One question that was asked by one of my blogging friends (or more) was how come I went to China six times. So I thought maybe it would be fun to talk about why and how that came about. This picture (above) shows my husband and me on the Great Wall of China in 2003, when we went there the first time.
In my previous life (i.e., when I was working instead of being retired), I worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, and the whole three decades I was there, I worked for one person: Mickey Glantz, a Senior Scientist and Director of the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group.
I started as an administrative assistant (read: secretary) in 1979. In those days, before computers, Mickey would write a paper several times, take the output after it was typed up by the secretary, cut and paste and basically make a work of art out of his next draft, and the whole thing would be re-typed. It so happened when I took a version and actually read it while I was typing it and made constructive comments, Mickey immediately took notice and promoted me. Over the years, I moved from administrative assistant to administrator to webmaster to writer/editor. I assisted in numerous ways with the publication of dozens of books, and countless reports, papers, etc.
When Mickey's administrator retired in 1993, her position was split into her replacement, the administrator to deal with the budget and basically represent the group, while I took over the editing responsibilities and began to travel with Mickey. We would hold meetings all over the globe for scientists in various disciplines to help them "educate the educators" about climate change and variability. I had the responsibility to get the scientists and educators to that part of the world and organize the venue, arrange for accommodations, and basically put out any "fires" that arose from getting them to our meeting.
We went to China (twice to Beijing, once to Shanghai and Macau, and twice to Urumqi), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi), Moscow, Bangkok, Budapest, Havana, Geneva, and this past April to Macedonia. It has been a wonderful way to see the world, although the work did not end for me when we got there: I took notes in the meetings and helped Mickey prepare the final report. And the last few meetings we also put on the web. The picture above was taken of the terracotta soldiers in Xian, on a side trip back from western China to Beijing. If you ever get a chance to go to China, don't miss this trip.
The last day that we were in China, my husband and I had the only day in Beijing during the entire month we were there that was not inundated with heavy smog. It rained all day and we saw the sights. I took this picture in Bei Hai Park in Beijing. The next day it was clear and beautiful, and we flew away from the wonders of China for the last time. Maybe the last time.