I have a wonderful blog entry today from Lorie Reinert. Lorie is a Chamber employee and works as Tony Ianneli's Executive Assistant. In that capacity, one of her responsibilities is to coordinate our trip to China that is in just a few days. Her thoughts on the trip are below. Enjoy!
On Monday, October 17 at 9am a group of eighteen Chamber members will depart for the "Chamber’s Mission to China," a nine day all-inclusive trip across the international date line! These eighteen strangers will soon be fast friends - they will experience a once-in-a lifetime tour of Shanghai, Beijing, and Suzhou with visits to the Olympic Stadium, Great Wall, Ming Tombs and Tian an Men Square. I have been to China and Hong Kong and find it difficult to put into words how very different it is from anything I have experienced here in the United States. China smells different, it tastes different, it looks different, it even sounds different – everything is formed into an eye-opening new perspective – there are state of the art schoolrooms housed in crumbling buildings, children in uniform speak clearly in English, (how embarrassing that I could not speak a word of Chinese) calling after me ‘miss America, miss America! – they love to be photographed with Americans. There are very modern skyscrapers and five star hotels – and just down the street there are farmers walking their water buffalo by the nose ring up the middle of the street by a piece of rope – the dichotomy is fascinating! After going through customs, you board a double-decker train packed with passengers – right out of an old movie – the countryside is like nothing I have ever seen. The very poor live in makeshift huts, built with pieces of cement and blue tarps – but their Buddha’s are extraordinary! After a full day of new sights and smells, when you think there can be no more surprises – guess what?! You step off the train and are greeted by what seems to be a million motorbikes, circling and revving their motors like a swarm of hungry sharks – all waiting to ‘taxi’ you to your local destination. The Chamber’s next group travel destination will be announced soon. It may be Europe, South America, or National Parks of America - - whatever the destination, it will be a fun and fascinating educational journey! The Chamber also offers discounts for unescorted trips with guaranteed departures throughout the year. I hope our travelers have as much fun as I did experiencing ‘something new’ next week – whether it is exploring fully excavated tombs of the Emperors, eating a Peking roast duck dinner, Kunming Lake, Longevity Hill or Seventeen-Arch Bridge – I know they will be excited to share their experience with you!