Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One Bee Sees the World

Steve just returned from 2 weeks in China.
Here he is riding a bike along the city wall in Xi'An, a city of great historical significance. 
Steve attempting to mimic the exhibit behind him.
Steve, 2 other men and 7 women from his HR team left Beijing and rode on a train for 12 hours through the night to see the city of Xi'An. In America, I suppose we would call this a team-building exercise? I still can't imagine inviting 10 colleagues from another country to visit the states and then whisking them away to Manhattan or DC to see the sights. We hoped and prayed for a job that would give Steve the much-coveted global HR experience. Be careful what you pray for , right? I am so proud of Steve for bravely embarking on this adventure as the only American in the group. I think I just might have flipped out. 
A big highlight of the trip to Xi'An was the Terracotta Warriors. Basically in 600 AD this chinese emperor convinces that he needs an army to protect him in the afterlife.  So he commissions 700,000 people to build this elaborate tomb with about 1000 statues of warriors.  Buries the whole shebang 15 feet underground.  In 1974 this peasant farmer is digging for water in his pasture.  His shovel hits the head of one of the figures.  Then from there they go on to find acres and acres of these things.
This totally blows my mind. Not only the attention to detail and the massive number of warriors, but also the fact that 700,000 people would devote themselves to a task for one man's protection in the after life that from my perspective won't be anything like what he anticipated. 
A view of the city from a pagoda

Although it was challenging for the boys and I to be without Steve  for 2 weeks, I think the trip stretched all of us and helped us gain a little more confidence in ourselves. We had a great visit with Steve's parents and his mother spent a whole week with us, getting to know her grandsons and helping me hold everything together. Steve was able to see another part of China: not just in terms of a geographical location but also the history, cultural and social expectations that drive the people of this huge nation. We were well cared-for here at home by new friends and new neighbors that we didn't know the last time Steve traveled. I wouldn't sign us up for regular international travel at this point, but I would call this latest adventure a success. 

No comments:

Post a Comment