International Travels & Services

Open a New World -Shirley's US Travel Diary -065 & 255th Friendly Greeting, May 23, 2010

<img src=" |right]</a> How are you? Are you enjoying your new week? <br><br><i>Once more, I wrote this letter Sunday night and I send it to you tonight.</i><br><br>This is really a busy, tight, warm and meaningful week, the so many things that have happened in the week, have “Opened a New World” for me. <br><br>“Thank you! You have opened a new world for me” was written by Anita, an American friend who is 66 years old, she has retired from a bank. After attending my second demonstration in Ozarks Technical Community College April 29, she wrote me the words first time. Then she came to my demonstrations May 18 and May 20. She has not only learned to paint her first Chinese Xieyi, but also, she borrowed some Chinese art books from the library, bought Chinese ink, colors and brushers via Internet. Before she left from my last demonstration in the Art Gallery of Missouri State University, she has worked on the third steps to color a Chinese Gongbi Painting, then she sent me a little card with the same words once more. <br><br>Right now, I would like to say the same words to Springfield, Missouri, USA : “Thank you! You have opened a new world for me”.<br><br>First of all, the local people’s warmth on foreign cultures’ learning, the good melting of American multi- cultures has really opened my eyes. <br><br>Monday morning, a colleague of Ms. Wanda Rudolph drove me to Seymour R-II Public School at 6:45am, from 8:00am to 12:00pm? I could not remember the exact time already. Just I remember that I had 4 demonstrations for 4 classes. After a lunch in the school, we had another 2 demonstrations. In the short one day, I met over 100 students. I was a little bit tired and I had to take some painkillers when the students were exchanged. My heart was full of the happiness and delight. <br><br>After the demonstration, Ms. Wanda drove me to visit her town, and then we visited the place of Amish. With so much surprise, I saw these Americans are living in 17 century in the 21 century’s US. <br> <br><img data-cke-saved-src=" http:="""" new="" uploads="" m341_4.jpg"="" align="right" border="0">Anyway, when I looked at some Amish people who were in the black clothes and caps on the carriages to greet with me with their bright smiles and gentleman styles, while to look at the modern buildings around of them, “It has really opened my eyes” and it has really helped me understand why the local American people have so much warmth to learn the foreign cultures. Maybe just for America is a wonderful multi- cultural world? Maybe the fact that the different cultures are alive together harmoniously is just one of the important characters of the US? Maybe just the good melt of the multi-cultures has helped the United States to be developed miraculously and quickly?

Secondly, the American administration system and its work style “Have also opened a new world for me”. When I studied in Missouri State University, I was touched by the fact that American people had chose a black Resident for themselves. I was tearing when I saw President Obama was talking on the stage for I have felt the huge progress of the human being and thought of why a black American lady teacher was sent into the Jail and how Dr. Martin Luther King was killed about 50 years’ ago. This time, when I came back to the university once more, I was so surprised that the president of the university was chosen by their faculty and students in stand of being appointed by the government.

The other thing that “opens a window for me” was the work style of the local American officials and Managers.

Thursday morning, my formal private tutor Mr. Gong Xiaoou picked up me to visit Mr. Brad Bondenhausen ? the executive director of Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce at 7:30am. When I entered into the gate of Chamber of Commerce at about 7:45am, I thought that I was too early so that we would wait for Mr. Brad Bondenhausen for a while. However, when Mr. Gong asked me to go into the meeting room, I was surprised that people had been in a meeting to listen to a report by Mr. Brent Jones who was from US Small Business Administration Springfield Branch Office to introduce something about International Trade. Some of them drank and ate their breakfast at the same time. Then, Mr. Brad Bodenhausen introduced something about Dubai Business mission.

I just understood that I was listening to a Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s an International Business Council’s Meeting. For catching their managers and entrepreneurs, usually, they have a meeting before these entrepreneurs start to work in their own companies at 8:00am. This is just one kind of the working styles of American officials and managers.

It was really surprised me. I was thinking that maybe this was one of the reasons why in this country, there is the highest work efficiency?

There were so many things happened in the short week, includes a group of Chinese E-MBA students of Missouri State University would like to send me to Kentucky free by driving for about 12 hours continuously by the leader of Mr. Zheng Qifeng -- a young Chinese entrepreneur.
Even though I have canceled this travel, I do feel what Mr. Zheng Qifeng and his classmates wanted to do, has opened a new world for me to know what the Northwest Chinese people like.

This week, people who most touched me are these successful American entrepreneurs. By the good help of Mr. Brad Bodonhausen, I have known many kind and helpful entrepreneurs and friends.
Ms. Rita Needham - the Executive Director of the Southwest Area Manufacture Association and a graceful and beautiful musician, helped me realized that my art works not only can enjoy people’s eyes and hearts, but also, it should be able to create new, maybe double value. When I heard her this or that ideas, I did feel that she was opening a window for me, a fresh and clean spring wind has flown into my heart, with a soft and warm style…

Mr. Tai Li ? a successful American ? Chinese designer not only gave me so much encouragement on my painting, but also, he offered me many helpful opinions.

Mr. Eric Olson ? an editor from Springfield Business Journal, with his professional sensitivity has helped me on writing.

Mr. Joe Jenkins -- the president of Diesel Power, Inc, member of board of directors of Ozarks Technical Community College, and the owner of a fund of Missouri State University, with a busy schedule, he has met me 4 times, to listen to my thought and dream on inter-art and cross-culture learning, gave me a lot of directions and actual help.

The biggest help from Mr. Joe Jenkins is ? both of he and his wife would like to offer me a special place in their store to exhibit my paintings -- no charge and for a long time.

As a common alumna of Missouri State University and an artist who is from far away China, as soon as finished the art exhibition in MSU, I have gotten so nice help from Mr. Joe Jenkins and Mrs. Jenkins. To be honest, when I listened to my recorder Thursday night, tears were in my eyes. Right now, when I am writing to you, tears are flowing on my face once more…

With so much appreciation, trust and touching by so many organizations, professors, entrepreneurs, friends and the local American people, I have decided to leave my 65 Chinese paintings in Springfield, MO, USA. To entrust Mr. Joe Jenkins full authority to exhibit, manage and sale most of them in the US, via donating the income, to found a special fund to help the local people to learn Chinese culture and arts, to return the education, training, support and help of Missouri State University, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Region Council, local public schools and Springfield people ? It is them, in the Field of the Spring, has help me become an artist.

I am smiling with tears when I am writing here even though I cannot see my words clear (I still need often change my three pairs of glasses on my desk to see which one is more helpful) I am thinking the so fantastic store of Mr. Joe Jenkins and Ms. Jenkins at Country Road Collection, 1929 E. Bennett, Springfield, Missouri, USA ? A place that is full of the Eastern Breath. When I went into it first time, a new world opened for me. You cannot imagine how many ancient, typical Asian antiques, furniture and something interested and funny in it, 70% of them come from China. :- )

I am so happy to see, there will be a very nice place in the classical Asian and Chinese Style store for my paintings ? to open a window for Shirley, for me. I did not almost believe my ears at that time when I made sure about this. What a lucky person I am!

Via what Mr. Joe Jenkins and Ms. Jenkins have done for me, I have seen the golden hearts of the local American people. I would really like to cherish my luck, continue to learn and to create something most beautiful, not only in the art of painting, music and language fields, but also in the management field…

Therefore, even though I have gotten another 3 invitations to have art exhibitions and demonstrations in the US in May, June and Fall, I would like to leave them in the next year. What I would like to do is to go back China as soon as possible, to work for our company and my motherland. I am sure that the more national, the more world. The more I have learned from my own cultures and Chinese arts, the more I would be welcome in the US and the other cultures. Do you think so?

I am just a learner on art of painting, music and English, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a few things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be
an Electronic Bridge of Culture Exchange, Chinese Language Learning & Friendship making. To help the others while to improve myself.

I would like to appreciate your understanding, directions, supports and hope to get your friendly direction and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or, or to publish your opinions in the forum.

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Sun., May 23, 2010

comments powered by Disqus