in and you can see the rugged mountains in the background — well, to me, the two scenes are the same.

There are so many things you can’t control when you are traveling, so I encourage you to find the good side of what may alter your plans. Who knows, you may like the change better than your original plans!

I hope to see you on the Great Wall one day… rain or shine!

Since the weather is so warm here, I thought I would share with you a story about how Global Partners in Life has tried to protect orphans from the cold. The story starts when I was teaching at a university in China. I learned of a fire in an illegal fireworks factory in a rural area about an hour from the university. Unfortunately, many people were trapped inside the burning building, and several children became orphans that day.

The village was in such a rural area that there was no orphanage to receive the children that had tragically just become orphans. To give credit to the people of China, local villagers welcomed the children into their homes, as did distant family members. A group of foreign teachers from the university decided we must assist the children, so we pooled our financial resources, and we kept the 20 orphans in school that year.

A Change in Seasons and Life

Since that fatal fire, Global Partners in Life was formed — but we never forgot our young friends. In fact, through your generous contributions, we continued to pay for the school fees, school supplies, coats, hats, gloves, and even gave some financial support to the families providing a home for the orphans. As you can see in the photograph above, they did receive new winter clothes!

Over the years and through your donations to Global Partners in Life, we met many of the educational and humanitarian needs of these children. Learning about these children’s situation was one of the many factors that changed my life from being self-focused into one that feels great joy and happiness in helping my new young friends.

Thank you so much for investing in the work of Global Partners in Life as we try to meet the needs of those than can’t provide for themselves.

Please visit our website at www.globalpartnersinlife.org to learn more!  

 

 

During my most recent trip to China, I had a friend with me. We had taken a night train into Beijing, and we went directly from the train station to the hotel where we had our reservations. When we arrived at the hotel, it was approximately 8 AM, so no rooms were available for us — but we were assured that some would be ready by 10:30.

There was a good area nearby for us to walk to where we could grab a bite and sit outside to enjoy the beautiful day. While we were sitting outside, there were others that joined us in the shaded area, and then one tough guy did something that surprised me. Would you like to see what he did?

This Should be a Scene in a Tough Guy Movie

This tough guy was sitting there having a conversation with his friends, and he pulls out a razor and starts to give himself a shave! He didn’t have any water or anything else to moisten his face; he just did a dry shave with a razor!

This Should be a Scene in a Tough Guy Movie

His friends continued their conversation like this was their normal routine. I wonder if he has ever cut his hand by reaching into his pocket, forgetting he had his razor there.

This Should be a Scene in a Tough Guy Movie

This would have been a little more understandable if the man had been using an electric razor, but he wasn’t. To make this a little humorous, we were about 25 yards from a store where he could have purchased shaving cream! Oh well, I guess I can add this tough guy to the list of interesting things I have seen while traveling in China.

For those of you with a thick beard, I wouldn’t suggest trying this!

 

 

 

It Had to Happen

June 30, 2017 — Leave a comment

What happens when you give children toys that can use their imaginations to create their own objects with which to play? Of course, they make guns! Would you like to see the scene from a trip to China earlier this year, when Global Partners in Life provided some Lego-type toys for the children at the special needs orphanage we support?

it-had-to-happen

As you can see, the younger child has his gun, and he is trying to sneak up on the older child with his multi-colored gun! Not only are the toys entertaining to the boys, but the two girls in the background seem to be getting a laugh from the stealthy little boy!

This was a good day for the children at the orphanage and also for Global Partners in Life. Not only did the children receive some new toys to play with, but they also had a fun day full of laughs and smiles, and those laughs and smiles are what made it a good day for Global Partners in Life. We also provided financially for many of the children’s needs during this trip, and the joy we saw on the children’s faces was a great reward!

If you would like to help meet the needs of these playful children, please visit globalpartnersinlife.org and click on the donate button.

Since I have been fortunate enough to travel to China several times, I have enjoyed reading the signs that been translated into English while I am there. During a recent trip, I encountered a couple signs that I would like to share with you today. Would you like to see them?

More Interesting Signs in China

Perhaps this is a motivational sign; it was located on a store-front looking building. This area has several small businesses, and some mom and pop restaurants. Maybe it is some advertising slogan, but I don’t know. It did, however, catch my eye. One thing that made me notice it was that it wasn’t a very traditional way of conveying a message in China. Usually the signs in China wouldn’t be this challenging to an individual.

More Interesting Signs in China

This sign was amusing and confusing all at the same time. It was taken in a public restroom in Beijing, and I saw it after a friend came out of the restroom laughing and saying I had to go see the sign. I wonder what exactly it was that someone wanted to speak to someone else about, as it is referenced in this sign. If you know, please share the information with me!

The signs I see while traveling are interesting to me. Some of the translations inspire my imagination, while others leave me puzzled.

Have you encountered similar signs or situations as you traveled abroad?

 

 

One of the things Global Partners in Life tries to do for the children at the special needs orphanage we support in China is to provide a wonderful environment in which they can live, grow, and flourish. I have an example of this captured in the photograph below. Can you guess what they are doing?

A Dance Off for the Ages

These two little boys are both almost four years old, and they are dancing! The boy in the red shirt has had two cleft pallet surgeries, and the boy in the beige shirt is blind. Actually, the blind boy doesn’t really act as if he is blind, based on how freely he walks around the apartment and takes care of himself.

If you look in the background of the picture, you can see that the girl in the pink shirt is laughing at the boys as they dance. I am very comfortable in saying that these two young boys provide hours and hours of entertainment for her.

I am so thankful to see these two guys dance and enjoying themselves as they are doing in the photo above.

If you would like to help us provide for them, please visit www.globalpartnersinlife.org and click on “Donate Now.”

It is difficult for most people, myself included, to grasp how large Beijing is. The population density is staggering to most of us, as there are about 22 million people living there and it is still growing! The population growth has led to a few unique problems, and today I wanted to share with you about one surprising situation.

I have heard it said that Beijing is sinking! I know that seems hard to believe, but I can’t imagine this report would be published if there wasn’t some data to reinforce it. So, here is the theory. With the constant growth of Beijing’s population, the need for more and more water is apparent. The belief is that, as more and more water is consumed from beneath Beijing, it is not being replaced by sources. With this void from missing water, the weight of Beijing is actually causing it to sink slightly (less than an inch) annually.

Is Beijing Really Sinking?

I can honestly say that I don’t recall ever seeing a raging stream near Beijing. I can, however, say I have seen several shallow streams like the ones represented in the photos.

Is Beijing Really Sinking?

I have heard of an enormous project planned to bring water from south of Beijing into the city. This plan will tap into the river system in the south, and route the water to Beijing. I have heard that canals would be dug, and I have heard that a pipeline with pumps would be used. This project may be in progress or already completed, but I am not sure.

The two photographs above were taken slightly outside Beijing, and the picture below was taken inside Beijing. The stream in the city has concrete walls to control the water and stop erosion. I think you will notice a difference in the water levels also.

Is Beijing Really Sinking?

I don’t know all that is involved with addressing this issue of sinking, or if it is something worthy of concern, but I do know that Beijing is an amazing city to visit!

If you ever have the opportunity to visit, please take advantage of it!

I am very proud of the young man pictured below. He overcame tremendous challenges early in his life, and now he is soaring. The leader of the Chinese special needs orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life said that he was abandoned by his biological parents, and he had a horrible burn on his face. When the leader of the orphanage received him, they had to remove burned skin from over his eye so he could open it. He has also had skin grafts done, but still has scarring.

When he became old enough for school, the school system refused to enroll him as a student for two reasons. The school felt with the scars on his face, he would be a distraction to the other students in the class. Also, they felt it would be cruel to allow him to enroll, because all of the other students would pick on him and it would cause him psychological and emotional harm. I am thankful to report that the lady that leads the orphanage went to battle for him, and after sending many letters and having several meetings with education officials, our little friend was allowed to enroll!

One of the things Global Partners in Life does for this young scholar is to pay for his school fees, lunches, school uniforms, and school supplies. I would say we are seeing a great return on our investment!

It has taken many years, but he has overcome his rough beginning! Last year he had the best math grades in his class, and this year he has the best overall grades! And to think that he was not going to be allowed to enroll in school!

I am so proud of him for doing so well with his school work, and also for overcoming other obstacles. The day the photo was taken, there were about twenty people in the room! Yes, we were making noise and playing with the other children, yet he not only chose to do his school work, but was also focused enough to tune out all of the distractions going on around him. One of the things Global Partners in Life does for this young scholar is to pay for his school fees, lunches, school uniforms, and school supplies. I would say we are seeing a great return on our investment!

If you want to help him to continue his success, please visit us at www.globalpartnersinlife.org and invest in his future!

 

 

Believe me, people living in Beijing know they have a serious problem with air pollution. Not only can you see it, breathe it, and taste it on a bad day, but it is also published in many places. China can go to extreme measures to battle their air pollution problem from the highest levels, and there is something the citizens can do to help daily as well. Would like to know what they are doing?

One Way to Beat Air Pollution

They are riding bikes! Something so simple can get cars and public transportation off the roads ,which will decrease the exhaust and fumes from vehicles. There is a system in China where you can download an app, load money on the system, and then find where the rental bikes are located and help yourself to a bike. Once you are done with the bike, you just park it, and the next person needing a bike in the area can rent it. Once you park the bike, the app will deduct money from your account based on the use of the bike.

One Way to Beat Air Pollution

These bike stands are literally all over Beijing. Hopefully they will help people get where they need to be in a timely manner, and they will improve the quality of the air.

Please don’t think that the air pollution is bad every day in Beijing, because that isn’t how it is. For example, during my last trip I stayed in Beijing for a few days, and the air was fine. Then I went to another city for a few days, and returned to Beijing. During my return to Beijing, the air quality was noticeably worse — so you win some and you lose some with the air quality in Beijing.

When the air pollution hits critical levels, some factories are shut down, and an odd/even system is implemented on when you can drive, based on the numbers contained in your personal information. China also practices cloud-seeding to generate a cleansing rain. The day after it rains the skies are beautiful and blue!

Do you regularly ride your bike anywhere?

During the last trip to China, I was able to enjoy multiple visits with the children at the special needs orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life. There is one boy there that is so full of life and energy that he is hard to keep an eye on. Would you like to see a picture of him?

A Post-Surgery Look: It Is All Better!

Global Partners in Life has provided the funding for two cleft pallet surgeries for him, and he was showing me how he has healed! After recovering from his second operation, he has started speaking! His condition was severe, so he doesn’t enunciate his words very well, but at least now he is trying — before the surgery, he didn’t speak much at all.

To correct his lip, muscle from the area surrounding the two gaps in his lip had to be pulled into place, but there wasn’t enough muscle to cover all of the area needed. The lack of muscle prevented the doctors from forming his lip completely as they wanted. When he eats certain foods, the food may spill out of his mouth.

He will require at least one more surgery. After the lip has been closed and the gum has been closed, then an additional operation is required to close the gap in the roof of the mouth. My little friend has a large gap to close in the roof of his mouth, and the doctors hope everything they need to do can be accomplished in one operation.

If you would like to help this friend of mine have his next surgery, please go to www.globalpartnersinlife.org and donate!