One of the delightful things about teaching and working in a city such as Beijing is not only to see things happen, but to help things happen.
Back in May I attended a talk given by the Chief of Staff for Ambassador Locke. There I met an older gentleman who expressed an interest in a comment I made at the talk. It turns out he is one of the key individuals who opened up trade with China back in the 1980s. His Chinese negotiating partner, Jiang Zemin, would go on to become president. He’s also on the advisory board of a Chinese NGO that brings Chinese high school students to Cambodia (and soon, perhaps, to Laos and other SEA countries) to do work projects in rural areas. I am thrilled to say that at least of one our students will be participating in this work.
Fast forward. About two weeks ago I attended a Yale Club function where the former head of Morgan Stanley in Asia spoke. There I met the dean of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale. From a quick conversation with him I have been instrumental in moving forward the possibility of an internship between the Institute and this Chinese NGO. Yes, a high school teacher of English can do some very interesting things in Beijing.
I hope to develop this network further so as to benefit the medical orphanage that has captured my heart, Little Flower. (www.chinalittleflower.org)