China (2015)

Time got away from me again.

After leaving Japan I continued on to China (Shanghai) for another week.  As always, my stay in China was educational and a lot of fun.  We conducted a course and an instructor meeting while still having some time to tour about.

THE COURSE:  This time I ran a 4 day Offshore Emergency Medicine course.  This course was designed by one of our instructors (Jeff Isaac) for an audience of serious sailors.  Past attendees have crossed oceans and some have circumnavigated the globe.  In this class we only had one sailor.  I have learned not to be surprised by anything when I travel to China.  Most of the class came because this is a new course in China and they just wanted to experience it and be the first attendees.  As always, the food was plentiful and good and the participants were eager and enthusiastic with plenty of questions.

AFTER THE COURSE:  On the first day after the class we walked through the newer section of Shanghai.  The architecture is stunning. We were greeted by unexpected asymmetrical curves, interesting angular shapes, gaping holes and acres of glass.  From there we took a ferry across the Huangpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze River that splits the city into 2 sections.  On the West shore we walked around the Bund, a section that was the international banking center of China from the 19th and into the mid twentieth century.  What a contrast. This was a protected enclave of British, French and American financial interests in China.  The architecture reflects this past presence.  Many of the buildings  have ornate facades and steepled or domed roofs.  Others are in the more conservative, blocky style so often seen in older financial buildings.  It was/is about the illusion of stability and power.

That evening Sun, Lella and their friend Ethan took me out for a wonderful vegetarian meal.  The next day I traveled by bullet train to West Lake in Hangzhou.  It is a really beautiful place that feels more quaint  and much less hectic than Shanghai.  I would like to return when I can spend more time.

Shanghai is really an incredible place to visit.  It is enormous with history, architecture, street life and as I found out after I got home, a vibrant arts scene.  I am again grateful to my growing circle of friends in China for caring for me so well.

After arriving back to Maine and spending about a week trying to get caught up, we headed South, trailer in tow, to Georgia.

Next stop, Belgium for an international Instructor Training course.

Oh, by the way, have a look at this documentary on YouTube.  You will see a familiar face at around the 4 minute mark.  As you may recall from a prior post, Fay and I did a workshop in Lhasa 2 years ago at the Mountaineering Guide school there.  The film highlights some of the people we worked with.

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