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Published: April 16th 2010
Honorable Citizen of Taizhou, Jiangsu
Mr. Yao Jianhua, the Honorable Mayor of Taizhou, Jiangsu presents to Mr. Paul Buckley, the Honorable Mayor of Latrobe, Victoria, Australia, (Taizhou's Sister City) and to "yours truly" the award in Taizhou's modern City Hall on April 7th, 2010.
Thank you for your many letters and wishes of safety, after another earthquake has destroyed the lifes of so many Chinese in the Western Province of Qinghai, in the mountain county of Yushu. It is near the border of Tibet and Sichuan, but far away from my home in Taizhou, Jiangsu, in the East of China.
The suffering of these wonderful and humble people can only be imagined. I cry when I see the suffering on CCTV, and one feels so helpless. I have noticed tears in the eyes of some of my students, who suffer with their fellow citizens in silence, when we speak about it in class.
But, Yes! We are all ok and safe, and thank you for caring.
Please continue to share your prayers and thoughts with those, who are in such great need during these most painful days of their lifes.
Spring is arriving very late this year in my college-home in Taizhou, Jiangsu, China, and the days are yet filled with cold chills and lots of rain. On the other hand, in the Southwest of China, in the Province of Yunnan, a serious drought has caused untold suffering to the
The Award Certificate
I am told, that receiving this certificate is much like receiving the Key to the City in the West.
inhabitants, their life-stock, and their crops. It is another current tragedy for the Chinese people.
3 weeks ago, Sand-storms reached the Capital of Beijing once again, blanketing the city in brown dust and sand clouds, and even here in Taizhou, a fine sand-dust covered the cars, yet we are a 12 hour train-ride south of Beijing.
During such a time, the Chinese people are becoming acutely aware, that a lack of water and the water pollution is one of the most serious challenges they and the Central Government in Beijing must confront and attempt to solve. Sufficient and 'un-polluted' water is vital for sustaining their so rapidly developing economy, but it must also satisfy the need for clean and healthy water for the 1.4 billion citizens.
But here in Taizhou, Jiangsu, there is no shortage of water for the time being. Lately, the moisture and rain has become almost overwhelming. During the many cloudy and wet days I sometimes forget, what the sun might look like. It is the time, when I miss the sunny and blue days of Miami much.
I wait patiently for the few sunny days, which have occurred in Taizhou this season.
Colorful Spring in the city parks and gardens of Taizhou.
The spring colors of Taizhou are reflected in its peach-, cherry-, plum- and apple-trees, scattered by the thousands throughout the growing green spaces of the city.
These provide me with the opportunity to enjoy Taizhou's beautiful parks, now in their colorful "spring-glory". Peach trees, plum trees, apple trees and cherry trees are exploding in bright colors. It is my favorite time of the year in Taizhou, as a burst of colors covers thousands of blooming trees during late March and April.
Most of the 157 photos in this TravelBlog entry #122 will offer you a chance to visit and walk the paths of these beautiful parks and gardens of Taizhou with me. They are a delight for the spirit and calm my anxious soul.
Especially, the peach blossoms display the most vivid colors of pink and reds, bringing locals and tourists to the green spaces of Taizhou.
The colorful display of blossoms has been made famous by an ancient play, written in Taizhou, called: "The Peach Blossom Fan". Its romantic plot, set among the blossoms of Taizhou, is performed in many theaters around China. I enjoyed a performace of the play only a year ago, and it lets me to appreciate the "Spring Colors of Taizhou" even more.
Now, let me first tell you about an honor I received this past week
The colors are stunning.
The blossoms will only last about two weeks, but they are always an unforgettable sight.
from the city government of Taizhou:
Every few years the city government of Taizhou selects two foreigners, whom they believe have made a significant contribution to the city of Taizhou, and award them "Honorary/Honorable Citizen of Taizhou". My college and friends have told me, that it is the greatest honor offered to a foreigner by a Chinese City, very similar to awarding someone the "Key to the City" in a western country.
Along with the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Paul Buckley, of Taizhou's sister city, Latrobe in Australia, the city of Taizhou surprised and honored me with this award during a ceremony in Taizhou's City Hall on April 7th, 2010. The award was presented by the honorable Mayor of Taizhou, Mr. Yao Jianhua, during a special ceremony, attendet by city officials and by my wonderful friends from Taizhou Teachers College.
I am humbled by the award. No doubt there are others just as deserving. Yet, I feel grateful and honored, and will not forget the kind words the city expressed during the presentation.
But this award is one I wish share with Mr. Xu, our TTC President, Mr. Arthur Lee, the Foreign Affairs Director at TTC,
all of the staff and teachers at Taizhou Teachers College, and my wonderful and loving students at our small Teachers College, who have made these past four years in Taizhou so special and rewarding for me.
WITH GREAT APPRECIATION, I THANK ALL OF THEM FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR MAKING THIS AWARD POSSIBLE. The attached photos help me to share this special day with my family and friends.
Now, please enjoy this "Spring Photo Journey" through the colorful Parks and Gardens of Taizhou. I hope the pictures bring you some happy smiles.
During some of your limited, spare time, perhaps you may wish to enlarge some of the photos for their details. Please, share your comments and thoughts with me. I love reading them and appreciate your efforts in writing them.
Happy Spring 2010 !
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