Thank You China 2010
THANK YOU, my parents+friends,
China EcoStudy Tour #5, draft 3, Dec. 28, 2010
Mutti, Vati, Helen, Haili, Ruth, Yan, Li Yong Mei, Hay An, Chen Ling, Beatrice, Miao
Miao, Sophia, Lydia, Holly, Virginia Anami, Prof. Fang, Elieen, Qui, Xu Zhenghui
+Wang Ping+your mom, Zhao Hong, Zhang Bin, Jimmy Tang Bing, Li Cong, Bruce
Su, Jeff Shen, David Wong, David Hu, Wong Hai, Hong Lu, Minoru, students of XUAT:
On November 11, it was Remembrance Day in Canada, a national holiday, like
Memorial Day in the US. It is therefore appropriate to take time out from busy
obligations and pressing duties of work and personal life, to stop for a moment,
to remember and reflect on those dear and close to us, while we can. Traditionally,
we remember the dead, but I prefer to remember (and celebrate), the living. Here you
are, all together in my thoughts and memories, once reality, now a dream.
I dedicate this thank you report to fond reminiscences of special people who
have made a major difference to me. Some I have known for a while, others
were new to me during the last 5 weeks in China. Thank you for being my friends.
None of this is possible without my dear parents and wife Helen, veterans of 2 and 5
trips to China, and many years putting up with me. You are exceptional.
Thank you Limei Zhang (Ruth) for always waiting for me, and your constant
thirst for knowledge, and Zhao Hong for being such a gentleman (Figs. 1-4). You
were our brave companions for 5 weeks and 16,000 km. Ruth travelled with us
last year to the yaodong (cave dwellings) near Xi'an. She is a master's planning
student at Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, established in 1894, with
~ 30,000 students, who together with Zhao Hong formed our ASH team with Helen
and myself as senior partners, as we studied, toured and presented across China.
Both Ruth and Hong also acted as tour guides and interpreters. Hong, a husky
Chinese boy and architecture student at XUAT, also acted as our body guard ;-),
although that role was not needed, since China is such a safe country. Hong,
please thank your classmate in whose parents' yaodong we stayed, eating their
apples. Thanks to all the XUAT students who watched our presentation. Thanks
Li Cong (and Ruth) for letting us stay at Zhao Cheng yaodong village (......).
Thank you Prof/Architect Zhang Bin for the airport welcome, meeting with Rain at
your office, our trip with your family to Turpan (Fig. 3), our stay at the Karez Hotel
and Museum that you designed, our tour of Jiaohe, supper at Grape Valley, and tour
of your "gym". The wild safari to the Kangjiashimenzi Petroglyphs in Tianshan
Mountains (Fig. 5, 1) was a highlight. Thanks for joining our presentation to Mr.
Ding Xufeng, your roommate, and his Urumqi Construction Committee. Your
effort and generosity was extraordinary and exceptional, like that of my parents.
Thank you Xu Zhenghui and Wang Ping for blessing our first days in Beijing
with Madame Wang (Fig. 1), a most gracious host and friend. She loved Ruth.
Thank you Li Yong Mei for that special evening in Yinchuan with Madam Bai,
and David. On November 2, after Expo, we toured Mt. Sheshan as suggested.
Thank you Virginia Anami for your book that inspired us to see Guyaju, an
amazing 1200 year old passive solar Cliff Cave village in Beijing (2). Thank
you Nurmamat (and Ruth) for our session with Prof. Jianlin Wang at Kizil.
I also thank Yan-Li Xiaoyan (Fig 6), our backup tour guide and friend, who has
so far guided us on 3.5 trips in China. You are real special and bright. Thanks to
your cousin Yan Jian, our gracious host in Beijing last year. Thanks Minoru
Ueda, our colleague & fellow traveler on 2 tours and studies of Hakka Tulous.
Thank you Wei-Yan Sun (Sophia) and David Wong of the Canadian Embassy
for your patience and for helping us on our contacts and meetings.
Thank you Catie and Dr. O'Connell (Figs. 7, 8) of History Channel for the Beijing
news conference at the Sumer Palace. We met Beatrice Kaldune (UNESCO),
Wong Hai (Ken) of China Culture, Prof/VC Xu Qingsong and Zhang Zhi
Qiang formerly of the National Museum. Thanks Miao Miao of CCTV (Fig. 8)
for interrupting your thoughts at the worst time, to talk to me. Ken, thanks for
working with Sophia to set up our meeting Nov. 3. Thanks Dr. Yin Boyue of China
Housing and Ms. Fang of China Social Development Fund for attending.
Thank you Prof. Fang (Fig. 7) and Ming for meeting in Beijing, our presentation with
Prof. Xiao Wen Ping & Jianson, and tour in Meizhou. Thanks Qui for being so cute.
Thanks Chaucer Su and Yongding colleagues for attending our Hongkeng
presentation. Thanks Steven (Fuyu, 3) and Mr. Lin (4), for watching our Hakka video.
Thank you Zhang Hui for giving up the lower bunk from Shanghai to Beijing.
Thanks Chen Ling (Fig. 9) for being our private guide at Expo in Shanghai.
Thanks Hay An (Fig. 10) for talking for 2 days in the Ningxia Museum. Tired?
Thank you David Hu for meeting with us in Beijing, thanks to Jeff Shen.
Thanks Elieen & Mr. Lu for the joy of vegetarian food (Fig. 11). Great but too short.
Thank you Sun Ying (Lydia), Hong Lu's niece, for helping to organize things.
Next year, I hope to meet those we missed this time (sorry): Ms. Hao Yurong (Holly),
Wang Jia, Ma Junyan, Zhang Xue Ping, Yan Jun, Xu Pei, Jiang Hong, Li Dongning, Xu
Zhenghui, & Messr. Wang Ping, Tian Lin, You Bao Ming, Chen Jiagao, Dr. Ubul Mamat
Aili, Zheng Yong & Ruth's brother. Thanks Queenie and See-Wing for inspiring me.
In conclusion: To all my dear Chinese friends, I sincerely desire your company next
year, to go on another little excursion together to special places, so that our
friendship will grow, blossom and prosper. Life is short, but full of adventure, if we
seize the opportunities, while they last. China is a treasure chest of history,
special and unique in the world, with 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (5).
References: 2 pages of research+emails to reformat, recheck, remember, etc. took ~ 4 days
1) Kangjiashimenzi Petroglyphs, near Hutubei, Xinjiang
a) Karen Tate, Sacred Places of Goddess, p. 218
2) Guyaju, secret and mysterious multi-family Cave village, Yanqing County, Beijing
3) Fuyu Lou, 5 Phoenix Mansion, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_walled_village
4) Chengzhen Lou, "King of Tulous", Hukeng Town, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujian_Tulou
5) China UNESCO (40 sites) : http://www.unesco.org/ext/field/beijing/whc/chinawhl.htm