Friday, July 23, 2010

Final China Images Before Moving On

Not too long ago Michael Ma, a sweet young man who works for the Service Center for International Exchanges in the Xicheng District of Beijing, would have been imprisoned for wearing this shirt. He accompanied our delegation almost everywhere and we got to know him pretty well during our China sister city trip. He's a big fan of B.B. King and other American blues artists, and his dream is to come to the U.S. someday for a taste of authentic blues. I showed him some of my blog photos from Memphis related to B.B. King, and he was practically overcome with joy.

The 161 Middle School is on the grounds of a set of ancient buildings that once were part of the Forbidden City. And we think Pasadena schools are historic! Students from 161 and Blair High School have been communicating with each other via the Internet for more than 10 years, and delegations of students have visited each other's communities.

Here's Phil Montez, a member of the Pasadena Sister Cities Committee, in our Beijing hotel lounge with Judy Kent and yours truly. When we were in Shanghai, he heard a group of people speaking Korean. After he approached them and told them he had fought for the good guys in the Korean War, they very emotionally said to him, "Thank you for saving our families." It was quite touching. (This photo was shot by Fred Alcantar.)

There were several welcome banners indoors and outdoors throughout the Xicheng District.

Ceiling shot at Beijing Airport:

Mayor Bogaard carried this great tote bag from Art Center College of Design on our travels.

People with umbrellas out our bus window in Shanghai. This is one of my favorite shots because the camera focused on the raindrops and not the people.

It's agonizing to say I have dozens of other photos, but it's time to move on to the here and now.