Sunday, May 27, 2007

Today: Cultural Experiences Abound

Today we had an opportunity to become immersed in the Chinese history and culture. Our visit to the Great Wall took us from the urban Beijing into the rural countryside. We saw horses pulling carts, farmers working cooperatively in gardens, and elders being pushed through the streets in wheelchairs. We saw artists at work today, in areas that were quite tiny and that certainly would never pass OSHA standards! We heard about Sunny's (our coordinator's) family, and how the generations interact and get along--or don't--and the differences between those generations in terms of the modern changes that are occuring within the country.

Generations. It is impossible to imagine how the Great Wall was built or the fortitude and determination of those who built it. The immensity of it provides a scope for understanding the pride the Chinese have in their heritage and ancestors.Tomorrow we are received by the President of the National Committee on Aging and have a presentation on the government's policies and dilemmas related to aging. The juxtaposition of the Great Wall today and a look to the future tomorrow should provide quite a perspective.

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