First and foremost, thank you Doug Sun of Boston, MA for your help
with the creation of the NMR Chinese flashcards. I used them just about
every day, and even learned how the say some of the phrases you and I created.
My travels through China were made easy thanks to you and those cards.
Richard Wang, you never hesitated in your support of NMR. You welcomed
me to Xi'an and as part of the visiting team of educators who made history
in Pang Lui. Thank you for all the emails you sent me. I thought it quite
wonderful how every time I had a question for you the answer came back
within 24 hours. Thank you also for the very kind letter of introduction
you wrote for me and sent to meet me in S. Korea. I never had to show it
to an official, but it was useful when I wanted to explain to those I met
what I was doing. A million thanks to you, Jenny Yang and the rest
of your staff.
Sloan Wilson and Luke Simpson, you deserve special thanks.
I was excited by the prospect of your company on the road for the ride
through China. I regret that it did not work out exactly as we imagined,
but I know you had your adventures and fun. I look forward to our next
rendezvous and hearing about the things you experienced on your ride in
China. I am grateful for your combined sense of humor and the laughs you
brought with you. The connection we made in Xi'an is proof positive that
we are in a small world indeed. Bike on.
Thank you Lu Zhaohui, Taian Television Station Corespondent, for
your hospitality when I visited your city. I wanted to push on - you insisted
I delay my departure for 6 hours. I was quite reluctant. Now, looking back
on the morning we spent together, all I remember is your intense interest
and desire to share the complete story of NMR with your viewing public.
I hope to one day see the feature story on the NMR you created. I will
never forget the wonderful luncheon you and your colleagues had in my honor.
To the faculty and students of Anyang Teachers' College, thank you
for your enthusiastic welcome and for the wonderful banquets. A special
thank you to Cathy Clarkson for your hospitality, patience, and
spontaneous mobilization of the forces that insured NMR's visit in Anyang
would be more than successful.
Thom Sandvick, you had a few days notice of my desire to visit Luoyang.
You threw caution to the wind and welcomed me to stay in your pad. The
hospitality you showed me will be hard to top. Thanks for giving me access
to the Internet on your computer. Thanks for the fine meals - I can still
taste the final breakfast, enjoyed 50 stories high. Thank you also for
inviting me to talk to three of your classes. I will always remember our
long conversations - rich, deep, long into the dark hours of night. I know
we will pick up where we left off without missing a beat.
Thank you Dr. Kirsten and Tarkan Egin. My visit to Xi'an
was, indeed my entire trip has been greatly enriched by our chance meeting
in the pizza shop. Your gifts included emergency food, fenders, cork grips,
and cough medicine. These things have aided my ride and made my days more
pleasant. But it is the memory of your hospitality, your insights and suggestions,
the energy of your enthusiasm that I will not forget and which I will take
with me always. Thank you for sharing so much with me - so much in such
a short time.
David Liu, Front Office Manager, thank you for your extreme kindness.
I had spent the better part of 3 hours looking for tube patches and miscellaneous
other items I thought I had better have before leaving the metropolis of
Xi'an, when I stepped into the Hyatt Regency and met you. You left your
post and we went for a walk. You helped me find everything I needed. I
hope you get your wish and visit America soon. I further hope that you
will experience the same kinds of spontaneous acts of goodwill that I have
enjoyed in your country.
To the people of Pang Lui, a thousand thanks from the New England
China Network and me. We all had a truly wonderful visit in your village.
Mr. Wang Yanlin and the teachers of Xi Jing Foreign Languages
Institute, thank you for hosting my visit during my visit to Xi'an.
To my little friend, Jiang Xiaojun, in Sufang, thank you for helping
me find a nice, warm, comfortable escape from the cold rain when I arrived
in your village.
Sarah Jessup, you were packing to return to the US the next day;
and yet, you welcomed me in and helped to find a place for me to sleep
in the faculty apartments of Shanxi Teachers' College. Thank you.
To the abbot and monks of Jinge Temple, my stay at the temple will
remain one of the very high points of this journey. The magic spell I felt
in your company, high in the Wutai Mountains, travels with me still: expansive
vista; ornate architecture; evening chants and crow caws mingling with
the echoes of history and the "tink-tink" of the stone masons' hammers;
hot meals and cold crystalline night, fresh air; silence; space…time and
space. Thank you for sharing the magic with me.
Xiao Mei, Stan and the extended family of Chelstowski/Zhao,
thank you for making room in your tight apartment and cozy lives to take
me in, off the street for a night. I had not bathed for 5 days, I was tired
and hungry. You gave me shower, laundry, bed and food. You also opened
your hearts in friendship. I hope my passage through France next year coincides
with your visit home. It would be wonderful to see all of you again. Thank
you for your hospitality.
To the English Department, students and visiting American teachers at Beijing
Jingshan School, thank you for making my visit to your school extremely
pleasant. A special thanks to visiting teachers, Christine Vaillancourt
and Sandi Martin for your interest in NMR and for sharing so much
about Jingshan, the Newton-Beijing Jingshan School Exchange Program, and
your experiences as exchange teachers in the program. Thanks also to visiting
students, Virginia Rodriguez, Diana Tien, and Leah Seskin
for sharing with me the stories of your experiences in China.
Charlotte Sanford Mason, you made the NMR connection with Jingshan
possible. Thank you for the time you spent with me before I left Boston.
I was very interested in the Newton-Beijing Jingshan School Exchange Program
and had been looking forward to visiting the school in Beijing. Thank you
for the very generous letter of introduction. I believe the relationship
you have cultivated with Beijing Jingshan School is a model other school
districts throughout the US can copy, whether they want to establish connections
and exchanges with schools in China or in other countries.
To the 1,352,866 trucks and buses that passed me, in spite of the
un-muffled engines that roared and spewed a steady cloud of killer oily
black smoke in my face, notwithstanding the constant blare of your horns,
I thank you. I thank you for the friendly waves and smiles. I thank you
for not running me over and squishing the New Millennium Ride dead!
To the 439,172,908 people I saw in the villages and towns, and cities,
and metropolises I cycled through, thank you for your waves, the shouted
"hellos," the thumbs up… and the dumbfounded stares - the smiles these
sights and sounds evoked on my face helped to melt the distances I traveled
To the policemen at tollbooths and at junctions, thank you for your
"hellos" and your help pointing the way.
To the hundreds I spoke to who concentrated on my words and were
able to decipher what I said, thank you for your patience and for the help
you provided. Special thanks to those of you who helped me describe my
route. I knew where I wanted to go. I needed help with the proper pronunciation
of place names. I needed help writing the names in Chinese. The lists you
transcribed for me made my trip through China so easy. Thank you.
To those of you who sold me bananas, thank you for being present
when I needed a shot of fructose and potassium. I learned to gauge the
local economic state of affairs according to the price of bananas on the
street. Your fruit is probably a biker's best friend. I was always happy
to see you - and you me, you led me to presume.
Finally, thank you Beijing BISS International School:
Paul Buckley, thank you for the initial invitation to visit
BISS and for taking a personal interest in my trip through China from Qingdao
to Beijing BISS International School. Your welcome was warm, enthusiastic
Barry Bix, thank you for taking on the responsibility of being
the point man at BISS. I admire your energy and dedication. I am very grateful
that you were able to find time to accommodate NMR. Your planning was thorough
and you kept me very busy - happily busy and involved in school projects.
My visit to BISS could not have been such a success without your interest
and efficient coordinating efforts. Thanks to you and Anna for letting
me stay in your apartment for a couple of nights. Your apartment is small,
I have a lot of stuff, you both work long hours - and yet, you made it
very easy and comfortable for me. Thank you. Oh, one more thing, I hope
we get a chance to ride together sometime. Focus on 2000 somewhere in Europe…
and do not lose touch with me!
Richard Soud, teacher and computer geek, thank you for making
room in your computer lab, in your busy schedule, and in your heart to
accommodate NMR and me. I learned so much from you about computers and
teaching and friendship. I enjoyed every second I spent in your company
and am very grateful to you by the many ways you have enriched my visit
to China and my working knowledge of computers and the Internet. I know
our paths will cross again and again. Cyber space will keep us connected
for sure. I hope you will not mind if I write you from time to time with
questions about your science. I am sure there is so much I can learn from
you still. Thanks for the things you shared with me - serious and humorous.
Barbara Alberts, mi casa es su casa. Any time you need a safe
haven, my pad is at your disposal ('course, for the next year and a half
that means a tent somewhere along the NMR route!). Thank you for making
me feel so at home and comfortable. And thank you for treating me to some
of your delicious cooking! I left Beijing and returned to the road - a
life of simplicity and frugality. I could not have had a better break from
the daily biking challenges.