Archives For China

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!

 

 

One thing that I am not is creative . . . just ask those that know me well and they will verify that. It is interesting to me to see how someone takes something common, and develops a new use for it. Such is the case for a hoverboard. During my last trip to China, I saw a couple of uses for hoverboards that didn’t involve children playing. Would you like to see the new uses for them?

What Would You Do With a Hoverboard?

The gentleman pictured in the photograph above is a delivery man, and what this picture didn’t capture was the speed he was traveling while holding a large box. I can’t imagine how much practice it took to be able to balance on a hoverboard, and hold a bulky heavy box, and be safe! I don’t know if OSHA has come out with a ruling on this particular use for the device!

What Would You Do With a Hoverboard?

The picture above shows a man who I believe was going to work. Apparently he didn’t like to walk the distance he had to travel, so he used a hoverboard. Maybe he had a reasonable distance to travel, and didn’t want to pay to ride a bus, so he used this option. I promise you it was very cold that day, so there was some very good reason for him to choose to be out in the weather!

With all of the trips I have had to China, it is interesting to me that I continue to see new things of interest!

Are your hoverboard skills good enough to navigate the streets in a city of 22 million people while delivering a package?

 

 

When I am traveling, one of the things I find interesting is the architecture. I have been fortunate enough to have gone to Beijing, China, many times, and one of my favorite buildings to see is the TV station building. Please have a look to see if you find it interesting also!

What Architecture Do You Find Interesting?

I call this the transformer building, based on the action figures from the movie Transformers. I have no idea why the lines that look like cracks are there, and that makes it even more interesting to me. Some people have called it the “Sponge Bob Square Pants building”, but I like my name better. The multi-dimensional appearance is like no other building I have seen.

Not too far from the Transformer building there is another structure which I find interesting. This building is called the “beehive building” by the people in Beijing, and I think you can understand why.

What Architecture Do You Find Interesting?

Both of these photographs were taken during my last visit. I was very fortunate to be in Beijing on a clear day. Steps are being taken to improve the air quality, but some days are as bad as the information being reported on the news.

Hopefully you will have an opportunity to travel and enjoy some interesting architecture soon! Don’t forget to have your camera ready!

As you can imagine, storage is at a premium at the special needs orphanage supported by Global Partners in Life. There are so many people living in the apartment, and they store items for all seasons plus wheelchairs and toys, so it is truly a challenge for them. So do you want to know how items which will be needed are stored and still accessible?

When Every Inch is Packed

It gets very cold in the city where the special needs orphanage is, so putting onions in the window is a great way to store them out of the way. The top green part of the onion are chopped into small pieces and used to garnish and flavor many dishes. The bottom of the onions are chopped into larger pieces and used with many dishes as well. It is also very common to see cabbages stored in windows and above doors in China.

We at Global Partners in Life try to provide meals for the children, and we cover the expenses for their medical and educational needs. Currently, we spend about eighty five dollars per month for each child’s food.

If you would like to help Global Partners in Life provide for the children’s needs, please visit us at www.globalpartnersinlife.org!

Over the last few years, I have noticed a tremendous increase in the number of very impressive cars I have seen in China. The economy has performed at a record pace if you look at the last fifteen years, so now there are many wealthy people willing to invest in amazing automobiles. Would you like to see some of the cars I saw on my last trip?

If You Like Cars

Check out this Bentley parked in front of some small shops near my hotel. This is truly a luxury car, with all the plush bells and whistles you would expect. It made me feel good just knowing there was a Bentley parked so close to me!

If You Like Cars

If you are more into sports cars, how about this Lamborghini? This speedster was parked in an upscale shopping area. When I was walking through the parking lot and took a couple of pictures, the security guards started laughing at me! Either they knew I would never have one, or I wasn’t the first guy to stop and take a picture of this beauty.

If you have a nice car, you may have a little attitude to go with it. Check out this lady riding in a Tesla. Her makeup, hat, and thin cigarette in a cigarette holder let me know that this Tesla was full of attitude and style!

If You Like Cars

One interesting thing to me in regard to automobiles in China — I don’t think I have even seen a used car dealership! By the way, the number of new cars sold daily is staggering. In 2016, the number of new cars sold in China was 28.03 million!

What are some of your favorite cars?

There is a train station I have used many times in the center of Beijing, China, and that is where my sleeper train arrives from another city. I like the sleeper trains because they save money, and you can meet some very interesting people on the trains. On my last trip to China, I used this train station at night to catch my sleeper train to another city. I was amazed by how different the train station, which I have used many times before, seemed; and I got to see a different area than when I arrive in the mornings. Come along on this journey with me!

As Different as Night and Day

This is what the exterior looked like when I arrived at the train station at night. Check out the difference compared to the morning view.

As Different as Night and Day

Once I got inside, I was impressed with some of the craftsmanship within the terminal!

As Different as Night and Day

There was ornate molding everywhere, and some of the columns were gorgeous!

As Different as Night and Day

I have one more photograph to share with you from this adventure, but first I must put this into perspective for you. It was about 10:00 PM when I was there, and the terminal was packed! The waiting areas had no place to sit, because all of the seats were taken, so there were people standing around waiting everywhere you could see. Did I mention it was 10:00 PM?!

As Different as Night and Day

As you can see from the picture above, the ceilings were very high. I would say at least 30 feet! I think it was designed like that for one reason–if everyone inside inhaled at the same time, there would be enough air in the room!

It was very educational for me to see the departure area of this very old and historic train station. My mind can’t fathom how many people use this train station daily and, to carry that thought out, how many people have used this facility since it was built!

All aboard! 

During a recent trip to China, I used trains as one of my main means of transportation. Some were to travel a long distance, some were in the subway, and some were just to move you from one area of the airport to another. All of the trains were full of signs, and I very much appreciated the ones that were also in English. Would you like to see some of the most interesting signs?

What Signs Really Communicate

The sign above was taken in my cabin of a night train, or sleeper train as they are also called. I just found it extremely ironic and slightly funny that there was a No Smoking sign placed in an ash tray. I think it was sending two completely different messages! By the way, people in China smoke more than people in the States, and there is a designated smoking area in the rear of each train car.

What Signs Really Communicate

The second picture I am sharing with you is from the train at the Beijing Capital Airport in Terminal Three. This train has automated doors, so the door sign is giving some wonderful advice! Sometimes these trains are quite crowded, and there is always someone arriving late trying to catch the door in time to ride the train.

There is no moral to this story, just some interesting sights I saw in China.

So when are you going to go to China?

 

 

One of the cities I return to often in China is in the northern part of the country. To give you an example of how cold it gets there, I have been told that people will ice skate to work when the river freezes. Also, one night I was waiting outside of the train station for a taxi, and I had to keep blinking my eyes, because the moisture on my eyes was freezing. By the way, when I returned to my hotel room, I looked on the Internet and it was minus eighteen degrees Fahrenheit! With all of the cold weather, this city receives surprisingly little snowfall. They have a dry climate, so there isn’t enough moisture in the air for as much snow as you would expect. So, do you want to know what people in this city do when it snows?
How Do You Enjoy the Snow?

They have a snowball fight! I can’t begin to tell you how cute this little girl was throwing snowballs at her dad. She would laugh and giggle every time she threw one or she got hit with some snow. Honestly, I think her dad was enjoying his time with her, as much as she was enjoying playing in the snow with him.

On a day when I was worried about being to keep my travel plans due to the snow, this was a pleasant distraction! This little girl was precious as she was having playtime in the snow with her dad. Maybe I should remember how happy and carefree this little girl was when I feel stressed!

What do you do to enjoy the snow?

 

Even though Christmas isn’t an officially recognized holiday in China, it is common to see plenty of holiday decorations. Many of the nicer hotels and department stores go all out with their decorations, and that is always interesting to see.

During a recent trip to China, I saw a combination of Chinese and western decorations together. So, what does it look like when East meets West in regard to Christmas decorations?

When East Meets West for Christmas

This photo was taken outside a mall that had holiday decorations displayed. The large green golf ball looking thing is actually part of a science education center for children, and at the other end of that building is where I have taught a time or two.

When East Meets West for Christmas

These certainly look different in the sunshine! If you are familiar with the song “Christmas in Dixie,” that wouldn’t apply in this location!

In this city there are several large department stores, part of a chain which is based in France, and they have many brightly colored options for your holiday decorations. You can even get a tree already decorated — and if you forget to say Merry Christmas, your tree can say it for you!

When East Meets West for Christmas

Maybe I should have this blog displayed again around the first of July. We will all probably be dreaming of a white Christmas at that time of the year!

Where have you seen the most interesting Christmas decorations?

I am 57 years old, and I have never had a white Christmas! Perhaps living near Atlanta, GA, doesn’t help in my quest for one. I think having a white Christmas would be wonderful, and I almost had one this year. I was in China shortly after Christmas, and they had snow, so do you want to see what an almost white Christmas looked like for me?

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

Someone had the Christmas spirit, and they decided to place a Christmas tree in the playground area of an apartment complex. Knowing how the wind blows in this city, I am surprised the tree was still standing! Across the street, there is a park, and it had a lovely view during my visit. I have actually seen people playing ping pong in this park when there was more snow on the ground than this.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

I think the snow is so beautiful while it is falling and when it is nice and clean. It amazes me how quiet it makes the area . . . but there is a bad side to the snow. In my opinion, snow becomes ugly when it is driven on and becomes dirty.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

There are other negative side effects of the snow, the cold being one of them. I took this picture where a man had a bike repair cart on a busy street corner. He was doing all he could to stay warm, and judging from the suit on the wall, I think he had employed this technique before.

I'm Still Dreaming of a White Christmas

Oh well, I guess I will continue to look forward to a white Christmas, and be happy when I don’t have one!

Have you ever had a white Christmas?