I’ve made it back from China and spent the last week or so catching up on some things. It was an excellent trip. I really like China and its people, and we learned a ton.
One of my colleagues on the trip is an incredible photographer. If interested, he has posted some of his pictures online. His shots are amazing not only for capturing some of the feel of China, but also as examples of excellent photography in themselves.
I’ve posted some of my pictures also. They aren’t even in the same ballpark in terms of quality, but here they are.
Our guide during our time did a superb job showing us around, teaching us about the culture, and setting up very good meetings with various people. She also maintains a very enjoyable blog on life in China that is worth checking out.
I probably won’t blog much else on the trip itself, although you can see my real-time twitter posts on my twitter page. Here would be two brief observations/lessons:
- The impact of economic freedom. The reforms that went into place beginning in the 80s to give the Chinese people greater economic freedom completely transformed the nation. They brought it from poverty to stunning economic prosperity. Obviously there is still a ways to go, but the economic transformation of China is a testimony to how capitalism, not socialism, enables a nation to support itself and then prosper. This provides real jobs for people and opportunity. It is unfortunate that many in our nation want to go the opposite direction, and utterly ironic that a communist nation sees the value of economic freedom more than some of the leaders here.
- The productive value of getting up super early. Early in the trip I would wake up at 3 am. It is amazing how much you can accomplish by getting up that early. But, it’s hard to sustain. When this happened again once I was back, I found it more exhausting than productive. But now that I’m back to normal in my sleep patterns, I may try this again sometime.
- Chopsticks are awesome.