Stories from the PESi Networker, our newsletter:

THE CHINA JOURNEY CONTINUES 

Deep grew up in Montana. As a teenager, he spent two years in India, his father's homeland. But it is China that has found a place in his heart - especially after all the fun he had in Shanghai this summer. Ask him about the hottest card game among his Chinese students these days!

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KYRGYZSTAN: WHERE WE MET A MUSLIM PEOPLE WITH OPEN ARMS 

Maybe the most memorable moment ... was when the men on our team were invited to share a drink and a toast with the men in the house (of our translator).

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THE BRIGHT SIDE: NEW VISION, NEW HOPE 

In 2002, PESI began sponsoring the Siyuan Leadership Program at China's top-ranking Tsinghua University. "Siyuan" means "appreciation for the source of all good gifts in life." We hope to help nurture compassionate and inter-culturally competent leaders who are committed to connecting people for social impact. In three summers, Siyuan students go through cultural exchange with American students, community service in rural China, and a study tour of Hong Kong to learn about the education, business, government, and non-profit sectors of an international city.

Lanjie was in the first Siyuan cohort...

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THE DARK SIDE: DEPRESSION & SUICIDE 

Hong had spent a year in job hunting by the time he graduated with a master's degree from Tsinghua University. He found a teaching position in a small city of South China. The dormitory was crowded, the wage meager, and he was a misfit among students and colleagues who spoke a local dialect. A few months into the job, Hong jumped out of his dorm window...

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LIFE WITHOUT DREAMS: THE LOST GENERATION 

A sketch of Yin appeared in the City Scene column of That's Beijing Magazine, Jan 6, 2007. He is neither a poster child like Lanjie, nor angst-ridden like Hong. Yin is a self-proclaimed pragmatist and survivor.

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TWO NAVAL OFFICERS WHO MET AS STUDENTS 

Russian Adm. Vladimir Avdoshin and U.S. Rear Adm. Ben Wachendorf met in 2004 when they studied at the Harvard JFK School of Government. A year later, on August 5, 2005, Wachendorf got a phone call from the Russian admiral: “I am calling you as a military officer and a friend as well. We need help, what should we do?”

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BRINGING TOGETHER PEOPLE WHO LIVE WORLDS APART

Dan and Candy are two teachers who live worlds apart. Dan is American, a seasoned business systems trainer for the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico. Candy is Chinese, a young teacher assigned to teach English in a coal-mining community of rural China. They met when our Rural Education Project Team went to Northwest China last fall to train local school teachers of English.

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“THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ME DOWN THERE!” 

Several years ago we organized a medical team to China. On the last day of a two-week trip of lecturing at hospitals and medical schools, we went sightseeing. Our hosts took us to the beautiful Lotus Mountain near Guangzhou. From its peak, we could see miles of rice paddies beneath us. Peasants working in the fields looked like tiny ants from where we stood.

Suddenly...

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AN I-BANKER & HER MA's 

Gloria was a young award-winning I-banker at Merrill Lynch in Canada. What was she doing with MA’s in a factory in Shanghai?

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IN GIVING WE RECEIVE 

Five loaves and two fish were nothing for feeding 5,000 men. But it was everything the boy had in his possession that day. In responding to a need, we may be challenged to give it our all. But in giving we receive, in abundance. This is Joe’s story.

Joe was one of the founding board members of PESI. After medical school, he went to work at a refugee camp in North Thailand. ...

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STONES THAT OPENED DOORS 

In July, Norm and Vicky joined a team of 31 in our training program for rural teachers of English in West China. Norm had lectured in many universities in China and around the world before his retirement, but this was the first time he served in a rural setting. Their warmth and easy-going manner quickly connected them with the Chinese teachers in their class.

All went well until 2 a.m. on Day 5 when Norm woke up in severe pain...

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TOUCHING LIVES 

A rural high school teacher from West China wrote to one of our volunteers:

“...Every time I will tell what you said to my daughter. She is curious about everything you mentioned. Last time, I also told the customs and stories of Thanksgiving Day. I think she can gradually understand how to show thanks to whoever has helped her.” (an unedited email message)

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