Sunday, March 08, 2009

China Reflections: Shanghai Days 1 and 2

Today was my first full day in Shanghai. After staying at my friend Caleb's home and quickly getting a cell phone provided by a Taiwanese friend who I have known for 10 years, I was contacted by almost 15 students to meet. One of my closest students, Lu Zhao, timed the quitting of his job around my trip so that he could travel with me for the next three weeks! It is incredible the things my students are doing. One girl, Maggie, works with a large German firm and has travelled to Germany with the company. Another, Tina, is attending one of the best graduate programs in China for economics. Frank, a guy who was never in my classes but who I used to teach English to, works with a large granite company and is a mid-level Chinese manager. Before he was a poor student from a very rural area who just wanted to study English.
Another exciting interchange was with three of my students who recently quit their jobs. Actually, they quit their jobs to become entrepreneurs. The crazy thing was that they had actually developed their business idea while in my class 4 years ago. They had always dreamed of starting it up and now are pursuing their dreams. They have clients all over the world and they sell bamboo socks, underwear and bamboo ballet apparel. They told me that they think daily about everything they learned in our class and that it was actually the foundation for the business that they now run. I was completely in awe of the impact that has been made. That 96 students from a rural town in China are quickly becoming global leaders in international trade. By the way, the name of the CEO of the company is "Sparkle."


Anonymous said...

It sounds great of your first day in Shanghai, man! Keep up good working, I will be praying for you!

Ken H.

Anonymous said... makes me more jealous!
cant wait to have fun together...