Archives For China

What an Honor

April 30, 2019 — Leave a comment

In 2018 when I tried to visit the area of China where Mrs. Xu, the widow Global Partners in Life has supported the longest, lives, there was a surprise snow storm, so I was unable to visit. I was told my flight to the city may make it in, but there was no way I would make it out, so I decided not to go.

A few weeks ago I returned to China, and I went to visit Mrs. Xu. In the photo above, she is the lady on the right. Unfortunately, she had some bad health news!

What I didn’t know is that Mrs. Xu had been having a thyroid problem, and her physician told her she needed surgery. Mrs. Xu didn’t have the money for the operation, so she had no plan other than her prayers. 

Since I hadn’t seen Mrs. Xu in 2018, when I saw her a few weeks ago I had our financial support from 2018 and 2019! Mrs. Xu was extremely thankful to receive the gift from the generous donors of Global Partners in Life, because now she had enough money for the simple procedure she needed to have done.

When she visited the surgeon, he told her there was one medicine he wanted to try before doing surgery. Mrs. Xu started taking the new drug, and her condition is improving! For now, there is no surgery scheduled for her!

For Mrs. Xu, I want to extend a huge thank you to the people that are so generous to Global Partners in Life and enable us to help a widow in China with a medical need she couldn’t provide for by herself!

Truly, helping someone in need is an amazingly good feeling!

The Year of the Pig

April 15, 2019 — Leave a comment

Recently I returned from a trip in China right after their Spring Festival, which marks the start of their Lunar New Year. As you may know, there are a dozen characters that make up the revolving zodiac representatives of each new year. Many in China can tell your age, if you tell them which zodiac animal represented the year in which you were born. Would you like to know which year’s animal represented the year in which I was born?

The Year of the Pig | BeauSides.com

That is right! I was born in the year of the pig! Can you see the resemblance? With my eating habits and the way I kept my college room, well, the irony is overwhelming!

The Year of the Pig | BeauSides.com

Pigs are apparently playful, as you can see here and in the next photo! Who knew?

The Year of the Pig | BeauSides.com

The culture in China would dictate that I wear the color red often this entire year. You should have good luck when it is the year of the animal representing the year you were born, and you should wear red clothes frequently! That enhances your good luck, and maybe people will notice this is your year!

Oh, and one last photo of a cool pig indeed!

The Year of the Pig | BeauSides.com

Happy Year of the Pig!

My title may or may not entice you, but I saw some unique cars in Beijing during my last visit! Hopefully you will find them as interesting as I did. Would you like to see them?

The Diversity of Cars in Beijing

Arguably, nothing says elegance like a Bentley. This beauty was parked near an area I know pretty well, and I wanted a test drive! I didn’t know this before that day, but “Bentley” is inset in the headlights.The Diversity of Cars in Beijing

Perhaps all of the other Bentleys I have owned didn’t have that option! Ha Ha! The next car I will show you certainly takes a back seat to no other automobile. Can you guess what it is?

The Diversity of Cars in Beijing

This Rolls Royce was literally steps away from the Bentley in this upscale shopping area of Beijing. Rolls Royce has long been considered the measuring stick for other luxury cars, and this one was tricked out on the inside. The leather seats looked amazing. If I could afford a Rolls Royce, I think I could afford an additional paint job to cover the purple! This certainly isn’t a muscle car from the 1970s!

To show you some of the contrasting styles of cars you can find in China, check out my next photo!

The Diversity of Cars in Beijing

This little car was parked very near the Bentley and the Rolls Royce. I would guess this car weighed about as much as the wheels on either the Bentley or the Rolls Royce! Unfortunately, I am a veteran of the traffic in Beijing, and I am not sure I would feel very safe in this vehicle. But it did give me a good comparison for the other cars!

When you are traveling in foreign countries, I would suggest keeping your eyes opened for interesting cars. Oh, it may also help you stay safe when you are walking!

Where have you seen the most interesting cars?

If you recall, a few years ago in China there was a fire in an independent, non-governmental orphanage fire and unfortunately multiple children perished. Shortly after that, the government said any province that had an orphan in an independent orphanage could bring the orphans back to their home orphanage where they are registered. This proved the government had a plan and were taking action.

So, the government workers and police came to the independent orphanages around the country, interviewed workers to make sure the level of care needed for the children was being met, and eventually removed some of the children from what was potentially the only home they had ever known. Unfortunately, the special needs orphanage we support had eleven children taken during this period, if my memory serves me correctly.

Currently, the environment in China is one where all rules and laws are being enforced. So, once again, some of the provinces are removing children from the independent orphanages, like the one supported by Global Partners in Life.

History Has Repeated Itself

If you remember Lei Zi, pictured here, he is a VERY active 4 year old boy that is full of life. He has been removed by his home province and placed in a government orphanage. Five other children from around the country were brought in with him. We have a friend that works in this orphanage, and the friend sent a video of Lei Zi, which was shown to me. He was wearing a shirt and a diaper and no pants. In the video, he was crying and saying “my mom,” meaning the leader of the special needs orphanage we support, “has pants for me.” For some reason, the new orphanage is making him wear a diaper and no pants. He is potty trained, so we don’t understand this.

As I said, history has repeated itself.  We have weathered this storm before, and we intend to persevere again.

As Global Partners in Life celebrates our fourteenth anniversary, we have many wonderful accomplishments to celebrate! Moving forward, we will need to be wise and informed as we serve the people we have been led to in China. 

It was about this time of year when some students and I took a road trip. Actually, it would be more accurate to say a bus trip. The students were from the university where I was teaching, and we decided to go to a smaller town a little north of our city to have a look one weekend. Would you like to know what we saw?

A Peaceful Environment

There was a small river going through the town, and it had this interesting looking bridge. There was a large park along this area of the river, and we enjoyed some street food while sitting in the park. We consumed our glass noodles while eating them out of a clear plastic bag; my first time for doing that. Glass noodles are slippery, and you don’t want to poke a hole in the plastic bag with your chopsticks!

As we walked around town, I saw something that surprised me. They had an old stone wheel for grinding wheat, which is grown locally. I have seen one that used a donkey walking around in a circle to move the stone, but this one used man power. You can see it in the photograph below.

A Peaceful Environment

Some things I also enjoyed seeing in China were the many pools of water with beautiful water lilies in them. I was impressed with the different colors of the lilies, and many times there would be koi swimming around the lilies!

a-peaceful-environment-3

This was an enjoyable trip for many reasons! This particular area of China enjoyed a much slower pace of life compared to when I was teaching in Beijing!

Maybe this blog will help you remember a calm and peaceful place you have enjoyed. I know it certainly has done that for me!

One thing we consistently hear is that the air quality is horrible in the major cities in China. Well, I can show you proof that isn’t always the truth. Granted, the weather can have a huge impact on the air quality, but here is a photograph I took during my recent trip to Beijing, and it clearly shows the sky is beautiful, clear, and blue. Check out the helicopter inspecting the skyscraper under construction below it!

Interesting Sightings During China Trip

If you are into gadgets, I saw a new one in a taxi cab. It is not uncommon at all to see a device plugged into a cigarette lighter for charging a cell phone, but I saw one with more capabilities than simply charging a cell phone. This particular taxi had a cell phone charging device, and built into the device was an electrical outlet. If it looks odd to you, it is because some of the slot configurations in Chinese electrical outlets are shaped much differently than the ones we have in America. Do you want to see it?

Interesting Sightings During China Trip

By the way, the driver of this taxi loves the National Basketball Association. His two favorite teams are the LA Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is amazing how something like basketball can be the catalyst for a great conversation anywhere in the world!

Keep your eyes open when you are traveling, because you never know what you might see!

For this blog post, I thought I would like to share with you some of the unusual sights I saw during my last trip to China. Some of them I can explain, and some of them you will have to decide for yourself what the reason or intent of the object photographed was. Are you ready for a quick trip to China?

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

In the photograph above, you will find one of the pictures where I will let you decide about the intent and reason for the construction of this chair. It certainly appears to be durable and suitable for the outdoors!

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

Being an old bald guy from Georgia, I had to show this photograph. This is actually a common sight in China, but can you figure out why? I am not sure about all of the details or origin, but the peach is a sign of longevity and the baldness is a sign of wisdom, so this statue in this restaurant was placed there to wish their customers a long life full of wisdom and prosperity.

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

One of the ways you can tell when you are in an older district of a city in China is by the wiring and cables you can see. I feel sorry for any technician that is sent out to diagnose an electrical problem in the area!

A Photographic Journey of Interesting Sights in China

Since we serve children in China, I thought I would end with a photograph of a new friend I made at an airport in China. She was all decked out with her summer hat and getting hydrated for her trip!

 

What’s the most unique sight you’ve ever seen in your travels?

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 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!

With Global Partners in Life turning thirteen years old in April, this will be a special blog to celebrate the birthday. Global Partners in Life has provided for countless medical procedures since we started investing in the special needs orphanage in China in 2006. These medical procedures have sometimes been as small at shots for school or routine check-ups. The next level of medical care has been testing for conditions the children were born with, or to determine if surgery was needed. Finally, we have paid for several surgeries, with cleft pallets being the most common. We have even provided for multiple open heart operations, usually performed to correct a hole in one of the children’s heart.

An interesting reflection would be to show pictures from when I first met the children at the special needs orphanage in 2006, and then show a picture from a recent trip. Hopefully you will enjoy these photographs!

Happy Birthday to Global Partners in Life!

 

Happy Birthday to Global Partners in Life!

As you can tell, this boy likes to chew on straws and play with streamers. It is hard for me to believe how much he has grown! Thankfully, there are many others like him! He has had multiple cleft pallet surgeries, and we have provided the funds for his braces. Once his braces are removed, he will probably need a third operation to close the gap in the roof of his mouth.

Not only have we provided for desperately needed medical procedures, we have also paid for some more practical daily needs. These would include bigger items like a large van; remodeling the bathroom; remodeling the kitchen; and meeting needs for food, cleaning supplies, salaries for the workers, and school fees. As you can tell, Global Partners in Life is having success in impacting the quality of life for these truly needy children.

I must give a huge thank you to the people that serve on the Board of Directors for Global Partners in Life! Additionally, I must thank those who contribute in the work we are doing in China — for without them, we couldn’t provide for the children.

If you would like to join our donors, please visit us at www.globalpartnersinlife.org!