Tuesday, January 29


Life is good.
It's beautiful and snowy in Shanghai.
My life in China is a world of wonder and mystery surrounding me, and it's morphing me into almost unrecognizable shapes.

Some more pics from the family gathering in Xinjiang in December

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Friday, January 11

Family Gathering

The Habeggers came to Xinjiang and met the 李 and 朱 families. Lillian and I are inviting our families to build a bridge between the East and West.

One World, One Dream

It's so great to see how rich the culture here is, and how China has been orienting itself towards a world-embracing vision. The Olympic Games theme, "One World, One Dream" is being broad casted everywhere, and the message of peace echoes through the air. For the last few years, the principal word accompanying goals and statements has been harmony.

I've been hearing some public advertising, sneaking, even slaloming in between cosmetics and cars, encouraging "small improvements, day by day." In one of these ads, a mom talks about her son coming home worried from school, because he's not as good as some of the other kids for some reason or another. This mom explains how she encourages him to only worry about his own improvement, day by day, in stead of comparing himself to others. There are other cool ads with this theme.

On the train, as people sit for hours on end (in our case 44 between Shanghai and Urumqi), there's an audio program throughout the day. At times, they describe the history, population or economy of a city on its trajectory, at others, they encourage the passengers to take advantage of this time together to chat together and make new friends. In the morning, a very enthusiastic clerk may walk through and urge everyone to get up and follow the motions of the broad casted exercise routines - "Get up people! GET UP and move around! MOVE MOVE!"

There was a radio program this evening about a new law coming into effect in June, requiring stores to charge money for every single plastic bag! Ikea has been doing that in Shanghai since they opened here, and I love it!

The warm diplomatic relationships with other countries; the focus on a harmonious society; the research done about other countries, cultures and religions; the efforts made to tackle environmental problems - all of these are so encouraging to me! There are of course many areas with great shortcomings (like the Darfur controversy), but my prayers are with China and the Chinese people, and I'm so happy and proud to be here right now. Plus Lillian and I can proudly say that we've already been saving plastic bags by bring our own cloth bag when we go shopping. Most people have never witnessed this before, actually. Oh the stares! (We also bike to the market, only turn on the heat for 2-3 hours at night, take short showers together, recycle, etc. - habits that are very very new to most Chinese people! - although being resourceful and saving resources is something most have got down packed already)

One World, One Dream

Tuesday, January 1


I think I can say I have had the best vacation, maybe the best time of my life. There's nothing like being in the middle of two families, one from the US, one from China, coming together in unity and joy to learn about each other and plan for a shared harmonious future.

Lillian and I are getting on the train tonight from Urumqi to Shanghai. Pictures soon to come.