Our trip was the very best.
We've traveled to Asia before but this was a very exceptional experience for both Doug and I.
James, it's all about the people. Your staffs are very informed, diplomatic, respectful, kind and considerate, humorous, and most important, safe and reliable. I'm sure you are proud.
Chris is an excellent guide. The only thing I'd suggest is for him to be a little bit more assertive when needed. I believe his confidence and diplomacy will mature with experience under your guidance.
I have learned a very important thing. I have always been somewhat afraid, due to ignorance on my part, of visiting a communist country. I was not convinced I'd have a safe experience. As always, education and communication are the keys to overcoming fear. I didn't have any firm expectations but I did think I'd see intimidating military on a regular basis. This has not been the case. The people of Beijing are most welcoming and try to accommodate our western ways whenever possible.
Beijing has many challenges not just for the Olympics but for Beijing’s long term future. The pollution and water needs are beyond belief. I'm so impressed on how far the city has progressed in just 5 years and am confident they will overcome these major challenges in time. Eliminating the factories in the city will make a strong beginning. They also face strong automobile pollution, as we all do, which is increasing daily. We are all waiting for an answer for that.
I'm exceptionally impressed with the level of respect I've seen. This was most apparent in Number 5 School and the Kindergarten School Cathy took us to on Sunday. The students in Number 5 School were well behaved, diligent in their studies, were respectful to their teachers, and to us as visitors. I'm sad to say our culture greatly lacks the high level of these qualities. My hope was for our children to observe these qualities we saw in the Chinese students and bring it to our schools.
The students of Number 5 School appear to be happier than our children. They know and respect their social boundaries. I wish I could say that about children in the western world.
Strong leadership is apparent throughout everything we've seen whether it was historical, educational, or cultural. Clearly the Emperors exhibited strong leadership or they would not have been famous Emperors who are honored today. The students have strong leadership from their Principal. His strong enthusiasm for everything from raising the flag, watching our basketball game, to making dumplings was impressive. Again, our culture lacks the high level of this most important trait. This is evident in our schools and corporations.
The city of Beijing would not have progressed as much as it has without strong leadership from
the Government. Vancouver is also hosting an Olympic year. The people of Vancouver and Canada are not as enthusiastic about this event as the Chinese are. This level of enthusiasm will reflect on the success of the events.
If I may be totally honest with you James, as a child I was taught our western ways are the best. I was taught communist ways are something to be afraid of. I was taught to be afraid of communist people because they would destroy us and our way of living. As I grew up I believed this less and less. However, at least part of what you are taught as a child stays with you if you want it to or not. You have to be shown things are not always as you have been taught. Again, the key to eliminating fear is education and communication. That is what you have done for me James. I have received education and communication.
I hope this answer has not taken up too much of your time. Thank you for your interest in my feeling about the trip and also with your assistance with Doug's jacket.
I look forward to seeing you again and would like to discuss visiting your office to purchase your Tai Chi video. Both Doug and I have been looking for a Yang style Tai Chi instructor and would appreciate any assistance you might be able to offer. Someone on the North Shore is best for us but we realize that might not be possible.
I wish you success with your business and if you ever need a reference I'd be happy to assist you.
Phone : 604-987-8223