Monday, July 10, 2000
We started the preliminary I*EARN sessions with the participants from other countries. Enjoyed Chinese green tea for the first time. But I prefer Sri Lankan tea, as they are more colorful and sweeter. I was getting used to the square faces and they were so warm and friendly. Learnt some Chinese words from my Chinese friends. Walking outside with Avila is so fun as he says “Ni Hao” (Hello) to every pretty Chinese girl he sees. The girls in this beautiful land are so pretty and their bashful smiles are fantastic. Their yellowish complexion was very attractive. All the people are very slim – may be due to sufficient exercises they get by riding bicycles.
The streets are full of bicycles. Being one of the most densely populated cities, to my surprise, Beijing roads were not jammed by vehicles. Crossing the roads was very easy to the pedestrians. Many males were without shirts and they were eagerly eating watermelons on the streets, may be due to the excessive heat. They said it was one of the worst summers in China but I found the weather pleasing, as the roads were so clean and dust-free. But the cigarette butts thrown by some people made the roads ugly. But, as a whole, roads were clean.
Attended the opening gala. Listened to wonderful music by a Chinese kids’ orchestra. Had a delicious dinner sponsored by Coca-Cola. Made many a friend here as well. Participants were dancing, singing and everyone was happy.
I had a chat with Mr. Peter Copen – the founder of the I*EARN. He told me it was fun to hear different voices. I asked whether he meant different accents or languages. Then he corrected me saying, ” No. Voices of the hearts of the people from different cultures and countries.”