China Once, China Twice

What I had never planned to do

Pandas and Romance August 27, 2011

This is a part from Trip 3.

It’s Mother’s Day again, but the year is 2011.

I am in Qingdao, staying with Sam and Daisy.  They will be married in two days.  It’s even more special now.  On this Mother’s Day we are all going to fly to Wuhan and be with Daisy’s family.  Two mother’s will share this special day together with their children.  I don’t have photos of first meeting Daisy’s mother to share with you.  We couldn’t speak the others language.  It didn’t matter.  You could feel the love we had for each other.  The two mother’s walked, each held closely together with an arm embracing the other.

This is what Daisy had chosen as a Mother’s Day gift for me.  The pandas are embroidered on silk, it rotates so each side is a view of the panda bears.

My Mother's Day Gift

Neither of us would have guessed, that today I am trying to help this endangered species by giving presentations. By helping support the efforts of Pandas International, who would have guessed, this could be happening as I write today?


In NYC Times Square, despite Hurricane Irene, this add is running.

Thank you, CBS.

The Add Of A Lifetime In Black and White


Another surprise happened.  Someone knocked on my door.  Sam’s friend who had just returned from China delivered this wedding album book to me.  I have laid it out and photographed it in sequence.  It is not a typical US wedding album.  Another example of a difference in our cultures.

Wedding album cover

Wedding album page 2

Wedding album page 3

Wedding album page 4

Wedding album page 5-1

Wedding album page 5-2

Wedding album page 6

Wedding album page 7

Wedding album page 8

Wedding album page 9

Wedding album page 10

Wedding album - the last page

More to follow later…..


NYC – Times Square – adds awareness to the endangered panda bear August 18, 2011

Those cuddly endangered pandas just might make it off the endangered list.

Through the generosity of CBS, they can be viewed on the Super Screen in NYC Times Square

Monday morning, I was moments away from submitting a news article to a local paper here when I came to a complete stop.

Kim Kirmmse Toth, business owner of Positive Aging Inc. in Colorado, (also my high-school friend,) sent me an urgent message.  I had to read an article in that day’s Denver Post.

Panda’s International, who I support through my own small business, had been selected as the non-profit organization to advertise on the Super Screen in Times Square at cost only.

The full Denver Post article can be read here.

5 of the 6 endangered panda bears presentations I have given recently were done right near the Princeton Junction train station.  This train station is a major hub for daily commuters into New York City.

When I present to children, I do not leave them my business card.  I leave them a small panda photo of my own, with a thank you note from myself and Panda’s International. On July 20, 2011, I presented, and left 200 of these hand-crafted small cards at the Princeton Presbyterian Church.

Thank you notes

I may never know who at CBS made that decision, but sure would want to give that person a big hug.