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Good to Go and Good to Get Home; Enjoyed meeting Family on our initial ‘tourist trip’ outside Jingzhou

05 Oct

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We traveled as tourists for the initial time outside Jinzhou to visit John and Lily, two of our world-wide Family, and what a wonderful, delightful time we had with them!

She is an English teacher in Central China (our bus ride south was some four hours long) and John is a neurosurgeon. He was called to operate each evening we were there, so he is very talented and needed in that area.

We met some of their friends and enjoyed a wide variety of local food specialties. Lily made some homemade wheat bread with strawberry jam, which was a morning treat. They have also discovered peanut butter. 🙂

We talked and talked and talked some more…had wonderful Assembly time and ate at a most amazing restaurant. We had well over 35 dishes to sample, and the cost was a meager 15 yuan per person! Wow! I do not know how they can make any money at that price. We would have paid much more than that for the opportunity to try that many different dishes.

We visited the Changde Poem Wall. Changde was called Wuling in ancient times, with a history of 2,000 years. In recent years, the government invested 108 million RMB to built an poetry wall on (see page two)  the base of the 2.92 kilometers long flood prevention wall.

The Wall gathers a collection of the poetry, painting and calligraphy of modern artists. It is recorded in “Guinness Book of World Records” (see photo) as the longest art wall with poetry, calligraphy and painting. There are art works from many famous Chinese artists and outstanding figures like Mao Zedong and Qi Baishi.

One of John and Lily’s friends is Simon, who runs a pharmaceutical plant with over 700 employees. He has done some extensive travel in his young life (38 years old)…and also owns the first camper to come to their city, which drew curious onlookers while we visited with him at a local park drinking exotic dark China tea.

I had an extremely upset stomach on the trip south, due to the bumpy ride on the smaller bus and the fact that the driver seemed uncomfortable driving in the rain and traffic. The return was much better, and I am eternally grateful!

The roads in our province are much smoother than Hunan, once you get outside the city limits. People  throughout this country persist in walking in front of anything that moves and the ebikes and bicycles drive in the middle of the road, instead of staying in the side lanes, where there is plenty of room.

I will celebrate a birthday in another country other than the United States soon, and we’ve made plans to order a cake that is chocolate-based with whipped cream and cherries, like the one we bought for Terry in July…except that it will hopefully not be dropped in its box while taking it from the bakery to our apartment.

We plan to ask the teachers who have been studying the Good Life to join us for lunch and dessert on October 30. And my attitude toward getting a year older? That is OK, too, except that the alternative (Eternity) is something we all long and strive for daily. 🙂

Experienced a surprise on the bus trip: mother saw an empty plastic bucket just in front of me and asked one of the passengers to hand it to her…and she proceeded to help her 4-5 year old girl use the bathroom right there in the aisle.

I ate fried rabbit and some vegetables that are not part of my normal routine on our trip, in addition to a piece of fish, eyes…tail…bones and all on my plate. Terry teases me that she is not sure who that person is who is eating with her on those occasions.

One surprise on our trip? I turned on the kindles to see if the 3G connection would work there, and it did! I was able to download the latest software for both electronic readers, which is something I have wanted to do since mid-February, when we left the States.

We just returned from a 35-minute bus trip to the Da Ran Fa grocery store…amazed how many people just walk leisurely in the middle of the street…4 lanes of traffic 😦

The National Day of the People’s Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 国庆节; traditional Chinese: 國慶節; pinyin: guóqìng jié) is celebrated every year on October 1. It is a public holiday in the People’s Republic of China to celebrate its national day. It is the second longest holiday here.

The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949 with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square. The Central People’s Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China on December 2, 1949 and declared that October 1 is the National Day.

The National Day marks the start of one of the two Golden Weeks in the PRC. However, there have been some recent controversies over whether Golden Weeks should be kept.

The National Day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of government-organized festivities, including fireworks and concerts. Public places, such as Tiananmen Square in Beijing, are decorated in a festive theme. Portraits of revered leaders, such as Mao Zedong, are publicly displayed.

Rules to help conquer life’s daily battles
Everywhere you turn, the potential for conflict exists. Conflict with ourselves (Should I get up and exercise, or sleep in? Should I have this piece of dessert?); conflict with others (I was waiting for that parking place. That flight attendant was rude.); conflict at work (Why is the project over-budget and late? That’s not my job!); conflict at home (Eat your vegetables!)

Conflict is neither good nor bad—it just is. And what it is is a word derived from the Latin word “conflictus” (the act of striking together) and is defined as: competitive or opposing action of incompatibles: antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons); mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands.

No matter how you define conflict, the reality is that it’s a part of life. What is important is that you recognize and deal with it appropriately. You can either let conflict or the potential for conflict drag you down or you can use it to lift you to new levels of performance. Understanding what conflict is and why it exists helps shape your response.

Conflict generally results from poor communications, disruptions in routines, unclear goals or expectations, the quest for power, ego massage, differences in value systems, or hidden agendas. It finds its expression in rude, discourteous and sometimes hostile behavior; selfishness; strident and defensive language; lack of respect; and increased stress.

So now that you see what it looks like, what do you do with it when it occurs? Following are some guidelines that will help you deal with conflict:

1.  Ground yourself. When lightning strikes, lightning rods take the electrical current and run it harmlessly to the ground. So, too, can you take the jolts and divert them harmlessly away if you have a well-constructed foundation of core values that you adhere to. Having designed a personal mission statement that clearly articulates who you are and where you are going will help provide guidance and direction before the conflict even occurs. The old country song says it best, “If you don’t stand for something, then you’ll fall for anything.”

2.  Look for warning signs. Be in touch with who you are. Part of handling conflict is to be aware of your own personal strengths and weaknesses, your beliefs and perceptions and how they shape your response. For instance, if you perpetually run behind and you’ve got an important date, leave a little earlier than normal so that if you encounter traffic, you won’t lose your cool and overreact. Build “fluff” into schedules. Likewise, set realistic deadlines for yourself and others.

3.  Stay in control. Recognize that when you’re dealing with people, not everyone will live up to your expectations all of the time. Reframe the stressful situation to keep your composure. Instead of overreacting when someone cuts you off on your morning commute, look for opportunities to be “nice” and let someone cut in front of you. Don’t sink to their level. When you lie down with dogs you get fleas.

4.  Keep a positive outlook. If you expect good things to happen, they will. Conversely, if you expect bad things to happen, you better believe you won’t be disappointed. Your attitude will govern your response.

5.  Maintain a sense of humor. Learn to laugh—harder and more frequently. Remember how hysterically upset some people can get and how comical it is. Don’t let your boorish behavior provide comic relief for someone else. Laugh it off.

6.  Establish ground rules. When conflict happens, set goals for how to resolve it. What would happen if we don’t fix this? What would a successful resolution look like? Look for common ground. Keep focused on a positive, solution-based outcome. Perhaps the only thing you can agree on is to agree to disagree, but do it in an agreeable manner.

7.  Drill down to the roots. Try to find the cause of the disease instead of just treating the symptoms. What is causing the conflict and why are you reacting the way you are? Everyone involved in the conflict needs to agree on a definition of the problem before the problem can be tackled. This could mean describing the problem in terms of each person’s needs. There’s an old saying that a problem well defined is already half solved.

8.  Think win-win. In conflict, one party does not have to win and the other lose. Sometimes disagreement will lead to a more effective solution. Sometimes a good decision is reached when everyone has to give a little. To change is not to lose your own identity. As a matter of fact, by changing you find yourself. And you find others. The only way to find a solution that benefits all sides is to learn more about each other. Beats a power struggle any day.

9.  Eliminate emotions. Separate your feelings from the problem. When your emotions get mixed up in the conflict, the outcome is in doubt. Emotions color your perceptions and your logic and cloud the rational thinking that is essential to arriving at a solution.

10. Brainstorm. There might be a variety of solutions if everyone is focused on a positive outcome and engaged in the process. Challenge yourself and others to be creative about the possibilities available to you.

11. Concentrate on what you can control. What should you take ownership of and fix? What falls under your sphere of influence? What impact will you have on the desired outcome? Learn to focus your attention and activities, where you can make a difference. Don’t get caught up in areas beyond your control. You’ve got to learn to let go of those.

12. Take action. Once you’ve arrived at a win-win solution, accept it and implement it. Don’t second-guess. Make sure each person takes responsibility for agreeing with the decision.

When we accept and understand conflict, we allow ourselves to grow, change, and to be empowered. (Borrowed)

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Jingzhou

 

One response to “Good to Go and Good to Get Home; Enjoyed meeting Family on our initial ‘tourist trip’ outside Jingzhou

  1. Kay Noble

    October 17, 2011 at 10:32 am

    We wish you a happy birthday, Gary! I hope your cake is excellent and the new year of you is even moe amazing than the last!!!

    Ken and Kay Noble

    Like

     

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