“Mixed Plate” from Barry

When I was young, writing came very easily to me. My imagination was like an open faucet. Now it’s harder for me. Being a perfectionist keeps me from sharing some of my experiences and insights with others because I feel it will take me forever fully to explain what I’m trying to get across.  So I put it off for another day, and the day never seems to come. However as part of our blog, I would like to share occasional insights and knowledge that I experience as part of my daily life here in China or wherever we are.

Some people ask me, “What do you do?”

My answer is “Whatever, whenever I want.”

I am a lucky man.

For some reason, a poem that I wrote when I was in my 20’s popped into my mind.

Time is money

look in the clock

when the clock stops

will you be broke?

By traveling and having new experiences, I feel I am using my time well and becoming “richer” every day.

One insight I have, which I’m sure you’ve noticed too, is the media continually bombards us with negative stories. A magazine that Renee and I love to read is Ode. It contains articles that focus on many of the positive happenings around the world.  They have an excellent web-site: “The on-line community for Intelligent Optimists.” Go to < http://www.odemagazine.com/>.  I highly recommend it.

Many people are doing amazing things around the world and reading about people who are helping find solutions to the world’s problems helps us remember that the good guys far outnumber the bad guys in our world.  However, it seems like bad news sells more papers.

For the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Ode put out a special edition filled with possible solutions to world problems.

Two of Ode's award-winning issues

Happy reading.  Aloha, Barry

Ode - "The on-line community for Intelligent Optimists" http://www.odemagazine.com/

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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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